Tag Archives: el nido

Let’s Go To Asia – Travel Video

27th September 2015

So as the astute among you may have noticed, we are already finished with our trip. We are in lovely Australia. I still have a few posts about our trip to come, but I recently finished editing this little video together and couldn’t wait to share it.

So here is just a few of the best parts of our trip:

Our South East Asia Grand Tour – One Month Re-cap

22nd April 2015

I can’t believe that we’ve been traveling for a month. It feels like yesterday I was excitedly posting on Facebook that we had one month to go before we left Korea. Now we have seen 5 countries, 12 cities, 11 planes, 5 trains, an endless amount of buses and more delicious foods that you can shake my ever growing belly at.

So what have we been up to? I realise I have been trying to update you all slowly but here is a quick recap for those of you who, like me, are partial to the odd list.

 

8 Japan

Kyoto – One of the places I most wanted to visit when moving to Asia. It didn’t disappoint. Geisha sightings, delicious markets and bamboo forests made this place unforgettable.

kyoto2_5 Best part of the trip: Feeding the Japanese snow monkeys in Arashiyama monkey park

Best tasty treat : Our first try of Okonomiyaki

 

10 Nara –  An adorable small city where deers rule the roost and temples are abundant.

Best part of the trip : Getting up close and personal with the deers.

Best tasty treat:  Green tea ice cream

 

sorry...had to do it

sorry…had to do it

Osaka – A fast paced city full of bright lights and active locals.

Best part of the trip: Seeing the bright lights of Dottonbori

Worst part of the trip: Getting our plane turned around after we left Japan for an unexpected extra night in the city. Although not the worst city to get stuck in.

 

12 The Philippines

Manila – We only stopped off here for the airport but we did it 4 times so it feels silly not to include it.

Best part of the airport (apart from leaving it) :  WENDY’S!

11 Boracay – Absolutely stunning which makes it even more annoying that its been swamped by tauts and con men that run up and down every inch of this spectacular beach.

Best part of the trip: Discovering the quieter areas of the beaches for ‘downers’…or sunset cocktails.

Worst part : Hiding from the sun even though I love it so and getting pick pocketed by our waiter and his accomplice.

23 Bohol – Beautiful chocolate hills and lovely quiet villages.

Best part of the trip: Seeing the Tarsiers

Worst part: Lee getting horrible food poisoning/parasite that would stay with him for 10 days.

13 El Nido – Beautiful beaches, glorious sunsets and island hopping

Best part of the trip: Snorkling for the first time and being utterly lazy.

Worst part: I got hit by the evil food poisoning/parasite here that knocked me for 6.

15 China

Guagzhou – a bustling city on the up.

Best part : Seeing the Canton Tower and the great area surrounding it.

Best tasty treat: A tiramisu latte from the Hello Kitty cafe.

4 Guilin – A small town surrounded by the Chinese mountains.

Best part of the trip: Visiting the Longji rice terraces

15 Yangshuo – A small village hidden in the mountains with an almost Mediterranean feel.

Best part : The incredible mountains we saw on our river cruise.

Tastiest treat: Coconut and champagne ice cream from a street seller

Best bargain: A blue and white porcelain bracelet for £2

18 Hong Kong –

A bright, exciting mix of British culture ,Chinese food and tradition.

Best part: ALL OF IT, especially celebrating our 10 year anniversary here.

Worst part: our wallets are much lighter now

Tastiest treat: The legendary ‘Skirt Burger’ from The Diner

The Stats

Average spent on hotels per night: £4 per person

Average spent on food and drink: £15 per day but this was the expensive part of our trip with Japan and Hong Kong taking a large part of our money.

Average puppies hugged: 2 a day (it’s definitely puppy season in Asia)

Amount of local beers drank: faaar too many

Photos taken: it’s best to not think about it but I’m glad I bought my hard drive.

 

What’s up next? I hear you cry…well maybe you didn’t cry that but i’m going to tell you anyway. Our next month has a trip through Vietnam where we are spending 3 weeks exploring all it has to offer and then we are hoping over to Cambodia to see those famous temples and get our beach fix. Fingers crossed it will be as fun as the first month…just maybe a little cheaper.

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Island Hopping in El Nido

5th April 2015

banner There was one thing and one thing alone listed on our ‘to-do’ list for El Nido. Island Hopping. After I recovered from the demon that was food poisoning we booked a trip for the next sunny day and got ready to enjoy a day of sight seeing.

In El Nido the government has formed four routes that tourists can travel. These are called A,B, C and D. I had heard really good things about tour C so we signed up for it and before we knew it we were wadding through the sea at waist level to get to our boat.

