From island to island in the Philippines

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)

Budget Travel Guide: Philippines, Siquijor island

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)

The Bali scooter nightmare: how we managed to get our scooter repaired 4 times

Finding a scooter rental for a decent price as a foreigner on Bali isn't as easy any more. Prices are going up a lot. For Australians it's very cheap to fly here; for them everything is cheap and they are willing to pay the price. Salesmen will often translate the price – "Only 5 Australian dollars" to rent a scooter for a day. Especially when staying for a month, this is not cheap. Luckily, we got a decent price: around € 2 a day, although it would be possible to find it even cheaper. We got it through a friend who doesn't normally rent to foreigners. "They drive like crazy." This is one thing you will recognize, especially in the Kuta area. Drivers cutting people off, … (Continue reading)

What we learned about the traffic on Bali’s streets and how it feels to be part of it

I am walking along an endless street close to Kuta. Indonesian streets and walking don't go well together is the first that an Indonesian would tell you. On the local streets, the motorized traffic makes the rules and that is mainly the scooters. They can be divided into caring drivers vs. I-don't-give-a-shit drivers. For those who want to walk – or have to walk, as Indonesians would say it – because walking is equal to not having a scooter and that is a no-go, have to be cautious. Sidewalks are mostly used for other reasons than to walk on. Streetfood stands, water tanks, wheelbarrows filled with concrete, massage areas and chicken cages can come across your path. You never know what comes next. Avoiding obstacles can become … (Continue reading)