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Southeast Asia is filled with hidden gems but for me my favourite has to be The Philippines. Although its starting to become more popular, it still often gets overlooked when people are planning trips around to this part of the world. Nobody has really figured out yet just how wonderful The Philippines are, and some are wary because of the stigma about how dangerous it is (I felt more safe here than I did in Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia). Not to say that The Philippines are perfect (getting around wasn’t easy, and the food wasn’t exactly my favourite), but it’s definitely close.

As I just mentioned, traveling around wasn’t easy and it also wasn’t cheap. I tend to play things by ear and since most of our flights were booked somewhat last minute it ended up being the most expensive part of the trip. From Manila to Puerto Princessa was about 100 USD. The Philippines around like other parts of SE Asia where you can take a bus or train for cheaper- the only other option was a ferry that took 28 hours (I’m good thanks). From Puerto Princessa to the most popular

spot on the island, El Nido, was another 6-7 hour bus ride depending on whether you take the van or bus. I personally recommend the bus, the vans are quicker but they pack them tighter than the underground during rush hour so depends which is more important to you. So with only 11 days before we flew to Hong Kong was decided to stick with one island. Palawan seemed to have the most to do and came highly recommended by other bloggers so it seemed like our best bet.

We stayed at Outpost Beach Hostel which I can not recommend enough, apart from the fact they were undergoing construction but they are set to be done in April 2017. Best view I’ve ever had from a hostel and the staff makes you feel right at home. It’s about a 10 minute ride in a tricycle from the main part of town but personally I would much prefer staying on the beach to staying in town. The food was incredible (they hired a real Italian chef), and usually I’m not into eating western food in Asia but as I mentioned previously Philippine food is commonly agreed upon as not the best in Asia. In my experience it was either WAY to salty or WAY to sugary. I don’t know whats up with that but in all honesty in made a lot of the local food almost inedible. That being said, I had some of the best meals I’ve ever had in The Philippines (all of them were Western, most were Italian). Two of the best Italian meals we had when we were there were called Bella Vita and Altrove. Bella Vita has a really good continental breakfast and its right down the beach from Outpost, and Altrove was in town. There is always a massive line outside but it’s worth the wait.

We stayed in El Nido for 10 days which is more time than people spend there but we were still really sad to leave. There are so many boat tours to do, because there are so many islands. They break the tours up by putting the islands into categories A, B, C, D, E. Tours do combinations of these and you could be on a boat for 3 days and not even see all the islands El Nido has to offer,

and each one is more stunning than the last. Personally I would recommend making sure you see the big & small lagoon because you get to kayak which was really cool. Snake Island and Helicopter island were beautiful as well. The ONLY place in all of El Nido I wouldn’t recommend is Secret Beach. For anyone who has been to Maya Bay in Thailand where The Beach was filmed, this is where it was actually based on and it is somehow even more crowded than Maya Bay. Probably one of the worst kept secrets ever. But the best thing to do is get a group together and hire your own boat for the same price and they can just take you to the places with the least people. On the first tour we did we had lunch on a beautiful island (never found out the name) and not one single boat joined us the whole afternoon. This is the significant difference between The Philippines and Thailand- it’s just as beautiful, but not too many people have figured that out.

Another cool thing to do while in El Nido is to see the waterfalls. If you’re comfortable on a bike the ride is about 45 minutes and the views are amazing. You get to see where the people of Palawan live and the children playing at school. There are 5 waterfalls in total and it’s a good way to spend the day as there are places to jump into the water and they are also very refreshing, definitely worth a visit.

