Muang Ngoi Neua, Laos

Out of curiosity, I took a boat from Nong Khiaw which cost 25,000 KIP to get to this tiny riverside village in Northern Laos named Muang Ngoi Neua. There are only two boat trips daily which depart at 11AM and 2PM. Since the tourists from Luang Prabang usually catch the 2PM boat I chose the 11AM. Don’t expect to have life jackets here.

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It was a beautiful 1 hour boat ride as I expected.

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When the boat landed, we were greeted by the owners of guesthouse. I checked a few nice bungalows but I ended up staying at Lattanavongsa Guesthouse for 50,000 KIP for a night only because it’s the only guesthouse that has wifi which is accessible in the room. I’m traveling alone and wifi access is a requirement. 🙂

The guy who assisted me to check in was not friendly at all. Not sure if he is the owner though. He seemed unhappy all the time but I like the fact that they have a beautiful garden and the room is very spacious and to my surprise, their wifi is pretty fast.

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I went to Ning Ning Restaurant for lunch. They have a nice river view. The food was just okay. I was so disappointed though that the mango shake did not taste like mango at all.

I went for a walk to see this tiny village. Small but beautiful. Indeed this village is more laid back than Nong Khiaw.

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I saw a sign pointing to “Phanoy Cave”. It says 15 minutes walk so I went.

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I looked back and here’s the view so I did my usual selfie! 🙂

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After a few meters walk, I saw another sign which is the entrance to the forest.

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I continued to walk even though I was alone. I was like, “what the hell am I doing” inside a forest literally by myself. I kept going anyway. I was a LITTLE scared! Just a little! The 15 minutes seemed to be too long. I see nothing but big trees, I hear nothing but insects chirping, I see nothing but butterflies flying which was nice by the way.

Finally, I reached! Oh no, not yet. I got to the entrance and there was one guy there. I had to pay 10,000 KIP then he opened the bamboo gate for me. It says another 10 minutes to go up.

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I was still alone. It was high going up and of course, I was exhausted and sweaty. I finally reached the top. I think this is the top!

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I didn’t have the courage to go inside the cave because it was dark and I was alone. I reached the viewpoint which all that matters to me, I guess! I did not stay for long. I went back down after about 5 minutes on top.

Before I know it, it’s dark. What is it there to do in this tiny village at night? I decided to go to the Riverbeach Restaurant and Bar. They have an amazing ambiance and relaxing music.

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I ordered mango shake and it did not taste like mango as well. Sigh! I hang out here for couple hours and called it a day.

Muang Ngoi Neua is such a beautiful place but for some reason, I think this little village is cold. I did not feel the warm welcoming place like other places I’ve been. I must say that like Nong Khiaw better. This is just me!

I am a Backpacker. I am a Filipina.

Backpacking is not very common to Filipinos. I know there are few backpacker bloggers from the Philippines but only few.

I literally have one backpack with me weighing about 8 kg the last time I checked. I only have a week worth of clothes so I just keep washing them. I avoid buying anything I don’t need since I don’t want to carry a heavy bag around and I don’t have much space.

When I went through immigration in the Philippines, I didn’t have a return ticket. I had a flight to Singapore and to Vietnam. I told the immigration officer that I am going to travel some countries in South East Asia by land so I don’t know when I am coming back and from which country. She did not quite get the fact that I am traveling alone with a small backpack. She stamped my passport and told me to take care and make sure I come back. 🙂

I encourage other people specially my fellow Filipinos to travel if you can. Travel when you can and travel while you can.

Get your backpack and go somewhere. Meet interesting people. Eat interesting food. Have an adventure. Be careful and have your mind blown.

When you come back, you’re going to see your town or your country differently. You’re going to get a sense of what this amazing world we live in really looks like. You’re going to have a taste of the fulfillment of life.

Be a traveler instead of a tourist. Travel to lose yourself and then travel again to find yourself. Travel to open your heart and eyes.

Nong Khiaw, Laos (Day 2)

I had such a good sleep last night. I woke up around 6AM and did a little walk. I then headed to Chennai Restaurant for breakfast. I miss Dosai and last night I already decided that this is what I’m going to have for breakfast. Oh it was so good with Indian masala tea!

