Hong Kong & The Philippines

Summer 2019
Hi folks, hello from Hong Kong again!

It’s been my third time here and I must say I love it for one simple reason… my love is currently living in this majestic Asian city.

I got to know this lovely human (pictured above standing on the banca boat on one of the many islands of The Philippines) and yeah she is a Filipino.

So read on for more adventurous stories from our trip to The Philippines.

Hong Kong | August 9, 2019

After a flight of more than eleven hours in my white shirt it was time to land at the Hong Kong International Airport and feel what it’s like to be outside…

Well it was freaking hot and that shirt went quickly in my backpack. It’s such a huge difference between the dry air in Belgium and the humid air of that in Hong Kong, but still I love the heat too haha.

Up next was my hotel at Mui Wo, but first had to get out the occupied airport by local protesters – which was not an issue though – they were all very friendly as Hongkongers always have been in my opinion. I found the right bus and off I was.

We can honestly recommend the Holiday Beach Resort hotel over the Seaview one as the Beach resort is closer to the ferry pier and has a better hygienic policy inside its accommodation.

A link to the Mui Wo – Hong Kong Central ferry timetable here.

An ordinary ticket starts at $13.6 for weekdays and $20.2 for Sundays.
The fast ferry starts at $26.8 and $38.8 on Sundays, payable by Octopus card or cash.

Oh and at last but not least don’t forget to get your Octopus card at the airport! It really makes your travel experience so much easier.

Read more about the Octopus here.

Road to ferry pier and Mui Wo beach
Hong Kong | August 11, 2019

Today is the day that I will see my love back after an enduring 8 months of not being physically by her side. Ai long-distance relationships are so great but the patience is so worth it…

I bought her another Lululemon leggings at the store in Central. Oh yeah, I know. 

Man Mo Temple | August 13, 2019

A nice day to go check out the Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan and take a walk through that side of the city. The day was hot and sticky but I didn’t mind much.

Back at the hotel I could enjoy the aircon and a refreshing shower again. This time it was Ibis North Point. Book here.

Man Mo Temple, 1800s Taoist Temple in Sheung Wan

Tai Po Railway Museum | August 14, 2019

With the ever increasing heat I managed to get out my hotel early and took the MTR to Tai Po, a 2-hour train ride from North Point.

Again the Octopus card is such a handy card to take the local transit system a.k.a the MTR.

I went to see the Railway Museum, despite being a relatively small museum it is still interesting to see the old carriages in which people once travelled in the Hong Kong territory.

Hong Kong Railway Museum, Tai Po
Hong Kong international airport | August 16, 2019

Today is the big day because I will set foot in my 31st country The Philippines. And this together with my dear love Lourdes.

Adventure awaits us starting at Manila where her mother and 2 kids live. Up schedule is exploring Palawan and Negros, two places which we picked from our list to explore first.

Manila… Here we come!!!

Welcome to The Philippines

Manila, The Philippines | August 16, 2019

Manila, a crazy big city with a loooot of traffic, many small streets, single-floor houses and big shopping malls.

You’ll feel either safe or not once you enter those shopping malls as there are officers awaiting you to check your bag and a quick body check, but once through, they won’t bother you anymore.

Do keep in mind to keep your eyes always wide open when you stay in Manila. I didn’t have much problems there as I was travelling together with my Filipina girlfriend. 

The Philippines

Manila | Palawan | Negros
Manila, The Philippines | August 17, 2019

Manila was a crazy experience with all those jeepneys and tricycles overtaking local traffic ruling out fast transit between our destinations with sometimes travel times of up to an hour for just 7 kilometres.

Yeah, traffic is chaotic over here but it was interesting to be able to take those funky jeepneys introduced in The Philippines by the US army during World War 2.

Oh, and how the jeepney drivers collect the fare from the passengers is amazing too, they fold the local Philippine Peso in between their fingers!

In case you wonder what that person with the umbrella is doing? She is attracting passengers for taking a free spot on the jeepneys. And yeah they can shout, although meant to be friendly haha yeah.