On our way back to Puerto Princessa for our flight we stopped for two days in Port Barton. I can not recommend this place enough. Absolutely adorable and so beautiful, Port Barton has almost no tourists at all. We stayed at a family run place right on the beach for 10 dollars a night. Only downside would be that the electricity only ran from 530-11pm but it didn’t really make that big of a difference for us. At night we were invited to the beach to watch a movie with all the local kids that was being projected onto a building and we already felt like part of their little community. The best meal I’ve ever had in Asia (and maybe ever), was at a small Italian run pizzeria type place right down the street from where we were staying called Gorgonzola, ask any local where the good Italian place is and they’ll point you straight there. They hand-make all the pasta right in front of you and the sauces were absolutely incredible. We ate 6/6 meals in Port Barton there and would have continued to eat there if we’d stayed longer.

Last stop was Manila and it was more of a travel hub than anything. We went a little above our budget to get a nice place with wifi, and just rested for a day. We did manage to see Old Town which was nice but Manila is definitely not a must-do if you aren’t a city person. We went to the mall next to Trump Tower, and there was a food court at the top that had some really good western options and the view of the city from the top wasn’t bad either.

Other random helpful info about The Philippines:

Money:
It’s cheap. Water averages out at about .40 cents and most meals at about 4 USD depending where you go. Again, the only thing we found expensive was transportation. Accommodation is pretty similar but definitely cheaper to most places in SE Asia, a nice private room would usually average out at about 30-35 USD per person if there are two of you, but if you’re really low on cash you can find dorms for 5-10 per person. Pukka hostel right next door to Outpost is good for private rooms and they make a great banana pancake. The bus from Puerto Princessa to El Nido was about ten dollars so transportation in general isn’t expensive- just flights. Tricycle rides are about 1 USD for a 10 minute drive they will try and charge your more but you just have to be adamant that you know that’s what it costs. Sometimes I just pay what they ask but I’m stubborn so I always make sure they know that I know I’m being played.

Other places to visit:
Coron- Definitely sounds like it’s worth the trip if you have more time, its a 7 hour ferry trip from El Nido, and it sounds like a great place to go diving.

Cebu- Another place we would have loved to go but it would have cost about 150 extra and we didn’t have an abundance of time. The waterfalls are incredible but beware of the whale shark diving if you care about the environment because its’ a tourist trap and it has messed with the migration patterns of the whales.

Boracay- This was initially on our list but apart from difficulties getting there we also heard a lot of negative reviews. It seems to be the only places in The Philippines that is said to be overly touristy. It’s touristy because the beaches are beautiful but I talked to many tourists who said there are beaches just as beautiful but not so overrun and crowded. By the sounds of it, Boracay resembles the Phi Phi islands a bit so its perfect for someone looking for constant partying and big crowds.

Tricycles:
The most popular mode of transportation for short distance and definitely the cheapest, tricycles are basically just a motorbike attached to a cart. Sometimes they are only attached by a zip tie so its a miracle they even stay in one piece. They comfortably fit 4 people but I’ve seen families of 8 so just depends how comfortable the guy is (or how badly he wants the money).They all sound like they’re on the verge of breaking down but for a dollar split between 3 people I’d take just about anything. They move pretty slowly but all in all they get the job done.

Wifi:
My personal experience was that it was better off to just not even try. Every now and then you could get a good connection but the whole of the island hasn't really gotten up to date with wifi, which personally I think was kind of a relief. Getting away from screens for awhile was a nice break and a lot of the time we just left our phones at the hostel for the day. The only problem was when we needed to book flights and it could be a bit frustrating but messenger worked well so we often had other people do it for us. I do think they are starting to get up to date with it because so many people depend on wifi so I would guess that in the next few months it will be much better.

Safety:
​Because of the war on drugs here people tend to worry about how dangerous it is but there is only one piece of advice you need to follow in The Philippines: don't do drugs. Most people I spoke to that live here wont even go near a joint. The stories of people who get shot in the streets “for no reason” by authorities are all shot because of drugs. That is the only thing that sets it apart from the rest of SE Asia as far as safety, people get robbed and bad stories circulate around hostels but the same goes for any place. I’ve had more issues with safety in Europe than I have Asia so it just comes down to making smart decisions and sometimes luck (or lack thereof).

