Denpasar

After a backlog of travel blog posts I am so excited to have reached BALI! 

Now, I consider myself quite the travel planner but when it comes to our first few days in Bali I kinda dropped the ball - I guess because I had spent most of my time planning Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines I left Indonesia on the back burner. 

James and I went separate ways in January and Bali was our reunion spot (and where we planned on moving and finding jobs!) - we both flew into Denpasar and beforehand we had decided to have take two weeks to travel the island before settling down and looking for jobs. 

When I saw we were flying into Denpasar - I thought it was the exact town of the airport, but turns out its the city hub and just the name they use to refer to the airport. Denpasar is actually a 45 minute drive away, while Jimbaran or Kuta are much closer! 

Not many tourists find themselves taking a vacation in Denpesar- but rather avoiding it due to city life and traffic. However, as I didn't do too much planning, James and I ended up staying in the HEART of the city at a lovely homestay. My un-organization turned our to be a huge blessing in disquise as we were able to spend out first two days in Bali experiencing the true culture - rather than beach side sipping on a coconut. (Which we have now done A TON!) 

Two days in Denpasar, while not on anyone elses schedule, was perfect. We attended local food markets, walked the streets, had a 15,000 idr coffee (where we live now they are 35,000 idr) and experienced local Balinese life. 

  

Denpasar Travel Blog
 
Denpasar Travel Blog
 
Denpasar Travel Blog
 
Denpasar Travel Blog
 
Denpasar Travel Blog
 
Denpasar Travel Blog
 
Denpasar Travel Blog
 
Denpasar Travel Blog
 
Denpasar Travel Blog
 
Denpasar Travel Blog
 
Denpasar Travel Blog

El Nido

Spending three nights in El Nido was the perfect amount of time for my adventures in the North of Palawan Island, Philippines. The main draw card in the area is Island Hopping which is a full day activity. With only one more full day in the area I decided to walk around town and explore some of the nearby beaches. 

While the scenery is stunning, the township of El Nido, in my opinion, is nothing to write home about. The town is a bit crammed for space and the hostels are end of the world gross as so many backpackers are trying to squeeze into a small space (I was in a 8 person bunk room with one small fan - never again!) 

Despite the feeling of an overpopulated backpacker town, by taking a 30 minute walk out of town  resulted in lovely beaches and cute cafes on the sand - my kinda of space! 

El Nido Travel Blog
 
El Nido Travel Blog
 
el nido travel blog
 
 
 
 
 
 

Diniwid Beach

I ended up on Diniwid Beach by total accident - and it was one of the best un-planned visit during my visit to the Philippines. 

I set off from downtown Boracay in the morning in search of Chowking's Halo Halo, and determined not to take a tuk tuk, I ended up walking on the road for over an hour - just to reach the shopping mall for a very well deserved Halo Halo! After making it that far I decided to find the closest beach to Chowking to rest my legs and jump into the ocean. Thankfully for me, that closest beach was the quaint Diniwid Beach. 

Diniwid Beach Boracay
 
Diniwid Beach Boracay
 
Diniwid Beach Boracay
 
Diniwid Beach Boracay
 
Diniwid Beach Boracay
 
Diniwid Beach Boracay
 
Diniwid Beach Boracay
 
 

Downtown Boracay

After spending two weeks in the Northern Philippines it was time to head down South to explore the Islands. The first stop on my Island tour of the Philippines was Boracay - a very popular tourist island destination. While I tired to get off the beaten path in Boracay and explore more remote areas, it was still exciting to walk around the busy 'downtown' area where locals sold hats and sunnies on every corner and the vibe was exciting and alive. 

Boracay Travel Blog
 
Boracay Travel Blog
 
Boracay Travel Blog
 
Boracay Travel Blog
 
Boracay Travel Blog
Boracay Travel Blog
 
Boracay Travel Blog
 
Boracay Travel Blog
 
Boracay Travel Blog
 
Boracay Travel Blog
 
Boracay Travel Blog

Journey to Batad

One of the best ways to explore Northern Philippines is on TOP of a Jeepney! Holding on for life we zipped around the mountain side on our way to the famous rice terraces of Banaue. A bit of misty rain did't stop a few of us from jumping on top and going for an extreme ride into the hillside. 

