Jeepneys are relics from the war, converted to be used as public transport in the Philippines. If you have no idea where you're going, you'll probably lose yourself in the chaos of the Filipino public transport system. To avoid this, ask for directions as soon as you enter the jeepney and also ask if someone can give you a hint when to get out as the driver doesn't stop at fixed places. Pull the slipknot mounted on the ceiling of the jeepney to signalize that you want to get out. If you're more brave, try to imitate the locals. They blow kisses in the air to communicate. The colonial rule by the Spanish had a big impact on the Philippine culture. Not only the food and the … (Continue reading)
A lot of people were packed in a small, cramped area at the port, waiting for the ferry to Dumaguete, Negros Island. We were with just a few people leaving on the cheap ferry, leaving the others behind to wait for the expensive OceanJet ferry that seemed only slightly faster than our slow boat as the trip was not far. OceanJet's prices are about 5 to 10 times higher than usual, but their company is the only one that has a website, so for foreigners it often seems like it's the only option but we we did our research beforehand. From scarce online resources, we had a small list of affordable accommodation in Dumaguete but none of the prices were current; it seems prices almost double … (Continue reading)
Siquijor (pronounced sicky whore), also known as the Island of Fire is a fascinating destination that shouldn't be missed when traveling the popular Visayas region (Bohol, Dumaguete, Negros) in the Philippines. There are several ways to access Siquijor by all the ports of the surrounding main islands. Once you're in the Philippines you'll see how easy it is to jump from island to island. Siquijor is the third smallest province of the Philippines, thus perfect for a motorbike roadtrip. The best thing about small islands is that you can explore them within a few days. We drove around the island starting at San Juan, so our list follows the main route around the island. It's a roadtrip of about 90 kilometers. It can be easily done in 2 … (Continue reading)
Travelling the Philippines is like immersing yourself into an ocean of fairy tales. Each island opens a new chapter to another fabulous world full of magic and mystery. Nobody told us that we were heading to an island that was once inhabited by giants. We found out in bits and pieces. Read what the giants have left behind before they left Bohol millions of years ago. The two giants were the only human creatures living on the island of Bohol. One day they made a discovery in the forest. Surprisingly, they met other living beings, turning out to be the extreme opposite of themselves: Tarsier monkeys – just as big as one of their eyes. The giants felt so much affection for those tiny little creatures that they begin to take care … (Continue reading)
Tanduay is the name of the local rhum and can be bought everywhere. A 600 ml bottle costs around 38 pesos (about € 0.70). There is almost no traveler that has been in the Philippines without trying rhum. Indeed, Rhum is a beverage that fits perfectly to the Filipino laid-back lifestyle.
We arrived in Manila on the 11th of January. We arranged to stay for a few nights at a Couchsurfing host. He told us he lives close to the airport. We arrived in the night so we had enough time to find our way. Just as in Malaysia, public transport is nearly non-existant. We had to get off the airport to get away from annoying taxi drivers – we try to avoid taking taxis, especially from pushy drivers. Apart from taxis, there are two ways of transport here: trikes (actually scooters with a sidecar) and jeepneys. Jeepneys are old jeeps used for public transportation but again, there is no way to find timetables, routes or any other information. So, from the airport, we just started walking, … (Continue reading)
In our last week, we spent new year's eve in Ubud. All the big festivities would be organized in Kuta but it would be impossible to get into town with all the traffic. Besides, we wouldn't be able to drink before driving back. The expensive hotels had their own parties but there didn't seem to be much going on outside until we found the big temples in the center. People there seemed to be waiting for something. It was almost midnight and we found a second floor of a small restaurant where nobody else was sitting. We didn't have to wait long for the fireworks to start. We had the best view from the terrace – the fireworks exploded right above us. On our last day … (Continue reading)