Monday, May 5, 2014

Goodbye Philippines!

Jerome-- We had a few more days in the Philippines after our expedition with Tao. We spent most of our time in El Nido relaxing, kayaking, and meeting up with friends from the boat.

Sunset view from our hotel in El Nido

Dinner on the beach with friends from Tao: Mikael, Johanna, Jennie and James.

Kayaking to an island near El Nido

We took a 5:30 AM  bus from El Nido to Sebang.  Sebang is home to the Underground River, a UNESCO world heritage site.  It was pretty interesting, but I was a bit disappointed at how regimented the tour was... Boats continuously bring groups of 10 guests at a time for a 30 minute / 1.5 km tour of the cave. The guides have named some of the rock formations based on faint resemblances ("this one looks like corn, that one looks like a cucumber...").  Overall it just seemed like a very long way to go for such a short visit.  I did enjoy the monkeys and monitor lizards that hang around outside the cave though!  One monkey snatched someone's iphone and brought it up a tree!  After snapping a picture with it, it dropped the phone, and I believe someone caught it.

Entrance to the underground river

Bats nesting on the roof of the cave

Monkey munching on a flower.

Monitor lizard and monkies hanging out by a puddle

Monitor lizard

Monkey with the phone can be seen in the center oh this photo.

And that was it for the Philippines!  We boarded a plane the next day from Puerto Princesa to Kota Kinabalu, on the eastern Malaysian side of Borneo!

Our tiny plane to Kota Kinabalu

Overall, we really enjoyed our time in the Philippines.  Everyone seemed very happy and we never felt like anyone ever tried to take advantage of us because we were tourists.  Getting around was easy and most people spoke at least a little English.  Even with a full month in the Philippines I feel like we only scratched the surface of what the Philippines has to offer.  We'd love to return some day... And with direct flights from San Fransisco to Manila, hopefully it'll be sooner rather than later!

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