My first land border crossing from Costa Rica to Nicaraguawasn’t fun at all, if anything it was a sh*tshow!
We started our travel from Santa Ana, Costa Rica, woke up 4am to get a 4:30am Uber to TICA BUS. Got there too early so they put us to the 5am bus instead of the 6am booking that we had. That was a blessing!
7hours into the trip we finally reached the Costa Rica border – no problem there, went by smoothly. (Not to mention the long queue and with only one immigration they have).
Few meters away, we reached the Nicaraguan border. This was where the shi*tshow started.
First they checked our PCR test result, no problem with that. Then the dreaded immigration. Of course being a PH passport holder I always have issues entering other countries.
For Nicaragua I need a visa on arrival, paid 50 USD to process for it. Took an hour for them to finish. At this point I’m already very anxious, what if they won’t give me the visa and the fact that all the other people from our bus already passed the border wasn’t helping. Few more minutes and finally they stamped my passport. Phew! Relieved!
Now I’m up for another obstacle- Customs. Prior to traveling, we researched about Nicaraguaand found out that drones are illegal in the country and that’s a problem because we have one. Base on our research they would confiscate drones and more other than not, owners were not able to get it back even after paying storage fee when they travel out of Nicaragua.
So day before our trip, what I did was disassembled the drone detached the propellers and scattered the accessories all over my luggage hoping for them to not spot it and I can get through custom smoothly. It turned out to be a very bad idea. I had to open all my luggage take out all the accessories and they took the drone either way.
Ay this point I’m sweating rocks, worried about our bus to Managua, all the passengers must be so pissed at me for delaying them (2 hours had passed since we got to the border), and the drone being confiscated.
What happened next was totally unexpected, Customs people gave us a paper, said we had to go to the annex building and had to get the paper signed. One local started helping us, went to the annex building with Linsey, had the paper signed and lo and behold they handed the drone back to us.
The local person even helped carry our luggages as we ran to the Tica Bus, we thanked him immensely and handed him some money. There’s always a great samaritan wherever we go and we’re always grateful to those people in moments like these.
We’re back on the bus, and it’s apparently the 6am bus that was waiting for us. So at this point I’m totally relived. They didn’t have to wait for us that long at least.
At the end of the day I am grateful for going to the bus station as early as we did, that enabled us to get the 5am bus. It gave us 1 extra hour to cover for the 2 hours delay on my visa processing. Grateful for the immigration officer for being so patient and for trying so hard to understand us despite language barrier. Grateful for the good Samaritan that helped us with our drone snafu. And for the TICABUS for being such a great company. And for Linsey who’s been really patient and collected during the entire delay.
My first land border crossing was a complete sh*tshow and definitely a memorable one. It’s a great story to tell in the future. Bus started rolling 5:20am we arrived in Managua 7:13pm. It was a helluva journey for sure.
In our recent trip to Java, we had a litte stop in the city called Yogyakarta. It is (often called “Jogja”) the capital city ofIndonesia‘Special Region of Yogyakarta. As the only Indonesian royal city still ruled by amonarchy, it is located in the island of Java known for its traditional arts and cultural heritage. Its ornate 18th-century royal complex, or kraton, encompasses the still-inhabited Sultan’s Palace. Also within the kraton are numerous open-air pavilions that host classical Javanese dance shows and concerts of gamelan music, characterized by gongs, chimes and plucked string instruments. it is located in the Central Java and could be reached via several modes of tranportation.
Train – there are a lot of routes available depending on where you are traveling from. There are two main train station that connects Jogja to different part of Java. As we were previously in Jakarta prior to going to Yogyakarta, it took us 8 hours on a train. We had the executive type of train so it was comfortable.
Plane – Yogyakarta has two international airport that you can fly in directly. Various places around Indonesia has flights available to Jogja as well.
Private Vehicle – This is possibe if you are traveling from another part of Java, the roads around Java are decent and you can definitely drive on your own with the help of online Map apps >> Google Map – Yogyakarta. Make sure to download offline maps.
