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…

Perth, Australia Part Deux

While Jenny continued traveling through Vietnam and into Cambodia, I opted to backtrack a little and revisit Perth. Our 2 months in SE Asia left me exhausted and homesick and I was ready for a return to routine and “normal” life as I used to know it. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to get from Nha Trang, Vietnam to Perth, Australia, so I spent about 24 hours traveling back to the land of Oz. Most of this time was spent on long layovers in Saigon and Kuala Lumpur.

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Nha Trang, Vietnam

The next stop on our Tour de Vietnam was Nha Trang. This was a town we were originally very excited to visit as we were longing for lazy days on the beach. However, as we worked our way south, all we heard from fellow travelers was how they did not like Nha Trang due to one thing: the abundance of Russians. Despite what we heard, we kept our original reservations and intended to stay for a week and enjoy the views.

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Hoi An, Vietnam

Through the first part of our trip in Vietnam all we heard was about how great Hoi An was. Of course we had to go and see for ourselves. Hue, also known as the Ancient Town, is absolutely adorable, easy to get around by foot or by bike, famous for the lanterns that light up beautifully at night and for custom made tailoring… and also has a beach. What’s not to love?!

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Hue, Vietnam

We left Hanoi for the final time on a Thursday night, cozily tucked in to the back of a sleeper bus. Our main mode of transportation throughout all of Vietnam were these buses. The first experience on a sleeper bus was to Sapa and it was not terrible, so we agreed to buy an “open bus” ticket for Vietnam. That meant we could travel between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with stops in Hue, Hoi An and Nha Trang, for $34 each. And we could stay in each stop for as long as we wanted.

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Halong Bay, Vietnam

On our first night in Hanoi, our dormmate told us about a trip she had just been on to Halong Bay that she booked through a hostel nearby. When deciding our rough itinerary of Vietnam, Halong Bay made the short list, but there were SO many options when it came down to how you booked it. You can stay overnight on boats, go with tours, or book it all yourself, including the multiple means of transportation it takes to get there. We were thrilled when we met a girl who had a great time on an organized trip there that was budget-friendly, so we stopped researching and went to Central Backpackers the following morning to book our excursion!

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