A Travellerspoint blog

Palawan? More like Pal-I wanna go back!

Our final morning in El Nido was probably my favourite! We (surprise!) rented kayaks and decided to paddle around the other side of one of the islands we had previously explored. As we were turning around the corner we saw a bunch of monkeys in the tree line! I was ecstatic! I've never seen a wild monkey up close like that before, and there were a ton. Unfortunately we couldn't really get a good picture of any, but it was really cool to see them.

After the monkeys it started raining so we hid in the kayak under an overhanging rock. The water was quite shallow here and we were watching crabs and tiny fish around the rocks. I saw a weird greenish-brown blob looking plant and decided to poke it with my paddle and it shrunk into the rock. I got Brent's attention to show him again and this time it didn't shrink away from my paddle, instead it stayed in place. Then we saw a tentacle moving below the blob - it was a little octopus! It's body was about 3 inches long and it's tentacles about 9 inches. We had a banana in our bag so we threw chunks of the banana to the octopus hoping he would eat them. He didn't. Instead he sucked them up in the middle of his tentacles, floated away from his hole (while always keeping one tentacle securely in his hole in the rock) and spat the pieces away from him. So we of course picked them up and tossed them back at him to watch him spit them out again. Once we felt we had sufficiently tortured the octopus we decided to do some swimming and then head back to the hostel to catch our 5 hour bus back to Puerto Princesa. The nex morning we flew back to Manila and spent the day touring Intramuros ("Within Walls") a part of the city that shows the remaining Spanish colonial influence on the architecture and gardens of a number of churches. We decided to walk around but it was very hot. After we had seen about everything there is to see we went to a cafe for dinner and then up to the skybar of a super fancy hotel to get drinks and watch the sun set over the city. It was an incredible view. We cabbed back to the airport to catch our flight to Taipei, arrived safely, and made our way to our hostel.

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Posted by katierichaards 10:16 Comments (0)

El Nido is Neato

We spent our first day in El Nido exploring the town (it's very small so this didn't take very long). It began to rain so we took cover in a little resto-bar to get a drink and wait for the rain to stop. We were pretty confused because it seemed like we were the only tourists there. The restaurants were empty, there were only locals on the streets and the beaches were deserted.

We spent the afternoon kayaking and found a little private beach on an island where we swam and found crabs and went snorkeling. The view was beautiful and the water so warm. We paddled back before sunset (which is very early here, around 6:30 all year). For dinner we had fresh barbecued fish on the beach and afterwards met up with some of Brent's friends who had arrived that day.

The next day was spent in a similar fashion: breakfast at the Alternative Inn with a beautiful view, kayaking all morning and afternoon, discovering private beaches. This time we stayed on the water to watch the sunset (because you can't quite see it from El Nido) and paddled in as the stars came out. It was another incredible day. For dinner we went to the same restaurant for barbecued fish and again got drinks with Brent's friends. Alcohol is incredibly cheap in the Philippines, a bottle of rum is less than $2 Canadian! It's cheaper to buy a whole bottle at a convenience store than a rum and coke at a restaurant! So we sat on the patio at their hostel and drank some incredibly cheap rum and cokes for the evening.

The next day we had a private boat tour organized with some of Brent's friends from exchange to some nearby lagoons. We spent the day swimming, snorkeling, and soaking up the sun, and they even provided us with lunch! Fresh fish and chicken that they barbecued on the boat, rice, and lots of fruit! My stomach wasn't feeling great that day so I stuck to the sweet bananas and pineapple, yum! We came back around sunset (actual time doesn't really seem to exist in El Nido, instead you tell time by the roosters and the position of the sun) and had dinner at the Art Cafe. I headed to bed early that night because I was exhausted and I'm pretty sure I was fast asleep before my head hit the pillow.

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Posted by katierichaards 10:31 Comments (1)

Philippines? More like Thrill-ipines!

Okay I'm starting to play catch up on last weeks events in the Philippines. It took us 17 hours to travel from Singapore to El Nido, a small rustic town in the north of the Palawan. This consisted of taking the MRT (the metro) an hour to the airport, catching a flight from Singapore to Manila (the capital of the Philippines) almost missing our next flight to Puerto Princesa and then catching a 5-6 (in reality 7) hour bus ride to El Nido. We arrived to our hostel after 1 am and, exhausted, went straight to bed.

The next morning we were awoken after a nice sleep in at about 6am to the abundant sounds of roosters crowing, and people walking around on the street RIGHT beside the window. The nicest surprise however was that because El Nido has a limited supply of power, the power shuts off between 6am and 2:30pm everyday. Therefore our fan room was HOT. We got up dripping with sweat and each immediately had to take a shower. On my way to the shower I found a cockroach on the floor. Since we had only booked for one night we decided that we would find a new hostel to stay at that day, but first we went upstairs for breakfast. Once we got upstairs we say the most incredible view and decided that the heat and the noise and the cockroach (which was luckily the only one we saw that week) weren't that bad if we could look out at that view each morning. And thus began an incredible week in the Philippines.

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Posted by katierichaards 20:26 Comments (0)

Leaving on a Jet Plane!


View Temples and Bitchez on katierichaards's travel map.

I am currently waiting at the airport to board my flight with a backpack that's practically bigger than I am. My totally travel time to get to Singapore is roughly 28 hours so naturally I downloaded 28 books onto my ereader. That includes the five Game of Thrones books so I can't imagine I will finish all 28 in the six weeks I'm gone. I'm getting really excited now that I'm at the airport and it all finally seems real! Because of the travel time and the time difference I'm not arriving in Singapore until May 7th! It's crazy, I feel like I'm traveling in time! Anyway I am boarding now so I will post again when I have arrived in (hopefully) sunny Singapore!

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Posted by katierichaards 04:01 Comments (0)

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