5 ways to travel to Boracay, Philippines: planes, (no) trains and automobiles:

5 ways to travel to Boracay, Philippines: planes, (no) trains and automobiles:

This post was last updated on July 30th, 2017   Do you remember the Tootsie Roll lollipop commercials with Mr. Owl, where the little boy would walk up and ask the wise bird, “Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” And Mr. Owl would reply, “Let’s find out: one, two, three,” and eat it. That’s how I felt about traveling to Boracay, Philippines. Only I asked, “How many modes of transportation does it take to get to a single island in the Philippines?” Fun fact: it was more than three.     Boracay is a tiny island among the Visayas, about 200 miles south of the Philippine’s capital city, Manila. It’s home to some of the most captivating beaches and beautiful resorts — not to mention a trove of bars right on the sand. My 10-day vacation in this small slice of paradise was like the Spring Break trip I never had, complete with a reckless number of frozen margaritas and the worst sun burn my skin will probably never recover from. But before I could experience everything this marvelous island has to offer, I had five interesting transportation methods to endure. How I Arrived At Boracay, Philippines Standard plane ride Leaving Hong Kong International Airport at 8:00 a.m. with six guys and one girl — 5 of whom came this close to missing said flight due to a breakfast emergency — was the mere start of this adventure to Boracay, Philippines. One two-hour plane ride to land in Manila, easy-peasy.   Propeller plane A 5-hour layover plus 3-hour...

Philippines: We Are ONE

This post was last updated on September 6th, 2014Today is June 21st, 2012. Which means that exactly one month and one day ago we were celebrating our 1-year anniversary while basking in the sun of the Philippines (it’s totally different from the sun in America). And that means that exactly 1 year and 1 month ago we were saying our vows and starting our own happily-ever-after. Seriously?!!! I realize we live in the future—kind of—but let’s talk about how time flies! I don’t know if the past 13 months have gone by in the blink of an eye for anyone else, but seriously! I guess this is a sign that we’re getting old or something. Dan and I have so much to be thankful for. We won’t go all mushy-gushy here, but this past year has been the happiest year of our lives.  We are extremely grateful for each other, and we feel overly blessed for all the amazing experiences we have had together in only one year. We haven’t forgotten all the help we received in preparation for our wedding and honeymoon, and we will always be thankful for the support from all of you, then and now! So on to the details of how we celebrated our first successful year as Mr. and Mrs. Moore. One of the great parts about living in Taiwan is our close proximity to beautiful Asian islands (even if we’re always working and not really able to enjoy them to their highest potential). For our anniversary, we wanted a little bit of adventure mixed in with a lot of relaxation. We choose Apo...

El Nido: Paradise In Palawan Part 2

This post was last updated on September 6th, 2014While our quick stop in Sabang and the Underground River was lovely, it was really El Nido that resulted in our jaw-dropping, heart racing, ‘I can’t believe somewhere this beautiful actually exists’ ramblings. A harrowing six-hour van ride away from Sabang or Puerto Princesa, El Nido comprises 45 islands at the very northernmost part of Palawan. I can easily say it’s the most beautiful place I have ever seen, and our entire time there was spectacular. Here’s a few notes on why: Enjoying our own private island This was hands-down the coolest thing we did. Through our hostel we stayed at, The Alternative, we were able to book a night of ‘camping’ on a private island. Only it wasn’t camping in the traditional sense of the word. We had an actual bed in a sort of open-air Nipa hut that gazed out to the ocean, complete with personal island dwelling staff that cooked incredible meals with no electricity. Nothing like waking up to a beautiful sunrise over the ocean while laying in bed, only to have coffee and frittata waiting for you a few steps away at your mini dining table, on your own private island. Absolutely heavenly. Island Hopping No trip to paradise is complete without a day spent island hopping. The tours around the town are all the same, and essentially you can choose from Tour A, B, C, or D. I know, pretty creative. We choose tour A (for AWESOME), which is one of the more popular choices, and brings you to the Secret Lagoon, the Small Lagoon,...

Paradise in Palawan, Part 1: The Puerto Princesa Underground River

This post was last updated on September 6th, 2014Recently we took a trip to Palawan, Philippines, and LOVED it. Unfortunately, the island was so fantastic in every single way that just the word ‘love’ doesn’t seem to quite encompass our feelings about the dense green jungles planted alongside jagged limestone cliffs that protrude out of brilliantly turquoise water. I’ve been trying to come up with a blog post that adequately describes this tropical paradise for a week, but alas, my writing skills are just not up to par for a task that great. Here is Part 1 of my attempt to do justice to Palawan, although I know the words—and even photos—won’t quite succeed. Palawan is an island province located in the Western Philippines, quasi-close to Malaysia. More and more people are heading to Palawan now that there has been an increase in paved roads, leading to greater accessibility of the island; however, Palawan still maintains more of a natural and undeveloped feel than say the more famous party-city of Boracay. (Or so we’ve heard—having never been to Boracay I suppose we aren’t exactly experts on that.) Upon flying into Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan, our first stop was Sabang to witness the Underground River. Recently, the Underground River was listed as one of the New7Wonders of Nature, and being so close we decided it would be silly not to check it out. What makes the river so unique is that it is one of the world’s longest underground rivers at 8.2 kilometers. The caves inside have stalactites, stalagmites, and THOUSANDS of bats. It’s quite eerie floating through the...

Manila Horse Carriage Haggling: What Would You Have Done?

This post was last updated on October 15th, 2013You know you’re in tourist country—or at least somewhere trying to be—when there are horse carriages on every block ready to sweep you away on a romantic frolic around town. Manila, Philippines is no exception, and I would estimate that the horse carriage to tourist ratio is probably somewhere close to 5:1.  You can probably guess that meant that every single one of ‘em seemed to be following us around Manila, waiting for that moment when we would magically decide we wanted to climb on. That moment actually did come, but it wasn’t because we suddenly fell in love with horses; rather, it had more to do with the fact that sometimes we’re a little too cheap. And it almost backfired on us. We had just finished up taking a few pictures of the Manila Bay sunset and decided our next destination would be the Mall of Asia. We weren’t interested in shopping, but thought we might as well check it out since it is the 3rd largest mall in Asia and 4th largest on Earth. Now that we’ve been we can honestly say that unless you are seriously trying to burn some holes in your wallet, there’s not much point in going. Okay, but back to the whole horse carriage business.  We were at the Manila Bay, assessing our cheapest options for getting to the mall. We knew it was a little ways down the boulevard we were on, but we didn’t know exactly how far. We quickly ruled out walking since the sun was down and we didn’t know the...