Tag Archives: island

Travel Vlog | Siargao, Philippines

8 Nov
I just uploaded my #travelvlog about this beautiful island. In this video, you’ll see some of the spots we visited.
 
Harana Surf Resort
Cloud 9
Jacking Horse
Daku Island, Guyam Island, Naked Lakawon Island Resorts
Magpupungko Tidal Pools
 
It’s the kind of island that makes you fall in love. If you’re looking for a chill and fun holiday in the Philippines, I definitely recommend this little paradise.
 
I hope you’ll enjoy watching this, guys! 😉
Oh and don’t forget to subscribe to my new website, friends! I mostly post there, www.jamiefournier.com. IG is @jamieintransit and youtube, too. 😉
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10 Things To Do in Siargao, Philippines

4 Nov

I’ve just recently marked off Siargao from my list of places to go to in the Philippines and I’m glad I did. Now, it’s one of my favorite islands in the country. Here are a few suggestions of places to go to and activities to do, if you should ever find yourself in this paradise.

Here’s the link to my blog about Siargao: http://jamiefournier.com/10-things-to-do-in-siargao-philippines-2/ ❤

surf

Wanderlust: Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa, Palawan

25 Aug

It’s easy to make your mind up about something. Sometimes, unconsciously, we shut an idea, a person, or a place out due to certain triggers out there.

I’ll be honest, though the abduction of the tourists in Dos Palmas happened when I was only 17 years old, I’ve never quite forgotten about it.

Maybe that’s why I never gave this place a chance. I never once added this to my list of resorts to go to.

I’m glad that I was inspired to change that this month as I would never have discovered the perfect quiet getaway for those weekends wherein you long for a lil less of the craziness, and more of you…well you (and the special person or people you travel with), and nature.

Some things, or places in this case, deserve a second chance.

I’ll list my reasons for eventually, throughout the weekend, falling in love w this place.

But first, here’s a collage of what my weekend was like over there:

  
Special thanks to Trio for the wonderful app which I now use for my mash-ups(to download, here’s the link: http://tap.trioapp.co/jamiefournier).

Now, back to my reasons:

1. It’s Easy!

They make everything so easy. We booked through Globe Trek Holidays, Inc. (A big thanks to them too) and all we practically had to do was confirm and pay for our room. Once we were done with that, all we really had left to do was make sure we’d make it to our ridiculously early flight (5:20 am). We were picked up at the PPS airport, brought to the wharf  for our one hour journey to Dos Palmas and all the facilities, kayaking, snorkeling, and the like were for free. All we really had to pay for was our food and, ahem, drinks. 

 
  

2. Excellent Customer Service

And I mean the-going-beyond-what-is-expected-consistently kind of deal. All smiles from our first minute there to our last. This applies specifically to their servers at the restaurant. We didn’t really get to explore much as we had built a routine during those three days: Room-Pool in the morning (aka Sun Time) – Lunch at the resto – Beach time (aka Sand and Music time) – Dinner time (aka Grown-Up drinks time – Room time ( aka Movie and/or Balcony w A Wonderful View time). The point is the staff members we got to interact with were so accommodating!

Erik from the midshift, yes you, we love you!:p

3. The Food

Prawns. Crabs. Delicious Grilled Chicken. A good buffet for breakfast. Best part? All reasonably priced! Well, may I just add, the buffet breakfast comes with the room package. Free, yes.

And, yes, I’m awful. Why? I didn’t get to take pictures of the food. We were following a strict no-phone-on-the-dining-table rule.

If you go, try their Inasal (Grilled Chicken), Gambas, Prawns, and their Crab with either Coconut Milk or Sweet Chili Sauce. And, yes, we had both. We are now about 5 lbs heavier but who cares when it comes with priceless holiday memories. Okay, we do. Pilates and gym time this week, yep. 🙆😋

4. For its Stillness

Throughout the weekend, we kept wondering where the other guests were. There were times when we felt we were the only ones there, apart from the times we spent at the restaurant.

This place is perfect for couples and families.

   
   

 
 
   

  

 

  

My Overall Experience

Because of the specific reasons listed above, I came out of that weekend trip feeling rejuvinated and a lil more ready for the hectic week ahead. 

