Port Barton is a small coastal community in San Vicente, Palawan. It’s about 3 hours drive from Puerto Princesa, and about 4 hours away from El Nido.
To celebrate my 30th birthday, I decided to do the El Nido-Port Barton route as my first ever solo trip also happened in Palawan. I fell in love with this place as I’ve been craving for solitude for a few months now. Too bad I decided to stay longer in El Nido.
Mind you, this is not as developed when compared with El Nido, but it has its own rustic charm. This is the place you could go to when you just want to get away from it all. Or when you just want some peace and quiet you will definitely not get in El Nido.
I didn’t expect that I would have my first solo international travel in 2016. Heck, I didn’t even expect it to be in a different continent. Flashback to 2015 when I didn’t have a stable job because I resigned from my job in Flight Operations due to too much stress. After a few months of doing some freelance work, my depression kicked in, but I could not force myself to go back to the corporate world. Just thinking about having to deal with a stressful work added with office politics gave me some chills. That’s why my dog, who was still a puppy then, and I had only enough money to live by. I could say that traveling was the farthest thing on my mind.
That was what happened until December 2015, when someone broke my heart, and I decided I had enough. I needed to have a new perspective and to move on, and I could not have these just by staying in the same place. Luckily, my sister, who was living in Dubai and was about to give birth, asked me if I wanted to stay with her for a few weeks until she had the baby. As she was working in an airline, she could help me book my ticket to another destination before I went home. So I sold some of my investments and decided to go to Seychelles for a few days.
Back to 2018 with 11 countries visited (with some I traveled solo), I could now say it was one of my best decisions. Seychelles would always be special because you can’t really just forget about your first. Traveling solo also taught me a lot of things and made me better in budgeting/Math (I took up Communications to avoid Math haha).
Another thing, if my heart gets broken again, I’d probably end up being a nomad. 😂
“Saan ka dadalhin ng 10 Getgo points mo?” (Where will your 10 Cebu Pacific’s Getgo points bring you?)
My friend and I were one of the lucky ones who were able to avail of Cebu Pacific Airline’s fly for 10 Getgo points only. We were supposed to go to Islas de Gigantes via Roxas, but got rebooked to Iloilo because the Roxas flight got full. This gave us the opportunity to explore two cities instead.
Because both of us were feeling beach-y, we decided to spend a day in Lakawon Island Resort. Most of our time was spent in Taw Hai Floating Bar and Restaurant. Who could say no to drinks and beach? Haha
If you’re traveling on a tight budget, the transportation alone from Bacolod city will eat up much of your budget.
The roundtrip boat ride to/from Lakawon Island is Php 300. There’s an additional fee of Php 250 if you’re going to Taw Hai. From the bus drop off point to the ferry, you’ll need to hail a tricycle that costs Php 120 for a special trip.
Here is our total expenses:
All in all, I would go back here and spend a night. We did not take photos of the resort as they’re still constructing some buildings, and it would not do the place some justice. I like how it’s not that crowded even though we went here during a kite surfing competition.
Credit: Photos without my watermark are taken by my friend.
Ever wonder the cost of solo traveling in expensive cities like Hong Kong? Fret not as I’ll be posting here my travel expenses plus some tips while being on a budget in Macau and Hong Kong.
My total expenses (excluding the souvenir expenses) = HKD 2809.40 or less than Php 18100 / USD 362 *Airfare/airport fees and taxes are not included as they are relative to where you’ll be coming from
Some money-saving travel tips:
- Utilize the shuttle provided by hotels/casinos while in Macau
I stayed in Ka Meng Villa in Macau as it is walking distance from Senado Square and other spots. If my flight was not delayed for 30 minutes, I could board the Wynn Macau Shuttle from the airport and walk for about 15 minutes. The damage? 98 HKD
- Stay in Hong Kong and have a 1-day trip to Macau instead
There’s no hostel in Macau. Compare if the cost of 1 night in a hostel in HK plus the ferry fare is cheaper than 1 night stay in Macau. Travel time is only for about 1 hour, and ferries leave every 30 minutes.