There are over 7,000 islands that make up the country so to see all there is to see in The Philippines it would probably take a lifetime but locals say to see the good stuff you would need about 6-8 weeks. In my opinion now is a great time to go, especially to Palawan, because its touristy enough that there are good hostels, restaurant and tours, but not so touristy so that all of those places are too crowded.

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Här mina vänner är en video jag och Shaun filmade här om dagen i Scarborough beach. Områded tillhör staden Perth som ligger på Australiens västkust. Hit kom vi för ca 3 veckor sedan men har endast bott i Scarborough 1 vecka. Det är super fint här verkligen så kan varmt rekomendera ett besök hit om ni har vägarna förbi Perth.

Det är det ideala resemålet vid Indiska oceanen. Kristall klart vatten, ont om folk på stränderna trots att det är så nära in till city centret och lång vit sandstrand. Det bara skriker tropiskt paradis här, vill aldrig lämna.

För någon dag sedan slog jag till och besätmde mig för att investera i en drönare (drone engelska). Det sved lite i plånboken kan jag säga men oj så fina videos/bilder det blir. Helt klart värt det i mina ögon, speciellt jag som vill försöka jobba på mina video redigerings skills och utöka min Youtube kanal (hitta den HÄR) Jag köpte drönaren DJI Phantom Professional. Den filmar i 4K, 30fps och 12 megapixlar vilket gör att bilden blir krispig och fin. Är super nöjd med mitt köp och kan lova att fler videos som denna kommer komma upp inom kort, så håll utkik både här och på Youtube.

Om ni gillade videon så får ni gärna ge en tumme upp/dela den och vill ni subscriba min kanal så blir jag ännu gladare. Hope you like it! 😃

// So friends this is a video me and Shaun filmed the other day at Scarborough beach. The area is a part of the city of Perth, located on the West coast of Australia. We came here about 3 weeks ago but we have only stayed in Scarborough for 1 week. It's so nice here and i really love it. I can really recommend a visit here if you are passing by Perth.

It is the ideal destination of the Indian Ocean. Crystal clear water, not much people on the beach even though it is so close to the city centre and not to mention the long whitesand beaches. It just screams tropical paradise here, don't ever wanna leave.

A few days ago I finally decided to invest in a drone. The wallet wasn't very happy but wow it really gives you so nice videos/pictures. Definitly worth it in my eyes, especially since I'd like to work on my video editing skills and expand my Youtube Channel (find it here).

I bought the drone DJI Phantom Professional. It records in 4 k, 30 FPS and in 12 megapixels, which makes the image crispy and nice. I'm super happy with my purchase and can promise that more videos like this one will come up very soon, so stay tuned both here and on Youtube.

If you liked the video feel free to give it a thumbs up/share it and if you would subscribe to my channel I'd be even happier. Thank you guys, hope you like it! 😃 //


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    Hej på er!

    Äntligen har jag lyckats sätta ihop videon från Thailand. Vet inte varför det tagit sådan tid, eller jo det vet jag föresten. Min Mac Book har strulat väldigt mycket på sista tiden och klarar inte av mina redigerings program. Vet ej varför faktiskt, men ska lämna in den till en Appel butik så det får ta en titt på den.

    Hur som helst, här är resultatet av 1,5 månader i Thailand. Rest från storstad till små öar, ätit mat från gatustånd, dykt ner till 30m i stora skeppsvrak, blivit matförgiftad, dansat till soluppgången och sätt platser så fina, att jag behövt nypa mig i armen för att tro att det var sant och bara levt livet.

    Något som faktiskt irriterar mig nu såhär i efterhand är att jag önskade att jag visste eller snarare hade motivation till att filma mer, innan vi gav oss ut på vårt äventyr i Sydost asien. Om jag hade haft det, hade jag kunnat bjuda på så mycket häftigare klipp. Menmen, får helt enkelt åka tillbaka. Ska nämligen vilken dag som helst investera i en liten grej som kommer ta videos upp till en helt ny nivå... Spänannde!

