Phuket Beaches (Thailand)

The beach is almost always a great place to invigorate our mind and senses. The scent of the saline air, the sound of crashing waves and the amusing feel it imparts as they touch one’s toes – seem to give an outright relaxing feeling. While I am a self-confessed mountain lover, the beach will always have a soft spot in my heart. The beach is my favorite place for watching the sunset… it’s a place I enjoy whenever I want to go surf or skim or just bask in the sun… it’s where I find happiness and bliss.

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My recent trip to Phuket in Thailand was one for the books. The place is dotted with many beautiful beaches to choose from without going on an island-hopping. The sandy beaches and clear waters of Phuket offers a comforting beach holiday. Who would’ve thought that this beautiful place as once ravaged by an unforgiving tsunami more than ten years ago?

Here are 4 of the beaches I got to visit in Phuket:

Patong Beach –perhaps the most famous beach in Phuket. With its wide variety of activities and nightlife, Patong is an ideal place to party and play. I spent one night walking around Soi Bangla (Bangla Road). Believe me when I say it is packed with tourists! The place sure has a vivacious nightlife which includes hundreds of restaurants, bars of various sort, and night clubs. The beach, however, in my opinion, isn’t that outstanding as it is pretty crowded, and isn’t as pristine as I have imagined it to be.

Karon Beach, the third longest beach on Phuket Island. If there is one beach I loved for its more serene feel, it has to be Karon. Located on the west coast, between Patong to the north and the south, Karon Beach is not as crowded as Patong. I had an excellent morning at Karon Beach road for a stroll. Unlike Patong, Karon’s coastline is way better. Karon also offers an exciting range of restaurants, hotels and a meek nightlife to enjoy. Again, Karon Beach is a right place whether you are looking for somewhere peaceful with the little bit of exhilaration.

A few minutes away from Karon Beach is the more tamed waters of Kata Bay compared to Karon and Patong whose waves are bigger (at least during the time I was there). Kata Beach also boasts off a stretch of off-white sand and clear waters that are ideal for skim and surfing beginners. This beach maybe smaller than both Patong and Karon, but its palm-dotted shore and non-boisterous nightlife makes it perfect for family and friends who likes a quiet stay at the beach.

Finally, there is Rawai Beach. According to a person I talked to, it is considered to be Phuket’s first tourist beach. This casuarina-fringed beach would welcome visitors with the many docked long-tail boats as it serves as a launching point for day boat trips out to Phuket’s surrounding islands. Furthermore, the area is also used as a berth point for fishermen who live in the area. The area is also where one can find Phuket’s most photographed location – Promthep Cape. Located at the southernmost part of Phuket, atop the hill stands a park and a viewing deck can be found. It is said to be the best vantage point to marvel at the sunset. (Too bad, I was there in a broad day light).

The sand, the sea, and the sun… elements that inevitably makes the beach a well-loved place… it surely is a place of healing where the salt cleanses the weary soul and the sun hugs us in its warmth. So don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Hi fellow travelers! If you happen to be in Phuket for some really fun-filled island hopping activities, and you want to be assisted with your tour, check out TAKE ME TOUR and their various itineraries. Check on the link! And mind you, they also have other organized tours all over Thailand!

Corong-Corong Beach (Palawan, PH)

Come watch with me the shaft of fire that glows
In yonder West: the fair, frail palaces,
The fading Alps and archipelagoes,
And great cloud-continents of sunset-seas.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

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Whenever I travel, I always take note where I could possibly watch the sundown. You see, I have developed this sense of connection with the setting sun. To me, it is one of the most beautiful and magical things in this world.

During an El Nido visit, my friends and I decided to chase the sunset at the quiet and not so touristy Corong-Corong Beach after beach bumming around Nacpan – Calitang Beach (read write up here at https://roamulofied.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/the-twin-beach-of-el-nido-nacpan-calitang/).

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Corong-Corong Beach is located in Brgy. Corong-Corong, (hence the name), a fishing village 2 kilometers south from El Nido town center. Just like the twin beaches of Nacpan- and Calitang, this beach is also laidback yet appealing in vibe. And dissimilar to the beaches at the town’s center, the shore is not obstructed by boats hence a more picturesque view can be seen.

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From the main street, my friends and I walked about a hundred meters until we reached the beach proper.  The golden brown sand stretches long and is fringed with towering coconut trees. The area is dotted with several accommodations and is not congested with bars and restaurants. Obviously, it is a much quieter place that would surely make a more relaxing stay.

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While waiting for the sunset at this side of Palawan, my friends went on to swim and try the clear, shallow waters of Corong-Corong while I took photos of the place. A few more minutes and the sun started to mesmerize us with its golden rays as it says goodbye. As in every sunset I have witnessed, the settling down of the sun always evoke a sense of respite and that it is a beauty to behold.

