Tag Pages For: beaches


Malapascua Route Map
MAY 2016: Click here to read our Philippines Retirement Reviews. OVERVIEW: As with many other destinations in The Philippines, the cost of pre-booking nice accommodation online was too high for a GRANDPAcking Budget. Malapascua Island prices were comparable with El Nido, Boracay, Panglao and Bantayan prices. High. Very high. Accommodation in The Philippines ‘known tourist destinations’ is, generally, a problem for GRANDPAckers … the accommodation is poor value for money. Everywhere. Anything less than PHP900 per night is likely to be backpacker rather than GRANDPAcker Standard. PHP2400 / day is our total GRANDPAcking Daily Budget! As a rule, I try and keep accommodation costs to no more than 50% of our Budget; this […]

Malapascua – Philippines – Where To Stay


  MAY 2016:   Why not read our Philippines Retirement Reviews. OVERVIEW: Bantayan Island is located in the Visayan Sea, Philippines. It is situated to the west of the northern end of Cebu Island and across the Tañon Strait. Bantayan Island is a well known tourist destination in the Philippines and it is increasing in popularity. White Beach is the most popular tourist spot on the island. Unlike Port Barton, El Nido, Coron, Boracay and Panglao … Bantayan remains uncrowded and still retains some of its ‘character’. It is not (yet) over-run by Western tourists – who are still out-numbered my Filipino tourists. For GRANDPAckers, Bantayan is expensive (yet still affordable). Read on … […]

Bantayan – Philippines – Information


MAY 2016: Click here to read our Philippines Retirement Reviews. OVERVIEW: As with many other destinations in The Philippines, the cost of pre-booking nice accommodation online was too high for a GRANDPAcking Budget. Bantayan Island prices were comparable with El Nido, Boracay and Panglao prices. High. Very high. Accommodation in The Philippines is, generally, a problem for GRANDPAckers … the accommodation is poor value for money. Everywhere. Anything less than PHP900 per night is likely to be backpacker rather than GRANDPAcker Standard. PHP2400 / day is my total GRANDPAcking Daily Budget! As a rule, I try and keep accommodation costs to no more than 50% of my Budget; this […]

Bantayan – Philippines – Where To Stay



  MAY 2016:   Why not read our Philippines Retirement Reviews. OVERVIEW: Panglao is connected by 2 bridges to the south of Bohol. The island has an area of 80.5 square kilometres (31.1 sq mi). Panglao Island is one of the main tourist destinations on the Philippines. Alona Beach is the most popular tourist spot on the island; it is noted for its white sand and clear water. Like Boracay, Panglao has become crowded due to opening of more and more restaurants and bars. There are also a lot of attractions for tourists such as SCUBA diving, island hopping, dolphin watching, snorkeling, kitesurfing and fishing. For GRANDPAckers, Panglao is […]

Panglao – Philippines – Information


  MARCH 2016:   Why not read our Philippines Retirement Reviews. OVERVIEW: Boracay Island is only 10 km² and is located 300 km south of Manila and just north of Panay Island, Visayas. For GRANDPAckers, Boracay is expensive but (unlike El Nido, Palawan) Boracay DOES live up to its ‘hype’; this really is paradise on earth. At a price. Boracay has almost perfect coconut-tree-lined, white-sand beaches and turquoise-blue waters. Boracay is one of the top beach destinations in the world. But… read on. GETTING THERE: I made my own way from Carabao To Boracay by pump boat. The pump boat leaves from […]

Boracay – Philippines – Information


MARCH 2016: Why not read our Philippines Retirement Reviews. INTRODUCTION: I was staying on White Beach Station 3 in Boracay Island for 5 weeks. I wanted to see the rest of the island to see what else it had to offer… BY FOOT: The cost of a scooter in Boracay is a ridiculous PHP2000 / day. You can take Tribikes to different places at PHP10 / kilometre (shared) or look to charter a Tribike for a day (which wouldn’t be cheap). Boracay Island is only 10 square kilometres. So, I decided to walk it over 3 days: The South, The East, and The North. […]

Boracay – Philippines – Around The Island By Foot



FEBRUARY 2016: INTRODUCTION: I was staying at the AGLICAY BEACH RESORT on Tablas Island. I was impressed by what I had found. The Aglicay was the best value for money accommodation that I had found in my 5 weeks in The Philippines so far. The room was a good size and clean; so was the ensuite. It had a lovely beach setting. However, when you use online search engines, there are very few Hotels listed for Tablas Island (less than 10). I wanted to know whether or not there were more such places around the island that were not on the internet… did […]

