A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: InTwoPlaces

Cambodia

Slowly making our way back to Thailand.

sunny 27 °C
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The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh took only 1 1/2 hour and I was really happy to have all flights in Asia behind me! The airport is located
Just outside the city so getting there by Tuk-tuk was easy.

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We were surprised to see how many new houses had been built there since our last visit, about a year ago.
The country seems to do very well, at least if all the ongoing constructions is a sign of prosperity, even some of the Tuk-tuk drivers
had invested in modern electrical tuk-tuks!

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The next morning we went up early and took a long walk before it was too hot, we have been here many times before and we didn't have any special plans, just walking around.

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We visited a temple where people were gathered to give offerings, it looked like a really good and festive meal!

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This little girl looked like she was very bored and I thought she was so cute so I had to take a photo of her.
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We continued our walk and entered a park where some very young students were posing for a photo and I was asked to join.

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There is a lot of Monks walking the streets, sometimes they stop by a restuarant and if they are lucky they will get something to eat.

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Unfortunately I got a bad cold and fever, so for some days I just stayed in bed, Hank feeding me food from restuarants around the hotel.

Before we left Phnom Penh we went on an evening tour on the river, it was very nice and pretty.

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We took a bus to Kampot where we met up with Chen, a Cambodian guy we learned to know when he was working as a manager in a resort on Koh Chang. He now lives in Kampot and we spend a couple of nice days/evenings with him.

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After Kampot we went to Kep to eat crab at the Crab market and spend some days in a resort with a nice pool.

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Then we decided to take a bus to Sihanoukville, passing time before we can enter Thailand again.

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Strange food items on this menu, better be safe and order a cup of black coffee :-)

It seems like we can get Pizza here!
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One night we had Barbeque on the beach.
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The beaches in Sihanoukville is quite pretty, but it's too sad they don't keep them clean!!
Tonight is our last night in Cambodia, tomorrow we will have a 12 hour journey before we're back on Koh Chang in Thailand!

Posted by InTwoPlaces 04:12 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

Our last days in the Philippines

Beautiful waterfalls, snorkeling and another Parade!

overcast 28 °C
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We arrived in good time to look around Maolboal in daylight. Maolboal is a small, noisy town, like many others we have passed by in the Philippines.
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We found our resort and realized we were the only people there, we walked around and I finally found a guy who called someone on the phone and he then told me that the manager will be there shortly.
The room was okay, but we pretty soon noticed that our closest neighbor was a Rooster, who was quiet about a half minute before he started with his crow again.
This continued most of the evening and during the night, so the next morning we decided that one night at this resort was more than enough.

We moved to a hotel without a Rooster, the room was very comfortable, the only downside was that the rain started, I didn't know when we planned our travels in the Philippines that Cebu island is the wettest island there!

Hank talked with a French guy who had free-dived and snorkelling in the Philippines for the last 3 years, and he said that the best corals he had ever seen is right outside the hotel!

The rain stopped late in the afternoon and Hank decided to go snorkeling, to take a look. When he came back to the beach he said it was fantastic and I promised to snorkeling with him the next time the tide was low.

The next day we went to the waterfall, it was very nice, with a lot of locals.
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We spent a couple of hours there and then we went back to our driver to go back to the hotel. A Fiesta was celebrated at the small village outside the waterfall and we stayed and watched for a while.

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In the evening we took a walk and at 8 pm it was low tide, which means that 8 am the next morning it should be low as well! Hopefully we could do some snorkeling before we left!
Other than the clear water, I didn't care much for this place; besides the Divers there is a lot of (Very) Old Western guys holding hands with young Filippinas and after a while its getting very tiresome to watch.

We woke up early the next morning and it didn't rain so we jumped into our bathing clothes and armed with our snorkeling gear we walked down to the beach. It was a very low tide and we had to walk quite a bit before we could start to swim.

The Corals were very beautiful, in a lot of different colours, we didn't see that many fish, but the ones we saw was the "Aquarium" type - and it was a lot of fun to watch!

Hank saw a Clown fish, but it was hiding in the corals when I tried to see him :-(
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We are very thankful to the French guy who told us a about the snorkeling, it was a very nice experience!

After breakfast we went into the village and took the bus to Cebu City. In the evening we took a taxi to a Seafood restuarant I had read about, and it was as good as the review's said it was!
The next morning we flew to Kuala Lumpur, stayed overnight near the airport and the next day we flew to Phnom Penh.