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Accommodation along Corong-Corong:

RESORT/INN Estimated Price range/Night Contact Number
All Seasons Beach Resort Php 2000-4000 +63917 541 9804

+63919 452 4266

Arbor Beach Cottage Php 700-1000 +63999 385 2566

+63949 390 3163

El Nido Overlooking Php 3500 +63916 631 7078
Greenviews Resort and Restaurant Php 1000-2700 +63921 586 1442
Island Front Cottages Php 1500-3500 +63999 994 1309

+63918 967 6829

Las Cabanas Beach Resort Php 4500 +63917 887 8808
Lugadia Beach Cottages Php 700-1000 +63907 476 5922

+63919 572 6372

Orange Pearl Beach Resort Php 1500-3500 +63906 215 2549

+63930 720 8633

Sheryl May Inn Php 1000-1500 +63930 720 3091

+63916 574 5444

Stunning Vistas Beach Resort Php 1700-3500  +63999 566 0888

+63921 751 5783

Talindak Beach front Cottages Php 1500 +36 909 492 5944

+63 918 679 7643

Telesfora Beach Cottage Php 1000-1500 +63917 731 8034

+63919 697 7378

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How to get to Corong-Corong Beach

From Manila, ride a plane to Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan or a direct (more expensive) flight to El Nido proper. From Puerto Prinsesa airport, there are vans that directly go to El Nido. The travel time would be around 5 hours. Alternative is to ride a bus but will take longer hours of land travel. Once in El Nido town center, ride a tricycle going to Corong-Corong Beach.

You might want to check out http://www.letspalawan.com/  for more…

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

Malapascua Island (Cebu, PH)

The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder. – Ralph W. Sockman

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Malapascua – an island situated in the Visayan Sea across a shallow strait from the northernmost tip of Cebu Province.

The island became well-known during the early 1990s as a must-visit dive destination. However, even before its dive wonders rose to fame, Malapascua has been famed for its stretch of white sand beach called Bounty Beach; moreover, it has also been identified for its stunning seascape that boasts off wondrous coral gardens

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Today, a great number of divers – local and international alike – come to the island and see for themselves Monad Shoal and Kemod Shoal. Monad Shoal specifically is an underwater plateau where thresher sharks and manta ray are seen on a regular basis.

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What else can one do in Malapascua?

  • Ask your boatman to take you to various snorkelling sites including those with shipwreck wonders.
  • Do cliff diving. Not for the faint-hearted but for those with beaming adrenaline in them. Los Bamboo Point is a good place to do this.
  • Have lunch or picnic along one of the beaches that surround the island. We enjoyed the ones at Bounty Beach and Bantigue Cove when me and my friends where here.

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  • Wait for the sunset, it may be along the beach or make your way to an old lighthouse and wait for the golden hour.
  • Take a motorcycle ride as a means of exploring other parts of the island.
  • Eat lechon! We were surprised that even in such tiny island, lechon Cebu is also available. Yummy!

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How to Get to Malapascua Island:

From Manila: There are a number of airlines flying from Manila to Cebu regularly. Once in Mactan – Cebu, ride a metered taxi going to the North Bus Terminal. Take a bus (usually a Ceres Bus) bound for Maya-Bagay, Daanbantayan in Northern Cebu. Bus ride may take 3 – 4 hours.

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At the Maya Wharf, a large boat will serve as a means of transportation to Malapascua. They also offer special trips of P800.00 – P1,000.00 where you will charter your own boat and you will not have to wait for other passengers before it leaves.

Once you set foot on the island, you take a motorcycle ride to wherever you wish to be brought to.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be a wanderlust. Take it easy ebriwan. Roamulofied out.

Breathtaking Batanes: SABTANG ISLAND (Philippines)

Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning. Yeah, everything is beautiful. – Prince

A visit to Batanes is almost incomplete without an overnight stay (or just even a quick tour) of the island town of Sabtang.

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Sabtang, the smallest  and the southernmost island municipality of the Batanes island group which is composed primarily of Sabtang Island, as well as two nearby smaller and uninhabited islands: Dequey and Ivuhos. The municipality is known for its lighthouse and the old stone houses of the Ivatan villages of Chavayan and Savidug. Like Batan Island to the north, Sabtang also has a few Mission-style churches and white sand beaches.

WHAT to SEE in SABTANG:

Savidug – A barrio that is around 3 kilometers away from the town center and is abound with traditional stone houses.  It is said that there are 3 types of Ivatan houses lining the streets of Batanes: the maytuab, stone house with four-sloped thatched cogon roof; the sinadumparan, stone house with two-sloped cogon roof; and the jinjin, wood and cogon. In this village, sinadumparan houses are those that are seen. The stone walls of these houses are all identical, but the doors and windows present a way for individual ingenuity. They add color to the otherwise dull structures. You can also find St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel and the Old Beaterio (a priest’s house) in this quaint village.

The old beaterio in Savidug.
The old beaterio in Savidug.

