Transit: Off to Sibaltan, Where the Sun Rises in El Nido

Sibaltan Beach
Sibaltan Beach illuminated by the morning sun

Like George Mallory was saying, “Because it’s there!”, is there any other good reason to explore? A lot of people mainly see the EL Nido town and the islands of Bacuit Bay, but that’s only a small part of the El Nido Municipality. Slowly the northern regions of El Nido are getting some good exposure but I’ve always wondered what the eastern part of El Nido looks like. Does it have some magnificent islands and beaches as the eastern side? Curiosity got me going, coming a long with a friend, we were off to Sibaltan on the eastern side of El Nido.

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Transit: Roro Bus to El Nido from Puerto Princesa Palawan

The Roro Bus at San Jose Terminal Puerto Princesa
The Roro Bus at San Jose Terminal Puerto Princesa

(Update: January 26, 2015) “…you can feel that Palawan is ready to hit the big-time in 2013” says Lonely Planet as it recommends this vast archipelago of Palawan islands as one of the Top 10 Best Regions to Travel in 2013. I couldn’t agree more as things are looking bright now in the region especially in the El Nido area. Despite the 6-hour bus ride from Puerto Princesa, it doesn’t stop people from discovering this wonderful destination even now that the Roro Bus to El Nido made travel a lot easier and comfortable.

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Terengganu: Quick Walk Sidetrips from Kuala Terengganu Bus Station

The royal Masjid Abidin
The royal Masjid Abidin

The Crystal Mosque is just one of the places to visit in Terengganu. But when pressed for time, there are some interesting attractions near the Kuala Terengganu Bus Station just a few blocks away. Like when we were waiting for the SP Bumi bus to Kuala Besut to arrive, we stretched our legs for a bit and went to the direction of the boardwalk.

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In Transit: Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands, Terengganu

The Jetty at Coral Bay, Perhentian Kecil Island
The Jetty at Coral Bay, Perhentian Kecil Island

It was the onset of summer in the Philippines and I was yearning for the beach! “But why go Malaysia? You have plenty of great beaches there in the Philippines!” an American backpacker asked me. That’s true but somehow this was different and unexpected. It felt like cheating, I know I love the Philippines and its beaches but somehow, Perhentian Islands in Malaysia is so homey and relaxing I quickly fell in love with it and yes even if some Travel Magazine dubbed our very own Boracay Island as the best in the world, this one is a lot closer to me as a perfect beach island getaway. And it all started when I was looking for an offbeat place to visit in Malaysia and this picture of a beautiful island with torquiest water and a promise of unspoiled underwater haven sold me to fly to Kuala Lumpur.

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Mandalay: Eating Gold Leaf and Transit to Yangon

A small store at one of our bus stops to Yangon
A small store at one of our bus stops to Yangon

Morning of day 10 in Myanmar finds me deliberately waking up late. I made sure I’m well rested for tonight’s bus ride to Yangon. I took the day easy enjoying the comforts of the hotel and catching up to my online world. When I checked out, I left my baggage at the reception and decided to visit one of the Gold Leaf Workshops in Mandalay. A Gold leaf sheet is an essential part of the day-to-day lives of Burmese people. It’s their main offering to Buddha where they place it on layers on their images. And some even goes to eating a leaf a day and claims to give them good health.

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In Transit: Bus Journey from Yangon to Nyaung U, Bagan

Leaves in front of the bus for safe journey
Leaves in front of the bus for safe journey

I was already prepared for the worst for the 10+ hours Bus journey to Bagan from Yangon. Oh I’ve read so many horror stories of old buses breaking down, air-conditioning giving up mid-way the journey or even some bumpy roads that would shake you up awake. But, fortunate to say, it wasn’t even that close. Changes here were for the better and the journey was much more comfortable and easier than I expected. I guess it was too comfortable that I had to push my seatmate, who’s sleeping like oil, a few times as he constantly leans on my side of the seat.

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In Transit: Butuan to Bislig via Bachelor Tours and Finding Hotel One-11

 

A Bachelor Tours non-aircon bus in Langihan Terminal
A Bachelor Tours non-aircon bus in Langihan Terminal

It was time to move on. Butuan was okay but our main purpose for this trip was Bislig in Surigao del Sur. We weren’t really much of a hurry and checked out of our hotel mid-morning.  Took a couple of the trademarked orange trykes to Langihan Bus Terminal where we’ll catch our ride to Bislig. It took only a few minutes to get to the station.

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