Travel Guide: Guam

Guam is an island territory off the Pacific, four hours flight from the Philippine’s capital. Similarly colonized by the Spanish conquistadors and still under the American federal government Guam shares a lot more cultural similarities that we thought we knew.  The island is popular for Japanese and Korean tourist who you’d mostly find at the shopping areas such as the Guam Premier Outlest and the hotel lane which is dotted with good stores to shop at.

Prepping for a trip to the island can be intimidating as not a lot information on how enjoy the island backpacking style is available. So on a recent trip I tried my best to find the best way to enjoy the island without spending so much.

Visa Requirements

Being a teritory of the United States of America, Guam requires you to have a US Visa. There are no special visas for Guam so you still have to go through the usual US Visa application.

source

Getting There

Most of the time Cebu Pacific Airlines offers the cheapest fares from Manila. Yes most of the time specially when they are on sale (got mine for $52 RT) just make sure you don’t book your hotels right away or book rooms that are re-bookable in case one of the airlines “Flight Realignment” issues happens again. Other airlines that fly from Manila to the island are Philippine Airlines and United Airlines.

source

Accommodation

Accommodation in Guam mostly consist of Hotels and Resorts leaning towards the higher end of the market. I guess it is safe to say that Guam is not backpacker friendly but it does not mean that it is not doable. If you are willing to spend more than than your usual trips you may want to look for accommodation around the Tamon Bay area where you can easily access the beautiful Tamon Beach. This area is also the best places to stay for shopping.

 

If you are still not willing to let go of your backpacking principles (lol) the best way to get around the high prices is through Airbnb. You can snag a room, condo or apartment for about $30-$60 a night that you can split if there’s two of you. Make sure to stay near one of the Lamlam bus stop so that getting around the area wouldn’t be an issue if you aren’t driving. Just be sure that you are ready for emergency money that you can spend incase anything happens to your reserved room just like what happened to me. (will post an airbnb review later). Some of the destinations are walk-able (1-2kms) but the heat may be a challenge so just be ready with umbrellas, Guam roads aren’t fans of sidewalks so you might find your self walking on unpaved road sides.

Transportation

Best Option: Car rental – rent a car for just $20-$25 a day. Gas cost around $3-$4 a gallon which is enough for you to go around the entire island at least four times! Just bring your drivers license and you can drive for a maximum of thirty days while in the territory.

For non-drivers here’s how you can get around the island.

Lamlam Bus Service

Lamlam seems to be Guam’s de facto public bus service. The bus service is operated by Lamlam tours company and has several routes around the main area of the island with most of them terminating at Micronesia Mall and Guam Premier Outlets (GPO).  One way single use tickets costs $4 per way while day passes starts at $12 for one day, $15 for 2 days, $25 for 5 days while child pass costs $13. They also have special buses that will get you to special points of interests such as Two Lovers Point and Chamorro Village among others.

If you are trying to get out of the airport, they also have an airport shuttle that will take you to T-Galleria Mall in the downtown are. Bus service usually starts by 10 AM.

Taxi

From the airport taxi service (meter) will cost you about $25 for the entire 2.8 miles (5kms) journey. Expensive yet somewhat convenient except when you are in area where there are no taxi waiting area. See, taxis do not go around and pickup passengers. Most of the time they are stationary in an establishment with a kiosk where you can book their service.

Stroll & LamCar

There’s no Uber, Grab or Lyft in Guam. Instead they have Stroll. Similar to other ride hailing apps Stroll will provide you the estimated price and pick you up from your location. The only set back for this is that there are not a lot of Stroll cars around the island so it may take a while before you can actually hail one. However, it may be worth the wait compared to taxis as the price per mile are way cheaper.

Another option is the LamCar, similar to Stroll this app also helps you to hail one of the Lamlam tour company’s

Food 

There are lots of great food options in Guam. From food courts, restaurants, diners and of course there are fast food options as well. Pricing though does not differ whether it is fast food or a mom-and-pop food store, only the specialty restaurants actually border on the “pricey” end of the spectrum.

To give context to how much you will be spending and should be allotting for your food budget, here are the actual prices I paid for.

Mc Donalds
……….Big Mac Meal ………..$7.90
……….Big Mac (Sandwich only) ………..$5.00

Denny’s 
……….Grilled Chicken Breast with Mash Potato and Brocolli………..$8
……….Hamburger Gravy Bowl………..$8.00
……….Unlimited Hot Choco………..$3.60

Note: Denny’s have breakfast options for as low as $2 some if the servings are big specially those with rice like the Hamburger Gravy Bowl I had to put them on take-away bags so I can finish them later, so maybe you can just share.