Chavayan – Another seaside village famous for its rows of old stone houses, old streets, and old sites. Just like Savidug, this village’s narrow street is lined with sinadumparan stone houses. It has a tiny chapel – the Chavayan Chapel – which is a special chapel because it is the only remaining church in Batanes roofed with cogon grass. What makes it more exceptional is the fact that it is only about 10 meters away from the beach. In this town will one gets to visit the Sabtang Weavers Association. Dont forget to try out their traditional head and back woven gear called “vakul”.

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Malakdang Lighthouse or Sabtang Lighthouse – On the edge of a cliff just beside the San Vicente port, is the first man-made structure to welcome you as you move towards Sabtang .It boasts a rubble masonry finish all the way to the colonnade deck, which gives it a prevailing crude appeal. The lighthouse is best viewed from the port where rolling waves take the forefront. Just lovely!

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Morong Beach –  It is also known as Nakabuang Beach. It is a short stretch beach with low, grass-carpeted hills and rocky feautures. Its most outstanding feature is an arch, called Ahaw or Mahayaw Arch, that is perhaps one of the most iconic natural landmarks in Sabtang or Batanes as a whole. There is a restaurant in the surrounding area, making it a usual lunch stop.

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Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint – To me , this is Sabtang’s version of Marlboro Country (Racuh a Payaman). From the road going to Chavayan Village, one can already see and be in awe with this very picturesque hill. A foot trail takes visitors across rolling hills to a very charming viewing area. The rocky cliffs expanding from the slopes of the hills, create natural frames for the extraordinary landscape and seascape of Chamantad Cove beneath.

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A day tour of Sabtang will give you a sense of what Batanes really is. Just what I have always imagined!

WHERE to STAY in SABTANG:

Harold Gabotero’s Vernacular House 0999-9958262
LGU Lodging 0918-488-2424
Lola Maring’s Homestay 0999-995-8262
SNSF Home Economics Building 0921-715-4919

HOW TO REACH BATANES:

The fastest and safest (but could be an expensive) way to get to Batanes for now is by plane. Airline companies serving the island province with 3 flights per week from Manila are SkyJetAir, and PAL Express; while local airlines from Tuguegarao, Cagayan have a minimum number of passengers required for a flight and if there aren’t enough, the flight will be delayed / re-scheduled for 24-72 hours.

HOW TO GET TO SABTANG from BATAN ISLAND:

From Ivana Port , Sabtang is accessible via a 30-minute (or more depending on how rough the waves are) ride aboard the faluwa, the bigger traditional Ivatan boat.

You can check out the write-up on Basco, Batanes here

https://roamulofied.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/breathtaking-batanes-basco-philippines/

The Pristine Beaches of Burgos (Pangasinan, Philippines)

Artist Jason Mraz once shared, My home isn’t about being grounded in one corner of the planet. It’s about being in love and being lost in the middle of an amazing adventure, witnessing sunbursts over horizons of every time zone”. I couldn’t agree more… Spot on words that have never been spoken.

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There’s nothing like the joy you feel when on the road, heading off to a strange new place, either alone or with friends. And so one weekend, I decided to hit 2 of the beaches in Burgos, Pangasinan — each possessing a unique character to boast. These 2 beaches are not frequented by people. Moreover, they are tucked in the outskirts of Western Pangasinan making them a little kept and more pristine.

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TIMAPOG na BATO

First stop – the gigantic, screaming rock towers of Timapog na Bato. (Timapog, a local term, as I understand it, could mean “water that strongly splashes through the rocks”). The humongous rock formations, carved by nature’s elements and time, are the main features of the coastline. Nestled between the towns of Dasol and Burgos in Western Pangasinan, the place is a perfect avenue for relaxation and serenity. No houses, no crowded sight of people (only a fisherman and his boat) – instead, the sound of the waves, the gentle wind whispering to my ears and the shutter of my camera were the only reverberation I could hear. It was perfect, just the way I wanted!

CABONGAOAN BEACH

Next stop is a white sand wizened beach in a cove-like shape. Cabongaoan Beach is pristine and paradisiacal. It is indeed true that some of the most beautiful sights are found in the outskirts, continuously being protected by Mother Nature from being exploited. Crystal clear, aquamarine waters and fine, ivory sand greeted me when I arrived at the place. It was yet another unspoiled beauty of nature. It made me realize that Pangasinan really have a lot of hidden getaways getting ready to be discovered. This is definitely one place a beach enthusiast would love to bum around.

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The trip to these beaches reminded me to rekindle the waning spirit of serenity in me.  And bumming around for a few moment made me felt stress-free and glee. Reminiscing how serene these beaches are, made me realize to be more optimistic in life. And the reason for this particular blog was to share the beautiful things I have experienced and seen, that eventually brought about positive effects

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So if you feel like life’s just becoming one big grievance session; when you feel like you have not looked for the serenity in your life for the past years; when you feel like you have been focused on the downbeat things and you’ve lost sight of your confidence – take that less traveled road. There, you might just find what you have been looking for. It might not be an obvious inspiration, it might be a hazy spark that is yet to be discovered, but it is there, somewhere.

Life is too short to wait on the highway… Hit the beach, explore the caves, climb the mountains, and discover the unpaved…