Although it was a quick getaway, it was enough to give us beautiful memories, badly needed for individuals like us who are mostly stuck in the metro. And yes, it was enough for me to conclude that someday, maybe even sooner than expected, I’d find myself there again.

I meant what I said, I have discovered the perfect hideaway!
Thanks GLOBE Trek Holidays, Inc and Dos Palmas Island Resort and Spa for making this amazing weekend possible!



To book:

You can contact GLOBE Trek Holidays, Inc.:

GLOBE Trek Holidays, Inc.

Unit -B 322 Villareal St.

Pasay City 1304

Philippines

Tel: (63-2) 8816558/8335388/8339349

Telefax: (63-2) 8335388

Mobile: (63) 917-8991648

E-mail: globetrek@pldtdsl.net
Or contact Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa:

Contact details are found on their website –  dospalmas.com.ph

  

Wanderlust: Phuket, Thailand!

21 Dec

Where do I even begin?

I have about roughly 1000 pictures from this trip, a few videos, wonderful memories, soulful new friends, and battle scars to document out of this 7-day trip of mine.

My traveler friends always find it slightly shocking when I say that this has been the longest trip I’ve ever taken this year. Out of the four out-of-the-country trips I’ve taken in 2014, this is indeed the longest. Most of the time, I escape only on weekends. And, sometimes, when I’m lucky, I get to add another day and have three days all in all. Status quo for my trips is always fly out on a Saturday, come back on a Monday.

So why did I go for it? I celebrated my birthday last month, and despite knowing how busy my December will be, I decided to give myself the gift of time and disappearing in a place I’ve never been to before.

I’ve gone to Thailand twice, but never to Phuket. The first time was in Pattaya and the second, in Bangkok.

I have to say, out of my three Thailand trips, this side is my favorite. I have, however, yet to see Chiang Mai. This place I surely must visit for the lantern festival in the near future.

Anyway, back to my Phuket trip.

I went barely with a plan in mind. I had two thoughts, get to Patong, then head to Ko Phi Phi.

This is the route I ended up taking:
Phuket town –> Patong (Barely a day) –> Ko Phi Phi (3 days) –> Railay (1 day) –> Kata Beach (2 days)

This is what it visually was like for this route:

Stop 1:
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Stop 2:

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Stop 4:

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There are other islands that I hear are good that I could have visited like Ko Lanta and Ko tao that would have been nice stops, but I guess it only means I have to head back.

The only way I can probably talk about this trip of mine is to talk about each place, each stop, and all that I enjoyed (and didn’t enjoy) doing while I was there.

Let’s start with the infamous… PATONG!

Even before I flew to Thailand, one of my friends had already warned me. Don’t go to Patong! “It’s a red light district,” he said.

Considering I got to Phuket at about 10ish, I was in a rush to choose a place to head to and Patong seemed to have a good hostel there so I ended up choosing that as my first stop.

From the Patong airport, you can take a cab which is about 700-900 Baht. I opted for the mini-van, because it’s only for 150 Baht.

Although, the first indecent proposal I got there was at the airport where you are tasked to book the van ride. “You come with me, and ride free…”

Uhmm tempting (…not), but no thanks.

The van ride is about an hour and maybe 30 minutes or less. I remember getting to the place, Bodega hostel, at about midnight.

The only thing I could pretty much do aftet that, according to the nice receptionist, was head to Bangla Road. You see, I never knew what Bangla Road was prior to my field trip there. I had asked the receptionist where I could get street Pad Thai and he quickly said “Bangla Road.”

Excited for my street pad thai, I freshened up, left my bags, and headed to the streets.

I stopped at a pharmacy and asked where Bangla Road is and one guy who was buying medicine as well chuckled and said “You won’t miss it…it’s the noisiest part of this area.”

And he was absolutely right. Bangla Road was just about 5-10 minutes away from where I was staying. One thing that surprised me, though, was how it transported me back to my shocking trip to Pattaya.

“Ahh, so this is what my friend meant,” I thought to myself.

I felt rather uncomfortable walking around, so I quickly found my spot, which is highly disappointing for my first meal during this trip, but I ended up in Mcdonalds, ordering what I normally get, Mcchicken and fries.