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I was the only customer at that time so I got to chitchat with the owner. I told him I want to rent a bicycle to go further down the road and he offered to take me to the Pathok Cave instead with his motorbike. We agreed to go after 2PM so I went back to the restaurant to have lunch first.

I tried their Chicken Tikka Masala with rice and oh as I am writing this, I can still taste how tasty it was. I asked the guy to make it spicy and he did it perfectly. I usually take picture of my food before I eat but I forgot about it when this was served to me. I have been salivating while smelling the food when they were cooking and I just had to attack when the plate was finally in front of me. 🙂

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If you know the taste of authentic Indian food, Chennai Restaurant is a must try. The chicken tikka masala with rice and mango shake was only around $4. It was soooo good and I can’t wait to have it again tomorrow. 🙂

So we left for Pathok Cave. It was just around 5 minutes ride I think. I was glad I did not go on a bicycle. I saw locals walking with their bikes because of uphills.

I think this cave is closed due to the season so there was nobody there and it was like a hidden gem.

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We went up to get to the cave. He said it was 50 steps. I was exhausted and sweating like a pig and he was not. I feel old lol.

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Before we headed back, we snapped a picture together. So here’s the owner of Channai Restaurant. Sorry but I don’t know the spelling of his name. He’s such a nice guy.

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I saw this beautiful butterfly on the way out.

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I apparently had breakfast and lunch at Chennai Restaurant. What’s for dinner? Nothing for tonight as I had late lunch and another mango shake when we got back.

I just had another nice day in Nong Khiaw. 🙂

Nong Khiaw, Laos (Day 1)

The van dropped us off a kilometer away to where the guesthouses are. I decided to walk instead of taking tuktuk for 5,000 KIP.

I had to cross this bridge and while the kids are passing by on their bicycle, they were smiling at me so I said Sabaidee which means hello and they all said Sabaidee back. They all seemed happy to be greeted by a foreigner. That part I really liked!

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These are the views to the left and right while crossing this bridge.

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I chose Sunset Guesthouse for 70,000 KIP per night. It’s a bungalow with balcony and bathroom with hot shower.

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It offers a beautiful river view and from the name itself, I had a beautiful sunset view.

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I love Indian food so I chose Chennai Restaurant for dinner. I had all these for just around $3.

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I like this restaurant. There’s actually Indian people so you know their food will taste like Indian food! The Indian guy who’s running the restaurant kept checking on customers to make sure everything is okay. Good food. Good music. Good service. Good wifi.

So far, my first day in Nong Khiaw has been calm, quiet and relaxing.

Luang Prabang, Laos

I immediately liked the laid back impression of this little town. No people to sell me stuff. No people asking me to avail tour packages. I stayed two nights at Khounsavan Guesthouse for $5/night including simple breakfast. The hostel has a whole bunch of backpackers but it has a good vibe. I guess the garden upfront helps.

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The lady who’s managing the guesthouse was awesome. She was funny and always energetic. Indeed worth to stay here. The guesthouse is like 3-5 minutes walk to the night market.

Traveling by land surely drained my energy so I was just in lazy mode during my stay here in Luang Prabang. I went to Phousy Temple on my first day to watch the sunset. It was a long way up and the entrance fee was 20,000 KIP but I’d say definitely worth it.

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The night market was all set up when I went down.

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I found this plate buffet for 10,000 KIP. All vegetarian food and it was good.

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On my second day, I went with one Chinese, one Taiwanese and one Korean who were all staying in the same guesthouse to the Big Brother Mouse. This is a little bookstore and where all Lao people come to practice their English. I spent two hours talking to a Novice which I enjoyed a lot.

Later in the day, I was invited by Spanish and English guys to go watch “The Butler” at L’Etranger Books & Tea. They have a big screen in a cozy place where they screen movies at certain times for free but you have to order food.

After 2 nights and 2 days in Luang Prabang I decided to go to Nong Khiaw which is further up north. The van left at 9am and it took us 4 hours. The fare was 70,000 KIP.