It was a very nice month in the Philippines, the beaches is very beautiful and the people friendly, most of them speak English very well, even the small kids.
What I didn't like was the cities, nothing to see - and the food outside the tourist areas.
But when you sit on the most beautiful beach you can imagine, with a rum drink in your hand it doesn't really matter!

Posted by InTwoPlaces 02:51 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

Boracay island

A piece of Paradise

sunny 29 °C
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We took the bus from Iloilo,the northern part of Panaya island, heading to Boracay island.
We arrived late in the afternoon in Kalibo, where we had planned to stay overnight.
After checking in we realized that this hotel must be the most noisy place we stayed at, the sound from the traffic was overwhelming and we couldn't close the Windows. It didn't help that the city celebrated a fiesta so it was more people out on motorbikes than normal.
It was late and we were tired, so we decided to stay anyway, but we hardly got any sleep at all.

The next morning we continue our travel by bus, but we didn't go for a long time when the bus was stocked in traffic because of a parade.
securedownload-1.jpeg035.jpgIt was fun to watch the parade for a while, but after watching it for quite awhile we were more than ready to continue the bus ride.

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The Philippines has a lot of week-long fiestas and I knew that the third week in January there is celebrations in a lot of cities and small villages.

We finally arrived in Caticlan and we didn't have to wait long before we were on a Bangka to Borocay. After looking around for a place to stay we decided to stay at "Station 3" which is the more quiet part of the 4 km long beach, called "White Beach".
The beach is very pretty and we spent a lot of time with a cold drink, watching the sailboats with their blue sails gliding on the turquoise water.
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There is a lot of places to have a good time in the evenings, mainly at "Station 2", but it's also very crowded there, so for us it was perfect to stay where we stayed.
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One day we went north on this tiny island, to visit Puka Beach (Shell Beach). This beach is also very beautiful and surprisingly few people there.
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Another day we went across the island to a beach where it's very windy and a perfect spot for Kite Surfing.
Hank wished we got there earlier so he could have taken kite-surfing lessons during our stay on the island.
Maybe another time.....
After 8 days we decided it was time for us to go back to Cebu Island, to spend some time there before our flight back to Kuala Lumpur.

We had wonderful time in Boracay and it will be one of the highlights in the Philippines!
We left at 6 am with a Bangka back to Caticlan and then we went with a van to Kalibo airport, 4 hours early. We arrived in Cebu after 45 minutes and then we took a taxi and a bus cross the island to a small town called Maolboal, known for it's diving and a waterfall we are going to visit.

Posted by InTwoPlaces 19:42 Archived in Philippines Comments (2)

Negros Island

Quiet time at Sugar Beach

sunny 27 °C
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We left in the morning for the ferry ride to Negros, Dumaguete, a supposedly nice college-town
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We had planned to stay overnight in Dumaguete, but when we arrived we felt that we have had enough of cities and noisy Tricycles for a while.
After some discussions we decided to continue with buses to the small, remote town Sipalay where it is a beautiful beach; Sugar Beach.
We knew that we needed to take 3 different buses, but it should be pretty straight forward.

The first 2 bus rides were very comfortable and the road by the coast was beautiful.
At 7 pm we arrived at the bus station in a small place in the middle of nowhere to catch the last leg of our journey.
It was very dark and some people were waiting around to get a bus.
We were then told that there were no more buses to Sipalay that night, the next bus would leave 4.30 am.
The only way for us to get there was by a motorbike tricycle.
The ride would take about 45 minutes and since we didn't have any other choises, we accepted.

The people at the bus station were very amused when we tried to get into the seat, which was much smaller than the tricycles in Bohol.
We finally got ourselves and our luggage onto the tricycle, and off we went.
The driver drove very fast, but he also seemed to be a very good driver, so I decided to just relax and enjoy the ride in the dark landscape.

We arrived in Sipalay and went to a "pension", the only place to stay except for the very expensive hotel. The owners/managers were not very friendly but finally we agreed on a price for a double with shower.
Hank asked me to check out the room, and I took a look, checked that the bathroom looked clean. I told the lady that we were okay with the room and she went back down and collected the money from Hank.
When he came into the room he took a look at the bathroom and after a little bit he turned to me and said "there is no water faucet in the shower"!
I guess I was too tired to notice this small little detail. :-)

Hank went down and talked with the lady and she offered him a bucket, she said we could use it to wet ourselves in the shower! :-)
Of course Hank wasn't happy with that solution and we finally got another room after some discussions and after refusing to pay extra money.