We started our trip in Jakarta, had a ticket living from Gambir Train Station at 8am. The 8-hour train ride went on smoothly, had several scheduled stop to several stations. That’s pretty much it. The train has mini restaurant where you can buy food, and there are attendants that visits ever so often bringing food for sale. Upon arriving in the Jogja station, we waited for our bike rental which we reserved in advance and drove 20 minutes to our homestay. (tip: better to book for transport in advance to avoid drivers crowding you for service)
Train ticket– You can book your train ticket in advance direactly the train company directly Kereta Api Indonesia, It is convenient and you can skip the long queue at the train station. You can just go directly to the check-in kiosk. You can also check out TRIP.COM they offer online booking on various services, Hotel ticket, train, flight. (Alternative)
Bike rental – Normally you can get this service through your accommodation. we got ours at IDR 70,000 ($5).
Accommodation – Tiga Lima Homestay, they were very accommodating. Breakfast was included in the package and they’d let you choose the time you want to have them from 6-9am, and they’ll deliver it at your door. The place was nice as well and had a pool and rooms are spacious.
Restaurant – Yam Yam Thai Restaurant, the food was great, they had different varieties of curries and all are equally delicious. You would want to reserve in advance as it could get really crowded.
Restaurant – Canting Restaurant – Yogya , It is located inside a mall so it is quite easy to locate. It is on the top floor with an overlooking view of Jogja.
Desserts – Tempo Gelato , there were quite a few gelato places in jogja, and at night they are all packed. This ice cream bar is spacious, with a garden sitting, and the interiors is nicely decorated.
Recreation – Bliss Pool & Lounge, they are open until 4am, they got plenty of pool tables, the place is clean, and the crew are very friendly.
It is always better to drive on your own, as long as you are set to drive on a very busy roads. The city is big enough for a spontaneous city tour with a lot of interesting things to offer.
IDR 350K per pax entrace fee to Prambanan Temple (there are other temples situated in the premesis of the compund)
IDR 50K for petrol
Meal prices is not included as it varies depending on where you go eat
I somehow have a mixed opinion regarding both temples, as both are world acclaimed site, it was way too expensive to visit both. They have fully commercialized both temple that even when you are not dress appopriately to go inside a temple, they tend to overlook them. The people guarding the premesis often overlook tourist that are disrespecting the the temple, like standing, and sitting on the parts of the temple. At the end of the trip, I fully appreciate the ancient people who have built these massive temple it must have taken them years to contruct th huge temples. I am in awe of the intricate designs carved on the walls, it tells stories of what happened hundreds of years ago. Yogyakarta, what an amazing place you are.
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SEE DETAILS AND LINKS BELOW FOR TRAVEL GUIDES:
How to get there
How to get around Nusa Penida and things you should know
Transportations, Accommodation and Recommendations
Years ago Nusa Penida was on my bucket list of “Places to go to”. Now I’ve ticked it off, and it was an awesome feeling. It wasn’t the easiest to go to though, the drive was terrible. It was long, agonizing hours on a bike driving through very narrow roads. Twists and turns, ups and downs. The journey was so difficult that I almost decided not to continue. But I’ve longed to see it, I have got to see it!
So I continued driving on these awful roads, massive holes, some didn’t even look like roads anymore. It was more like driving through a dried-out river with stones, sand, and mini cliffs. But boy, I’m glad I continued.
Gazing upon it from above was surreal. It was unbelieveable, like I was living in a dream. It was exactly what I expected it to be. Breathtakingly beautiful and undeniably amazing.
It was almost sunset and that made it more appealing, it added drama to the moment and perfection to the view. Soon enough it’s beauty was covered with darkness and I went home with a grateful heart.
How to get there:
From Canggu – take a forty minutes cab to Sanur port
From Padang Bai – East of Bali, take a ferry to Nusa Penida
Sanur port – forty five minutes ferry ride to Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida – rent a motor bike at the port (alternative – Arrange car pick up from your hotel)
How to get around Nusa Penida and things you should know:
Motor bike – is always the go-to vihecle for exploring, it gets you from one place to another easily and quickly. Just always drive safe and use helmets. There were multiple blind curves, the roads are narrow and sometimes there are huge holes in the middle of it. I recommend avoid driving at night.
