Malaysia-Vietnam (DIY-Budgetravel)

Day 1 – Malaysia

 

Malaysia & Vietnam are two different countries and we traveled it in two days. Yes, crazy enough to have a sneak peak with quickie tour with these two Asian countries. Time is the limit since we don’t have enough leave credits and as well as funds to wander a lot, so here is our solution.

Arrived in Malaysia around 6:00pm and we smoothly get out from the airport without any hassle since we already booked our bus ticket online prior to travel. Yes, we used bus from KLIA to City center of Kuala Lumpur to save a lot of money. I will tell you why, in bus you will only pay RM 12.00 (Php 162.00) and travel time is approximately 1hour. Hence, if you opt to take KLIA express (LRT be like) from Airport to KL Sentral (stop near city center) will cost you RM 55.00 (Php 743.00) and travel time will be 30-35 mins only. Maybe if you are in rush then this will be the fastest way to reach the city center. Since we are not, we used bus and the good thing is the bus station stop is just walking distance from the hotel we booked. But unfortunately since we have not checked maps before hand we take teksi (taxi) from bus station stop to hotel, the good thing is the teksi driver is very much approachable and kind.

We’ve tried their street food in our dinner and stroll around nearby places. It was tiring yet enjoyable while we explore the city at night since we only walk nowhere and just follow where our steps will lead us. To the point we almost reach the back side of Petronas Twin Tower and half of it we almost take a little glance before the rain haunted us down the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur.

The following day we checked out directly in the morning so we will not get back anymore during checkout time. This is the benefit if you will not bring big luggage bags or trolleys, backpack is enough so you can carry around wherever you will go.

We captivated the stunning beauty also of Batu caves that has a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu, which flows past the hill. It is the tenth limestone hill from Ampang.

 

Day 2 – Vietnam

Arrived in Vietnam around 1:00AM in the morning. Since it is really a strange country to us, it is very hard to communicate with locals. Most of them cannot speak English and we find it hard to use grab going to city. There is no available public buses during that time also. So, we are forced to take taxi from the airport itself and unfortunately the taxi charged us more than even double the metered fare. Since we’re tired and really wanted to sleep we did not mind it that much and continue to checking in with the capsule type hostel we booked online. Good thing is the capsule is really convenient enough to accommodate our weary body.

We woke up around 9:00AM and fix ourselves, take our sumptuous breakfast and rush a bit in the city area.

Inside the tunnel you cannot even try to stand, all the way you can only crawl. I could not imagine how Vietnamese able to live for a long period of time during the war. In all, at least 45,000 Vietnamese men and women are said to have died defending the Cu Chi tunnels over the course of the Vietnam War. In the years following the fall of Saigon in 1975, the Vietnamese government preserved the Cu Chi tunnels and included them in a network of war memorial parks around the country. he Cu Chi tunnels were built over a period of 25 years that began sometime in the late 1940s during the war against the French. The excavations were used mostly for communication between villages and to evade French army sweeps of the area. When the National Liberation Front (NLF) insurgency began around 1960, the old tunnels were repaired and new extensions were excavated. Within a few years the tunnel system assumed enormous strategic importance, and most of Cu Chi district and the nearby area came under firm Viet Cong control. (Refer to link for more reads.)

The City is rich with history and probably I will plan to re-visit Vietnam again to explore the other side of this country.

 

 

See below for the site visited and total expenses of our travel.

✈Malaysia – March 5
📍9 spots
📌National Textile Museum
📌Merdeka Square
📌Cathedral of Saint Mary The Virgin
📌Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
📌Royal Selangor Club
📌Sultan Abdul Samad Building
📌Sri Mahamariamman Temple
📌Batu Caves
📌Petronas Towers

✈️Vietnam- March 6
📍5 spots
📌Củ Chi Tunnels
📌Independence Palace
📌War Remnants Museum
📌Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica
📌Saigon Central Post Office

Plane Tickets:

1,919 – Philippines to Malaysia
1,409.67 – Malaysia to Vietnam
3,541.62 – Vietnam to Philippines