Along the way to Banaue we passed little villages, religious statues, and shopkeepers selling their local produce and fruits. I must admit, riding on top of the Filipino Jeepney was a highlight of my time in the country! 

Banaue Rice Fields
 
Banaue Rice Fields
 
Banaue Rice Fields
 
Banaue Rice Fields
 
Banaue Rice Fields
 
Banaue Rice Fields
 
Banaue Rice Fields
 
Banaue Rice Fields
 
 
 

The Country Side of Sagada

The little one lane village of Sagada is visited by tourists as a launching point to the surrounding country side - most specifically to see the hanging coffins. This landmark is an unusual sight - coffins nailed into boulders - an ancient tradition practiced by the Igorot Tribe in the Norther Philippines. 

We took off in the morning, and after a visit to the large cathedral like church, we headed into the jungle path towards the hanging coffins and a series of waterfalls and rice fields. After our day we relaxed with a glass of local rice wine in a small restaurant. 

Sagada Travel Blog
 
Sagada Travel Blog
 
Sagada Travel Blog
 
Sagada Travel Blog
 
Sagada Travel Blog
 
Sagada Travel Blog
 
 
 

Baguio, Philippines

Baguio is known by the local Filipinos as the Summer Capital - the perfect place to spend a weekend away from the heat of Manila and the surrounding lowlands in the Philippines.

We arrived into Baguio at the end of the Flower Festival, a very festive and lively time in the city, where locals and Filipino tourists come together to celebrate the colorful flowers and vegetation that grows around the region. I wandered around the city watching as visitors enjoyed street food and flower floats in the park. Children dressed up in the costume of the local villagers and families hopped aboard swan shaped paddle boats for cruising in the small lake. It was a wonderful experience to see Baguio alive and energetic! 

Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog
 
Baguio Travel Blog

Intramuros, Manila

There are not too many 'must see' places in the city of Manila - but Intramuros and Chinatown are two places that many visitors check out while spending time in the big city. As I only had one full day to explore Manila I set out to see both Intramuros in the morning and Chinatown in the afternoon, and with a fast pace I was able to see both spots during my time. 

Intramuros, also known as the Walled City, is the oldest district and the historic center of Manila, and during the Spanish Colonization Period this area was the city of Manila. I loved wandering around the cobblestone streets lined with palm trees taking in the historical setting and stopping for a local meal of rice and Adobo. 

Chinatown was a bit more chaotic! Chinatown, also known as Binondo, is the oldest Chinatown in the world, and I could feel the layers upon layers of history as I walked around the streets. There were so many smells, colors, and movements to experience while I spent time in Binondo it was actually quite overwhelming as a visitor - I ended up cutting my time short after an hour and headed back towards my hostel for a relaxing evening on the rooftop with new friends! 

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Manila Travel Blog
 
Manila Travel Blog
 
Manila Travel Blog
 
Manila Travel Blog
 
Manila Travel Blog
 
Manila Travel Blog
 
Manila Travel Blog
 
Manila Travel Blog
 
Manila Travel Blog

Langkawi SkyCab

It was time to get out of the city and head to the beach ... and Langkawi was the perfect place to spend four days. I hopped on the ferry in Penang and several hours later arrived to beautiful Langkawi where I rented a scooter to get around the island for several days. 

My second day on the island I scootered to the SkyCab for an amazing experience high in the island mountains. Hovering over the jungle the cable cars climb over 650 meters above sea level and the views are fantastic of the island below. 

After experiencing the SkyCab I jumped back onto the scooter and headed to the beach for a cold beer and a swim! 

Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog
 
Langkawi Sky Car Travel Blog

Georgetown Street Art

Street art makes Georgetown, Penang an extra special city to explore in South East Asia. I loved wandering around the city and stumbling across large murals of artwork on old (and sometimes crumbling) walls. 

Most of the street art was done by Ernest Zacharevic and he used everyday Malaysia life as his inspiration. I especially loved 'Boy on Motorcycle' as an actual bike was embedded into his mural design. There are many other pieces around town - from small sketches to larger pieces spread across whole buildings! 

Georgetown Street Art
 
Georgetown Street Art
 
Georgetown Street Art
 
Georgetown Street Art
 
Georgetown Street Art
 
Georgetown Street Art
 
Georgetown Street Art
 
Georgetown Street Art
 
Georgetown Street Art
 
Georgetown Street Art
 
Georgetown Street Art