1 Each tour costs around the same price no matter where you go and every tourist is required to pay an environmental tax before doing a tour. The tax is only 200 pesos. This money is then spent keeping El Nido’s beaching and water clean. Since the island is quite new to tourism it is trying it’s best to combat the mess that goes with having hundreds of foreigners suddenly attacking your beaches.

As soon as we were all seated and in our stylish life jackets we hit the high seas. It was nice just to be sailing out on the water we’d been staring at for a few days. The islands towered around us and we took in the view.

We made 5 stops in all. Each stop was about 40 minutes and allowed us to try out our snorkeling skills. Tour C is a little quieter than the rest so the coral and sea life are still abundant. I have mentioned before that I have a fear of being in the sea but I was determined to throw myself in the deep end (so to speak) and snorkel.

12 At first it was terrifying just to be waist high but once I got the mask on and saw how the fish were happily carrying on with their day despite us being there, I relaxed. I unfortunately (due to my sea fear) don’t have a go-pro but we saw rainbow fish, angel fish, neon specimens and even a mummy clown fish and her babies swimming through the coral. It was spectacular. I was instantly addicted.

We stopped on the second beach for lunch where we were treated to a feast of grilled fish, shrimp,rice,pork and fresh mangoes. It was delicious.

9 11 13 15 With full bellies we headed to our next destination. Secret beach. As we approached a rock with no beach the boat passengers glanced at each other. All of us a little confused. That was when our guide pointed to a tiny hole in the rock and instructed us to jump in and swim through it. I had only just managed to handle being waist deep in the sea and now I was swimming through a hole with ten feet of water below me. Despite the dread that was knotted in my stomach I swallowed my fear and dove into the water. We swam through and we were rewarded with a beautiful lagoon filled with fish. We had to avoid a few tiny jellies but other than that it was fantastic. I was starting to like this sea faring life style.

8 We sailed on to an island that had a large abandoned church and shrine. It had be left to gather moss but had still retained it’s beauty. We climbed the treacherous rocks and were rewarded with a view of the surrounding area. It was breath taking. El Nido is definitely one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. It is like living in a screensaver.

3 4 5 6 7 As we headed to our last destination everyone on the boat was in good spirits. That was until the was a clunk, a ‘thunk’ and silence. The boats motor had died. We all let out a embarrassed giggle since none of the passages knew what was happening or what was to be done. It turns out that the protocol in these situations is for the youngest member of the boat crew to get on the roof with a towel and wave it like his life depends on it at every passing boat….even if they are miles away, until someone see’s us. It turns out that the quietest tour isn’t the one you want to break down on. An hour later and a passing boat tugged us to our last destination. Hidden beach. Hidden around the corner of a large rocky wall is a small lagoon and beach. This is a much more popular spot that other tours also visit so unfortunately the coral had mostly died and there weren’t many fish. But the beach was beautiful and peaceful. We both sat and took in the surrounds. It was a great day.

Our day ended by being towed back to El Nido and being thrown around a bit on the choppy waters. This ended up triggering a seasickness effect that had many guest throwing up over the sides…It is high praise for the trip that not even a broken boat and a line of hurling passengers could detract from the day. But maybe the passengers with their heads hanging over the side of the boat would disagree. I would recommend tour C if you do visit El Nido which cost 1400 pesos and i’d also pay the extra 100 pesos to hire a snorkle. Happy Island hopping everybody. 2 10 14 signature

 

 

 

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El Nido – Getting lost and lazy in Paradise

3rd April 2015

banner We had high hopes for El Nido – Palawan. It did not disappoint. I wish I had a lot to write about  but a place like this, with a hotel like we had meant we did, well….nothing.

9 10 8 We stayed at the Island Front Cottages in one of their new ‘sea view’ rooms, which was just a little bungalow to ourselves. We had a free pancake breakfasts, free juice all day, a sunset on our terrace every night and HBO in the room for lazy late night movie evenings. The beach we were on was a different one to the main built up area on El Nido , it was called Corong – Corong, which meant it was even more empty and peaceful.

By the time we arrived we had been traveling for 3 weeks. Lee was still recovering from a horrible bout of food poisoning that he is still suffering from now (I’m a little behind in my blog posts and writing this from China). We took the opportunity to have a vacation from our vacation. The lack of internet and things to do made up happy campers.

11 12 15 17 Apart from an island tour that we knew we wanted to do we took the opportunity to read, eat mangos and watch sopranos on the terrace. Yes we are lazy fools. Me more so since i’ve never seen Sopranos…I LOVE it.

Another excuse for my laziness is that I too suffered the dreaded stomach bug and was an un-moving wreck for 24 hours. I too am still suffering and starting to suspect we may have been hit by something a little worse than uncooked chicken. But if you are going to be ill, here is the place to do it.

