Kickin of Summer 2012 at THE LAND OF THE GOLDEN SUN

Moalboal, CEBU – The land of the Golden Sun! The municipality of Moalboal is a 4th class municipality lies in Southwest coast of the Province of Cebu. Moalboal has been spotted, identified and is a famed tourist destination for both local and foreign nationals. It has a laudable coastlines, beautiful and real white sandy beaches. A magnificent underwater paradise – one of the best scuba dive capitals of the world.  Moalboal is approximately eighty-nine (89) road kilometers from Cebu City. It is bounded on the North by the Municipality of Alcantara, the Municipality of Badian in the South, west by Tañon Strait and the Municipality of Argao in the East. It can be reached by bus or car in 2 ½ hours more or less from Cebu City. Anyone can enjoy the warm, pristine waters, and the fine white sand. It is popularly known as the “Diving Paradise of Cebu” due to its white sandy beaches, beautiful corals and different underwater creatures especially around Pescador Island.

For more information you can visit: http://www.moalboal.gov.ph/

Things To do:

1. GO snorkeling at BASDAKO beach at Barangay Saavedra. DO be cautious that the area is a marine sanctuary so please do be careful not to step unto the corals! Be careful also that you have a partner with you since the beach has a huge reef drop.

2. GO DIVING at Pescador Island (unfortunately I don’t have diving license so I am not able to post any photos at the place)
3. Get a TAN via Swimming at the sea or Motorbiking around town!
4. You can also go to the center of the town to check out cheap GREAT TASTING FOOD like the chicken, HALO-HALO (the best so far around town), Fishballs! If you want to your culinary skills you can also get fresh produce at the market..which is really cheap yet HUGE in sizes.

There’s a lot of things to do at Moalboal, the place has everything from international food selections to upper class resorts to make your trip more relaxing and comfortable. Either way you can go with the cheaper route by renting a cottage at the public white beach and set up tents and just go watch the stars at night and have drinks!

Travel Tips:

1. Ride a V-hire at the one citilink terminal if you are in cebu city area. Fare should cost exactly Php 120.00. You can also opt to ride a ceres bus going to bato via Badian at the Cebu south bus terminal fare should cost about Php 100 including terminal fees.

2. Be sure to check out and haggle prices going to either Panagsama beach or Basdako. Going to panagsama beach would cost about 5 pesos per person on a tricycle or pedicab..white beach area on Saavedra beach would be about 60 pesos for a fast Habal-habal. maximum of 2 persons from the town proper.

3. Go karaoke at White beach and eat at any carenderia for a cheap meal and entertainment.

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Reminiscin’ Bangkok…part 1

Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep  meaning “city of angels”. Bangkok is by far the most densely populated city in Thailand with about 12 million people. Bangkok was a small trading post near the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century. It eventually grew in size and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782.

I remembered this trip so well since it was kind of a bummer. My favorite travel buddy, partner till death Noreen got sick with Dengue Fever during this time. I would say that this is everyone’s worst nightmare..travelling and your really sick at the same time. Since this would be our first time at Bangkok, it was kinda fun at the same time since noreen’s high fever were subsided due to the excitement roaming the streets and bazaars.. Here are some snaps.

 


Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Sabah

It’s our fourth and last day at the nature city. It was a really sunny day and we were planning to visit one of Sabah’s wildlife parks. We decided to visit the nearest Lok kawi wildlife park  which is located at the old Penampang-Papar road, about 15km from South of Kota Kinabalu center. We were both a bit excited to visit the zoo since we never had the chance to go see elephants on our bangkok trip.

Waiting for our food to bring at the zoo.
Our Dine out Lunch!

Before we went down to the zoo, we planned to roam around the city and look for food to be brought and ways on how to get to the place. We did check several travel agencies and tour packages going to the park but it was quite expensive. I suggest that you instead take the same route we took so that you can save a lot of ca$h. Normally for tour packages, it would cost about RM120 per person. By going our way we only spent around RM110 for 2 persons but this would include EVERYTHING (food, entrance fees, transportation).

