Photo diary of last days in the Philippines

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Final iPhone photos of the last days of my trip. We took the local transportation from El Nido to Port Barton (a van from World War II), a ride that I will never forget, the driver speeding up on what you could barely call roads, every now and then giving way to goats and buffalos.  Driving to chocolate hills, which felt like stepping into a level of a childhood computer game. Driving then all the way to Anda, through tens of Filipino villages and getting a good sense of the local life. Our simple room with an ancient, not working TV.  Lazy days spent at NutsHuts, the absolute highlight of days spent in Bohol. Kayaking to a huge waterfall and a natural spring.  Our lovely hut, which was a perfect contrast to my next and final destination, flying back home to Hong Kong. Though Bohol did not get a permanent place in my heart, it is safe to say it was one of the richest experiences of my life in terms of witnessing local life, an experience that I would not give away.

 

El Nido picture diary

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My iPhone picture diary of the five days spent in the best place ever, El Nido. A heaven, where we found proper coffee after too long break, dined above the waves on a terrace at Atmosphere, stayed in the coolest hostel Le Banane, and spent a day diving into caves and hopping on deserted islands. Discovered a new fruit, cherimoya, which became our favorite. Every now and then Patti Smith’s biography took me for a while to New York… We felt like being so far yet at the same time had a familiar feeling – at some twisted way El Nido reminded us of a bit of Europe, a bit of Hamptons, but with just right amount of sense of a local Filipino town.

Port Barton

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The ride to Port Barton was by no doubt the most random in our lives, making us think there simply can not exist any kind of life in the end of the road. Finally, however, we ended up to a tiny yet beautiful village by the beach. Port Barton made us realize how simply one can live – with no electricity most of the time, no grocery store, no warm shower, no wifi, not even a proper toilet anywhere to be found. The nature and beach were however amazingly beautiful. We hiked our way to a huge waterfall, wondered around the village and ate the best mangos I’ve ever had. Highlight was an island hopping day which took us to places I’ve never stepped a foot before. Tourists were nowhere to be seen, the water crystal clear which allowed us to explore the underwater life by snorkeling.

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.