    Längtar redan tillbaka till den där avslappnade känslan som jag bara känner i dessa länder. Ligga på en kritvit strand, sippa på kokosnötter och vart du än lägger blicken, så ser du hur vacker den här planeten är. Jag låter videon tala för sig själv, hade 1,5 fantastiska månader här med vänner och min fina kille Shaun.

    Glöm inte att subscriba min Youtube och ge en tumme upp ifall ni gillade videon. Tack!


    // Hello what's up you guys?!

    I've finally managed to put together a video from Thailand. Don't know why it's taken so long, or well I actually do know. My Mac Book has been a little slow lately and it seems like it can't cope with my editing programs. Don't know why really, but I will hand it to an Appel store so they'll have to take a look at it.

    Anyway, here is the results of 1.5 months in Thailand. I have travelled from big cities to small remote islands, eating a lot of streetfood, dived down to 30 meter in shipwrecks, experienced BAD food poisoning, danced to the sunrise and seen places so beautiful, I had to pinch my arm to believe it was true and really just lived the life to the fullest.

    Something that actually annoys me now is that, I wished I knew or rather had motivation to shoot more before we set out on our adventure in Southeast Asia. If I had, I would have been able to offer so much cooler shots. Oh well, I simply have to go back. I am actually any day now, invest in a small little thing that will take videos up to a whole new level ... Exciting!

    Already miss that relaxed feeling that I only get in these countries. Lying on a whitesand beach, sipping on coconuts and wherever you lay your eyes, you can see how beautiful this planet really is. I'll let the video speak for itself, it's been a 1.5 great months here with friends and my lovely man Shaun.

    Don't forget to subscribe to my Youtube and give a thumbs up if you liked the video. Thank you! //

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    Under vår resa genom sydost asien fick vi ett spontant ryck, och bestämde oss i sista veckan av vår semester att besöka Kambodja. Vilken toppen ide!

    Vi åkte buss från ön Koh Chang som ligger i östra Thailand, till gränsen Thailand/Kambodja. Där behövde vi byta buss och stämpa våra pass för att få ett giltigt visum. Liksom i Bali fick vi även problem med passen här (se inlägg om Bali HÄR ) dock var det inte mitt pass som krånglade denna gången utan Shaun's. Tänker inte gå inte in på detaljer men vi kan ju säga såhär: kolla gärna passet två eller varför inte fem gånger innan ni reser, om ni verkligen har 6 månader kvar innan utgångsdatum. Kambodja är nämligen inte ensamma med regeln om att en måste ha minst 6 månader kvar på sitt pass innan det går ut.

    Hur som helst, väl framme i Sihanoukville Kambodja, som var vår slutdestination gick allt bra. Checkade in på ett fint hotell som jag verkligen kan rekomendera. Miiya hotel heter det och ligger väldigt bra till. Det är nära till restauranger, strand (kan varmt rekomendera stranden Otres beach) och piren där båtar till Koh Rong och Koh Rong Samloen avgår ifrån. Vi spenderade 5 nätter här tror jag det var och tyckte det var lagom. Eftersom detta var slutet på vår resa kändes det väldigt skönt att bo på ett och samma ställe en längre period.

    Här i Sihanoukville åt vi gott men framförallt billigt. Ni som tycker Thailand är billigt, åkt över till Kambodja och ni kommer bli förvånade. 50 cent för en öl är inte dåligt och en bra middag för två gick på 5 $. Jag trodde faktiskt inte att det skulle vara så stor skillnad mellan Thailand och Kambodja men det var det verkligen. Här var det inte alls lika turistigt (även om vi befann oss i ett av de mest turistiska områdena) priserna som jag nämnde tidigare var betydligt lägre, kulturen var mer bevarad och fattigdomen mer påtaglig. Trotts det tyckte jag ändå att människorna var mer gästvänliga och glada. Refererar därför gärna Kambodja som "The real land of smiles". Hett tips från mig är att besöka Kambodja, jag kommer definitivt besöka landet inom en snar framtid igen.