Cinnabon (Classic)………..$3.99

Infusion Coffee and Tea Shop
……….Shangri-La Iced Tea………..$2.50
……….Chicken Pesto Pasta………..$2.00

Figaro
……….Java Chip Coffee………..$5.74

If  you are traveling in a group better cook your selves food it’ll be cheaper!

Activities

Shopping

Guam Premier Outlets
Micronesia Mall
Downtown Shopping Lane (Hotel road)

Guam Ocean Venture

Chamorro Village

Watch Las Vegas Style Magic Shows

Beaches

Tumon Beach
Gab Gab Beach
Gun Beach

Food Trips

Guam National Museum

War In The Pacific Nat’l Historical Park

Asan Bay Overlook

Guam Legislative Building

Dulce Nobre de Maria Cathedral

Two Lovers Point

Source

Source

Crystal Chapel

Source

Though honestly, the best thing still to do in Guam is to shop. However, there are still a lot of things to do in the island that you don’t have to spend so much. But then again if you see the prices in the outlet stores and duty free shops you would definitely panic and your card may get overloaded. I am not even exaggerating. My favorite store still and probably will always will is Ross, thought it was tough to find something for my size, that store still my heart (yeah we got a long history way back 2006 hahaha).

Nevertheless if shopping is not your thing, the Chamorros are one of the jolliest people I’ve ever met, you’ll have a great time around them for sure! Best to bring a friend or two with you to split the cost of your Airbnb, car rental and gas. Lastly stop converting to your local currency! hahaha! yes let lose for a moment when in Guam and you’ll surely enjoy your stay. Haf Adai!

Crossing From Singapore To Malaysia

If you are on a Southeast Asian trip or just trying to maximize your trip in Singapore, a quick trip to Malayia can actually be done via land. Singapore is connected to Malaysia via a few entry points. From thee you can start exploring places like Joho Bahur or Melaka, or even as far as Penang or Kuala Lumpur via an overnight bus. Yes you can always book a flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, but if you are aiming for a cheaper alternative a night bus can save you a lot.

How To Book A Bus From Singapore To Malayia

While in Singapore I tried looking for a travel agency that where I can physically buy a bus ticket from. It was quite a challenge specially in the area where I was staying (Bukit Pajang). So after scouring the mall (Bukit Pajang Plaza) I went back to my accommodation and just checked online.

There are several sites that you can book your bu tickets, it is actually a lot more convenient it just my traditional thinking that’s kicking in. I choose BusOnlineTicket.com based on the price and departure times available. I booked a trip departing 12AM that night, cost was SG$28

Upon arriving at the pickup point, I just showed my phone with their email confirmation and I was admitted to board the bus. The same bus will be taking you from the pickup point, through immigration then all the way to your ultimate destination. It was Kuala Lumpur for me.

Immigration

The bus crosses the causeway bridge and takes you to the Singapore Immigration processing center. The center was large and well organized just like an airport. There were not much people at that time since it was midnight so everything went quickly. We went back to the bus and once every one was in we then journeyed to the Malaysian side of the border to be stamped in. The Malaysian immigration office was remarkably smaller compared to Singapore but since it was midnight everything was done quickly.

Timetable

Travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is about 5-6 hours. If you are traveling after summer you might consider a few things when you travel. You will arrive when it still is dark at around 5 AM and if you are getting off at Berjaya Times Square make sure that you have changed your money to Ringgit before you leave Singapore. There are no 24 hours money changer around the area.

 

Got more tips about crossing to or from Singapore and Malaysia? Leave them on the comment section and we’ll try to add them!

Batanes Itinerary And Travel Guide

Batanes still remains one of if not the most dreamed of destination in the country. The northern most province of the Philippines, Batanes’ next door neighbor is already Taiwan. For years Batanes has been far from an average person’s reach, not just beacause of its distance but because of the amount involved just to get there. However, over the past couple of years Batanes has become a bit more affordable. From the usual 16,000 – 20,000 peso airfares before, airlines now offer deals aroudn 3,000 pesos and sometimes even cheaper. Now that we have an opportunity to explore Batanes, let’s go and check out what are the things we can do in this beautiful Island with this simeple Batanes Itinerary

Getting There

There are two airlines that fly from Manila and one Tuguegarao namely, Philippine Airlines, Skyjet and SkyPasada. Fly time is about 1.25 Hrs from Manila.

Batanes Itinerary

Transportation

Getting Around Basco, Sabtang and Itbayat (The three major islands of the province) can be challenging. There are/is a jeep that goes around Basco at certain times mainly to transport people from the town to the pier. Be sure to ask your hotel/inn/homestay staff about the schedule so you wont miss it. I was told during my stay that I should catch it at the town exit at around 6:30 AM but it came around 7nish. Other than that you’d either have to walk, rent a bike or a motorbike to go around. I rented a bicycle to roam around the island on my own instead of joining tours. You’d have to really adventurous though if you want to go that way. The roads are challenging to pedal as most of them are up hill and you be on the road as darkness falls. There rarely are street lights in the outskirts of Basco.