Accommodation:
455 – Malaysia (per head shared by 2)
588 – Vietnam (per head capsule type)

Malaysia Transportation:
168 – KLIA to City (each via bus)
700 – Rapid KL card for LRT (each)
800 – use of taxi (1,600 for 2)
167 – City to KLIA (each via bus)

Vietnam Transportation:
1,150 – use of taxi (2,300 for 2)
600 – Cu Chi Tours (each)

Food:
1,500 – Malaysia (each)
900 – Vietnam (each)

Total Expenses = Php 13,897

 

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Cebu and Bohol (DIY-Budgetravel)

Note: This trip was 6 years ago (lol). 

Cebu is a popular destination among Filipino’s and has also captured the fancy and attention of millions of foreigners from all over the world. As a matter of fact, there are thousands of Koreans who visit Cebu Island every month.

We are a group of friends from Iloilo that has taken the opportunity of seat sale about months prior to our trip. We spent almost Php700/- each for a return ticket (Iloilo-Cebu-Iloilo).

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While waiting our flight at Iloilo International Airport.

Since we have chosen the flight after office timings, we reach Cebu City at night. Stayed our first night in Sugbutel, and since we are all budget travelers we chose the cheapest yet comfortable beds for all of us. We then came up with the bunk beds for only Php 300/- per head for one night. We got lucky ’cause we are 5 and one room is good for 6 persons maximum so it is like we occupied the room too. The bed itself has its own small cabin underneath where you can put all your belongings safely. The bathroom is common and it is out side the room but it is clean and well maintained by the hotel staffs.

Day1 – Discovering Bohol

Waking up earlier than 5am in the morning to catch the 1st trip of Fast Craft to Bohol at 6am. Arrived in Bohol and meet the tour guide/driver we have contacted. Eat our yummy breakfast somewhere down the road recommended by our tour guide.

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Sagbayan Peak –  is a mountain resort and recreation center located in the town of Sagbayan, about 45 miles northwest of Tagbilaran City. Offering a 360-degree perspective view of the famed Chocolate Hills plus the distant blue sea separating Bohol from the island of Cebu.

ShipHaus – It is a house owned by Capt Gaudencio Dumapias, a native of Batuan who became a successful mariner. … There is a roof deck that resembles the front of the ship from which you can imagine looking into the endless ocean while taking some refreshments.

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Bamboo Hanging Bridge – crossing the Sipatan River in the Municipality of Sevilla, Bohol, is a fun tourist attraction. Originally constructed using just bamboo and rope, today the rope has made way to steel cables, giving added safety and stability.The deck of the bridge is formed out of woven bamboo slats. In places some of these appear broken but its still sturdy enough to take the weight of tourists, locals and even small motorcycles.

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Chocolate Hills – is a famous tourist attraction of Bohol. They are featured in the provincial flag and seal to symbolize the abundance of natural attractions in the province. The Chocolate Hills are a geological formation in the Bohol province of the Philippines. There are at least 1,260 hills but there may be as many as 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilo meters. They are covered in green grass that turns brown during the dry season, hence the name.

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Rajah Sikatuna or Man Made Forest – is a protected landscape area of forested limestone hills, grasslands and natural springs in the island province of Bohol in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. It is the largest remaining tract of natural forest in Bohol and one of the Philippines’ top birdwatching sites. The park was initially gazetted a national park in 1987 covering approximately 9,023 hectares.

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(photo of my sister in her travel 2017 – because I’ve lost some of our pictures)

Sandugo or Blood Compact Shrine – was a blood compact, performed in Bohol between the Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, the chieftain of Bohol, on March 16, 1565, to seal their friendship as part of the tribal tradition. This is considered as the first treaty of friendship between the Spaniards and Filipinos. “Sandugo” is a Visayan word which means “one blood”.

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Danao Adventure Park – The Park is located at barangay Magtangtang, 72 kilometers from the City of Tagbilaran and only about two (2) hours ride away. As of December 2008, the zip line in Danao town, province of Bohol is the Philippines’ longest and tallest zip line. It traverses around half a kilometer from one mountain to another, taking you to a one-minute exhilirating ride.

