Philippines

Discussion in 'Adventure, Hiking, Backpacking and Travel' started by Ryno, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. Ryno

    Ryno Member

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    Hi Guys,

    The new forum is looking good! I thought it was about time I posted on it to contribute and start my post count afresh.

    I’ve just got back from an extended trip to the Philippines, where I did some travelling around to different islands, with the planned stops being;

    Donsol/Legazpi
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    Bohol
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    El Nido/Taytay (Apulit Island)
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    The main reason for the trip was to see Whale Sharks, so lets jump in the deep end with a few shots to get the ball rolling…

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    These were taken in Donsol, and it’s hard to explain how incredibly it is to be in the water with such graceful giants. Having travelled around the world extensively it’s always been one of the illusive creatures that I’ve never managed to see (until now) despite being in all the right places at the right times.

    Here are a few shots from around the area in Donsol where I stayed;

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    Then I skipped across to the other side of the island to Legazpi, where I a hired quad bike (or ATV as y’all call them) to ride up the Mayon Volcano, to the end of the 2006 lava flow for some good shots and nicer views.

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    It’s 2463m and the most symmetrical volcano in the world. (13°15′24″N 123°41′6″E)

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    From Legazpi it was then onto Bohol, this island is known for a number of things (below) and is a lot more developed and touristy than the previous stops.

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  2. Ryno

    Ryno Member

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    Driving along the road there was a blacksmith at the side of the road, they were making knives and machete out of old lorry brake shoes.
    Mainly for the locals and farmers, but they also made a few ‘fancy’ knives for tourists and sent them to the markets to sell. No ESEE counterfeits in sight!

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    Next up was a quick stop off at the famous Chocolate Hills, named due to their shape being similar to Hershey's Kisses and that in the dry season the grass at the top turns brown.

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    From the Chocolate Hills it was a short hop, skip & jump to the Tarsier sanctuary for an opportunity to see the world's smallest primate.

    Small, sleepy and creepy creatures. They reminded me of Gremlins, I’m sure if you chucked water at them, their placid, docile demeanour would shift into one of devouring local children in their sleep!!!

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    Now that my dive fins have had a chance to dry, it was time for a spot of diving off Balicasag Island…

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    Giant Frog Fish.
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    Pod of dolphins with a calf… I was just getting my mask and fins on to jump in when…
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  3. Ryno

    Ryno Member

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    …a HUGE Banded Sea Snake swam along side the boat!!
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    By the time it dived down into the blue, the dolphins were long gone.

    It was now time to move on before getting too settled, as it would be quite easy for one to spend a long time on each island and for one’s sense of adventure to become lazy.

    So on to the next stop, El Nido. Now this place is like a backpacker’s Mecca, it’s just coming onto the radar of main stream travel companies, but due to it’s locality and lack of big infrastructure and transit routes, it’s still little known and not mobbed by holiday (vacation?) makers.

    There’s plenty to do and see here, and if you Google it, you’ll be awash of archetypal picturesque paradise photos, mainly by the Instagram generation, adding filters and hash tagging ‘yolo’.

    My aim was to get amongst it, see and eat as much as I could and pack in a few sunrise dives. I knew paradise could wait…

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    Now after soaking up the backpacker vibes and eating more street BBQ then you can throw a coconut at, it was time to round off the trip with a bit of luxury before heading to the… errmm.. delights(?) which Manila and big city life can offer…

    So it was a couple hour drive from El Nido to Taytay and boat ride to Apulit Island to be pampered and see how the other half live, staying in one of their amazing water cottages.

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  4. Ryno

    Ryno Member

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    This place was picked for one reason only… Black Tip Reef Sharks!!

    The water is full of them, swimming in and around the water cottages. They may all be pups, but they’re big enough to make most families who aren’t familiar with nature, the sea, sharks… think that the water is dangerous and put them off staying…

    So not only do these people not understand that these sharks pose less danger than a small dog, it also means the resort doesn’t have many families and noisy kids (Bliss!).

    Loads of fun was had feeding them from the balcony and snorkelling around the reefs.

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    Sun, Sea, Sharks & Water Cottages done, it was time to start heading home, with a few nights in Manila and a transit via HongKong to look forward to.

    These next days were mostly spent looking around the city, the markets, looking for some counterfeit Izula, eating at the seafood dampa and Chinatown. With over 5000 photos taken, I’ve tried to limit the photos in this thread to the ones more interesting and in fitting with the whole trip, not just the few days spent sucking in the carcinogens of city life.

    I hope you guys have enjoyed the shots and they have maybe inspired a few people to look into visiting the Philippines in the future.

    If anyone has any questions, wants to see more photos or if Expat’s inbox is full, then give me a shout.

    Cheers.
     
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  5. Espetar

    Espetar Member

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    Wow! These are some excellent photos. Jealousy is not very becoming, and your photos aren't helping!
     
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  6. FeralGentleman

    FeralGentleman Member

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    Looks like an incredible trip, with incredible memories. You captured them very well. I wish I traveled more pre kids, diving with a whale shark is something I have always wanted do.

    Thank you for the beautiful photos.
     
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  7. What they said! ^^^

    Absolutely stunning photos. I'm so envious!
     
  8. Rook52

    Rook52 Member

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    Very nice shots, memories captured forever.
     
  9. charles bower

    charles bower Member

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    I'm really jealous. I got to live in the Philippines for two years but I never got out of Region 4.

    The Philippines is one of the most beautiful and overlooked countries. The people are always friendly and open (and most know enough English to get you by). The food is wonderful and flavorful and more varied than I originally expected.
     
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  10. Ryno

    Ryno Member

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    Thanks for the kind words everyone.


    I think you've summed up the Philippines very well, I was surprised at just how much nicer than other parts of Asia it is!

    There aren't many places I would go back to in a heart-beat, but knowing there's so much more to see and explore makes me feel i'll be back there sooner than I know it.
     
  11. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

    Wow, excellent trip! The water there is just beautiful! Did you get to try any Balut?
     
  12. charles bower

    charles bower Member

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    If you go to the Philippines and don't eat balut you wasted the trip. Its really wonderful, the flavor is too rich to pass up.

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  13. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

    Double post
     
  14. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

    I love me some Balut! Most can't eat it due to an obvious mental block! Where's @JV3 when you need him? A little lime juice and black pepper makes for a burst of flavor too!
     
  15. artigas

    artigas Member

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    Great pictures and narrative. Looks like it was pretty amazing.
     
  16. C99c

    C99c Member

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    Cool trip. Thanks for sharing!
     
  17. Ryno

    Ryno Member

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    Ha, I went with every intention of trying one, but the only time I saw them for sale was when there was a young street seller walking along selling them... just as I was half way through a Banana & Nutella Crêpe.

    I was more than happy to let the opportunity pass me by at the time!!
     
  18. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

    lol, can't go wrong with Nutella!
     
  19. santacruz

    santacruz Member

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    Just saw this and I must say ....absolutely amazing trip! Thanks for posting it!
     
  20. malman

    malman Member

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    Flippen amazing pics!
     

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