 

Where To Stay

Contrary to common beliefs, accommodation in Batanes is affordable. You can find home stays, inns and hometels in Basco for your home base. I for example stayed in Time Travel Lodge for just about 500 pesos a night (this was back in 2014 – please check with the property for current rates). The property was near the airport, which is good in a way. However, it becomes a challenge if you frequent the town center where most of the activities are. See Basco lies on a slope, with the Airport at the top of the hill and the pier on the other end. See what I mean? But if it hills dosn’t bother you, say your like from SanFo that shouldn’t be an issue. If you can get a room some where near the pier, the better.

Batanes Itinerary

Where To Eat 

There are a few restaurants that we tried a few that we can recommend are Pension Ivatan for their Ivatan Platter so that you can try all Ivatan food that you can! There’s also Shanedel’s serving standard menus like continiental breakfast and tapsis. One must try though in Batanes are its lobsters and Coconut Crabs. Coconut crabs can be a bit on the expensive side because it is hard to find in the forests, but lobsters here are the cheapest that you can find.

Batanes Itinerary

What To Do

Top 2 things to do in Batanes are sight seeing and food trippin’. I think we covered the later earlier so let’s check out what is there to see in Batanes.

Like I mentioned, Batanes is composed of three main islands; Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat. The most convenient way to see everything is by booking a tour with tour companies like BISUMI. Last time I check they are offering a 5,000 peso tour for three days covering both islands inclusive of food and fees!

I on the other hand opted to bring a map and bike! the bike cost me about 200-300 pesos for the entire day and a gazillion calories! That made me soooo happy! hahahaha~!

I don’t have much words to describe Batanes so heeeere’s some scenery porn… ugh… that doesn’t sound right… hahaha

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

Batanes Itinerary

 

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

 

Batanes Itinerary

Honestly I dont think that gave Batanes any justice. You.Just.Have.To.See.It.Yourself.

Itinerary

The Batanes itinerary should be fairly easy.

Day 1: Arrive, rent bike or join tour, Ivatan feast at Pension Ivatan

Day 2 South Batan Tour, Casa Napoli (Dinner)

Day 3 Sabtang Tour, Shanedels (Dinner)

Day 4 Depart Batanes

>>> Download Detailed Itinerary<<<

Note that you can extend your stay in Batanes and that you don’t have to do everything to quick. See Batanes is more than a sight seeing destination. You need to immerse and feel how peaceful and different this place it from the rest of the country. Not just with geography but with its people. You can also go father and break your limits by going to Itbayat, the farthest of all livable islands. It will take you about four to five hours of travel via Falowa through the rough open waters of the Pacific Ocean.

 

Travel Guide: How To Get To Taipei From The Airport

So just landed in the Taoyuan Internation Airport and you are ready to explore Taiwan. But then there you are standing in the arrivals area, over whelmed on all of the Chinese characters you see. Inside your head you are lightly freaking out asking your self How to do you get to Taipei from the Airport?

Thankfully, going to Taipei from the Airport has been more convenient over the past few years. The buses bound to Taipei that will drop you off at the Taipei Main Station is now operating 24 hours. The Airport railway link on the other hand has been recently opened after a few year of construction.

Best Way To Get To Taipei From The Airport

Honestly, it depends on your situation. Here’s what I recommend.

Cab

If you do not  trust your skills in taking public transport, you can always take the cab. However, I can assure you taking the bus and the Airport MRT is really easy. I also recommend that you take the cab if you have several bags with you and you are solo traveling. Yeah… I know people who travel with several bags for a three night trip. Believe me! Hahaha! It would also be more comfortable to take the cab from the airport instead of the bus. The cost shouldn’t be that much if you have friends to split the fare with you. A cab ride from the airport to Taipei main station should cost you around 900 – 1000 NT$  

Get To Taipei From The Airport photo by  koadmunkee used under CC Licence

Get To Taipei From The Airportphoto by  spencer341b used under CC Lisence

Bus

The most cost effective of all types of transportation. it only costs around NT$ 125 to get to Taipei from the airport which is really cheap comparing it from taking the train and more over to taking the cab. If you are arriving anytime between 12AM till 6AM, the bus would probably the best choice for you as the Airport MRT will not operate until 6AM. Some of the buses have luggage areas at front for small bags while you can always put big bags in the compartments on the side of the bus.

