Asia · 17 Days · 17 Moments · February 2018

Hong Kong and Philippines

1 March 2018

Happy Holi!!!! This is the last post for this vacation. As we are eating breakfast, it's a bitter sweet moment. One one hand we are happy to be returning home and sleeping on our own beds but on the other hand we are sad that our incredible Philippines adventure is ending. Yesterday was a typical travel day with the standard Philippino flight delay (seriously every domestic flight we have taken has been delayed). Our flight was delayed by 2.5 hours so we practically spent half our day at the airport. After landing in Manila we checked into our hotel (which was rather nice with a big room). After resting a bit we headed to the Mall of Asia. It's a huge mall with really good eating places and shops. Clothes are really cheap here so Akanksha engaged in some retail therapy to prepare for the upcoming international flight 😜. For food we tried the famous Halal guys of NYC who seemed to have opened an outlet here. Rest was pretty standard. See you all in Delhi soon. Cheers

28 February 2018

Will keep it short today. As we write this we are at the airport waiting for our flight to Manila. A&A enjoyed "Pig Out" so much that they decided to go there again yesterday. Tried to keep it light and in line with all the first times on this trip (Helmet diving, parasailing) Akanksha decided to try the Oysters. Would be fair to say she is a fan. Arjun tried the Jack Daniels Chicken Wings which were just the right amount of syrupy, crispy & meaty. A&A bid goodbye to DMall by eating mango ice cream, Nutella crepes and Gelato one last time. After returning to the resort Akanksha decided to take a dip in the ocean followed by some chill time in the Jacuzzi. Arjun meanwhile honed his photography and photoshop skills. Tomorrow will be our last post from the vacation, let's see what adventure awaits us in Manila. Happy Holi

27 February 2018

Hello hello. We are getting to the end of our vacation. As the days wind down we are trying to make the most of each day by doing what else but pig out. We literally went to a restaurant called pig out and the food was sumptuous. We had read a lot about it on trip advisor & had to check it out ourselves. Believe me, pictures don't do justice to the food. We ordered the crab burger which was darn tasty and easy to eat as all the meat had been de-shelled and pressed into a nice patty. The servings were also huge. In addition Arjun also ordered the French onion soup which was as good as any he has had yet. After a heavy lunch A&A headed to TomnTom, the famous local cafe to enjoy some nice cold coffees. In between all this Akanksha managed to have her telephonic HR interview w/ GE. We were so stuffed that we skipped dinner (kinda) and chilled in our room. In between all this we managed to head to the local mall for some random shopping. Souvenirs, T shirts etc. Travel to Manila tomorrow.
Redemption. If there is a word to describe yesterday, it would be the word. What a fantastic property Akanksha booked after her hostel disaster. As A&A took a tricycle journey, both knew that a better world awaited them but neither imagined a 18 course golf resort with all the bells and whistles. The resort has 8 infinity pools, 6 bars and as many restaurants. It finally felt like a honeymoon again. Upon check in we were upgraded to a mini suite. The resort is so big that they run 24 hour shuttles to transport guests between rooms and restaurants. After a well deserved afternoon nap A&A went on a property tour to check out the pools and the private beach. The private beach at sunset was ethereal and then the night lights up at the pool side bar & lounge. We decided to eat dinner at their Italian-Asian fusion restaurant & call it a night. Oh in the excitement of the new hotel forgot to mention that we parasailed in the AM. Great fun, no pictures unfortunately as we didn't carry phones.

25 February 2018

Hello my followers. Boracay is awesome fun. Yesterday A&A went for helmet diving in which one basically walks in the sea bed w/ a helmet that helps one breathe normally (no scuba gear). For the first time arjun experienced marine life the way Akanksha had been all along. Unfortunately no pictures since the tour guys gave us our pictures on a CD. Lunch was at DMall where A&A gorged on chilli 🦀 and Arjun finally went to the crazy popular mango ice cream joint (check out the lines). It was so good that Arjun will go there again today. In the evening A&A headed to White beach to view the sunset which was STUNNING. We thought nothing could beat Oslob for views but might need to reconsider. At night the beach turns into a party place and no kidding some of the stretches could rival South Beach Miami. We ended the day by getting some drinks and dinner at a beach side restaurant. Perfect ending to a great day. Today we head for Parasailing. Wish us luck :)
Good morning from Boracay. Yesterday was tiring. 2 flights, a boat ride and multiple cabs later we finally reached our hostel. Oh and I forgot to mention we had a mini scare when one of our connecting flights was delayed. Oh and one more thing, you didn't read it wrong, we actually booked a hostel for our honeymoon 😳. The idea was that it would be lively & fun (easy to do activities) and save some money. Yea well, turns out it's a party hostel & our private room, well it's a far cry from four seasons. As we enter the hostel it's a scene straight out of a teen movie college frat house. Loud music, drunk white people & pool parties. A&A had their first family meeting & decided maybe this isn't the best idea. So after a few phone calls they decide to tough it out for 2 nights & then move to a nice beach resort on Monday. Dinner was at DMall which is a hub of restaurants (typical tourist traps). Arjun enjoyed nice Japanese food & Akanksha had the nutella crepe. Today A&A go helmet diving.