Riding the MINI BUS (BAS MINI)

To go to Lok kawi centre, you have to ride a MINI BUS or BAS MINI as what locals call it on the KK City bus terminal. Fare would cost around RM3 per person. I am a kind of person who is easily anxious about anything. Since I just read instructions on google or any other information and easily forget it (lol), good thing I have a girlfriend who takes charge of these things. I advise you to not get confused with what Mini bus to ride since there are a lot of it that passes lok kawi drop off point. Good thing there was this local lady who speaks very well in english and I was able to ask several questions. Local are really friendly and they won’t mind getting asked for directions.

private taxi owned by my friend fendy amil.

After a quick 10 minute drive from KK city to the lok kawi drop off point, there wasn’t much any buses going inside the park area. We instead, took a private taxi to drive us to and from the park. A quick chit chat lead me to know that the driver was full blooded Filipino but spent all his life in the area. Usually, taxi drivers would usually ask for RM20 per trip but you can haggle the price and set an agreed time to meet when your ready to go back to the Bus drop off point.

Lok kawi park entrance
Noreen getting excited to see elephants
getting excited to see MONKEYS!

It took us about 10 minutes to get to the wildlife park. The place was really clean, well kept and of course the animals are really well taken cared of. I asked the personnel if how they keep their animals healthy and happy, they guaranteed us that  animals are indeed fed properly and taken care off that would suit the animals environment. There are a lot of things to do here at the park, you can also go to their botanical garden which is located at the tip of the land area. Here’s a couple of photos that I wanted to share about the animals in the area..

Few of the animals at the park

There were tons of cool animals to be seen in the park, we even got to touch a few (thou not allowed). Walking uphill and downhill made us hungry so we took our lunch inside the park’s dinning areas.

Lunch for the day: Our favorite Fried tuaran noodle and Pao

After our lunch, we walked several areas to see animals again and we accidentaly went inside the HUGE AVIARY (think JURASSIC PARKish :)) which is closed at that time. It gave us the creeps since the birds are flying freely inside. We were the only person in the area since noreen really wanted to see the birds. When we got inside the Aviary, the birds were really GIGANTIC (it seems they are huge enough to eat humans lol) that we were nervous to proceed to the exit area.

Tresspassing the aviary. 🙂
Noreen cautiously looking for birds nearby

It was 3pm that we decided to go home since it was the agreed time for our pick up. The place is worth remembering and it would be great to visit this place with your families. By visiting the place sometime, you can also take part in preserving indigenous animals found in Malaysia and also help sustain the park.

Me having a blast at the zoo.

Here’s a few snapshots of the area your going to familiarize to get to KK bus terminal and also random snaps when we got back to the centre.

Api Api Centre sidewalk
This gave me the LOL
Centrepoint Sabah
Home sweet home

Nature Tripping at Sabah!

What else to do in Kota kinabalu rather than go sightseeing on the top attractions such as the Mt. Kinabalu and the Poring hotspring? I was so excited to climb mt.kinabalu (fo sho) but since we didn’t have any mountaineering experience, we decided to just enjoy the scenery of this majestic mountain and its surrounding area.

On our way to Mt. Kinabalu and we stopped by Pekan Nabalu Area to catch a glimpse of the HUGE mountain..we never expected that the area was so COLD (do notice my arms are tucked in!). This is the best place to take a picture of Mt. Kinabalu. You can also stop by the souvenir shops on the area if you want to buy stuff, eat or use the restroom since it was about a 2 hour drive to this place from KK.

Finally reached Kota kinabalu national park headquarters, you can either stop over and climb the mountain by getting a guide or you can just drop by to trek and watch the flora and fauna of this place. Take note that you should wear something that can make you warm since the place is also really COOLD. We just dropped by to pay for park fees so that we won’t pay for fees when we reach poring hot spring and other areas protected by the park. The air is really really fresh and the place is so quiet where you can even hear the sounds of different birds.

Trees along the Park HQ
Small flowers waiting to bloom
The air is really fresh in this area!
Wild orchids freely grow in the area

After a couple of minutes at the Park HQ, we head down to the road and pass along Kundasang Market to buy snacks and local delicacy. This is the best place to go buy GUARANTEED FRESH veggies in Sabah since all people get their supplies here and sell it at a higher rate in the city area. This is indeed a vegan heaven.