I crossed the border from Vietnam to Laos!

I paid $22 for a bus ticket from Sapa, Vietnam to Muang Khua, Laos. The bus left at 7PM from Lao Cai to Dien Bien Phu on Saturday. There were 3 other foreigners on the bus but the sleeping bus was overloaded with locals. There were people laying on the floor and some were just sitting on the floor for hours. We were supposed to arrive Dien Bien Phu at 5AM but there were couple times we were stuck on the road for at least couple hours each time. We didn’t reach until 8:30AM and there is only one bus to Muang Khua which leaves at 5:30AM so we missed our bus.

I was with one girl from Finland and 2 guys from France. We ate breakfast first then decided to take taxi to Tay Trang border of Vietnam. It was a little over 30km and we paid about $6 each.

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Luckily, I got connected to the wifi so I got to have my google translate to show to immigration officer that we want to go to Laos. Finally, I got my exit stamp! We found out that Laos border is in Phongsaly Province which is 6km from the Vietnam border. There was no means of transportation. We had to walk for about 2 hours. It was raining and the road was mostly uphill but the view was beautiful and before we know it, there’s the Laos border!

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After the immigration officer stamped my passport he asked me to pay $3. I don’t know what was that for but I just paid. After the rest of the foreigners got their visas, we had to figure out how to get further to Laos because again there was no means of transportation. One local can speak English a little bit and he said we can go with the truck but he will charge us $12 each! That was very expensive but we just had to go for it since we were in no-mans land!

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It was my first time to get on this big truck and oh my God, we were running between 10km and 20km per hour. It took us 4 hours to Muang Khua. We were dropped of in a little town about 7PM and we saw a guesthouse. We checked in, freshened up then met for dinner. Of course we had to try Laos beer.

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We found out that to get to other places we have to go to Muang Xay City a.k.a Oudomxay. The bus leaves at 8AM the next day. I was beat so after dinner, I just went to sleep. We decided to leave at 7AM to the bus station of Muang Khua so I woke up at 6AM. It was 2km from where we were and the tuktuk cost 5000 kip per person. We had noodle soup for breakfast while waiting for the bus. We left at exactly 8:30AM and arrived about 11:25AM in Oudomxay bus station. I wanted to go to Luang Prabang so I bought a ticket for the bus supposed to leave at 11:30AM but did not leave until 12:30PM. The 3 other foreigners went to other directions so we all parted our ways.

It was another 7 hours bus ride for me then I finally reached Luang Prabang. Since I did not know when I’d be here and I was on the road for like 2 days, I did not have any hostel booking. The tuktuk cost 20,000 kip to the central. I just checked in to the first guesthouse I found which is Merry Guesthouse for $10/night because I didn’t have energy to walk around anymore to find a cheaper place. There is no dorm so I have a one big bed room with bathroom and this is just what I needed tonight.

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I think my trip would have been easier and cheaper if I waited for the bus the next day in Dien Bien Phu but it sure wouldn’t have been as fun and unforgettable adventure like what I had. I’m still glad I crossed the border from Vietnam to Laos the way I did.

Disappointment in Sapa, Vietnam despite breathtaking views!

I have been looking forward to be in Sapa. I heard nothing but good things about it. After about 10 hours travel from Hanoi to Sapa, a whole bunch of local people were waiting for us to get off the bus near the lake. All of them wanted us to do homestay with them for $25/night which I think was ridiculously expensive. They were pushy and they kept following us which was annoying.

I did not make any advance hostel booking and I was very glad to meet a girl from Finland on the bus. We were both traveling alone so we decided to get a room cost $8/night, so we pay $4 each.

We freshened up then hunt for good food. We had Pho and it was VND 35,000! I usually get this in other parts of the country for VND 20,000. The cheapest coffee was VND 35,000 which I usually get between VND 10,000 and VND 20,000. I was like, what the hell!