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… and a lot more!

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Antique (DIY-Budgetravel)

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We have planned this travel as “bff goals” yet it turned out to an “epic goals” each time when we are together. Due to the shortage days of my vacation and she has some other indispensable things to manage with, we are unable to set the proper date for this travel. Furthermore, a very unsociable stormy weather since it is December. But, as the quote says “rain or shine” we will make it real.

Antique – is a province of the Philippines located in the region of Western Visayas. The province capital is San Jose, the most popular town in Antique. The province is situated in the western section of Panay Island and borders Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo to the east, while facing the Sulu Sea to the west.

How to get there: From Iloilo City take bus or van to San Jose Antique. We chose van so it could be little bit faster than bus. It will cost you Php 100/- per person.

First Stop – San Remegio (The Little Baguio)

The main reason we visit here is the famous blooming rafflesia flower (that can normally be found in Malaysia) in Brgy. Aningalan, San Remigio, Antique. Unfortunately, during our visit the said flower is out of blooming period. So, we headed to what they called “Little Baguio” of Antique,  where you can find some strawberry plantation. The strawberry garden is only open every weekend (Saturdays and Sundays) from 8:00am to 5:00pm. It only asks for a minimal entrance fee of Php 30 per head. The farm is about 880 meters above sea-level. Aside from strawberries, the farm also produces chayote, cabbage, lettuce and other fruits.

How to get there: From the town market, ride a jeepney going to Aningalan Php 20/- per head and from Aningalan hire a “habal-habal” – the term for motorcycle going to the strawberry garden for Php 400/- motorcycle (You have to be good in negotiation because some will charge you even more). You can reach Aningalan Strawberry Garden for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Second Stop – Tibiao (The Kawa Hot Bath)

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We decided to spend the 1st night in Tibiao, since this is the next place we wanted to invade. We stayed in Kayak Inn for Php 1,000/- per night for two. Being there for me is creepy. If you can imagine a “bahay kubo” at the middle of the night and the only light that will bright up your whole night is a candle (kasi it so happened the walang kuryente that night pa mismo). Then you will hear the sound of some dogs barking, frogs mumbling from the riverside of the bahay kubo, and the crippling of crickets.

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The Bahay Buko

But the morning view it is an awesome experience and very relaxing kind of morning. First thing in the morning is we climb up the “Bugtong Bato Falls”. Bugtong Bato Waterfalls is a 20-minute hike from Kayak Inn. There is a mandatory guide-fee of P150/guide from the barangay station. The falls has 7 levels altogether but only the first 3 levels are frequented by visitors – and so we reach until 3 levels only (‘coz my sexy friend couldn’t handle anymore to carry some legs going up lol). The trek and rope climb coming up in the first 3 levels make it little bit hard but a complete awesome experience.

After couple of hours trekking, we decided to have our refreshing kind of bath. The “Kawa Hot Bath” – the main reason why we visit Tibiao. Kawa – is a hiligaynon term for “big fryer” you can say. But this Kawa in Tibiao is uniquely used like a bath tub and literally fired from the bottom of it while you are inside the kawa. They put some seasonings too, lol. Some leaves and flowers are added to the kawa that brings some relaxing sensation and aroma while you soak yourself in there. And it really feels good though at first I don’t really want to soak in “cause it’s literally hot. But once you’re inside already it’s actually not. One Kawa Hot Bath is Php 200/- only, and it feels way better that luxurious spa.

How to get there: Ride a bus/van bound to San Jose, Antique and tell the driver/conductor to drop you off at Brgy. Importante, Tibiao. The travel time is around 2 hours or less. We chose to ride a van since its almost 7pm already, it is faster compare to bus. Fare is Php 130/- per head. And from the drop off station, ride “habal-habal” – the term for motorcycle will cost you Php 70/- per head.