    // During our trip through Southeast Asia, we got a spontaneous idea, and decided in the final week of our vacation to visit Cambodia. What a great idea!

    We took the bus from Koh Chang which is located in eastern Thailand, to the border Thailand/Cambodia. Where we had to change bus and get a stamp in our passports to obtain a valid visa. But just like in Bali we got problem with the passports, this (see post about Bali here) time however, it was not my passport which caused the problem. This time it was Shaun's. I'm not going into any details, but we can say this: check your passport two or why not even five times before you travel, to make sure you have 6 months to go before the expiration date. Cambodia is not alone with the rule that one must have at least 6 months remaining on their passport before it expires.

    Anyway, once in Sihanoukville Cambodia, which was our final destination, everything worked out just fine. Checked in to a nice hotel that I can really recommend. It's called Miiya hotel and it's location is very good. It is close to restaurants, the beach (can really recommend Otres beach) and the pier where boats to Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloen departs from. I think we spent 5 nights here, and it was just the right amount of time. Since this was the end of our trip, it felt really nice to stay in one place for a longer period.

    In Sihanoukville we eat nice and cheap food. For those of you who think Thailand is cheap, nipp over to Cambodia and you will be surprised. 50 cents for a beer and a nice dinner for two was only $ 5. I actually didn't think that it would be such a big difference between Thailand and Cambodia, but it really was. It was not nearly as touristy (even if we were in one of the most touristic areas) the prices that I mentioned earlier was significantly lower, the culture was more preserved and you saw more people in poverty. I also thought that the people were more hospitable and cheerful. Therefore I'd like to refer Cambodia as "The real land of smiles". Hot tip from me is to visit Cambodia, I will definitely visit the country again in the near future.

    När du är i Sihanoukville vill jag även passa på att varmt rekomendera att besöka öarna utanför. Koh Rong och Koh Rong Samloem som ligger ca 45min-1h båt resa ifrån fastlandet. Det går båtar ut dit flera gånger om dagen ifrån Sihanoukville och likaså tillbaka.

    Jag skulle rekomendera om ni har lite mer tid och bättre planering än vad vi hade, att spendera en natt eller två på dessa paradisöar. Koh Rong för lite mer liv och Koh Samloem om ni vill ha det mer lugnt och få känslan av att ni är helt ensamma på en öde ö.

    Om nätterna här kan man även se lysande plankton om ni har tur. Tyvärr fick vi inte se detta eftersom vi endast var där över dagen. Gå ut i havet, stå ca 1m djupt på den alldra mörkaste delen av ön och rör lite på armar och ben. Då ska planktonen nämligen utstråla en blå lysande färg, om ni har riktig tur så kan man se detta från stranden då vågorna "skakar liv" i planktonen.

    // When you are in Sihanoukville, I would also like to recommend to visit the islands of shore. Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, which is located about 45 min-1 HR boat ride from the mainland. There are boats going out there several times a day from Sihanoukville and also back to the mainland. Which means you can spend eveything from just a couple of hours there to as many nights as you please.

    I would recommend if you have a little more time and are better prepaird than we was, to spend a night or two on these beautiful paradise islands. Koh Rong for a little more of a crowed and Koh Rong Samloem if you like it more quiet and want to get the feeling of being completely alone on a deserted island.

    At night you can see glowing plankton here, if you're lucky. Unfortunately, we did not see this as we were only there for the day. Go out into the sea, stand about 1 m deep at the darkest part of the island and move your arms and legs a little bit to swirl the water. This is supposed to make the plankton radiate a blue luminous colour. If you are really lucky, you can see this from the beach in the sea waves.

