El Nido

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After spending some time in Bangkok and Koh Tao, we were ready to escape the crowds. We decided to stick to our original plan and head to the Philippines. After a 6 hour bumpy jeepney ride from Puerto Princeca in Palawan, we arrived to the cutest seaside town ever, El Nido. It exceeded all expectations – not too crowded yet not too small either. El Nido is a perfect combination of a local village with just right amount of other travelers, few beach bars, restaurants and a beach. We stayed in a cute hostel right on the main road and had a huge balcony, perfect for people watching, sipping some white wine and occasional reading sessions. Jenny discovered a perfect book for me from Artcafe, our favorite breakfast spot. Reading the biography of Patti Smith made me miss New York as well as raised many thoughts and led me to the interesting world of artists – something very new.

 Island hopping in El Nido is a must – we got to swim in lagoons, dive into a cave and stopped to lunch to an beach that felt like being the first one ever to visit there. . The boat drivers prepared us a super fresh lunch in front of our eyes, which was easily the best we got in Philippines.

 

Koh Tao

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After staying weeks in the remote garden at Ubud countryside and spending my days working, I could not have been happier to head to Bangkok on New Year’s Eve to reunite with Jenny, my New York sister. I was lucky to spend New Year with many friends from back home, all stopping by on their Asia trips to spend the New Year together. I did not have any expectations of Bangkok as a city, which turned out to be a good thing – I liked many things about it (cheap and overly delicious food for one), whereas Jenny experienced a slight culture shock being the first Asia experience for her. Next day, we toasted for the first day of 2014 at a super fancy sky bar, Lebua. Before the night was over, Jenny, Nea and I decided to head to south the next morning, to enjoy some island time in Koh Tao. Though I must admit we were disappointed to see how touristy the island was, we enjoyed the beach life and super good weather. The night train back turned out to be a good way to get a local experience though it did not provide a lot of sleep..

Last days in Bali

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I quit my work at the organic farm few days before my flight to explore some my unseen parts of Bali and relax after the tough working period ;). We drove all the day North to see the biggest temple in Bali, passing endless rice fields and beautiful little villages.

The last two nights I stayed in Canggu, a village I had wanted to visit, and where my friend that I met in Borneo happened to stay. I was happy to accept an invite to stay couple nights in an indescribably beautiful all white villa. The view was to the rice fields, getting breathtaking sunsets. I even did my first exercise in months,  taking a 1km swim in the pool. This time I mostly enjoyed the villa but the glimpses that I saw of Canggu made me want to visit there some day again, to explore the pretty streets and cozy cafés and healthy food restaurants. Even though Bali can be super touristy, I still love the atmosphere and nature of the island, you just need to find the right spots.