 

photo by   lyng883 used under CC Licence

Airport MRT

After several years of construction, the Aiport MRT is finally open. I was lucky enough to try the Aiport link on its first month of operation as the fares are still discounted. Regular fare from the Airport to the Taipei Main Station costs about NT$160. The train is fast and clean (buses tend to have a bit of a smell sometimes -just like everywhere). Only draw back that I think it has are its seats. The coaches have regular plastic seats instead of comfy cushioned ones.

Get To Taipei From The Airport

You will be arriving at the new A1 Terminal or the Airport Terminal of the Taipei Main Station. From there you can transfer to which ever line you need to be in to get to your destination.

Get To Taipei From The Airport

The Taipei Main Station is massive so don’t be shy to ask around. I for one still gets lost even if I’ve used the station several times. Be patient and be ready for an adventure! LOL!

We hope that this guide has helped you in some way. If you know any other way to efficiently get to Taipei from the airport, please let us know in the comment section.

 

Jiufen (Spirited Away)

I’ve always heard about this place and seen photos online. I wasn’t really that excited about the place but it did made me curious. The day that I was to see the old town of Jiufen came in a bit interesting for me. I originally wanted to see Shifen to fly a paper lantern, but the weather wasn’t agreeing. So when I saw this girl on Couchsurfing looking for companions  to Jiufen, I message her up to meet. After a few hours she responded on where we can meet up. I was like “Thank you God! you actually are going to make this birthday memorable for me!”. LMFAO. Well it wasn’t actually a date of some sort but meeting a cute girl was a reward enough for my birthday. Yep this was on my birthday.

The Old Street Jiufen

Jiufen’s main attraction (for non Spirited Away fans like me) are its century old streets. These streets are filled with stores selling interesting things. Food, tea houses, restaurants, Souvenirs, tourist spots of all sorts adorn the narrow streets filled up with people. The street has this Japanese feel of a market place, maybe because the town was developed further during the Japanese Gold rush era.

jiufen photo by Modale (used under CC)

There’s another class of tourist that goes to this old town, the anime fan tourists. As I learned from my new friend Jordana, some of the structures and places in Jiufen inspired the architecture and landscape of the movie Spirited Away. Without knowing I actually was impressed by the architecture of  the actual tea house where the author took inspiration from.

I guess if you are off for a trip to Jiufen, make sure that you come with a full wallet and an empty stomach. Going through the streets with rows and rows of awesome stores with free tastes will satisfy your cravings. Make sure to visit one of the coffee or tea houses that offers an amazing view of the port city of Keelung.

Jiufenphoto by arkiben used under CC

 

jiufenphoto by  ume-y used under CC

 

Jiufen Photo by Wei, Shi-Hang (used under CC)

How To Go To Jiufen

There are a few ways to get to Jiufen.

Option 1

Take the train to MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing station
Get on Bus 1062 that will take you straight to Jiufen
Bus fare is about NT$102

Option 2

Go to Taipei Main Station
Get on the Taipei Rail train to Ruifang
From Ruifang hop on a bus to Jiufen

jiufenphoto by andreakw (used under CC)

Travel Guide: Boracay Island

Hailed as one of the best beaches in the world several times, Boracay continuously lures tourists each year. The island is famous not only for its powder fine sand and exciting activities, but with its awesome nightlife as well.

What To Do In Boracay

I could easily spend a whole day just laying on the sand and enjoy a cup of smoothie or beer while the breeze blows. Aside from that here are a few more that you can do.

Paddle Boarding

boracay

Ride a Paraw

boracay

Island Hopping

A post shared by leila (@tinkaliel) on

A post shared by Hazwanofficial (@wanofficia1) on

 

Best Time To Go To Boracay

Off Peak Season (End of May – November)

If you want to enjoy the beach with less people, you might want to visit during lean season. Off-peak season in the Island starts from late May till November. This season is also the time when the water is the clearest. Caveat though, if you go there during the American Thanks Giving holiday you might encounter a crowd larger than the usual off peak season. This is because this is the best time for people who work for American companies take advantage of some rest and relaxation. I actually like travelling during Thanks giving weekend. Hotels aren’t that expensive as if it was peak season but they offer amenities like buffet in house and some even offer free cocktails at night, that’s why I think that is the best time to go to Boracay.

boracay

 

Super Peak (March  – Early May)

Summer season starts end of February and climaxes between March and April. These are also the months when classes comes to a halt giving families to come together and enjoy a day at the beach. While you may think that the number of people will start dwindling come may, you are wrong! Big time! The biggest event in the island actually happens every May 1, Labor day! In fact people have coined a word for this weekend, LaBoracay weekend (read as Labor -racay) combining the words labor and Boracay. If you plan to join the LaBoracay festivities, better book your hotels and flights several months in advance as they will shoot waaaay up and hotels do become fully booked all over the island.

