Boracay, Philippines

Arriving in Boracay we were blown away by the views… and the beaches! No wonder this is a major tourist attraction. It was quite different from El Nido. The streets were busier, the town was much more expansive, there was a McDonald’s… there was a lot to take in. We split ways during this 8-night stop and did our own thing, so we’ll talk separately about our stay here.

From Jenny…
I arrived at my hostel, Mad Monkey Boracay with a group of about 10 people who all stayed at The Outpost in El Nido with me. We knew it was going to be a great week right away, since friendships had been formed already. This hostel is known for getting everyone active and hanging out, so the moment we put our bags away in the room, we went down to the pool/bar area to meet our fellow hostel mates. I was still on antibiotics from an ear infection, so couldn’t go diving with Kerry just yet, so it was nice to be staying somewhere that had fun activities going on and lots of super people to do things with! On my first full day there, I went on the hostel’s Saturday “Boat Party”, which was so large it was made up of a fleet of 3 different boats full of people, and we spent the day enjoying the sights of Boracay from the water, having fun socializing (yes, there was some beer involved as well), cliff jumping and watching the sunset. It was a solid day of good fun! The rest of my week included 2 days of diving with Kerry and David, our scuba instructor, hanging out on the gorgeous beaches by day and sunset watching by night with new friends! We even went to the clubs that are directly on the beach a few evening with others from the hostel. Boracay was a totally different feel from El Nido, but I enjoyed my time there equally! 

Enjoying a nice dinner and drinks on the beach with my new girlfriends!

Happy hour one evening with Kerry after diving

Stunning Puka Shell beach!

From Kerry…
My time in Boracay was spent doing one of three things: diving, tanning or sleeping. I started my stay at a hostel near Jenny’s, but quickly realized I wanted my space and quiet, so I moved to an Airbnb closer to the center of town. It probably didn’t help that I was recovering from some sort of food poisoning incident, but I wasn’t in the mood for a hostel. My host, Teddy, and his staff were so welcoming and made things really great for my stay. I got a delicious homemade breakfast each morning, my own room on the top level of their building, assistance with anything I needed and a short walk to the shops and the beach.

I spent 4 days diving with New Wave Divers and hitting 10 different dive sites around Boracay. I had 2 different guides – Shane was with me the first 2 days (5 dives) and David the second 2 days (when Jenny joined us too!) All of the dive sites were very different and unique. We saw all kinds of cool things, including many different nudibranch, which are becoming my favorite underwater creatures. We also did several deep dives and two different wreck dives. Overall they were very successful dives – even the one with the Russian woman who failed to understand underwater etiquettte and wandered off on her own regularly.

Another day I took a sailing trip with some locals that have their own boat. Since Dad raised me to like sailing, I was very excited about this trip. We sailed around the entire island, with a stop at Puka Beach, on a very breezy day. My sister would have freaked out at the tilt-o-meter level, but I loved every minute of it! I think the trip around the island was much quicker than expected since it was so windy, but it was relaxing and gave me a chance to see a lot more of Boracay!

Aside from that, I spent the rest of my time lounging on the beach and working on my tan as I did a lot of people watching. It was relaxing, quiet, breathtaking and just what I needed! The guys at the dive shop offered some great suggestions on places to eat and buy groceries while I was in town, so I feasted on Indian food, deli sandwiches, mango yogurt and cheese and crackers. Not quite the traditional Filipino food, but it hit the spot 🙂573B95B463B72244FCE6CAD04CC67624IMG_20170607_184009IMG_20170607_182928

Boracay spoiled us both in totally different ways and we highly suggest that if you’re in the Philippines to spend some time there. The beaches and water were pure perfection, the locals were as friendly as ever, the diving was great and there is something for everyone.

~ Kerry & Jenny

El Nido, Philippines

We arrived in the Philippines and spent a night in Manila before heading out to our first long-term destination: El Nido. In Manila we spent the evening at a cute hostel called Z Hostel, which was recommended to us by a friend of a friend (thanks Marc!) The next morning we went to a small terminal in the airpot and hopped on an AirSwift flight direct into El Nido. We expected our normal budget airline… but were surprised with a great prop plane and even better service. We were given water and snacks upon arrival at the gate and the staff was fantastic. Our flight into El Nido was quick and beautiful!

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Dear Terrible Dorm Mates… Cebu Edition

It was bound to happen. We had come so far, had so many great roommates. So we are back with another edition of our love letters to bad dorm mates. It’s worthwhile to note that the frustrations of this situation were only compounded by the fact that the beds in this dorm were rock hard and covered in a plastic (too many prior incidents weeing the bed, perhaps).

Dear Terrible Dorm Mates,

There were two of you last night. Traveling separately. I guess we are extra lucky this time around.

The first of you arrived in a sexy leopard onesie (aka romper). You had 3 suitcases and 4 handbags in tow. We were on the 4th floor of a walk up dorm room. You seemed upset with a top bunk situation after tackling all of those stairs.

To help get settled into the room, you decided to clean all of your plastic grocery bags in the bathroom shower and then hang them to drip dry in the room. That made sense.

You took the bunk above Kerry and somehow made a lot of ruckus for someone so tiny.

The second of you arrived around 2 am. We had settled into a terrible slumber on our Ziploc-covered rock beds when you came bounding in. You helped the situation by turning on all of the lights.

Jenny had the pleasure of having you in the bunk above her. Being a not-so-petite male wearing jeggings, you plopped into the top bunk and proceeded to flop around like a fish out of water for an hour. Then apparently you decided to leave the room to go sleep on an actual rock outside, because that was likely more comfortable than the beds in the dorm.

Once again we returned to our shitty slumber. Then Thing One had a bad dream. Which resulted in a lot of noise. Noises that a ghost might make, paired with yelling help and screaming.

After a few minutes of yelling you settled back into normal sleep we giggled for no less than 20 minutes. Thing Two was still out at who knows where. It was 4 am. We made an agreement to blow this popsicle joint if we weren’t getting sleep by 5:30 am.

Lucky for us, Thing Two came back at 5 am and returned to his fish out of water tendencies. Then some random 5th person, in a 4 bed dorm, arrived at 5:30 am. Possibly a lost person, as you didn’t stay long.

Our 6:30 am alarms came all too soon after a night with you fools. Thankfully it was only one night, and now we are Tokyo bound where our only bedtime concern is if we get more than one twin size sheet to share between the two of us.

Forever not yours,
Kerry & Jenny

For those who want to hear our impression of the sounds Thing One made…

The Philippines!

We are safe and sound in the Philippines. Wifi here isn’t the best, so we’ve been rather quiet (clearly!) But we’ll be back soon with updates, photos, videos and all kinds of other juicy information. Until then we will be wandering beautiful beaches and exploring the underwater world.

~ Kerry & Jenny

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Our last stop in Cambodia was Siem Reap. We took the 12 hour overnight bus ride from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap and arrived early in the morning to our hostel here, called Funky Flashpackers. It came highly recommended by some people we met on Koh Rong Samloem, and at first glance, it did not disappoint.

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Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia

On our way to the island, Koh Rong Samloem, we decided to break up the trip a bit and stay one night in Kampot, where we stayed at another Mad Monkey hostel. We enjoyed some pizza and card games and called it a night early, in preparation for the travel day to get to the island.

After a 3 hour bus ride, a 2 hour wait by the pier, and a 45 minute speed boat ride, we made it to a pier where we were picked up by a longboat owned by our hostel/resort…you guessed it…we stayed at another Mad Monkey hostel! The boat took us right to the part of the island we would be staying for the next 4 nights.

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