Car Service (Alternative) – Arrange car through your hotel, they normally offer per day charges depending on the destination you are going. It’s less hassle but could sometimes hard to go around as the roads are very narrow.
Always download offline Google maps. The signal is really weak around the island, it’s always safe to access your map without internet connection. Click here to download:Nusa Penida map
When snorkeling at the Manta point it is to best leave early, it tends to get really crowded on a later time, hence lesser chances of you seeing the manta rays.
On your way to Nusa Penida, I suggest you be at the port early, tide tends to go up , there could be big waves and also the port don’t have any ramp during onboarding. It is a water entry; flip flops are recommended.
Always wear sun protection, I use Garnier SPF50 sunblock lotion and also wear rash gaurd if you have sensitive skin, protection for jellyfish sting.
Transportation, Accomodation and Recommendations:
Gede Driver (+62 813 5366 6692) – Car Drop-off from Canggu to Sanur port
I stayed in Prasi Sunset Bungalows – Tripadvisor , Prasi Sunset Bungalows – Booking.com , Check the link to see reviews and pictures of the place. Definitely worth it. The place was quite nice, friendly, accommodating and warm crew, the stay was pleasant. They made sure that your is experience great. They arranged car pick up upon arrival and departure, motor rental at the hotel, the boat rental for snorkeling with Manta ray among other water activities. And made the ferry reservation from Nusa Penida to Lombok via Padang Baiand the GIli Island . The view from the villa was lovely, overlooking the sea and great vantage point to see Mt. Agung . It has pool, hot water, Wi-Fi, and breakfast included. If you want more details about the place send a message to Wyn Adnyana, he’s the one who’s taking charge of the hotel.
Virgin Beach Restaurant – was the one restaurant that got stuck in my head. I liked there tuna steak not only because I haven’t eaten seafood for the longest time, but because it tasted amazing and the seasoning was perfect. It was a pleasant meal.
– provides tips and list of things to expect during philippine immigration interview
Left the Philippines and currently in Bali . I am going to live around Indonesia for the next seven months, I am terrified! I will try to learn their language, culture, and tradition. Indulge myself into new flavors Balinese food. It’s going to be a roller coaster life from hereinafter. I am so anxious. It will be a completely different life but I am ready for this.
Roughly two months ago I left my job in preparation for the trip. It was hard, but it was necessary. It enabled me to travel the few remaining islands of the Philippines that I haven’t explored. The last couple of months were hectic. Not only because of the weeks after weeks of traveling from one island to another but also because of the preparation of documents for the actual trip.
But the jitters didn’t stop there, because the actual day of the trip I had to undergo the last hurdle (the hardest one) the Philippines Immigration . As this was my very first trip abroad I was pretty anxious about the immigration. I’ve heard and read stories about people getting offloaded from there flights, people being put on hold for hours. Knowing these things caused panic to my system, so bad that I couldn’t sleep for the last remaining nights I had in the Philippines .
From getting sponsorship letter and telex (few of documents needed for the Indonesian Embassy). No- Filipinos don’t need a Visa to go to Indonesia if you’re only staying less than 60 days. But because I intend to stay there a maximum of six months, I had to undergo the process of getting the visa. And it came through. I also had to process for an International Driving Permit, and have travel insurance.
But as you all know, I did it! I’ve passed the immigration and is now in the very humid country of Indonesia . I am still adapting, but I am getting there! I am going to miss my family in Argao, my friends, and my life in the Philippines . But I am here now and I am one step closer to my dream.
One of the most popular island of Bohol is Cabilao Island, It is located in the western portion of the main island and along Cebu Strait. It is one of the smaller Philippine Islands, and approximately 8 square kilometers where a peaceful community lives. What is more facinitating about this island is actually lies beneath it. It is famous for its marine sanctuary, with its steep wall of coral reefs that has been a habitat for several marine species.
Couple of friends and I embarked to yet again another summer escapade to this amazing island, and by that I meant; a day in the sea, crystal clear water, unlimited sun bathing and of course close contact with fishes and some other sea creature.