We heard about Cat Cat Village which is about 2km from town and Sin Chai Village which is about 4km from town. They said most tourists go to Cat Cat Village so we went to Sin Chai Village instead. We paid VND 20,000 each to enter the village. Indeed nobody else was there. We saw group of kids walking and I wanted to take picture of them because they were so cute then one boy said “money”. They want money if we want their picture so another what the hell!

The views were breathtaking, they look so unreal.

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We saw cows, pigs, puppies, ducks along the way.

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Most of the kids were unhappy. They seemed not to know how to smile. I was lucky to capture this picture secretly so I got it for free, LoL! Then when the kid realized I was taking a picture, she turned her back on me.

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Well, it was a village so aside from animals, we saw nothing but little houses and unhappy local people.

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So we decided to sit on the grass and be silly.

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It took us 2 hours from Sapa town to Sin Chai Village. We took a motorbike on the way back which was $5 for the two of us. It was expensive but we didn’t really want to walk back.

We then had dinner at Le Gecko which is a french restaurant although they have Vietnamese food too. I had steak burger for VND 99,000 and a diet coke for VND 30,000. The food was okay but not a wow.

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Sapa is such a beautiful place but the local people are just all about money. Everybody wants to sell you something. I didn’t feel the warm welcome I felt in Saigon, Dalat, Hoi An and Hanoi. 😦

Hanoi, Vietnam

My bus ticket was VND 340,000 for another 18 hours bus ride from Hoi An to Hanoi.

I walked about an hour to get to Hanoi Lucky Guesthouse 2 from where the bus dropped us off.

I was so tired but my room was not yet ready. One of the guys asked me where I traveled from, I told him from Hoi An and I just need a shower. He asked me to leave my bag upstairs and gave me a towel so I can take shower in the bathroom downstairs. That was nice! When my room was finally ready, I got lucky to have a big room. They said the people supposed to go on Halong Bay Tour couldn’t go due to storm so they ended up extending their stay in the dorm. They gave this room to me for the same price $5/night including breakfast.

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I went around the old quarter and boy there were lots of shops then I finally saw the famous Lake.

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When I searched for Hanoi’s famous tourist spots, it didn’t interest me because it’s very similar to Saigon.

I had dinner at Countryside Restaurant.

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The food was very good. I must say, the best Vietnamese food I’ve had so far. I ordered vegetable spring rolls and vegetable fried noodles for VND 45,000 each. When they served the food, I was surprised by the quantity. It was such a huge serving that I couldn’t finish all. I took the leftovers with me.

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Since I really didn’t want to stay in the city, I booked my bus ticket to Sapa the next day for $13 via Hanoi Nonprofit Hostel. The cheapest I found!

Hoi An, Vietnam

My travel time from Dalat to Hoi An took 18 hours including couple hours stop in Nha Trang. I paid VND 350,000 for bus ticket.

I chose Hoa Binh Hotel for $8/night including breakfast. They picked me up from the bus stop and I got a 3-bed room which was nice.

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Their buffet breakfast was awesome including unlimited milk, coffee, tea or juice. This is a typical hotel though and I prefer homestyle type of a hostel.

What was there in Hoi An? I think all they had was the Ancient Town and the beach nearby. I’m from the Philippines (a country surrounded by islands) so I am not really excited to go to the beach.

I went to Ancient Town. I bought a ticket worth VND 120,000 to get to 5 different places inside.

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In my opinion, Ancient Town in Hoi An is nice but boring. It’s just a village full of clothing and souvenir stores, coffee shops and restaurants. It would have been nice it there were more houses than stores.

I was disappointed because almost all the travelers I met, they said Hoi An was the best.

I decided to leave to Hanoi the next day since there weren’t much to do in Hoi An.

Dalat Smile Hostel

I chose this hostel because of the good reviews I saw and the fact that it’s only $4 per night including breakfast.

Shortly after I booked my reservation through hostelworld.com, I got a text from Win Le of Dalat Smile Hostel asking my bus information to Dalat from Saigon. He offered to pick me up in the bus stop for free which was very good so I wouldn’t get lost.

Unlike in the hostels I stayed at in Saigon, you have to give your passport first and sometimes pay first. Here in Dalat Smile Hostel, they immediately accompanied me to my bed. They only asked for my passport after I got settled.