Tablas – Philippines – Around The Island By Scooter


JANUARY 2016: INTRODUCTION: I was staying in Puerto Princesa and one of the top 2 things that are recommended online is a trip to Honda Bay; so I decided to jump on my scooter and go and have a look up the east coast. I was hoping to find something similar to what I found when I went from Padang Bai to Amed By Scooter back in Indonesia… beautiful scenery with picturesque sandy bays and little fishing villages… I planned to do a 150km round trip. I set off at 10:00am and stopped at the start of the North Road just after […]

Puerto Princesa – Coast By Scooter – Philippines


JANUARY 2016: Click here to read our Vietnam Retirement Reviews. Click here for detailed Quan Lan – Vietnam – GRANDPAcking Costs. Read about Vietnam Visa. OVERVIEW: My stay over Christmas and New Year 2015 in Cat Ba Island left me feeling that I had not seen enough of Halong Bay. So, I looked north to the lesser known islands… GETTING THERE: I organised my own way from Cat Ba To Quan Lan. Please note that before you get onto the ferry out to Quan Lan you have to register your passport and Vietnamese Visa details with the police. You have to do the same when […]

Quan Lan – Vietnam – Information



  DECEMBER 2015:   Click here to read our Vietnam Retirement Reviews. Click here for detailed Cat Ba – Vietnam – GRANDPAcking Costs. Read about Vietnam Visa. OVERVIEW: I really enjoyed my time in Hoi An, but it was time to move on. I was looking forward to getting ‘more active’ in Cat Ba Island / Halong Bay. It was time for some ‘adventuring’, some kayaking, some trekking, and a trip by boat around Halong Bay. Cat Ba is the biggest island in Halong Bay and roughly half of the island is a National Park. GETTING THERE: To get from Hoi An to Cat Ba, I flew […]

Cat Ba – Vietnam – Information


  DECEMBER 2015:   Click here to read our Vietnam Retirement Reviews. Read about Vietnam Visa. OVERVIEW:  Hoi An was the principal port of the Cham Kingdom, which controlled the strategic spice trade with Indonesia from the 7th to the 10th century and was a major international port in the 16th and 17th centuries – and the foreign influences are still there to this day. While the serious shipping business has long since moved to Da Nang, the heart of the city is still the Ancient Town / Old Town, full of winding lanes and Chinese-styled shophouses, which is particularly atmospheric in the evening as the […]

Hoi An – Vietnam – Information


  NOVEMBER 2015:   Click here to read our Vietnam Retirement Reviews. Read about Vietnam Visa. OVERVIEW: Welcome to one of the biggest building sites in the world! Phu Quoc island is very similar to Otres Beach, Cambodia. Not surprising given that Phu Quoc lies off of the Cambodian coast. Price-wise, they are also very similar. {… this post is still under construction…} GETTING THERE: I travelled from Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc on a personalised Mekong Delta Tour. ARRIVAL: You arrive at the Ferry Port on the south east of the island. From there you can catch a taxi direct to your hotel […]

Phu Quoc – Vietnam – Information



OCTOBER 2015: Click here to read our Vietnam Retirement Reviews. OVERVIEW: I arrived in Phu Quoc via a Mekong Delta Tour. I had already used BOOKING.COM to book 4 nights into the Lien Hiep Thanh Resort (about 4km south of Duong Dong). I booked 4 nights because Phu Quoc is a big island and I knew that it would take me 2 days to have a good look around. My objective was to find the best place to stay for the remainder of my planned 3 weeks on the island. TRANSPORT: When I arrived in Duong Dong, I was dropped off at the minivan offices […]

Phu Quoc – Vietnam – Around The Island By Scooter


FEBRUARY 2015: OVERVIEW: To read about Arriving in Koh Phayam click here. In contrast to Malaysia, when you land in Thailand you land back into a more dis-organised, less- structured world where things just some-how happen. People drive using ’the force’ and don’t necessarily obey the rules of the road. On the islands, English is spoken widely and you can generally get understood – by both the locals as well as the tourists.   KNOW THIS FIRST: The minimum wage in Thailand isn’t much different from that in Indonesia (see my write up on Gili Air for more details). Having said that, islands like […]

Koh Phayam – Thailand – Information