I cannot be blamed, though, as a female lonesome traveler, all I wanted to do was eat and be gone!

And that I did.

Below are some pics of my hostel in Patong and Bangla Road:

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Recommendations for those who plan to stay in Patong:
– If you’re the type who likes hostels, I give Bodega 3.5 stars out of 5. I like that it’s artsy and the beds are comfortable (except for the pillows), the lockers in the room, and most of all the really helpful and nice receptionist.
– From the airport, if you take a mini-van, they will take you to a tour company. Please do not avail of the trips there unless you know it’s the cheapest. I got talked into buying a van+boat ride to Phi-Phi deal for 500 Baht. Had I read Bodega’s thank-you-reserving-a-room-email, I would have known I could have gotten it for only 350 Baht. Oh well, lesson learned.;)
– Go eat at No. 6 Restaurant. That’s probably the only place I got to eat at because I had to leave for Phi-Phi. How did I find out about it? I asked one of the guards in one of the streets in Patong, and he said that was one of the best. They were good, yes, but I still heartily missed the street food in Khao San Road in Bangkok.
– Go see the beach! I certainly wasn’t able to go.

Next stop… Ko Phi Phi!

Oh beautiful Ko Phi Phi. It wasn’t much of a hassle to go there. For 550 Baht, I was able to get a van ride and boat trip to the island.

I didn’t know what to expect, all I knew was everybody, and I mean everybody, told me to make sure I won’t leave Phuket without a trip to Phi Phi.

As an obedient girl (hah!), I did exactly that and boy am I glad that I did! The minute we caught a glimpse of the island, everybody was obviously in awe of the place. Picturesque. The beach. The longboats. Everything
was just so lovely!

Here are a few pics of Phi Phi:

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Things to do in Ko Phi Phi:

1. Go on tours! I went for the Ibex Tour which outlined about 4 stops, including Maya Bay. I only got to enjoy about 2 since I got myself into a bit of a predicament after cliff diving. Despite this, I absolutely enjoyed the experience! Well, admittedly, it could’ve been better without my injured eye and back.:p

Below are some pictures to show you how beautiful this tour was for me (and the whole group):

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2. The only other thing to go for aside from going to the other islands or on tours is to check the night life and the restaurants or food stalls there.

The best bar I got to go to there was Banana Bar. Rooftop. Big screens. Music Videos. Good drinks (Loved their Hawaiian Margarita). Great vibe!

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Other party places are lined up mostly by the beach. Stones. Blancos. Ibiza. And the list goes on.

You’ll see electrical rodeo bulls there. Fire dancing. Fire limbo rock. Buckets for drinks.

If that’s what you are after, Ko Phi Phi is the right place for you.

Here are some pics of my first night there:

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3. Food. For those who’ve read my other travel blogs, you’d know I’m not a big eater. I did, however, enjoy some of my favorite Thai dishes while I was there. My favorite spot is but a stall on the way to the beach called Ko Phi Phi Fast Food.

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Other places to try are Grand PP Arcade and Capu Latte.

Aside from those two, I must say it’s quite easy to find an eating spot. There several food stalls and restaurants all over the place.

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4. Enjoy the beautiful beach! I stayed at Stones Hostel so it was quite easy to do this. Stepping outside was all I needed to do to enjoy the sun and beautiful view.

There are lots of options for accomodations and it really depends on what you prefer.

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Next stop: RAILAY!

Oh beautiful Railay! I moved to another island because three days in Ko Phi Phi was enough for me. I had seen and done all there was to do.

I’m so glad I chose Railay because I saw the best beach there. I spent only a day there, but, boy, was it enough!💗

Beautiful scenery. Lesser people. Quiet hideaway. Peaceful. It was a welcome change, after spending three days in Ko Phi Phi.

Here are some beautiful pictures of Railay:

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The highlight of this stop was the trip to Phra Nang Beach.

The walk to the beach itself was already amazing. The beach, even more mindblowing.

Despite carrying my backpack (with my fractured spine–an unknown fact then), I still loved every minute of it!

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Oh and when I saw the beach, I completely fell in love. I’ll let the pictures show you why:

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We stayed at Diamond Cove Resort, by the way. Beautiful and serene place:

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By the way, I paid about 350 Baht for a boat ride from Phi Phi to Railay.