A post shared by DJ Cathy Frey (@cathyfrey) on

 

 

Peak Season (December – February) 

Holidays abound during these months so expect more people trying to get to the island. Prices to go up so just like during super peak seasons, book your airfare and accommodation in advance. It can be a bit crowded on these months but nothing like if it is LaBoracay. Also, the water is perfectly clear too on during these times.

 

How To Get To Boracay

Most major airlines in the Philippines fly directly to Caticlan the nearest airport. However, most travelers opt to land at the Kalibo International airport as it is always cheaper. From Kalibo you can take a bus or van directly from the airport to the Caticlan Jetty Port. Boats from the port to the island is available 24 hours. As soon as you arrive ready your pesos to pay for the Environmental Fee (100), Terminal Fee (75)  and Boat Fare (25).

Overnight ferries from Manila are also available. You can check ferry schedules at 2Go.com

Boracay

Where To Stay In Boracay

Hostel Avenue

Get the best value out of your buck at Hostel Avenue. A beach front property, this hostel offers a great view of the sea from its veranda.

boracay

Check Rates  I See Hotel Review

 

Chill Out Hostel

boracay island

Check Rates

Travel Guide: How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia (Border Cross)

Being part of the main land Southeast Asia, Vietnam is one of the usual stops for backpackers. So aside from taking the plane to the country, to save money most travelers actually cross borders via land. If you are wondering how to go to Vietnam from Cambodia via land, you’d be surprised that it’s relatively easy. Let’s check on some things first.

VISA Requirements

If you are a non ASEAN citizen you might want to check Viet Nam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs if you are needing to secure a visa prior to your arrival. You will also notice when you buy your bus ticket that the staff will ask you some questions. This is to determine if you are aware of your visa situation and that you have secured one if necessary.

On the other hand, if you are an ASEAN citizen, all that you’ll be needing is your passport. ASEAN citizens with passports issued by member countries  are currently afforded visa-free entry into Viet Nam for a period of 21 to 30 days.

How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia (Border Cross)

check on google maps here

How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia (Border Cross)

screen cap from google maps

The Journey To Viet Nam

As you buy your ticket, the staff will actually ask you if you have ever been to Viet Nam. I think this is their soft probing if you are aware of the things that you need to know on how to go to Vietnam from Cambodia. They will also inform you if you need a visa, ergo they will not sell you tickets if you don’t have.

Say, you have your tickets already and its time to board the bus. Before the bus leaves, the steward will collect all passports to double check if you have the right documentation. As soon as you arrive at the Cambodian border, all passports will be redistributed. You will have to get off of the bus and line up for your passports to be stamped out.

After everyone has been stamped out and have boarded back on the bus, you will be taken to the Duty Free shop for dinner. Yeah, It’s a bit over priced but the food isn’t that bad and you have no other choice. After about an hour everyone jumped backed in the bus heading to the Viet Nam side of the border.

On the Vietnam side of the border, the bus steward will be the one to process your passports for you. You will actually be asked to bypass the immigration officers booth after handing you back your passport. As you exit the processing center, an immigration officer will then check your passports one at a time. This is to make sure that everyone was processed accordingly.

Your bus will be waiting at the exit of the processing center. Once everyone is back on the bus you’d be on your way to Ho Chi Minh city! There’s one difference that should be noted between the Cambodian and Vietnam border processing. As you exit, the Cambodian border center will just as yourself to step off the bus without your belongings. On the other hand, the Vietnam border will ask you to unload everything and have everything scanned. I guess the later’s immigration process is a lot stricter since you are entering their country.

Your journey ends at the Pham Ngu Lao street where everyone gets off. If you have not booked a room just yet, you are almost guaranteed to find one along the alleys of Pham Ngu Lao.

hopefully this gives you a good idea of what bus company to take and some insight on How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia.

Fare: $14 (as of 11/29/2016)

 

If you have any questions, suggestion or inputs please do let us know on the comments section!

 

Travel Guide: Liw-liwa Zambales Itinerary

Zambales offers a lot of options when it comes to advnture. You can go climb mountains, swim rivers but my favorite of all are its beaches. Yes Zambales does not have those pristine white sands just like in the visayas, but they are as close as three hours from Manila and offers a lot of activities that the family can enjoy.

Liwliwa Zambales

Liw-liwa is small coastal community in Zambales with a vibrant surfing scene. The beach may not be as soft and as white as the others but it offers a huge beach area where you can just enjoy laying out under the sun while watching surfing to their stuff.

As you emerge from the community to the beach you will also be amazed by how raw this area is (I just hope that this would stay the way it is). The beach is lined up not with coconut trees but with pine trees with the towering mountains of Zambales behind them. I couldn’t help my self but just stare at it for minutes!