Finally! I was able to ticked scuba diving off my bucket list, and I loved every single minute of it. I loved it so much that I decided to work on being certified as an open water scuba diver (work in progress).
And so in the next couple of weeks (or months) depending on my availability, I will be doing a series of diving sessions and I can’t hide my excitement 😜. Ticking off scuba diving is one thing, but getting certified is just a whole lot more.
I’m finally done with all my scuba diving sessions and now I can proudly say I am a licensed scuba diver, it was a pretty fast process but every minute of it is very memorable. After six scuba diving sessions, I was able to cover all the necessary lessons and skills needed to get certified. I do admit though that I still need constant diving sessions for me to be able to really be comfortable being in the underwater world and pretty excited for the next coming scuba diving the in future.
Island living – being born in Cebu is surprisingly a very big advantage for me at this point, nearest diving spot is just an hour away and recently it had became one of my favorite hangout place. I am becoming more and more in love with scuba diving and now I am embracing the fact that I am in the truest meaning, an island girl.
This is Palompon’s paradise. Kalanggaman is considered the most beautiful beach the province of Leyte has to offer. The postcard-perfect virgin island with its powder white sand, clear waters, and cool breeze is certainly a virtual place very close to heaven.
What makes this island unique from others is its long sandbars that are stretching on both sides of the island. The one hour boat ride to the island may be a bit challenging bur it is all worth it when you finally set foot on this paradise. If you want to forget your troubles for a day or if you want to have a quick getaway with your loved ones, Kalanggaman is definitely the place to go. – www.palompon-leyte.gov.ph
Kalanggaman Island, One of the many islands in the Philippines, with the whitest sand you’ve ever seen, surrounded by crystal clear waters. You can read a good book without many people kicking sand on your face, you can take amazing photographs all day long,
April of 2015, my friends & I decided to explore Kalanggaman Island for a weekend. We started our journey at Cebu North Bus Terminal, from there we ride on a bus to Maya, Daanbantayan. by the time we arrived in Maya port, our rented boat was already waiting for us. Luckily, I was able to find a group of people who are going to the same island, on a same date. I contacted them and decided to share the boat rental fee, making it a more budget-friendly travel for us.
checkout below to know the details of our trip;
>> How to get there
>> Suggested budget
>> Things to bring
When we visited Kalanggaman Island, we were very lucky to have found a group of people who were willing to tag along with us. But that doesn’t end there. They’re a group of people who are very experienced in camping, They took care of our meals during our entire stay. Brought pre-cooked “chicken-pork adobo” & pre-marinated meat (chicken & pork) and the taste of our food was exceptional. I am very thankful for those people, a special thank is in order for my friend Alik for tagging them along.
>> There is no energy supply in the island, so bring as many powerbank as you could if your planning to stay for a while.
>> They do have solar-powered light attached on the post all over the island, it’s not totally dark when the sun’s out.
>> They do have mini store, they sell water, softdrinks, and liquor but very expensive. Better if you bring your own.
>> There is no snorkel rentals, good thing we brought our own gears.
>> They do have standup paddleboard for rent, as well as kayaks.
Kalanggaman Island Getaway: April 18-19, 2015
Itineray – Day 01 : April 18 (Saturday)
3:30am – Meet up at Cebu North Terminal
4:00am – Departure from terminal to Daanbantayan
8:00am – Arrival in Old Maya Port, Daanbantayan
8:10am – Arrival in New Maya Port
9:30am – Departure for Maya port to Kalanggaman Island
11:30am – Arrival in Kalanggaman Island
– Put up tents, arrange things, prep for lunch
1:00pm – Beach bumming, Beach life, Beach lust, snorkeling
5:00pm – Prepare dinner(rice & bbq)
5:30pm – Dinner time
6:00pm – Chill time, music trip, inom with ze friends
2:00am – It’s a wrap! Sleep time. Itinerary – Day 02 – April 19 (Sunday)
6:30am – wake up call (sunrise)
7:00am – Prepare breakfast/ eat breakfast
8:00am – Beach bumming (again!), beach life, snorkel
12:00nm – Prepare for departure
1:00pm – Departure from Kalanggaman Island to Maya Port
2:45pm – Arrival in New Maya Port
3:00pm – Departure to Cebu City via Ceres bus
7:30pm – Arrival in Cebu North Bus Terminal
How to get there from Cebu City; >>Catch a bus at North Bus Terminal – there are different ways to go to Kalanggaman Island, but I chose the less risky one. You can either buy a ticket in one of the shipping lines in Cebu that travels to Palompon Leyte, from there you can rent a boat to Kalanggaman. Or land trip to northern part of Cebu via Ceres Bus to Maya Port, which I am kinda familiar.