Here are some photos from our time on this idyllic island. Apologies for all the sunset photos but I needed the practice and the island was just too pretty. 13 14 18 19 20 21 22 signature

Getting to El Nido

2nd April 2015

1 El Nido. Named by Huffington Post as “The last paradise on earth”. It’s safe to say that our expectations were high for Palawan. We left Bohol via Manila, for the third time in a month, and descended into Puerto Princessa just in time to see an incredible sunset in the clouds. Unfortunately there are no photos of this event since the Brit in me wouldn’t allow myself to wake the angry sleeping man next to me so I could get my camera…yes yes I know, I’m stupidly British. Here’s a blurry iphone pic to make up for it. 6 Once we arrived in airport it was just a simple 7 hour bus (!) to El Nido. We knew there was a bus leaving in an hour from the bus station so tried to jump on a tricycle to get to the station. Unfortunately we were intercepted by a driver who told us he’d drive us to El Nido in 5 hours in his Shuttle bus. I realise that in hind sight it’s easy for me to read back that last sentence and feel a bit like I’m watching a pantomime and should start screaming at the screen ‘don’t do it!’ but unfortunately at the time we were tired fools and only saw the up sides. Those being: we could cut out the 2 hour wait time and another two hours of travel. So dumb and dumber here jumped at the chance, especially with the low cost of 600 pesos. Unfortunately things weren’t as great as they seemed. We were soon joined in the bus by a great guy who was also intercepted and was trying to get to El Nido. We all chatted for so long that didn’t realise we’d been sat waiting in the bus for over an hour. We asked the driver why this was the case and were told that 4 more people were arriving on the next flight if we would wait half hour. By now we had missed the last connecting bus so we had no choice. Two hours later we were all a little impatient and stuck. This is when we were moved to the bus station where we waited yet another 45 minutes for locals to fill every nook and cranny of the van. At 10:30, 3 and a half hours after we landed we were finally on our way. ‘On our way’ in this context also means stopping every hour in the middle of nowhere with a delightful lady boy selling garlic nuts (no pun intended) from a wooded hut. It should also be pointed out that ‘road’ isn’t exactly the same as the UK roads. They are move stones in dirt that you ride on. It was like riding a 7 hour roller coaster. If it hadn’t been 2am in the morning I’d have loved it. The driver also needed to stay awake so played loud trance music for the entire journey. It was an…umm…interesting experience.

3 5 We finally arrived and found that we were not on the reservation list at our hotel. We had booked a few months before but at 5am we were happy when they finally found a random room in a cheaper hotel next door for us. We finally rested our heads on the pillow just in time for the roosters and building work to start. It wasn’t what you would call a great start.

But like all stories this one has a happy ending. The next morning we were moved to our sea view room that was all I could have imagined and more. It’s safe to say that as hotel picker, Lee did good and at a great price. The hotel has been perfect ever since and we are luckily nowhere near the building work anymore. We have spent our first few days in El Nido and are in love with the place. Before we arrived we had started to read what a tourist trap it had become and we feared the worse but…and I am wondering whether to just keep this quiet, but it is empty and lovely. At least here on Corong – Corong beach. We have wondered the island and it’s all local with the nicest Filipino people we’ve met so far. We are being mega lazy. Reading, watching sunsets and lazing around. Catching up on the two year of stress we faced in Korea. Tomorrow we are heading on an island hopping tour (there are four to choose from named A,B,C and D but we’ve heard the C is a winner so we are heading on that one).

2 I’ll no doubt throw a thousand photos your way soon.

Tokyo Arcade

2015 Travel Plans

19th February 2015

So I think I owe you all an apology. For the last few weeks i’ve become a little bit obsessed with my up coming plans to the point that I have kept mentioning it without giving any details.

So I thought that I’d share with you some of the things we’re hoping to achieve over the next year.

First, there are to-do lists…EVERYWHERE. My flat looks like a bombs dropped because there are about ten jobs going on at once but I’m hoping that it will all fall into place really soon and we will be ready to roll.

First I suppose it’s important to share with you what our plans actually are so here is our 2015 travel plans:

Tokyo Arcade Japan

Japan is somewhere magical to me. It’s a place mentioned in movies not a place that exists. When we went to Tokyo last year I was in my element and I fell in love with the place. Last night I was chatting to a friend who’s going to Tokyo soon and I couldn’t stop gushing about how much fun they were going to have. This time around we aren’t going to the bright lights of Tokyo, instead we are heading to Kyoto and Osaka. Kyoto has been high on my list for a long time and I feel guilty that one of the places i’m most looking forward to going over the next few months is our first stop but I just can’t wait to be surrounded by the history and beauty of this place….and the sushi!