After my Railay stop, I had to decide on where to go to be near Phuket for my flight back to Manila.

I didn’t want to go back to Patong and it seemed like the most logical thing to do was head to Kata.

Kata is a lil more quiet than all the other spots I went to. I would say it’s more of a family or couple destination.

I had fun though, thanks to the wonderful folks I met. I stayed at FIN Hostel. I loved how it looked; it was so vibrant and beautiful. I loved their rooftop pool and common area.

One of the highlights was seeing another lonesome lit lantern up in the sky! My newfound besties and I tried to look for one while I wasn’t there, but to no avail. The sweethearts found one on the night I left though and lit and let it fly for me!

Oh such sweet friends they are!

Anyway, here are some pics from Kata:

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Here are some pics of FIN Hostel and my newfound besties there:

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Countless beautiful islands. Wonderful beaches. Soulful new friends from all over the world. Sunsets. Swimming with planktons. Lanterns. Amazing, precious memories.

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Thank you, Phuket!

Will I ever head back? Definitely! Sans cliff diving and injuries, of course.;)

Wanderlust: Camiguin 2014

17 Jun

When I was younger, a year would not be complete without heading to my grandparents’ favorite island, Camiguin.

I have the best memories of our Along family trips there. All my cousins. All the great home-cooked meals our caretaker Manang Sela and lola would prepare. The swing by the coconut trees at our garden. My grandparents’ 50th anniversary when we all performed for them on the steps of our cottage. Story telling sessions with dads and titos. My favorite person, my lolo, at the porch drinking his Tanduay with his sons. My lola busy preparing food and activities for the next day. Paras Beach Resort where we would sometimes stay. Their Pizza Paolo. White Island, my favorite place. My mom getting kicked by a horse while carrying me when I was still a baby (lol). The first and only time I saw falling stars. Ardent Hot Springs. Sto. Nino Cold Spring which was my favorite tourist spot when I was younger. The Blue Lagoon. Long walks on the shore with my tita-slash-mom Ninfa while picking seashells. The rocks where we used to hang out at (or you could say on :p). My brother Desi’s beautiful wedding on the very same rocks.

Yes, I can go on and on to share more priceless memories about this place but I would bore you to death because that will take forever. The bottom line is this place will forever hold a special place in my heart as it reminds me of my grandparents and my childhood.

So when I was told we would go there for a day, I could not help but be extremely excited about it. You see, the last time I went was five years ago when my brother chose to marry the love of his life on the rocks in front of Paras Beach Resort where we used to go to, play at, and hang out at as kids. Yes, five years ago! So even though I only had one day to enjoy there, I was more than thrilled to go despite the long travel time.

For those who have not gone, below is a breakdown of hours to get there from CDO:

*Road trip from CDO to Balingoan – Approximately 2 hours (We left at 9 am, got there before 11 am)

*Boat ride from Balingoan to Camiguin – About an hour and 30 minutes (We left at 11 am and go there at about 1 pm)

*Our cottage and the resort we stayed in, Paras Beach Resort, are both in Yumbing and the road trip going there took about another hour or less.

The travel time was well worth it though! Even just spending a few hours there got us so relaxed, it was definitely a day well spent!

Sharing some pictures with all of you from my most recent quick trip to Camiguin.

Our grandparents’ quaint little cottage. When they were around, you’d see my grandfather always at the porch and my grandmother either busy with her beautiful garden or busy cooking the most delicious meals at our kitchen. The rest of us were out and about, either at White Island, by the rocks, or walking along the shore.

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What we normally do is stay at Paras Beach Resort and have our meals at our cottage. Manang Sela, who is still our caretaker, cooks amazing fresh dishes which you can mostly only have in provinces like Camiguin. Below are pictures of Paras Beach Resort. Oh and by the way, our room which is good for six individuals was only for P3,500. It’s a loft-type unit which is perfect for friends traveling around the island. My brother Jackie and I wanted to take home their pillows because of how comfortable we were, which we didn’t do of course. Jackie who spent his holiday drinking nights away found himself asleep at 9 pm. Yes, that’s what Camiguin does to you.;)

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When we were younger, it was a must to go to all the tourist spots. Now though, the only place I really always want to visit whenever I’m there is White Island. It’s a 15 minute ride away from Paras Beach Resort which only costs P450 for the boat.

You’ll see why I love this sand bar just by looking at the pictures.

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We stayed at White Island from 3-5:30 pm. Oh, and by the way, we bought drinks before heading to the island.

By the time we got back, all we really did was have dinner, a few drinks, and we slept early.

The next day, we had Manang Sela’s cooking for breakfast. She makes the most amazing scrambled eggs, by the way, and we hung out till we had to leave at 10 am.

Our last stop was one of my grandfather’s favorite restaurants in Camiguin which is what we often call The Blue Lagoon. We didn’t have the time to eat but we had their coconut shake which was really good.

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For those who are going for the first time, a day is simply not enough! There are so many places to see! Below are a few suggestions:

1. Ardent Hot Springs – I suggest you go here at night. Quite a relaxing experience, if there aren’t a lot of people around of course.

2. Sto. Nino Cold Spring – It’s nice to have a picnic here with the family. Be prepared, the water is extremely cold but I used to love it when I was younger.

3. Katibawasan Falls – I don’t remember much about this place because it’s been a while since my last visit but I remember this being beautiful and cold! Be prepared to hike though as it is part of getting there.;)

4. The Sunken Cemetery –
I feel it’s necessary to share the history of this tourist spot with you, so here
‘s TripAdvisor’s description of the place:

“The whole capital of Camiguin, with its cemetery, sunk under the sea. In the following years, the sunken land and the gravestones can still be seen. when the tide is low. But in 1948 until 1953, Mount Vulcan erupted again, sinking the whole area deeper, to around twenty feet. In 1982, a large cross was built on the solidified lava to mark the site that became the graves of the ancestors of the Camiguin people. It has become a sunken cemetery.”

Source: http://www.silent-gardens.com/camiguin-sunken.php

5. Old Gui-ob Church Ruins

This is to witness a bit of the history of the island. Here remains the remnants of the 1871 Vulcan Daan eruption. It gives you a glimpse of how Camiguin was during the Spanish era.

6. White Island – Which I have already mentioned above. The pictures I’ve shared are, I believe, enough to convince you to go!

7. Vjandep Bakeshop – I know it’s a bit odd to include this but I’ve witnessed the growth of this bakeshop and it’s just nice to see where it all started. When I was younger, we’d normally have this as our last stop so we could bring home boxes. The business grew exponentially and all I hear from people when I travel to CDO is “Please bring me Pastel.”

I believe the first bakeshop is still there, but I didn’t get to go during my last trip so I’m not exactly sure. The boxes of pastel are also available at their bakeshop in CDO, almost all the stores in the said city, the Laguindingan airport, and even here in Manila.

8. If you are going during the Holy Week, you’ll see quite an interesting sight! Loads of people walking around the island with one goal in mind: to go around just by foot for their religion. Some also, which I’ve done before with the family, hike up the Stations of the Cross. It’s always crowded during this time of the year but, again, it’s great
to witness all the activities that they have during this time.

9. They also have the Lanzones Festival which is held every third week of October. It’s to celebrate the Lanzones fruit, which constitutes the most important livelihood in Camiguin. Street dancing competitions, parades, parties, and beauty pageants. That’s the list of activities you’ll enjoy if you go at this time!

10. Last but definitely not the least: Do yourself a favor and try out their Lechon there! It is, by far, the best lechon I’ve ever had. In fact, whenever we’re there, we always have it. I’m not scared to claim this but, for me, it is even better than the Lechon from Cebu.:p

Those are my suggestions for you if you ever choose to go. Sometimes I think I’m a tad bit biased because I am completely in love with this place for obvious reasons. I mean I did grow up having summer vacations there with my family.

When people used to ask me to describe it years ago, I’d always say “untouched, virginal, our little paradise away from home.”

I’m proud to say that now, even years after, I can still say the same thing.

Camiguin is the place to go to if you’re seeking a little paradise far away from the city. Yes, it is still very much untouched and virginal. It still is and will forever remain one of my favorite places in the world.

Random Pop-up: Camiguin

21 May

This island, soon. Hopefully.

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My Shots: Coron

30 Dec

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