 

How To Go To Liw-liwa

From EDSA Take a bus going to Iba Zambales (or anything going past Zambales)
Tell the Conductor to unload you at Bobulan Elementary School in San Felipe, Zambales
Incase they aren’t familiar with the school just alight in their stop for San Felipe
Take a tricycle going to Liw-liwa

Liwliwa Zambales

Where To Stay

Since I was with a friend we opted to stay in a private hut in La Zerena Resort but if you are solo or you and your friends would like to meet new people I highly suggest to stay in The Circle Hostel which is just right across La Zerena or a better alternative is the HideOut Hostel.

Expenses

Caloocan (Victory Liner) – San Felipe – Caloocan         564.00 (282/way)
Accommodation                                                                   600.00 (1200 good for two)
Surf Board Rental (Half Day)                                              400.00
Tricycle Service to Falls                                                      250.00
Falls Entrance                                                                         50.00

Total                                                                                  1,614.00

Food

The most convenient place to get almost everything that you need is at Fely’s Store and Canteen. They have a meal menu mostly Tapsis starting around 75.00, Fruit shakes at about 50.oo and other things that you may need including personal necessities.

liwliwa zambales

Itinerary

Day 1

04:00 ETD Victory Liner Caloocan
09:00 ETA Sitio Liw-liwa, San Felipe, Zambales
09:30 Breakfast
10:00 ETD going to Lubong-Nangoloan Falls
11:30 ETD Back to Sitio Liw-liwa
12:00 Lunch / Free Time
13:30 Beach Bumming/ Surfing
17:30 – 18:00 Sunset
19:00 Dinner
20:00 Onwards Socials/Bonfire

Day 2

07:00 Wakeup Call
07:30 Breakfast
08:30 Beach
10:30 Prep for checkout
11:00 Checkout
11:30 Lunch
12:30 ETD to Caloocan
18:00 ETA Caloocan

liwliwa zambales

Notes:

You can bring your own tent, the beach is huge you can just pitch your tent for free.
There are toilets that you can pay to use.
Bring a garbage bag and bring your trash with you, locals are very particular about cleanliness of the beach
If you opt to stay in a room, call ahead of time and reserve. They get fully booked easily on weekends.
Fruitshakes are aweosme
If you plan to go to the falls ask for the husband of the massage therapist at the resort on La Zerena’s right.

How To Go To Obando Fiesta

Obando,  a town north of Metro Manila in the province of Bulacan. The town s popular for its Fertility Festival, celebrating the Feasts of St. Claire, St. Paschal and Nuestra Señora de Salambao. The Obando Fertility Festival‘s ancient name was Kasilonawan Festival how ever this teerm has not been used for a while now and people now just refer to the event simply as the Obando Fiesta or the more popular Obando Fertility Festival.

The Obando fiesta will be celebrated this year from May 17 – 19, 2017.

_dsc0666-copy

The whole experience will give you goose bumps as the procession culminates with dancing inside he Obando Church.

So how do you get to to Obando?

How To Go To Obando

Via Public Transport 

  • (Option 1) From Monumento take a jeep going to Paco or Obando this will pass through Obando.
  • (Option 2) From Monumento or EDSA take a jeep or bus to Malanday. From Malanday you ride a jeep to Obando.

Notes: It is highly possible that jeeps going to Obando may be highly limited, in this case you may take a jeep to Polo then to Obando. Also Jeeps may cut their trips nearing the town because of traffic so you might need to walk a few hundred meters to the town center.

Tips

  • be sure to come early to avoid the influx of people, there’s also a high chance of the public transport to get through up to the town.
  • The procession usually starts by 9 AM
  • The feast of St. Clare is the when most people come to dance asking for a child.

Obando Town Fiesta

Obando Town Fiesta

Still Got Questions? Leave them on the comment box and we’ll try to answer them the best we can ^_^

How To Get To Pattaya From Aranyaprateth

Most travelers coming from Cambodia opts to go straight to Bangkok as soon as they cross the border to Aranyaprateth. But if you are looking for to have some time under the Thai Sun a quick stop over in Pattaya can satisfy your craving for some sand between your toes.

One can get to Pattaya from the border by booking a bus online, however most of the bus companies that I found are quite expensive. Good thing is that staff in the hotel where I as staying gave me directions on where I could catch a Van to Pattaya at a fraction of the cost.

After going through immigration find your way to the Star Plaza Mall‘s open air parking on the right side where van are located. You can buy a ticket from the terminal desk, they will issue a receipt so make sure that you don’t lose it because at some point of the journey they will be inspecting this.

Fare all the way to Pattaya is about 250 Baht.

Here are some photos of the terminal that you should be looking for.

Terminal Desk

Terminal To Pattaya

Do you know any other way to get to Pattaya from Aranyaprateth? Let us know in the comment!