 

El Nido Palawan Island, Phillippines Been here, truly magnificent and glorious!  http://www.lifebeyondthehorizon.com/philippinesparadise/The Philippines

Lee and I had never considered a trip to the Philippines but after seeing all of our friends fantastic pictures we quickly added it to the itinerary so we will be stopping in on Bohol, Boracay and El Nido. Here’s to sandy beaches and drinks with the locals.

 

Guilin, China. Globe Travel in Bristol, CT is standing by to make your vacation dreams come true!  Reach us at 860-584-0517 or by email at info@globetvl.com!

China

We went to China a few months ago but we can’t wait to go back. We wanted to see some impressive landscapes and the countryside of China is definitely the place to do this. We are heading to Guangzhou and Guilin …all the G’s. I’m not going to lie, I’m in it for the dumplings.

 

Hong Kong, China | 21 Most Colorful And Vibrant Places In The WorldHong Kong

I know listing Hong Kong as a separate country is debatable but I have a very good friend from Hong Kong who thinks of it as a different place and the British Visa application was different for Hong Kong compared to China so I think it’s fair to list them side by side. We are looking forward to climbing Victoria Peak and meeting up with my friend who happens to be visiting at the same time as us. Woohoo

Hoi An, Vietnam - Visit http://asiaexpatguides.com to make the most of your experience in Vietnam!

Vietnam

Vietnam is another place that’s been high on the list for a long time. We are starting in Hanoi  then going to Hue, Hoi an, Mui  Ne and Ho Chi Minh. We are looking forward to cooking classes, pho, and 12p beer… as well as all the culture/people/sights of course. We are going to the home of PHO!

Angkor Wat Cambodia / Watched the sunset here while drinking a horrid local wine and eating a crispy fried frog. A beautiful place & a wonderful adventure.

Cambodia

Next stop is a bus trip across the boarder into Phnom Penh. We don’t have long there before we are off to Sihanoukville. Before you all rush to tell us its not great we are only there for the night before we head to Koh Rong Samloem. A small island with about 5 hours of electricity a day. I’ll be celebrating my birthday here and I can’t wait. Sunsets and cocktails..woohoo. Lastly it wouldn’t be a trip to Cambodia without a sunrise trip to Angkor Wat in Seim Reap.

skyline2 Thailand

We are having a ‘do over’ in Bangkok since last time we had such a disaster (which you can read about here). People always think because of this we didn’t like Bangkok but I loved the place. I can’t wait to go back and see the place properly this time. Then it’s up north to the bloggers paradise that is Chiang Mai. Unfortunately , It’s rainy season when we go to this part of Asia . Our original plan didn’t have Thailand on it at all , instead we wanted to see Laos and Myanmar but the rain means we have to skip them this time, as well as the beaches of Thailand but I’m really excited to see Chang Mai after hearing so many great things. See you soon Pad Thai. You will be in our bellies.

Singapore's Supertrees at the "Gardens by the Bay". I see I'll have to go back to Singapore to see these by night.Singapore

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for this country. Is it for the history? slightly. Is it for the culture? marginally. Is it because one of my best friends is moving there a week before we arrive? HELL YES! This is a selfish stop for Lee and I to see one of our favourite humans…and maybe go to Sesame Street in Universal Studios, which for a Muppet fanatic is the holy grail.

Rice terraces close to Ubud. Bali, Indonesia To book go to www.notjusttravel.com/anglia

Indonesia

When we came to Asia this was high on my list of places to see. We are spending a lot of time here and seeing Yogyakarta, Ubud, Nusa Lembongan, Gili Air and Kuta Lombok. We can’t wait. Yoga, monkeys and beaches. We also may be dragging one of Lee’s best friends to meet us for a weekend so I can’t help but jump around a little bit when I think about journeying to this magic country.

The dolphins coming to shore at Monkey Mia, Western AustraliaAustralia

Lastly, but definitely not least is our new home for the year, Australia. This isn’t a country I ever wanted to live in , that was until Lee sold me on it because he is in love with the place. I am now fully on board and can’t wait to experience every inch of the place. We are starting in Perth but who knows where the year will take us.

Extra stops in 2015

Obviously we don’t know what will happen with the rest of the year but there are definitely some places we’d love to pop into:

Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia

When we are in Singapore we are very tempted to just run over the border and have some food there to say we did it. We are a little bit addicted to adding countries to our list but we will definitely be back to spend some proper time there soon.

Wow, just wow! Bridestowe Lavender Farm, Tasmania - by Tim Clark

Tasmania

I realise this is still Australia but I really want to pop over to this lavender filled paradise.

Fiji IslandsFiji, Tonga and Samoa

It would be rude to not visit these places while we are in Australia surely….let alone the Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu…ect

New ZealandNew Zealand

Once again this country is so close to us when we are in Australia that we would love to go and see the place but maybe we will do it at the end of year in Oz.

Here’s to an exciting year ahead.

 

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