>>Choose the bus with a signed board that says ” Maya Port” – make sure to ask for the destination of the bus you are about to take. You can choose from ordinary or air-conditioned bus.
>> Ride a motorcycle to New Maya Port – Usually, the boat thats gonna take you to Kalanggaman is docked in Maya New Port, specially when the it’s low tide. You can ride a motorcycle to the new port, approximately 5minutes ride for a cost of Php20.
>> Rent a boat to Kalanggaman Island & vice versa – you should reserve a boat that will take you to Kalanggaman Island from Maya Port & vice versa. You can contact Kuya Randel at 09158516135. The boat rental costs Php7000 good for 20 pax & Php150 per excess person (rate for overnight stay).
>> Boat trip to Kalanggaman Island – the trip usually takes approximately 1-2 hours depending on the waves.
>> Bus trip & fare – the trip usually lasts 4-5hrs, depending on the traffic, I recommend you travel as early as 3am to get rid of the traffic. The earlier you will arrive in your destination, the longer you spend a relaxing day at the island. Php 180 bus fare (air-conditioned).
How much would it cost you: (Suggested budget)
Php 180/ pax : Bus fare Cebu to Old Maya Port (aircon)
Php 20/ pax : motor ride to New Maya Port
Php 360/ pax : Boat rental Maya – Kalanggaman (vice versa)
Php7000/ 20 pax, Php 150/ pax for excess person
Php 225/ pax : Kalanggaman Island entrance fee
Php 400/ pax : Food, drinks, & meat
Php 180/ pax : Bus fare New Maya Port to Cebu Terminal php 1400/ pax : Suggested budget (good for 22 people)
I can’t help but admire the beauty of Kalanggaman Island as it slowly getting smaller. As I bid farewell to that spectacular island, I promised myself that soon again, I shall return. By then I guess, I am to stay a little bit longer. For I fell in love with the island, the white sand beach, the clear blue water, the perfect sunset, and the lovely sandbar. Indeed, Kalanggaman is a spectacular island.
Cangcua-ay is part of Taw-awan, Oslob. Yes, you read it right aside from the very famous Whale Shark watching, Tan-awan, Oslob has something more to offer. A perfect getaway from your hustle and bustle city life! Tan-awan Cangcuaay Beach – Modern Villa Deluxe; Guide to a relaxing summer getaway!
Bus at Cebu South Bus Terminal, along N. Bacalso Nat’l Road – There are 2 major bus lines that travel vice-versa to Oslob( I recommend you choose Ceres, with they have huge buses that can guarantee a comfortable trip. You can also choose from the ordinary or air-conditioned bus.)
Choose the bus with a signed board that says ” Bato via Oslob” – you don’t want to be misdirected to Moalboal or Badian, although they have great beaches there, but you’re heading to Oslob, and that’s the other way around.
Take note of your destination – Cangcuaay, Private Beach, if the conductor is not familiar with the place, just say it’s beside Seafari Beach Resort. You will find your way right after.
3 hours bus trip, 180/pax – the trip usually lasts 3 hrs depending on the traffic, I recommend you travel as early as 4am to get rid of the traffic jams. The earlier you will arrive in your destination, the better cottage you can choose and the more time you have to spend a relaxing day at the beach
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Oslob, Cebu is more than just the whale sharks and Tumalog waterfalls, you can also enjoy your sweet time at the beach relaxing under the sun with a cold beer in hand. The place is so laid back, and with a picture-perfect view what else can you ask for this during summer?
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