- Befriend your neighborly convenience store
My meal and snack while in Disneyland already took half of my meal expenses for 5 days. Not good, dude.
My checklist when looking for a hostel:
- Proximity to bus stop/metro station
- Neighboring buildings/communities
- Hotel reviews
- Proximity to restaurants
- Budget per meal for those restaurants
- Cheapaz option (aka alternative to restaurants)
- Check the weather and bring appropriate clothes
Just when I thought my Asian body can handle 15 degrees Celsius, the Universe laughed at me and decided to further drop the temperature to 10 (and sometimes less than 10) degrees Celsius. Cost of defrosting my frozen fingers by drinking hot choco and coffee – HKD 95.00
Hong Kong has a good transportation system. They also have better sidewalks for walking. If you’re fit, having walking tours in Hong Kong and Macau will save you lots of moolah and keep your body fit. Two birds with one stone, right?
Preview of my trip here and here
I still have 10 days to finalize my solo trip in Seychelles. I’m already booked in Rowsvilla Selfcatering Guesthouse in Beau Vallon via Agoda. Even though this country is not backpacking-friendly, I’m still hoping I could keep my budget around 300 euros.
Because I’ll just be in Seychelles for 3 days, I’ve decided to stay in Mahe Island, though I would love to stay longer to explore Praslin and La Digue. Here’s hoping I could visit this country again for a longer time.
Any thoughts or recommendations for my Seychelles trip are appreciated.
It’s that time of the year in which we think of what happened this year, of what we would do in the coming year, and renew our bucketlist and New Year’s Resolution (if we ever managed to do one).
On the last day of our trip, my friend and I decided to leave Camiguin at 10 a.m. My flight to Manila (via Butuan) was at 8pm, while my friend’s flight was at 10pm (via Cagayan de Oro). The travel time took at least 8 hours, so we knew we had enough time as both of us were already checked-in. Or that was what we thought.
Ah, Batanes. The northernmost province that is probably known as the point of reference for most, if not all, typhoons that pass in the Philippines. With a distance of about 365 kilometers, it is even closer to Taiwan than to Luzon. No wonder a certain country is claiming that this group of islands belongs to them, not to the Philippines. But hey, political remarks aside, who wouldn’t want this place that is rich with historical and natural beauty?
Most of the travellers I meet dream of visiting Batanes at least once in their lifetime. While I believe in the saying “If there’s a will, there’s a way,” there will be times in which it seems that the Universe is not being cooperative. And in this case, buying a discounted ticket to Batanes is already a test of faith. Just kidding. Or not.
If you have money to burn, the full fare to Batanes costs around Php 15,000 (approx 330 USD). The amount can go up or down depending on the season. If you are into budget travel, you may have to wait for 6 months to 1 year as the travel period offered in seatsales is mostly during offpeak season (also known as the typhoon season in the Philippines). However, you can buy a roundtrip ticket to Batanes at around Php 4000 (approx 100 USD). Yes, you need lots of patience to book a cheap flight to Batanes.
So why does the fare to Batanes cost too much? Here are some possible factors that affect the pricing of the ticket:
I’ve been checking my 2015 bucketlist posted here and realized it’s already June, and I haven’t crossed out anything yet. Most of my previous trips are spontaneous, which actually are more exciting than the planned ones. Yep, no regrets there. I still have remaining trips for this year though. I’ll be back to Batanes this July, go to Camiguin for the Lanzones Festival this Oct, and if I managed to snag a good deal in airfare, I might go to Gigantes Island this August. I’m also thinking of backpacking abroad hopefully before the year ends. I guess I should say goodbye to spontaneous trips to go to all of these places. I’ll update this blog once my pre-birthday blues end. Too many things have happened, and I need to focus on other things first. Can’t wait to be back on the road. Cheers to more travels and adventure!
Being an INTP, I always find it hard to keep my energy level whenever I’m with other people. What happens to me is that I am this perfectly sociable human being in the morning, then become a walking zombie in the afternoon. If things become worse (meaning I get surrounded by hyperactive people without any downtime), I become this walking grumpy zombie. No one wants to be like that, right? So here are some tips to recharge and maintain your sanity while you’re on the road: