Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bakheng Mountain Sunset Tour (Siem Reap, Cambodia)

Sunset viewing is one of the things I enjoyed most in my tour whether local or abroad. And I was given the opportunity in Siem Reap to shoot a sunset abroad. Last time I did this was in Phuket, Thailand.

If you are going to have this tour in Siem Reap, the first advice/tip is to come early on the site. It is better to be at the top of the mountain at exactly 5 pm due to the multitude of tourists.

The tour costs 10 USD from my hotel to the jump-off point and vice-versa. Again, it is better to arrive early on the jump-off point. I suggest you better start your trek at 4 pm. The ascent is good for 20-25 minutes only and there are so many tourists flocking their way up to the mountain. 

 The second tip is that there is an existing policy that short skirts, shorts, hanging shirts or sleeveless are not allowed to be worn  by females at the top of the temple. Third tip is the temple can hold only up to 300 visitors.

It was a good thing I listened to my instinct and I trekked as fast as I could. Upon my arrival at the entrance of the temple, there was already a long queue and it was only 4:45 pm.

I had to wait for 25 minutes before I was allowed entry to the temple.

While I was on the top of the temple, I roamed around and saw plenty of tourists waiting for same thing but they were kept busy by their souvenir pictures.

You can practically go around the temple in less than 2 minutes.

Time was drawing near and the sunset was eagerly waited by everyone.

The weather was cloudy that day and I
immediately jumped into conclusion that there will be no majestic sunset but I still waited.

For a couple of minutes, we were given a glimpse of the sunset.

Bahkeng Mountain is best spot to observe the sunset since it is the highest point in Siem Reap.

The sunset did not turn out as expected but it was enough.

The cloud formation blocked the view and I decided to descend.

Going down, I saw this man still patiently waiting for sunset and looking at the horizon.
But I kept on descending and went back to town. Afterwards, I went to the Old Market and had my night tour in Siem Reap.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Siem Reap City Tour (Day and Night Tour)

One of the things that you can do in Siem Reap (aside from the numerous temple tours) is to have the city tour. There are 2 kinds of city tour.  The first one is the 1 day city tour covering the Old Market area, central market, Artisian d' Angkor, and Angkor National Museum for the amount 30 USD. The second one is also called the 1 day city tour covering the old market area, art school, and central market for the amount of 13 USD.

I opted just to go to the Old market and the Angkor National Museum. From my hotel (Lotus Lodge), I paid 2 USD and went first to Angkor National Museum.

It took us only less than 5 minutes before we reached the museum and I immediately went inside and saw their tagline - "The Legend Revealed."

Bringing of camera inside the museum is prohibited and that is the reason why I was not able to take pictures of the relics inside. The museum fee is 10 USD and the tour guide (a machine) costs 3 USD. The entire museum tour usually lasts for 2-3 hours but I was able to finish it it 1.5 hours. I will not go into details of the tour. I don't want to spoil the fun.

After the museum, I went to Lucky Mall and took my lunch there.

Next stop or a few meters away from Lucky Mall is the - Old Market.

The Old Market is a must-see and must-visit place in Siem Reap. It is the only place where you can buy the cheapest souvenirs in Siem Reap. There are lots of souvenir stores in town but the Old Market offers the cheapest. 

And yes, they have Northface and Kipling bags. 

After staying for 3 hours in town, I went back to the hotel. Around 6 pm, I went back to see the night market. Another 3 USD for the transportation.

There were plenty of foreign tourists that night. And it was a good decision on my part to have the night tour at the Night Market. Actually, the site of the Old Market is also the site of the night market.

You can also enjoy the dinner while you are at the night market.

Another spot to visit is the Pub Street. This is the part of the town where you can enjoy your liquor-drinking pleasures.

The night tour will not be complete without trying their local delicacies such as spiders, beetles, snakes and a variety of insects to choose from. But I never had the stomach to try one. 

Last part of the itinerary that night was the foot massage/spa using the doctor fish. And for 3 USD, you will have a beer, 2 USD for one hour and 1 USD for 30 minutes. I opted the last just for experience sake and I enjoyed it.

The sensation while your feet was being cleaned by the fish was at first unbearable but after a couple of minutes, I endured. You should try this experience while you are in Siem Reap.

I enjoyed Siem Reap! 


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Honda Bay Tour 2014 (Puerto Princesa, Palawan)

While onboard the plane going to Puerto Princesa, you will definitely have an idea of what Palawan is all about.

Normally, on a Good Friday, I stay home. But I was in Palawan. It was day 8 in Palawan. I prayed and ask forgiveness and guidance for what I will be doing for that day. With Lester, Jen and I, we booked ourselves to the Honda Bay Tour for the amount of P1,300/pax.

Hadefe Travel and Tours
Mr. Hanny Enor
ERC Plaza Bldg. Room 208, 2nd Floor
Brgy. San Pedro, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines
Tel. No. 048-434-1746, Mobile No. 0920-952-3280, 0917-849-6877
BDO Acct. No. 504-0199555 (Savings Account)
Puerto Princesa City Palawan Branch

We were fetched from our hotel around 7 am in Puerto Princesa and it took us only 20 minutes before we reached the Honda Bay Port. We registered our names and boarded the boat.Although, it was my 4th time to have the tour, the excitement was still there.

There were seven participants in the tour that day. When I had my first Honda Bay Tour, I was given the benefit of hopping in 5 destinations (including Snake Island). But, nowadays, only 3 destinations are allowed in the tour and spots are:

Pambato Reef
Cowrie Island
Starfish Island
Pandan Island
Luli Island

Although, Dos Palmas (P1,950) was not part of the choices. I highly recommend the spot as one of the places to visit (visited it 2011). You can also enjoy scuba diving at Twin Rock, Starfish, Pandan, and Meara for P1,800. Outside of these areas, the cost of the scuba diving is P3,800.

And after 20 minutes from the port, we reached our first stop for the day - Pambato Reef.

Pambato Reef offers the best spot for your snorkeling pleasures. It is actually a small Tubbataha Reef in Puerto Princesa.

After staying for about an hour, we went to the next spot - Starfish Island

Starfish island got its name due to the abundant presence of Starfish in the island. You can see starfish on its waters and fossils of starfish on its beach.

We stayed in the island for more than 2 hours and took our buffet lunch in this island.

Last stop for the day - Cowrie Island.

While Pandan Island and Starfish Island offer the buffet lunch, Cowrie Island is the only island which offers jet skiing and banana boat ride. It also offers coconut juice, halo-halo and a variety of shakes to choose from.

 We stayed in the island for more than an hour and enjoyed its white sand beach, tranquility and clear blue sky.

You can see from our faces that we did enjoy and had a good time in Honda Bay.

Enjoy Palawan!
Related links:
Puerto Princesa and Itinerary -
Top 5 Island Hopping Destinations -

Sabang Beach, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

Sabang Beach is not that popular compared to the beaches of El Nido and Coron. But one cannot simply disregard the beauty and splendor of this beach once you are in Palawan.

It was Holy Friday, 2014. My travel buddies Lester and Jen went to Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) for their PPUR tour in the amount of P1,500/pax. From El Nido, it took us almost 5 hours before we reached the port of Sabang (the jump-off point to PPUR).

Along the way, we stopped at the - Buenavista Viewdeck.

While at the deck, we took souvenir pictures and marveled at the sight of Palawan.

And what a sight it was!

Next stop was - the Karst Mountain (or Elephant Mountain). It became famous because it was one of the places where the Amazing Race was shot in the Philippines.

And finally, Sabang Beach.

 From Sabang Beach -

the Underground River is 5.3 kilometers away 
the Monkey Trail is 5.2 kilometers
the Jungle Trail is 5.3 kilometers
Mangrove Paddle boat Tour is 1 kilometer
Sabang Waterfalls is 1.8 kilometers
Sabang zipline in 1.8 kilometers

Sabang offers more than the usual beach in Palawan. Aside from the tourist spots mentioned, it also offers buffet lunch at the price of P175.00 only. 

Enjoy Palawan!

Related links:
Puerto Princesa and Itinerary -
Top 5 Island Hopping Destinations -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Corong Corong Beach, El Nido, Palawan

It was our last day in El Nido. 

Day 4 in El Nido and we are done with island hopping tours A, B, C and D. We have seen the Nagkalit Kalit Waterfalls and the Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beach. There were other options that day such as Yaposan Beach, Maregmeg Beach (P150-300 using tricycle), and Malugao Beach. But our minds were set only to one place and the nearest - Corong Corong Beach

There were four of us in El Nido. But Lester and Rico were already tired after biking 42 kilometers and only Jen joined this tour. We hired a tricycle for P150.00 (4 kilometers from the town).

After 15 minutes, we reached the jump-off point. The spot is called Las Cabanas or  near Yolanda's Tourist Inn.

Jen's main goal is to try the zipline and I accompanied her to the spot. We had to ascend for 15 minutes before reaching the zipline.

Jen paid P500.00 for the zipline. Unfortunately, it was only a one-way trip that day. We were told that the other line was not available.

And there she flew!

Descending, I took the wrong trail and ended up in the beach. The wrong path took me to Corong Corong beach rather.

I walked towards the island and fetched Jen. 

And we went back to the jump-off point. But this time, we took a different exit.

Corong Corong beach is the widest beach that I have seen in El Nido.

While walking along the beach, we could not help but notice that there were a lot of foreigners (mostly, Caucasians), sunbathing and reading pocketbooks while tanning.

Finally, we reached the end of the beach and we had to ascend once more for our ride back to the town. Good thing we decided to go to Corong Corong Beach.

It's Really More Fun in El Nido!!  

Hadefe Travel and Tours
Mr. Hanny Enor
ERC Plaza Bldg. Room 208, 2nd Floor
Brgy. San Pedro, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines
Tel. No. 048-434-1746, Mobile No. 0920-952-3280, 0917-849-6877
BDO Acct. No. 504-0199555 (Savings Account)
Puerto Princesa City Palawan Branch

Nacpan Beach, El Nido
Catian Beach, Bar and Restaurant
Contact nos. 0910-609-9996 / 0926-703-1507

El Nido Municipal Tourism Office
Phone: +639177887024

Related links:
El Nido Island Hopping (Tour A and B) -
El Nido Island Hopping (Tour C and D) -
El Nido, the Adventure of a Lifetime -