Intramuros, also called the Walled City in Manila built by the Spaniards, 16th century

Intramuros, Walled city of Manila | August 30, 2019

Intramuros, the old walled town where the all the trading once began.

We can recommend you the White Knight Hotel, which is an old-colonial house built during the Spanish era. The bathroom is really big and clean. And right in the middle of Intramuros.

Unfortunately we didn’t stay long there, just one night is actually too short to see everything.

We did see The Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception andwe visited the Casa Manila museum with a historical cobblestone street.

The one and only in the world… Halo-halo desert!!!

Sapin-sapin, a layered glutinous rice and coconut dessert in Philippine cuisine

Halo-halo and sapin-sapin | August 18, 2019

Before going to The Philippines I had never even heard of these names and when they were taking me out to the restaurant I couldn’t wait to try these exotic foods.

The purple ice cream is made from ube and they use crunched ice.

It looks pretty exotic, doesn’t it? And yes, it is desert and it is both yummy! Philippines is famous for its delicious foods and I guarantee that is true.

For breakfast: sweet banana, rice, eggs and meat.

Bicycles are used everywhere in The Philippines

Below photo describes it all… Bikes, trikes, jeepneys, it’s the image of The Philippines and it is what makes The Philippines, The Philippines.

But ok, let’s be honest here, it isn’t the healthiest thing in the world. They do harm the environment and local Filipinos alike because of exhaust gases. Unfortunately it is their culture and historically adjusted to what it looks like today.

I support and prefer bicycle transport above motorized transportation, but sometimes you simply can’t travel without it.

It was quite a lot of fun on that bike, though.

Time to explore Palawan and Negros | 19 August 2019

The landscape in Palawan is simply stunning and extraordinary beautiful, a true must if you travel to The Philippines. Despite being the rainy season it was quite alright and the sea was warm. Luckily not many mosquitoes present, but nevertheless we took our malaria pills just to be sure.

A tip which can save you some pesos!

If you take a tricycle at the airport to go to your hotel or start your journey in Palawan, ask about The Underground River, El Nido tours or Coron trips for a cheaper price he will bring you to a small office where you can book your desired tour. Keep in mind every tour has entry and enviromental fees, although they are quite small but necessary. 

One of the streets near our hotel in Puerto Princesa.

Puerto Princesa Subterrenean River National Park plaque.

Puerto Princesa Underground River was provisionally chosen as one of the New7Wonders of Nature.

El Nido, Palawan | 20 August 2019

The van trip from Puerto Princesa to El Nido took about 4.5 to 5 hours with two stops at a souvenir shop and a restaurant where you can refuel your stumach and thirst needs.

We must say that it is recommended to go for an airconditioned van instead of taking the slow bus. The bus has to stop many times and the van only a couple of times.

Once in El Nido our adventure started again, although it was already dark so we went directly to our hotel for the next 3 nights. We spend 3 nights at Swiftlets Inn, located near the main road, but not in the city centre where it is a lot more crowded and noisy. We had a very pleasent stay and the breakfast was top notch.

My love posing on a boat on the beach of El Nido.

An abandoned boat in El Nido.

Coron, Palawan | 21 August 2019

Our hotel in Coron was a magnificant building, in fact it was an old ice factory. It’s name is Corto Del Mar. It has a big swimming pool and a very tasty breakfast, except the Wifi guys, it wasn’t working it all.

We booked the Coron Island Ultimate tour at the JY Travel and Tours Coron, we truly enjoyed all the locations, but they couldn’t stop at a couple of them because of bad weather and high tide. To be honest 7 locations in one day is a bit much. You just have around half an hour to 45 minutes at each destination.

A few of the tours in Coron, Palawan.

Kayangan Lake

After we went swimming in the Twin Lagoon it was time for the pouring rain and a delicious lunch.

Booking.com

» Written by Alan who goes under the name of twin-rhino | Published on October 16, 2019