Shrooms.
Snacks and local delicacy
Us with the friendly local vendor..be nice and friendly so that you can HAGGLE for prices! 🙂

About an hour drive we head down to one of Ranau centre to eat lunch. We ate malay food Buffet style! It usualy cost around RM1 per food so you can serve all you want and eat what you want!

Buffet style Malay Lunch

After taking lunch we head directly to Poring hot spring area which is about 30 minutes away.

BATMAN LIVES! HERE!

After hours and hours of Driving, we have finally arrived at the Poring hot spring area. I wasn’t that excited about the hot spring honestly but my adrenaline was pumping up since I was stocked to go trekking and do the famous Canopy walk.

Bridge over the water
Poring Hot Spring public baths
Caution really hoT!
Hot spring public Pool

Poring Hot Spring is a really huge area, there’s a lot to do here if you have ample time. Since our friends are already going early to catch their flight back to manila, we decided to only check the canopy walk and do trekking. I advise that you use insect repellants and use shoes for this place. Unfortunately I’m an adventurer so I go walking using slippers thou the place was muddy. It was really exhausting to go to the canopy walk since you have to walk about 15 minutes or depends on how you walk uphill to reach the place (exactly 500 meters to the top). Once you arrive in the area you’ll be amazed about the view and sounds of mother nature. Canopy Walks are not for the weak of heart I tell you, the walkway is so scary for others but quite fun since it was a bit shaky (but 100% safe).

Noreen a bit nervous but enjoying the rush!
Perfect capture of a couple enjoying the view.
Man vs. Wild!
The walkway!
Small waterways that you can pass by while trekking downhill after the canopy walk.

Trekking and nature tripping was really fun at this place, we had to refresh our foots by relaxing on the hotspring and our friends onyl decided to take a bath since we were all sweating! It was a really good day to enjoy mother earth and appreciate how beautiful it is to PRESERVE and RESPECT our environment to be used by our children and children’s children.

Day 1 at Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

All set and ready to go!

Me and my girlfriend/travel partner decided to go and spend our 9th anniversary somewhere outside the Philippines and avoid all crowded nearby popular tourist destination. We were looking into a place where we can really relax and have a quiet atmosphere without the buildings, noise and pollution. So we immediately looked up certain both agreed to visit and experience Sabah, Malaysia.

On board AirAsia!

There’s this really cool new airline here in the Philippines which is AirAsia that flies to Kota Kinabalu city from Clark, Pampanga. We booked our flights since we got lucky with a seat sale they always offer for advance bookings. All I can say was AirAsia may be one of the best budget airlines and the service is really good too! 🙂 It took us only about 2 hours to get to Kota Kinabalu City and arrival was really smooth from the gate towards immigration but we were too late to catch up with Kota kinabalu’s famous sunset.

Glad to have gotten a snapshot of the sunset!

It was a good thing that we already have booked for a really good hostel to stay for a week. I would really like to recommend Lavender Lodge located at Jalan Laiman Diki, Kg. Air,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
 They do offer great deals on rooms either you may be travelling single, couple or a group (with free cofee and toast for breakfast!). I love the place since their staffs are really hospitable..take note that their staff are all Filipinos! (awesome) You will really feel at home in this place. You can book thru (http://www.lavenderlodge.com.my/).

We arrived around six in the evening so we were already a bit hungry and therefore looked for some good eatery or resto’s around the area. We spotted the famous seafood foodcourt “Seri Selera” across the street and we found out that prices there are pretty much over our dining budget. So we decided to go eat (and DRINK of course) at Kota kinabalu’s Boardwalk where all cuisine are available. To our surprise even the staffs on the restaurants are filipinos! Prices at the waterfron would usually go around 15-30RM but this is already a full sumptuous meal!

Seri Selera
One of the few restaurants at Kota Kinabalu waterfront.
Appetizers while waiting.
Dig in!

After we had dinner and a few tiger beers, we decided to go and rest early since we planned an island hopping adventure to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park…

Total expenses spent (for 2 people):
Roundtrip air fare thru AirAsia = Php7000
Phil. Travel Tax =  Php4000! (damn where does this go?)
DMIA terminal fee = Php700
Food and Drinks = RM36
Accommodation = RM 300 (5d/4n)

FUN = PRICELESS.