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They have coffee for free as well which was a big plus for me because I love Vietnam Coffee and I pay between VND 10,000 to VND 30,000 for this. Win Le taught me how to make my own vietnamese coffee.

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The hostel offers omelet or pho for breakfast. I had omelet with baguette for my first breakfast in Dalat. You can have it with coffee or tea. I had both! 😉

It was simple but fun breakfast with other guests in the hostel.

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The guys were having friends over for lunch and they invited me to join which I did. We had so much food and they had so much beer. I had one beer. 🙂

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On my second night, the guys asked us if we want to have vietnamese dinner for $4/person. Of course, we all said yes. I went to the market with Ling. I helped with the preparation a little bit. Plenty of delicious food for plenty of people. We kept saying we’re full but we kept eating.

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After dinner, we just stayed chatting while having beer. It was such a fun night.

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Dalat Smile Hostel arranged the tours for me. Win, Ling and Vu (The three guys running this hostel) are just awesome. They never failed to make me laugh.

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They said, I was their first guest from the Philippines so I left this to them as a remembrance.

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Dalat Smile Hostel surely made me feel at home. The guys made sure that everything is taken care of. I’d definitely stay here again if given the chance and I highly recommend this to people traveling to Dalat, Vietnam.

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Last night in Dalat City, Vietnam

I just planned to be in Dalat for 2 nights but I ended up staying for 4 nights.

I spent my last night with Zohar from Israel. She was my roommate. We walked to the market and had dinner at Cafe 13 which has a very relaxing ambiance.

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I love the cold weather in Dalat. I love the homestyle hostel of Dalat Smile. There are so much things to do here but I couldn’t during this trip.

I enjoyed Dalat so much but I had to leave to see other parts of Vietnam. Hopefully, I can come back to this cold yet warm welcoming beautiful city.

I highly recommend Dalat when you come to Vietnam.

Extreme Canyoning in Dalat, Vietnam

Everybody in the hostel was talking about this canyoning tour so I decided to do it. Dalat Smile Hostel arranged it through Highland Sport Travel for me with the 4 German guys I met in Saigon who came to Dalat as well .

Our tour guide, Dao picked us up at the hostel around 8:30AM. It was just about 15 minutes ride from the city. The tip of our tour guide before we started was “Don’t be lazy, get crazy!”

We got all geared up then we had our practice for rappelling or what they call abseiling.

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We then started our way to this canyoning adventure. The first part was the 18m dry cliff abseiling near a water fall. Not bad!

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The second part was another dry cliff but only16m and I think I did pretty good on this one.

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There were couple water slides too! First was forward then backwards. I am not sure if these were part of the trip or just to get to the destination faster. LoL!

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They made us jumped to get in the water for a group picture!

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There were couple times we crossed the river holding hand in hand which was cool because each one of us made sure that everyone is good before we let go.

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The third part was the 25m waterfall abseiling. The waterfall was very strong and It was very slippery but I survived.

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Finally, we had picnic lunch. It was sure nice to eat with this beautiful view.

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The fourth part was the 11m or 7m jump. When we got there, I thought of not doing it because the rocks look dangerous but I just had to do it! I only did the 7m jump though but I did it twice!

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The last but not the least was the what they call “washing machine”.  I was scared that the waterfall will make me spin and I had no idea how I was going to fall when it was time for me to let go of the rope.

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I was under the water like in a running washing machine for at least 5 seconds. When I got my head up, there was the huge rock on my face. I was in between huge rocks and it was very narrow. It looks very dangerous but again, everything went well and I survived.

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It was fun but glad the crazy tour was over. I was very tired but then we had to go uphill to get to the car.

For me, the hardest part was the 25m waterfall abseiling and the easiest and the most scariest part was the washing machine.

We finished around 3PM. The tour guide then said “Don’t get crazy, be lazy!”. They then dropped us off back at the hostel. The tour started around 8:30AM to approximately 4PM including travel time.

Later that night, Dao came by to the hostel and gave us our printed photos which are included in their rate.

