May 5th was Children's Day, a national holiday in Korea. My school did not have class the 6th and 7th so they informed me that I would be using those two days as vacation days. So, I decided to take a short trip. There were three countries I threw around but the Philippines came out the winner.
Since I was traveling alone, and all the literature I read (about my original destination of the Philippine capital city of Manila) told of the kidnapping dangers for blonde haired, blue eyed travelers, I decided to go to Cebu. I booked a "backpacker's 4night/5day tour" for my adventure. Since I booked for one person, I had all private tours! It was great! I did a lot of sightseeing, got a massage every night and went to the HUGE mall to shop and eat dinner almost every evening as well.
I took over 300 pictures. I will post a few here and give you some highlights.
Started at midnight- bus from Ulsan (my home city) to Seoul airport. Flight from Seoul to Manila– then another flight to Cebu. I was in the same outfit for 20+ hrs and got about 5 hrs of sleep on the bus, in the airports, and on the planes. I arrived in Cebu late evening, went to the hostel to check in. Then went to the nearby mall to grab dinner before my massage, then bed! The hostel was HUGE. This is a picture of the hallway.
Behind each door is 8 beds. There were 5 floors of this!! WOW, not like most hostels I have been in. It was clean, airconditioned and had 24 hr electricity.
~ Day 2 ~
Private car picked me up at 8:30am. Took a 2 hour ferry ride to neighboring Bohol island. There, I was picked up by my private tour guide who showed me the sights and told me the history of Bohol.
I ate lunch on a raft that floated down a fantasticly scenic Loboc River.
I also visited the Chocolate Hills. They aren't really chocolate– they just look like big mounds of chocolate when the grass on the many (over 1,000) mountains turns brown. Beautiful!
Another highlight was seeing the Tarsiers. They are about 5" tall and look like a monkey, but eat insects and are nocturnal.
So, these photos (with their eyes open) are especially a treat!
They're only found in the Philippines.
~ Day 3 ~
Day three was my favorite! I was on a private boat where my tourguide and two boatmen took me island hopping!
WOW! I felt like a queen! Here I was riding on the end of the plank, looking out on the vast ocean, with one of my island destinations ahead. I distinctly remember one of the thoughts in my head at that moment: "I put up with the rough times, so I can have moments like this!"
I recently bought a new camera and really got to put it to good use this day! It's waterproof (without a bag) up to 33 feet! What a beautiful world of colors and wonders the ocean is! Various shades of greens, blues, browns and yellows were everywhere!
Snorkeling was definitely the highlight of the trip. This was near a marine sanctuary so I got to see lots of various types (and sizes) of fish.
I did get a SUNBURN though… inspite of the fact that I put on sunblock –(30spf)– TWICE!
~ Day 4 ~
Kawasan Falls was the adventure on the agenda for day 4. It was amazing as well! The falls were about a 3 hour ride from my hostel and well work the ride, then 45 minute hike to get there.
There were three sets of waterfalls. Each took about 15 minutes' hike from the previous one. The views were breathtaking!
I got to ride a bamboo raft under the main waterfall (the one above on the left)….. so nice! I will try and post a video of the event on here as well. If you're claustrophobic you won't want to view them. We had to lay down on the raft to float under a large rock– it was the only way the raft could get behind the fall.
I think everyone should play like a child every now and again! It's good for the soul!!
I played in the water a lot this trip!
~ Day 5 ~
The last day was basically a day of travel. My tour guide picked me up from the hostel at 4:15am in order to get to the airport on time for my flight. I flew from Cebu to Manila, then Manila to Seoul. I arrived in Seoul at 5:20pm and had to catch the last bus at 6pm from the airport. Fortunately, I didn't have any checked baggage and I ran fast enough to beat the crowds at the immigration line. I had time to use the restroom and grab a quick "meal" (McDonald's) before boarding the bus for my 6 hour ride home. I was exhausted by the time I arrived at my apartment. Posted a few pictures, then hit my bed so that I would be well rested for school 6 hrs later.
WHAT A FABULOUS TRIP!!!