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Solo Travel – Armenia (DIY-Budgetravel)

Solo travel isn’t always simple. It challenges my courage, enthusiasm and willingness to adjust to situations out of my comforts. Yet, because of solo travel, I’ve met different kinds of people, and had an adventure I don’t think I would have otherwise. Being alone has trained me a lot and opened great doors to something new in life. A kind of life you would not expect you will find your true meaning of happiness. Yes, you hear me right; I’ve found happiness in my solitude. A right mind of at peace heart.

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Katoghike Church-Yerevan, Armenia

The last church I visited before flying back to UAE.

The oldest surviving church in Yerevan, the Katoghike Church. Its current form dates to 1936 , when the old cathedral church of Yerevan, a substantial but undistinguished basilica rebuilt in 1693 was slated for destruction in the name of urban renewal.  In front of the church is a small collection of khachkar and other sculpted fragments from the core of the destroyed basilica. The church is now very active.

When the time I visited the church there is no mass, so very few were there. It is very solemn place and feels like I was on 13th century way back then. One thing I observe when people are going out from inside, they walk backward to the door. So, I do the same though I am not used. I was thinking maybe this should be a must position. One old lady was beside me going out backward also, so I make a sign to her to go first, but she insist and having full smile on her face. This kind of experience when going alone is such an amazing dilemma. She approach me outside in their language (which I did not understand of course). So I said, “English please.” She then smiled and said “Little English. You going tour?” I answered, “Yes.” That smile on her face is telling me that she has a lot to say but she cannot speak English that much. She then asked, “Are you from Vietnam or China?” I smiled to her and said, “No Madam, I am from Philippines.” I saw that glow in her eyes and a bigger smile on her face, that makes me so proud also being Filipino. She uttered “Philippines? Really? So, you alone? Blah blah blah….”  ( a lot of words she’s saying that I could not understand.) She is pressing my face and saying some words in their language. I am not understanding her anymore so I waved goodbye to her and said, “Nice meeting you, your place is very nice.” I don’t want to speak more as she could not also understand that much. So she said “enjoy and safe trip”. Those words from a stranger made me feel glad.

I realized that no matter how big the world, no matter how hard the struggle you may face, there will always be some person who will treat you good. I am amazed how God created such beauties around the globe. That there is such kind of people and places continue protecting and saving the memories of yesteryears that had passed by through generations.

 

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Pictures taken : October 25, 2016

By: mspoetrm

What travel means to you?

Travel means a lot to different people, this sounds very exciting isn’t it? In this article i will share some of my traveler friends’ opinion. And i would love to share mine too, wouldn’t you?

For me, travel is no other word as awesome as it is! Where you can rest your soul, find your whole being that you never expect you could be. Yes it may sound pathetic but it is! We may not know the real essence of getting into your shoes, roaming around, get into wet water, the mud that sticks upon it. Yeah, it is simply like that. But the depth flow of it is awesome to our soul. Believe me, this is something unusual than usual. It is kind of taste that life must savor to, a kind of melody we must sing with, the echo that must be repeating on our nerve! Would it be a chance to escape from the cruelty that earthly things could hang up, a challenge where every envy will pass through.

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Here are some of gathered thoughts from my friends who loves to travel too: 

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“When i hear the word Travel ,  one thing comes immediately in my mind and that is freedom. it gives me the opportunity to come out from the life I have in the office. I just wear the clothes that I want, eat food that I crave-that’s freedom.” – Jalen Myr Dela Cruz

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“For me travelling is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate God’s wonderful creation. And also, you get the chance to mingle and meet new people.” – Maryjean gomez

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“It is a sweet escape from reality.” – Ludielyn Aniban

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“Travel is spreading my wings and fly like I’m giving myself freedom,to discover what else I can do,to conquer my fears,meeting new people and learning their cultures.” – Jean Pilar

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“Travel means for me,firstly let myself witness the beauty of earth.Secondly,appreciate every scenery,traditions,and culture of every nations.And lastly,explore the world and thru this,me myself will be more independent and confident.” – Jennie Rose Gido