    Efter vår vecka och firandet av det Kinesiska ny året i Sihanoukville åkte vi vidare till Kambodjas huvudstad Phnom Penh. Minns att när vi gick runt på gatorna där sa Shaun att det känns som vi har åkt tillbaka 30 år i tiden, och lite så var det faktiskt. Man kan säga att Kambodja är idag, väldigt likt vad Thailand var för 30 år sedan. Detta beror mycket på vad som hände i landet mellan åren 1975-1979.

    Det var åren då de röda khmerernas massmord pågick. Under dessa år ska ca 1,5-2 miljoner människor ha dött av undernäring, tvångsarbete under ett försök att reformera landets jordbrukspolitik, samt på grund av bristande sjukvård, tortyr och avrättningar i Demokratiska Kampuchea, vilket motsvarade drygt en femtedel av landets befolkning. Allt detta kan man lära sig mer om och även se för er själva om ni besöker Choeung Ek, även känt för "Killing fields" som ligger ca 15km utanför Phnom Penh.

    Vi gjorde det och jag ångrar det inte för en sekund. En mycket känslomässig dag med hemska syner, men väldigt viktigt och lärorikt. Det är idag alltså en minnesplats för alla offren som omkom under dessa år. Du går runt med hörlurar där en person i dit eget språk, berättar om alla hemskheter som hänt där. Faktiskt just på den plats du kommer stå på, man kan se rester av ben, tänder och klädstycken liggandes på marken samt massgravar och liknande.

    17.000 män, kvinnor, barn och spädbarn ska ha torterats tills döds och slängts i massgravar här. Vid sista stoppet under besöket fick man gå in i ett slags tempel, stupan i Choeung Ek kallas den och är dekorerad med både buddistiska och hinduiska religiösa symboler. Inne i stupan finner du 9 våningar och ca 8000 skallar samt skelett från offren.

    Det är verkligen en nödvändig utflykt om du besöker Phnom Penh. Tyvärr så hann vi inte med mycket mer av Kambodja än det jag nämt eftersom vi endast var här i lite mer än 1 vecka. Därför måste jag bara komma tillbaka, har inte besökt Angkor wat än som sägs ska vara ett tempel värt at besöka.

    // After a week and the celebration of the Chinese new year in Sihanoukville we drove to Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. I remember when we walked around the streets Shaun said that it feelt like we've gone back 30 years in time. And it actually felt like it. You can say that Cambodia is today, very much like what Thailand was 30 years ago. This is probably because of what was happening in the country between the years 1975-1979.

    These were the years when the Khmer Rouge mass murder was ongoing. During these years, about 1.5-2 million people died of hunger, forced labour in an attempt to reform the nation's agricultural policies, as well as due to lack of medical care, torture and executions in Democratic Kampuchea. This was just over one-fifth of the country's population. You can learn more about all this and see for yourselves if you visit Choeung Ek, also known as "the Killing fields" which is located about 15 km outside Phnom Penh.

    We did it and I don't regret it for a second. A very emotional day with horrible sights, but very important. It is today a memorial for all the victims who died during those years. You walk around with headphones where a person in your own language, tells you about all the horrible things that happened there. Actually right on the spot you will stand on, one can see remains of bones, teeth and clothing pieces lying on the ground, mass graves and so on.

    17,000 men, women, children and infants was tortured until death and thrown in mass graves here. At the last stop during the visit you will see a kind of a temple, "The stupa" at Choeung Ek it's called and is decorated with both Buddhist and Hindu religious symbols. Inside the stupa you will find 9 floors and approx. 8000 skulls and skeletons from victims.

    It's really a necessary trip if your are visiting Phnom Penh. Unfortunately we didn't have time for much more in Cambodia. Beacuse of what I mentioned earlier, we only had a little more than a week. Therefore I have to come back. I have a lot more to see and tick of the list of what to do in Cambodia. I haven't even visited Angkor wat outside Siem reap which is supposed to be one of the worlds most beautiful temples and definitely worth a visit. //

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