How To Cross To Cambodia From Thailand

Crossing the Cambodian border from Thailand could be one of the most challenging border crossing one may experience, like how I did.

First off you need to get to Aranyaprateth, Your bus or van may drop you off at Aranya (possibly their nickname for the market area) and you would have to hire a tuktuk to get to the border it self. Some vans may drop you off at the Border like the one I took from Pattaya.

Find the entrance where it says departure and walk straight ahead. You’ll find a sign showing “Foreign Passports”, go up to the stairs -no photos and videos as soon as you enter the door; that’s the immigration area already. Line up and have your passports ready together with your departure cards to have it stamped. That’s it you are officially out of Thailand.

dsc06266

As you exit the immigration building you will see the Cambodian border arch, walk straight past it going to the arrival area. If you are a non-ASEAN citizen or are needing a visa you may secure your visa at the building near after the arch. There are a lot of people at the Thai border who will try to sell you or scam you in getting a Cambodian visa so be very cautious.

The arrival area is just a small office, immeadiately secure an arrival card, fill it up then queue for the immigration officers. No fees should be collected at this point. I have heard some horror stories from fellow travelers that immigration officers ask for at least $1 for different reasons ranging from so called “Processing fees” to rediculous “First timer’s fees”

dsc06269

 

dsc06273

 

Be cautious of touts as well, do not answer any greeting or question from strangers or they will follow you up till you actually get on a bus or taxi. I made the mistake of answering to a “Hello” then the next thing I knew is that there are three men following me trying to have me get their service.

Once you have processed your arrival you either take a shared taxi or a bus to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or where ever you are bound to, at the international Bus Terminal (6kms away) by taking the FREE government bus or walk straight to the Vikram Buntham bus terminal just straight ahead down the road. Fare for this bus company ranges from 8-10 USD depending on what type of bus you will be taking.

map-cambodia-border-copy

Always remember to check for your visa requirements and have enough money , be it local or USD -which ever is acceptable to your country of destination. It is important to know what you need to do and your rights specially when traveling cross borders to avoid being scammed.

Do you have a story or different experience in crossing the Cambodian border from Thailand? Let us know at the comment section!

How To Get To Khao San Road From Airport

There’s a couple of ways to get to the city from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, it is really up to you how would you want to navigate the city depending on how much time and convenience you are willing to let go. Here’s a couple of ways on how to get to Khao San Road from the airport.

Via Taxi

The most convenient yet expensive way to get to Khao San Road from the airport is by taking cab. Flag down rate starts at ฿ 35 while ฿ 6 is charged for every kilometer while a surcharge of ฿ 1.25 for every meter is applied if your vehicle is moving under 6 kph. You will also need to shoulder the toll fees for the expressway while you will be at the mercy of Bangkok’s famous traffic jams.

Via Bus

There are buses at the arrival area that you can ride taking you directly to Khao San Road. Fare is about ฿ 150 – 180 depending on the bus company. Compared to taxis they are more comfortable with bigger seats designed for trips, but just like the taxi travel time will depend on the traffic situation.

Via Train

First off, the train will NOT take you directly to Khao San road. You can take the airport train up to the end of the Airport Rail Link line which is the Phaya Thai station. From the Phaya Thai station, walk to the Victory Monument or take another train (just one station away ฿15) and take the 509 or 157 bus. Make sure to tell the conductor to unload you at the right stop. Fare from the airport to Phaya Thai station is ฿45 and the bus to Khao San road is ฿13

Victory Monument Bus Stop

 

Vans From Pattaya to Aranyaprateth

The most popular way of  going to Siem Reap from Thailand usually is through Bangkok. But one route that is  not that popular because of the lack of information available is through Pattaya. This route is good if you are wanting to see the beach before you leave Thailand.

In Bangkok, go to the North or South Terminal Bus station and hop on  a bus bound to pattaya. Tickets cost 108 Baht from the east terminal while it’s 117 Baht if you’ll be taking the bus at the North Bus terminal.

You can spend a day or too in Pattaya and enjoy the beach before you move on in crossing the border going to Cambodia. I also absolutely recommend staying at The Big Five-O, It’s clean, they have a pool and their staff Opal is absolutely the best.

Van Pattaya to Aranyaprateth

Photo lifted from Five-O’s Facebook – trust me it looks this awesome in person

From Pattaya you can take a Motor taxi bike to the Van station(80 Baht). I don’t exactly know the name of the place but I was able to pin it down on the map and took a photo of the terminal that the hostel staff wrote down for me. Go ahead and have that printed to show to the motorbike taxi driver.

you can check out other Pattaya Hotels Here

From Pattaya the van will go through its route picking up and unloading passengers. There are no official stop overs as well just a couple of short ones to refuel and check on tickets. The van will take you to a Mall in Aranyaprateth that is walking distance from the border compared taking the train and bus-where you have to take a tuktuk to get to the border. It takes about five hours to get to the border so the earlier you leave the better. I took the 12 PM van and arrived in the border by about 5:30 PM – I would advise for you to check with the terminal first if you plan to leave on a later time since I am not sure if there are trips after 12 PM.

