03 June 2016

Birthday trip!

Five months in Tainan just flew by and what can I say - it's been great five months so far :)
Not what I wanted to talk about today so let's just leave Tainan for another time, today I'll share with you a word or two about my last vacation in Philippines...


"Don't listen to what they say. Go, see!"

In my last post I told you about a birthday gift to myself, a plain ticket to Philippines! 
Buying an airplane ticket is so much better than buying shoes (and I LOVE shoes!), it feels like opening the first page of a new book. The feeling of not knowing what's waiting for you on the next page. You can imagine it,but before you get there and see it with your own eyes nothing can describe it so perfectly. The sweet waiting and anticipation...

To pick one of more than 7000 beautiful islands this country has was not easy, however, when the tickets are cheap(er) for one of those destinations it helps you decide. Palawan it was!




Two years ago I planned a vacation in Boracay with my friend Adri but ended up in Zanzibar instead because of visa requirements which was a bit tricky to make happen at the last moment considering the job we were doing back then. Nowadays Croatians don't require visa to enter this SE Asian country which was one more reason to chose it for my trip
The third reason 'why?' was the beauty of its nature, yummy food and friendly Filipino people. Well, those are actually three reasons but I count them all in as one category. Why? Because those are the only actual memories you will remember long after your trip...


You won't remember how your hotel room looked like but you will remember nice staff who helped you around, with a smile on their faces at all times! (and all the other people for that matter)
You won't remember how much you've spent but you will remember some of the most breathtaking sunsets, beaches, woods, mountains, waterfalls you've seen.
And for sure you will always remember where you had the most delicious fresh coconut, fish platter, burger, slice of cake or any other local dish in the country you've visited.


Since I've already been to Philippines many times before, but only in Manila, I couldn't wait to experience its other side - easy going, relaxed, poor but happy island of Palawan.

Must say my first thought about the place was that it looked a lot like Zanzibar. As I said, easy going, relaxed, poor, the same climate, similar food, approachable people...
Five days in a small hotel in the city of Puerto Princesa was really cheap and easy to find and book through Booking.com, but five days was not even closely enough to see all of what this island has to offer. 

Renting a scooter is also easy and cheap but be prepared to leave your passport at the rental place for insurance. Not the most comfortable thing to do though :/
Beaches around the city are not like the ones you see on the pictures online but if you take an island hopping tour you will enjoy the day swimming and snorkeling on those magnificent, surreal looking beaches you once only dreamed of visiting.


"The mind will not always remember exactly what happened,
but the heart will always remember the feeling..."



The other day trip we took was to the Underground River - one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Something really different and memorable, specially the part when your guide tells you to keep your mouth closed if you don't want to taste the bat poo falling from above! (...how do you know if all those drops are water or poo? Well, water is cold...) ;)
After 45 minutes in those dark scary caves I had to go and try the zip line. Nothing can beat the rush and excitement of a free fall out of the airplane but this was also fun and I ticked it off of my list!


    

Dining experiences were all more than satisfying. Whether you eat in a well known restaurant, beach bar or at the stand by the road the food will be delicious, service will be fast and you will leave happily full! The only thing in question is how much are you willing to spend on food and drinks? If you are a foodie like me prepare a little extra just in case you can't say no to tasting everything from the menu in every restaurant you go to :D
Just kidding, Or not? :p


Before you exit the country, at the airport, you have to pay a certain fee. My golden fish brain can't remember how much was it but don't exchange (or spend) all the money, local currency before you pay that fee. Be prepared ta wait because most of the times there are flight delays, and always and I mean ALWAYS have a mosquito repellent or two with you! Those little, flying, blood sucking beasts are merciless! Other than that you will have a really great time meeting interesting people along the way, making memories, trying out new things...


"The best things in life are the people you love,
the places you have see and
the memories you have made along the way."



Enjoy your upcoming vacations and summer/winter trips!
Happy and safe traveling everyone! :*







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