23 February 2018

You known you're on a vacation when the biggest decision you have to take in the day is deciding what kind of massage to get :). Hello family and friends & welcome to another daily update. We are sorry if this is getting repetitive but we are just doing a lot of chilling in our Puerto Princessa leg of the trip. A nice hotel rom accompanied by cool cafes and restaurants nearby are a perfect invitation to vegetate for A&A. Arjun decided to be adventurous with his massage choice and opted for the Cup therapy (the one where they stick suction cups to your back and that leaves really bad marks in your body). Akanksha went for the boring Swedish massage. Speaking of Swedish both of us read the day reading Akanksha's new favourite author (Frederik Backman) and drank a lot of coffee to accompany the reading. We walked down to a little French Asian restaurant called La Terrase for dinner. Today we depart for Boracay which means two flights and a boat ride. Yayy 😒

22 February 2018

Happy Thursday. Or is it Friday? Easy to lose track here. As we said on our last post we made a trip to Honda Bay for Island hopping. After a 30 minute drive, a short wait at the jetty and a 30 minute boat ride we finally reached the first of three islands on our tour - Starfish island. We indulged in a little snorkelling (yes even brave Arjun tried) and saw some beautiful marine life. Lunch was served on the island (fish, chicken, crab and rice). Our next hop was to Luli island. Did a little snorkelling but mostly chilled. Our final stop was Cowrie island where again we mostly chilled and Akanksha got a massage on the island. We returned to our hotel around 430 and chilled the rest of the day. Ventured out for dinner to Kinabuch. Unfortunately they didn't have stock for the crocodile sisig. So Akanksha wasn't a happy camper. Today we plan to totally chill as we know Boracay has quite a few activities lined up for us. Cheers

21 February 2018

Wow. This is a long trip innit. Good thing we get enough rest days in between. Yesterday was one such day. Waking up late, having hotel breakfast, sleeping some more and reading. That's pretty much how we spent our day. Oh I forgot to mention the massage :). The hotel has a nice and small spa which offers treatments at fair rates. In the evening we finally went to the much talked about Kalui restaurant (rated #1 by trip advisor). Turned out to be a damp squib. A very limited set menu followed by average food was a big disappointment. We now know that trip advisor can't always be trusted with restaurant recommendations. Today we set off on the Honda bay island hopping tour which I hear is very touristy but we shall find out for ourselves. Till tomorrow. Adios

20 February 2018

Ni Hao folks. As we start another day we are well and truly in vacation mode when we forget what day it is. As we hinted in yesterday's post, we went on an adventure yesterday. Puerto Princessa is home to one of the new seven natural wonders of the world, the underground river of Sabang. After a two hour drive we finally reached the river. Registrations and paper work took another couple of hours but the river was well worth the wait. The river flows under a mountain and its enclosed by beautiful cave formations that have formed over millions of years due to sedimentation. Huge Stalagmites and stalactites inhabit the cave and form various shapes of the human and natural world. No kidding there was one they say that resembles Sharon Stone 😜. After finishing our tour we returned to the hotel. After a bit of rest we headed to a cute cafe near our hotel for a light dinner. A curious thing we noticed is that we haven't come across one Indian tourist in our time here. Go figure.