Here’s how my expense/itinerary looked like

Bangkok – Pattaya (ETA: 8AM) 117 Baht
Five-O Hostel 300 Baht
Motor Bike to Van Terminal 80 Baht
Pattaya – Aranyaprateth 250 Baht

 

This is the note that I gave to the motorbike taxi that the hotel staff wrote for me.

Van Pattaya to Aranyaprateth

 

This is the Van Terminal

Van Pattaya to Aranyaprateth

 

Map of where the terminal is located

Van Pattaya to Aranyaprateth

 

Pagudpud Travel Guide: Itinerary and Expenses

The north of Luzon offers a diverse option on how to spend your holidays and one of the best way to lazy around is just bum around the beach, and Saud Beach in Ilocos is the perfect place to do such. However, why not maximize your stay at the northern region of Luzon and explore it’s unique tourist attractions.

Here’s a sample itinerary for you in exploring the Ilocos region in one go.

itininerary ilocos

Download The Ilocos Backpacking Itinerary

Easy Hong Kong Travel Guide

 

It’s that season again when Airlines are trying to fill up their seats with Seat Sales for the lean seasons or sometimes even better immediate travel. Here’s a Quick and Easy Hong Kong Travel Guide so you can do a quick escape to Asia’s World City!

Cheap Air Tickets

Airasia is running a promotion right now so we did a mock booking and here’s the cheapest that we could find.

Screenshot_2016-10-04-17-07-08

 

But there are more airlines out there, so download fare comparison apps on your phone like Skyscanner (my personal favorite) so you see who has the best prices for that dates that you are eyeing.

 

Where To Stay In Hong Kong

It actually depends in your budget, if you got some money to burn you can opt to stay in Central, the posh side of Hong Kong. But if you are all up for a Backpacking style adventure then stay at the Kowloon side of the city.

Best place that we recommend staying is at Dragon Hostel. We found them after searching every travel guide and reviews about accommodations in Hong Kong. Reviews are important part of searching since they are feedback coming from customers, people who are paying to stay there so it’s a good reference to gauge whether an accommodation is good or bad.

>>> Check our review of Dragon Hostel Here<<<

You can also find other great Hotels here!

Here’s a sample seach… you can click on the photo!

room

What to do in Hong Kong

Check with your hotel mostly likely than not, they can provide you with discounted tickets to amusement parks here’s what we got from ours at Dragon Hostel

hostel prices

 Where To Eat 

Din Tai Fung and Tim Ho Wan is out of the question, they are a must have. But one must roam around Hong Kong to actually see what there is to experience. We projected our budget for food at $100 per day (except for HK Disneyland where food was ridiculously expensive at $100 per meal) per head. Honestly we just ate at any restaurant we are near at when we were hungry.

 

 

Getting Around Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s MTR, their train system is actually one if not the best in the world that even Singapore envies its efficiency. The MTR will take you for the most part of Hong Kong where attractions are, then you’d have to walk. Taxis and private cars can be expensive and throw your backpacker’s budget off the gutter, so brace your selves for a whole lot of walking anyways this how locals roll in their city – they walk.

Remember to download the MTR app as well so you can plan ahead of time what routes you are taking and how much you’ll be paying and don’t forget to buy your Octopus Card in the airport for hassle free travel throughout the city.

 

>>>Don’t pay $100 HKD for the Airport Express, check this guide for the travel hack<<<

 

MTR App

Sample Expense Sheet

To give you an idea of how much you should be preparing here’s a rough estimate that we’ve made. The total cost may rise or go down depending on the attractions that you want to see, for example, you can just choose between The Peak or Madame Tussauds instead of seeing them both or go to Ocean Park instead of Disneyland which is way more expensive. So choose wisely of where you want to spend your day, remember there are a lot of attractions in Hong Kong that does not require you of paying!

sample expensesSo say that you don’t hell care about Dinseyland and/or Madame Tussauds, and you just want to experience the authentic Hong Kong life by going to their night Markets, parks and plazas. That could easily translate just a little over Php 11,000! Just know what you want to do and see efficiently.

Here’s our itinerary on our trip.

lhfdsljfds

 

Note: This post is based on the author’s trip last 2014 on a Php 21000 budget for two.

———————

Still got questions? Put them on the comment section and we’ll answer them the best that we can 😉