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“Travelling for me is to experience being in a place where you’re not used to, an adventure. See different places where you get to learn something about that place. To meet people that you haven’t met in your life and learn their culture, try and taste their local food. And of course as i said i want it to be with either my family or with friends. Kasi gusto ko meron ako kasama sa mga memories.” – Glecy Perez Merino

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“Travel to me means of course it is about spending almost 80% of your savings😆 just to enjoy and explore places that you’ve never been visited before. To travel in any places is a way of pampering yourself and to enjoy life’s pleasure.” – Christine Forteza

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“For me travelling means new experience and recharging myself.As you travel you learn so many things about different culture,food and people. It’s also a reward for yourself for being hardworking and free yourself for the negative energy.” – Aileen Joy Pocsedio

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“To paint a smile,to capture heart’s desire, to discover, to learn, to live, and to be happy. As what they say, travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer. Therefore, travel to collect moments, travel to enrich memories, and travel to be richly blessed with nature and memoirs.” – Razel Aguirre

Continue reading “What travel means to you?”

Garin Farm – San Joaquin, Iloilo (DIY-Budgetravel)

I remember my most memorable travel experience started this way…

Woke up in the morning, breakfast chitchat in my friend’s pad, and just right before we stand up on the table, agreed to go out of town. All dressed up and ready to go, suddenly we remember we only have 400 pesos in combined and some small bills and coins. That was so ridiculous, isn’t it?! Yet we still head up to the place we decided to go, Garin Farm San Joaquin, Iloilo.

Took a jeepney cost us about 25php each. Almost for one and half an hour, we reached the destination. We don’t really have any idea what kind of activities will be there, so we just decided and agreed to look around and just have a picture taking with the scenery.

Approaching to entrance gate; Entrance fee: 150php each! We both look at each other and started laughing out loud, 350php left and for heaven’s sake, we need to get back home for 50php. So we can gamble that 300php for the entrance just to get in! Ok, closing our eyes paid the entrance; get our tickets, and viola! We started to roam around from down, saw plants, animals and many others. We also started taking crazy pictures.

We were almost near to the middle top of the place and there is this view that takes our breath away! That kind of view started to convince us that we need to gamble and try the activities. We both again look at each other and started to frown our faces and then laugh at our poorness!

Of course, it will not just end like that! My friend called her dad, to let us borrow 1,000php and to send to any remittance center immediately. Yes, her dad made it in just a couple of minutes and…… Viola! We tried kayaking, pedal boat, fishing, climbing the 456 steps as you enter the pilgrimage, your way up, there are different life size statues of the different biblical scenes such as The Last Supper, The Agony in the Garden, The Crucifixion and Ascension of Jesus and a lot more. At the top you will see the Divine Mercy Cross. Believe me; it is going to be worth it. A paradise kind and breath taking view you will meet. One thing that envies my heart the was the running water in the pool, the reason we cannot dive into is because we don’t have swimming attire, and it will empty our pocket if we will rent or buy from their store.




Lastly, the highlight, we are about to go down from the top, and the rain started to pour playing with us. Still it never stops us enjoying taking pictures and the rest of the view! But, what a camaraderie kind of experience, since we tried fishing and catch some fishes, (by the way it is out first fishing experienced) we are enchanted to bring the fishes we got. So, just imagine a picture of two rushing to take a tricycle (you need tricycle to reach the terminal going back to city) because the rain became heavy while carrying fishes in a plastic bag with them. Ofcourse we are already half shattered of rain.


Indeed, it was a very memorable experienced out of enough penny in our pocket. I realize that happiness is really not measured of how huge the amount of money in your pocket, but how you manage the resources in petty shortage in order for you to be happy.

Our total damage 👌😬

7 – jeepney to mohon terminal

25 – jeepney to Garin Farm

150 – entrance fee

40 – kayaking

30 – fishing

50 – pedal boat

100 – food (sandwhich and water)

10 – tricycle to jeepney terminal

25 – jeepney back to city

7- jeepney to home

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444×2 = 888php – total cost
Date of travel: May 2, 2012

PS: This was before – no “heaven on earth” structure yet.