We were very hungry and we decided to take a stroll to the beach where it was supposed to be some restuarants. I was looking forward to have a pizza, which we have read about in Lonely Planet.
But the girl looked surprised when I tried to order one, said that they only served drinks. We continue our walk and it was a handful of restuarants, they all served the same and only one dish; Chicken and Rice - so that was what we had - again. :-)

The next morning we woke up early, left the pension and got a small tricycle to take us to the beach where we got a Bangka boat to Sugar Beach.
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We had to wait a while for the Bangka, but we were waiting comfortably with a cold drink.
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The Bangka arrived and Hank helped to drag it cloose to the beach and soon we were on our way.
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Sugar Beach is a very quiet and peaceful, we enjoyed our stay here a lot! We didn't do much; swimming, reading and ate a lot of good food. The people working at the resorts and restuarants were very nice and always greeted us with big smiles.

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There were not a lot of tourists and it was easy to find your own spot on the beach with no one else around.

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The days went by leisurely and today we said "Goodbye" to this place, which really felt like a small island, not a beach outside a city.

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Waiting for the Bangka to bring us back to Sipalay.

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Hank bought a huge Avacado while we waited for the bus to Bacolod.
From there we took the ferry to the island Panay, heading towards Boracay, a very well-known little island to the north of Panaya.

Posted by InTwoPlaces 04:59 Archived in Philippines Comments (1)

Cebu and Bohul Islands, Philippines

It's more fun in the Philippines - so they say!

semi-overcast 25 °C
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At 6 am the day before New Years Eve we took the Mono-rail just outside our hotel to Sentral Station in Kuala Lumpur where we jumped on the Airport Express tram. This system works very well and it's much faster than taking a taxi.

Neither Hank or I was happy to be on a plane again, but after some turbulent in the middle of the 4 hours flight, we safely landed on Cebu Island.
We checked in at our hotel, near Mango Square, and decided to take a walk and get something to eat.

The area looked quite rough and street-kids as young as 3 years old begged for money which made us feel pretty sad and uncomfortable.
Hank said it made him feel like he was in some bad part in Mexico, and I think he's right about that.
There is not a lot of nice or interesting buildings around and that makes Cebu City pretty unattractive to us.

The next day we went to the port to buy ferry tickets for Bohol on New Years Day, only to be told that there is no ferries running that day. The only tickets we could get was for the evening boat the same day. (New Years Eve)
So we spent the evening waiting for hours to board the ferry and arrived in Tagbilanan City late on New years Eve. The Guesthouse we had booked told us when we arrived that they had a room, but we couldn't stay there because they didn't have any dry linens or towels!
They were still wet from the laundry because of the Typhoon.

They helped us find another place and we checked in only 25 minutes before midnight. We took a walk and the kids had a lot of fire crackers and shouted " Happy New year"! to us, it was quite nice!

The next morning we took a tri-cycle taxi to the small island Panglao with it's white beaches, surronded by a lot of good snorkeling and diving places.
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We found a place not far from the beach and we were very happy to settle in.
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We had some nice weather the first couple of days, a lot of rain, but also sunshine in between. It was nice to sit by the beach in the evening, drinking a Rum and coke to the cheapest price we ever have seen.
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Happy hour from 10 am to 10 pm, about 35 cent for a Rum and Coke . No - we didn't take advantage of it until the evening! :-)

We made plans to rent a motorbike to ride around the island and also to go snorkeling, but unfortunately the weather changed for the worst and the rain made us canceled our plans.
After 3 days of rain this we decided to go back to Tagbilaran, Hank wanted to check out the tri-cycles and I needed to do some shopping.

There is about 3000 Tri-cycles in this city, and we had noticed the Bible verses on the back of them. Then we read that you are provided with a Bible verse when you get the license to drive it and if you don't place the text on your vehicle you will be fined and loose your license!

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This has been the law in Tagbilaran City the last 20 years and they claim that they now has much less crimes - " Because who thinks about doing a crime when he is reading a thoughtful verse from the Bible".
I'm not totally convinced about that, but I guess it can't hurt!

We also took a ride to a Tarsier Sanctuary, right now there is 8 Tarsier there, but we saw only 4 of them.

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Tomorrow we will leave Bohol Island and continue to Negro Island.

Posted by InTwoPlaces 04:19 Archived in Philippines Comments (3)

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