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Our tour guides Gau, Dao, and Blackbear were awesome. They were very energetic. Their rate of $25/person for this Canyoning Tour is a good bargain and definitely worth doing.

This was the first time I did something like this. I had such an unforgettable experience with this tour, the tour guides and the team I went with.

Canyoning Tour is a must do in Dalat and I highly recommend Highland Sport Travel. They gave me a professional and fun experience for a reasonable price.

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Dalat Tour

I wanted to see the flower farm and and coffee farm so I hired Ling, one of the guys in the hostel to take me to places. He charged me $20 for the motorbike tour.

He first took me to flower farm which was beautiful.

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It started to rain when we were in the flower farm so I had to wear this rain coat. Not attractive for a woman at all but it sure kept me dry.

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The view all the way was just breath taking. We stopped to take some nice pictures.

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We then went to coffee farm and saw the weasel (an animal who poops coffee). I tried the weasel cherry for VND 60,000/cup just for the sake of trying it!

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Our next stop was the Elephant Falls. Don’t expect to see an elephant there though. Why they call it Elephant Falls? I have no clue! 🙂

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There was a pagoda nearby this falls so we went there too and I just got a very cool photo from this. 🙂

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Our last stop is the Silk Factory! I have been waiting to go there. As we all know, silk is one of the most expensive fabric. Thankfully, this factory did not disappoint me.

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On our way home, he made a stop to rice wine factory where they also have snake wine (ewwww!) which is their version of viagra!

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Beautiful views. Interesting places. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Crazy House

I met a Vietnamese girl named Yuli. She took me to a Crazy House.

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The entrance fee is VND 40,000. It was pretty cool because when she told the personnel that she just wants to show me the place, she did not have to pay an entrance fee.

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Well, I got nothing much to say but this is indeed a crazy house.

It was surely an interesting place to see in Dalat City.

To Dalat. In Dalat.

I woke up at 4AM to take the what they call sleeping bus to Dalat with 4 guys from Germany. I’ve never been to this kind of bus and I find this really cool. Comfy and perfect for me.

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Of course, this bus is made for asian people so the guys were not as comfortable as I was.

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They were going to a different place though so they got off the bus halfway to Dalat.

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While I was left on the bus, I couldn’t sleep for I didn’t want to miss the beautiful green sceneries along the way.

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After 8 long hours bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City, I am now in South Central Highlands of Vietnam which is a version of Baguio in the Philippines. Per wikipedia, Dalat is 4,900 ft above sea level.

Dalat’s way to welcome me is through rains. I’m so glad that Win Le from Dalat Smile Hostel picked me up from the bus stop.

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I will write a separate blog for my review of this hostel later.

I was starving and with this weather, I wanted to have soup so I had Pho for VND 20,000 and coffee for VND 10,000.

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I haven’t gotten a good rest for the last two days so I will just rest for now and will check out Dalat tomorrow. 😄

A romantic night in Saigon with 3 Vietnamese and 4 Germans

Since it’s our last night in Ho Chi Minh City, Ashley and 2 of her Vietnamese friends took me and the 4 German guys she introduced to me (Stephan, Stefan, Philipp and Dmitrij) to District 7. We ate dinner then headed our way to Anh Sao Bridge which is one of the famous dating place in Vietnam. The place was beautiful and seductive but it was too dark for my phone to capture good pictures.

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We sat on the grass gazing on the beautiful full moon and stars. We just conversed to each other and didn’t even notice the time. Who says romantic moments are just for couples?

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I just had another unforgettable time spent with wonderful people.

In a foreign land but feels like a homeland!

Today, I am back in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. My Vietnamese friend picked me up at the airport with her motorbike. She took me to my hostel to check in then we went for lunch with her other friend. Each ordered noodles and shared fried spring roll. Our bill was VND 108,000 (around $5 for the 3 of us) so I just paid for it in exchange of their effort to meet me. I enjoy going with students because they know where the cheap food is. 😉

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I didn’t want to spend more than a day or two in Saigon since I spent 2 weeks here last July so I booked my ticket to Dalat for tomorrow leaving at 6AM which cost VND 240,000 (USD 11).

