People often ask me which countries they should visit in South East Asia. Most of the time, they have Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia in mind. I often ask if they’ve considered the Philippines. Most of the time the answer is “no.”
I’ve been to the Philippines almost ten times and I’m not sure why the Philippines isn’t on the top of the list of countries to visit for most people, but I definitely think it should be. Here’s why. Continue reading »
Malapascua Island is a small island off the northeastern coast of Cebu in the Philippines. It features warm, tropical waters, palm trees, white beaches, and excellent dive sites.
The island has a long stretch of white sandy beach, where most of the resorts are located. There are a number of local villages on the island. Fishing and tourism are the main sources of income for the locals. Continue reading »
Imagine having a close encounter with more than a handful Sea Turtles, a giant school of Jackfish, a few Frog fish, a Moray eel and a Sea Krate in a time-span of less than an hour. This dive has certainly been one of my favorites!
Balicasag island is a 30 minute boat ride away from Alona Beach, located in the province of Bohol in the Philippines. The best diving that Alona Beach has to offer is around this island. Continue reading »
The island of Bohol features a surprising number of unique highlights, given its small size. It’s home to the world’s smallest mammal, the Tarsier, it features over 1000 cone-shaped hills, the Chocolate Hills and it hosts one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.
During my stay in Alona Beach, I decided to rent a car and a driver for the day to check out what this island in the Philippines has to offer. My friendly driver Larry arrived spot-on at 9am in the morning and off we were! Continue reading »
The main reason I came to Malapascua Island was to dive with the Thresher Shark. The island is the only place in the world where Thresher Sharks can be seen pretty much any day.
I really enjoy diving with sharks. It’s quite a thrill to see these scary looking predators swim towards you, turning away only after coming almost within a few meters. For some reason I’m not scared of sharks. I get so excited when I see one that I forget that they could kill me if they wanted to. Continue reading »
Over the last few years I’ve stayed at hundreds of resorts, hotels, hostels and B&B’s. I normally don’t review them on my blog, unless I think it’s an exceptional place and I would naturally recommend it to my friends, like the Travellers Oasis in Cairns, Australia.
Ocean Vida Beach & Dive falls into this category as well. The resort is located right in front off the main beach in Malapascua Island in The Philippines. I loved it so much, I ended up extending my stay twice! Continue reading »
This month I’m doing a tour around Asia. After a short visit to Hong Kong to catch up with friends I flew to The Philippines, starting off in Butuan, where I flew like a bird on Asia’s longest zip-line.
I have now arrived in Malapascua Island, a small island located just north of Cebu. I wanted to go to this island for quite a while, for several reasons. Continue reading »
Although I’m not against checking out touristy destinations featuring famous highlights, I also really enjoy going to less well known off-the-beaten-trek places. I like to just stroll around, take in the atmosphere and experience normal, local life.
My visit to Butuan, The Philippines, definitely falls into the latter category. As it turned out though, there is something really cool to do here: it features the longest zipline in Asia. Continue reading »
My main reason to head down to Palawan, an island in the Philippines, was to visit the Palawan underground river, located in the Puerto Princessa Subterranean River National Park, about 50 kilometers north of Puerto Princessa. The river was known as the world’s longest underground river until the discovery of a even longer river in Mexico. Still, the visit proved to be more than worth it! Continue reading »
Siargao Island Adventures III
Two friendly Australian couples from Hong Kong were also staying at the resort. We all got along well from the start and decided to explore the area together. The next morning, we congregated in the hotel lobby, rented a boat, and ventured off to visit the nearby islands.
Our first stop was a small pristine island called “Dako Island.” It was inhabited by a small community who lived off of coconut plantations and canoe manufacturing. While the men were busy carving canoes out of trees, the children played on the sandy beaches with home-made wake boards. Continue reading »
Siargao Island Adventures II
After we settled in our new environment, we decided to go on a reconnaissance mission using the islands main means of transportation: the motorbike.
Typically, I shy away from driving these vehicles as I have met too many expats and tourists with scars, mutilations, brain damage and other motorbike accident related injuries (which in Thailand they call “natural tattoos”). On this island, however, traffic was sparse so I threw caution to the wind and mounted my bike. Continue reading »
I was traveling around Asia when I got a message from my friend Johan. He had been working tirelessly for years and finally had some time off. “I desperately need a holiday,” he told me. “I want to relax and decompress, somewhere away from all the tourists. I need a quiet, peaceful place.”
The light bulb in my head flashed. I immediately thought of Siargao Island, a remote island in the Philippines. Continue reading »
A Turtle’s Tale: Diving with Uncle Bob
I met up with my buddy at Manila airport. We share one passion: deep sea diving. Our final destination was Sabang, a little dive resort in the municipality of Puerto Galera. To get there from Manila, we first had to take a 3 hour taxi to Batangas, a village located at the southern point of the island of Luzon. From Batangas it would be another 2 hours on a Banca (typical Philippines boat) to Sabang. Continue reading »