*We’ve missed an entire country. Cambodia deserves several posts of it’s own – and it will definitely get them.*
Because of our Air Asia Asean Pass we had to stop in Bangkok to get to Hanoi from Siem Reap. In case you aren’t aware, it’s actually in the wrong direction and since we had to overnight anyway we decided to make it 3 nights. Why not.
We did one temple – which was great (Wat Pho). And then we had some time on our hands. Jen’s friend made us aware that there was a cat cafe not too far from us, and I didn’t need much convincing!
Continue reading Bangkok – Purr Cat Cafe (AKA Heaven)
Siquijor – home of witchcraft in the Philippines. Because of this we obviously had to visit. We arrived at our resort and started looking for tours that would take us to a faith healer. The hotel’s tour was very rigid (as things tend to be here) and included a bunch of things that we weren’t interested in. I took to the internet and found our very own tour guide. He used to do his tours in a tricycle for a much better price but now he does them in a jeepney – a vehicle that is used for public transport and can fit as many as 20 people sitting, but when used in transit can fit easily 40. So we had plently of room in the back of the jeepney as there was just two of us.
Continue reading Siquijor: Isla del Fuego – no seriously.
We dropped our laundry off in Cebu yesterday, and because the sign said same day service we assumed we would be on our way bright and early in the morning. We were told – NOON. It would be done NOON tomorrow. Finally they conceded at 11 am. And then our doorman intervened on our behalf and 8 am for the win!
Bright and early this morning we set out on our 30 minute walk (part of Jen’s plan to exercise me regularly). We had coffee at Bo’s coffee which is a local coffee shop where apparently a lot of tourists eat because it cost the same as Starbucks at home – which is outrageous considering I had my eyebrows shaped with a razor for $1 yesterday. I saw a stray dog across the street and decided to save part of my egg mcmuffin for him. He had a hurt foot.
Off we went to collect our laundry and hit the road. I carried the egg mcmuffin for 20 minutes before giving up and leaving it on the side of the road. I have no idea where that dog got to! As we walked by the hotel that was doing our laundry the laundry man shouted out – “Friend! Your laundry!” And literally within 15 minutes we were in a taxi on our way to the pier for our boat. It was like magic.
We arrived to the pier at 8:40. The next ferry was at 8:45 and of course we didn’t have tickets or anything. No problem, we were assured that we could make the boat! And yes – it was really no problem because the boat was 30 minutes late. But it wasn’t even the boat we were planning on taking so in the end it was all randomness that worked out perfectly. Like it always does.
The ferry had assigned seats. Even though the ferry had plenty of empty seats the staff assigned us these ones:
Because we are in the Philippines, where the Pope is the most trusted man in the country, the boat trip started with a lengthy prayer for a safe journey. Because of this I didn’t hold out too much hope for the onboard movie thinking it would likely be Disney or something, which would make sense because half the boat was kids. Nope. American Sniper. Obviously. And just like the South American bus movie, it was a ripped copy of a dvd.
Part 2: Arrival to Bohol
Bohol is a pretty small island that most people do on a day trip. So of course we have 3 days here. We arrived at our accommodation in a tricycle (photo to come). Our hotel is staffed by what appears to be 12 year olds who watch youtube videos and nap on the couch. I’m not really sure what’s going on here. I asked for them to arrange a driver for tomorrow and they said it’s taken care of – so all I can do is trust. We’re near the beach, and not much else! And since we aren’t near restaurants I’ve now had to ask the youth in charge to make me dinner. Update on the meal to come.
After 4 days on beach paradise on Boracay we had to make the easy trip to Cebu. This was a multi stage process involving a tricycle (a Philippine tricycle – not North American, in case you were picturing that), a boat, then another trike and a plane. When we booked our ticket I was able to purchase 10 (ONLY 10) kilos of luggage for each of us. Everything on the website says that you are allowed 10 only, and you can’t even buy more. So I carefully packed the packs. I packed, I weighed and I shuffled until everything was perfect.
We arrived at the airport and I was seeing some pretty big bags, which was distressing to me. In case you aren’t aware I’m obsessed with fairness. When we were able to check in, our bags were perfectly under 10 kg each. I was so proud. The CSA told us, “You know you can have 15 kg right?” Um no – obviously not. All the info on the website says 10. Our itinerary and receipt say 10. For more than a year you have been able to take 15 kg – no one thought to update anything. Then – because this is an airline obviously obsessed with weight – we were weighed before we could check in. Like we both had to physically stand on the luggage scale. It was odd.
Continue reading Welcome to the Philippines (or Asia Lite)
Jen and I are done with South America – for now. After 4 months of wandering mostly Peru, Chile and Argentina – with one bonus trip to Colombia, we are on our way out. Our route leads us now to Easter Island, then Tahiti and landing for a while in New Zealand. Unfortunately our flight to Easter Island left at 4 am – so this left us with a bit of a conundrum. We had basically 3 choices:
- Spend the night at the Airport Holiday Inn (approx. $200)
- Stay at our favorite Santiago hostel ($50) and then take a cab to the airport in the middle of the night (approx. $35)
- Head to the airport in the evening on a normal bus ($1) and spend the night in the airport (real cost yet to be determined – likely to be my sanity) and if things weren’t going so well we had the option of spending a few hours in the lounge near the gate ($70)
We obviously chose #3. Sleepinginairports.net says that sleeping in the SCL airport actually isn’t that bad. I guess I’m a bit spoiled with all the beds I’ve been sleeping in lately – but it definitely was pretty bad. We arrived in the early evening fresh from Valparaiso. We were waaaay early, so we decided to have a leisurely dinner, before trying to pawn off our bags. Continue reading 10 hours in SCL