19 February 2018

Good morning all. Not too much to update y'all. Yesterday was a travel day. We departed our beautiful Air BnB in Oslob at 730am and after a 4 hour drive we finally reached the Cebu airport. Fortunately the flight was on time and pretty uneventful. The hotel shuttle picked us up at Puerto Princessa which was pretty convenient. The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the room and heading out for dinner. There are two famous restaurants here. One of them was booked for the night so we tried the other one, Kinabuchs. It's famous for its pork trotters, crocodile sisig and wood worm (google it). Unfortunately the latter two were out of stock so we settled for just the trotters, pork sisig and some prawns. Today we head out for an adventure. More on this in tomorrow's post 😀
Goooood Morning! It's the start of a new week and for us today will be the start of it next leg of the trip. We will be flying to Puerto Princessa this afternoon which means another 4 hour drive to the Cebu city airport from Oslob 😣. Yesterday we woke up early again to embark on the sardines and turtle run. A 2 hour drive to Moalboal was followed by a 15 minute boat ride to Pescador island to snorkel (Yes even Arjun was brace enough to get in the water). The islands are known for its marine life especially the millions of sardines that form a whirlpool to greet you. The island is also supposed to be home to turtles but we weren't lucky enough to see one. After our morning adventure we returned to our favourite local restaurant "La Terrase" for lunch. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful (naps and more dips in the pool). As we begin our next leg we are really going to miss this beautiful property. We really hope we can return to this billion dollar view sometime in the near future

17 February 2018

Hola. Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Yesterday was one of the chilliest day we had and was badly needed. We got up late and lazed around in bed for a while before heading to the market nearby for brunch. We totally hogged and Arjun nearly overdosed on coffee (since all he was getting for the last 3 days was instant coffee and this was the first real coffee in a while). Once we got back we took a nap, went to the pool and read a while. This was followed by more time in the pool. ... well I think you get the drift of how our day went. In the evening we went to the local market again for dinner and tried the local dish called Chicken Sisig which was amazing. During our multiple trips to the market we travelled on the multiple transport options here like the tricycle (which is basically a modified motorcycle with a side car) and the famous Philippino Jeepney (from world war 2). Posted a few pictures of the same. Today we wake up early to head out on a trek & some other activities
We feel the diving pictures warrant a special post. Enjoy the pics 😄

16 February 2018

With each passing day this place keeps mesmerising us with its sheer beauty. At the risk of being repetitive the views from the villa and nearby are nothing short of spectacular and I would highly recommend this air bnb to anyone visiting Philippines. Yesterday was an early morning waking up to swim with the whale sharks. These are huge but gentle creatures each the size of a small bus. Oslob is famous for its whale sharks and it was pretty crowded but we had hired a private boat to pick us up and take us. After the swim we returned to the villa for a quick breakfast post which we headed to an island nearby called Sumilon which had the bluest of blue waters ever. Akanksha indulged in some deep sea diving and although it had been 4 years since her last dive and despite a few jitters, she nailed it and saw some incredible marine life. The rest of the day was pretty chill spent on eating and swimming in the pool. Today is another rest and relaxation day. Tomorrow a new adventure beckons.
So after a looooong travel day on 14th which included two flights (with a 8 hour layover due to delays) and. 4 hour car journey we finally arrived at our air bnb at 1230am. Fortunately the check in was smooth as the friendly caretakers were up waiting for us. The rooms are pretty basic but since we were dead tired we just crashed. Next morning we woke up to loud sounds of thunder at 6am and we were quite bummed. However when we got up around 930am the sun was shining and the views were breathtakingly spectacular from our room and villa. Pictures don't do justice to the beauty of Oslob. We pretty much lazed around all day and chilled in the pool. There is a market nearby from where we packed some lunch. Hopefully we can go there to eat in person but transport is a bit of a challenge. This morning we got up at 6am to go swim with the whale sharks. Akanksha snorkelled while Arjun observed the sharks from the boat. Pictures from our whale shark adventure in the next post. Salamat.

13 February 2018

Yesterday we finally started our much anticipated post wedding vacation. Both of us were dead tired, however that didn't stop us from what we do best in a new city.... hogging on some delicious food. Lunch was at a quaint hole in the wall Szechuan restaurant (baos and dumplings) followed by coffee at one of the most beautiful coffee shops I've seen called Coffee Academics. In the evening we took the metro to The Temple Street night market for some delicious road side sea food and aisle shopping. We wrapped up the day and returned home where we met up with Aditi and Anish (Our HK hosts) who took us out for a short walk up "the escalators", a series of multiple escalators that start from central HK and the you up almost to the Peak. Both sides of the escalators are lined with amazing bars and restaurants full of expats. Need less to say that we loved our brief stop over in HK & cant wait to return again. Today we depart for Cebu via Manila, 2 flights followed by 4 hour road trip... FUN!