On this trip, I will travel from North to South of Vietnam spending 2 to 3 days at each stops.

Why do I feel like I’m finally home?!

Pulau Ubin, Singapore

Who would have thought there is such place like this in Singapore? Last August, I wanted to visit this place but I couldn’t get anybody to go with me. The people I know have been here already so I wanted to go with someone who hasn’t seen the place. Finally, I found one. I met this filipina girl from the hostel here in SG. She looked for a job and got one so she’s now a pass holder!

We met at Tanah Merah MRT station at 8AM. We took exit B to bus stop and took bus number 2. The Changi Point Ferry Terminal is the last stop so you won’t get lost.

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We immediately went to the Changi Village Hawker Center for breakfast. We then paid SGD 2.50 for the jetty to Pulau Ubin.

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It took about 10 minutes and we’re there!

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We checked out bicycles to rent. We tried those between SGD 5 and SGD 8 but they weren’t running smoothly until we tried one of their new ones for SGD 10 which was great. We negotiated it to SGD 8 but only for 4 hours use. We agreed to it since we weren’t planning to stay all day anyway.

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As we cycle our way to Chek Jawa Wetlands, we saw monkeys, dogs, and nice little houses.

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There was a lot of uphill which was hard and downhill which was fun.

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We passed by a seven-story viewing tower called Jejawi Tower and the view was breathtaking.

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We then walked our way to the boardwalk which was nice as well.

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Then another challenging ride to find our way back. It was indeed a fun adventure.

Below are my Pulau Ubin expenses excluding MRT and bus fares all in Singapore Dollars.

$5 jetty (roundtrip)
$8 bicycle rental
$.80 coffee
$3.5 laksa (noodles)
$1.40 pepsi
$1.80 ice kachang and ice water

Pulau Ubin is indeed a must see in Singapore.

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Couchsurfing!

I decided to do backpacking with so little money in hand. I only wanted to go back to Vietnam so SG is not in my budget but when I was searching for flights, a one way flight from Manila to Singapore and a one way flight from Singapore to Vietnam is way cheaper than a flight directly from Manila to Vietnam so I came here.

I found out about couchsurfing from one of the travelers I met in the hostel I stayed at here in Singapore last July 2014. I have been wanting to try it to save money since as we all know, Singapore is one of the most expensive city in the world.

I contacted an Indian guy I was supposed to couchsurf last August. My Filipina friend accommodated me instead during that trip so I just went and met these guys for lunch. He lives in Clementi with 5 other Indians and they are all professionals, not to mention “geeks” type. They all agreed for me to stay for 5 nights. How lucky am I?!

It was a 3 bedroom flat with 6 professional Indians living there so I literally stayed on their couch. Of course, it’s not comfy like a bed but it wasn’t that bad at all. Besides, I wanted to save money! During the weekdays, I was the only one in the flat since they are all working.

On a Friday night, we went out for dinner. We went to “Khansama Tandoori Restaurant” in Science Park. I had a kind of Indian food I never had before and it was really good. I heard that the bill was SGD 130. It was their treat! 😉

After dinner, we went to Clementi Sports Complex. We played snooker and billiards from 11PM to 3AM!!! That was fun.

My first couchsurfing experience was awesome. I got lucky that I met these nice people. 🙂

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Backpacking life begins today…again!

I arrived in the Philippines 25 days ago. Now, I’m sitting in the airport waiting for my flight to Singapore again with nothing but a backpack. I will then head back to Vietnam on Tuesday, the 9th. I just had to go back to where I left my heart. This time, I plan to explore more places in the country.

Who knows where else my feet will take me from today onwards.

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Oriental Mindoro is over…for now!

My 17 days in Mindoro came to an end. I surely had fun with my friend and her family. It was such a simple life living in the province and I certainly prefer it more than living in the city.

Eating fresh seafood, coconut juice and vegetables everyday surely made my skin healthier.

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Here, I found my ideal place to live in for the rest of my life.

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It was such a wonderful experience to be in a place where you have a family. I’m so glad to be friends with this gal for 13 years and counting.

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