Posts Tagged ‘ Day Trip ’

Inside: Plitvice Lakes

Here are some pics from our daytrip to Croatia’s largest national park – and a UNESCO World Heritage Site at that! :D

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“The national park is world famous for its lakes arranged in cascades. Currently, 16 lakes can be seen from the surface.  These lakes are a result of the confluence of several small rivers and subterranean karst rivers. The lakes are all interconnected and follow the water flow. They are separated by natural dams of travertine, which is deposited by the action of moss, algae, and bacteria. The particularly sensitive travertine barriers are the result of an interplay between water, air and plants. The encrusted plants and bacteria accumulate on top of each other, forming travertine barriers which grow at the rate of about 1 cm (0.4 in) per year.”

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Related post:
Daytrip to Plitvice Lakes

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Apo Island – Swimming with Sea Turtles!

November 5, 2015

My main bucketlist the last time I travelled back to the Philippines was to be able to swim with sea turtles (locally referred to as pawikan). I invited a few friends to join me for this trip and dragged my brother along too.

Sea turtle!!! <3

Sea turtle!!! <3

Booking a return flight from Manila to Dumaguete, we set off for a daytrip to Apo Island on our second day there. We headed to the bus terminal where we got on a Bayawan-bound airconditioned bus. We got off at Malatapay where the fare cost us 50php per person. It was a comfortable 40min bus ride with non-stop Air Supply songs blaring from its speakers – felt like a Sunday for me since that’s when radio stations will play oldies classics! We then crossed the road and walked towards the end of the street where we headed to the registration area. They then allotted a boat to us after we’ve decided to invite 2 foreign girls along to save on boat fee. Definitely on our list was making sure that we buy enough food for us before getting on to the boat. ;)

Making sure we have enough food to eat, we bought lots of food!

Making sure we have enough food to eat, we bought lots of food!

It was a pretty rough 40minute boat ride. I was seated on the middle of the boat and got an impromptu shower from all the waves that splashed onto our boat. Seeing Apo Island beckoned closer felt amazing as it meant seeing them sea turtles!

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Just as we were about to reach Apo Island!

After another set of paperworks wherein we had to get registered, we rented our gears (snorkelling mask and swimming shoes – it was a rocky coast), got ourselves a guide (we were informed that to be able to swim in the turtle sanctuary, you’ll need to take a guide with you), then swam right in.

Playing around with the fins while we were deciding which ones to rent

Playing around with the fins while we were deciding which ones to rent

And there they were, several sea turtles, lazily grazing from one patch of sea grass on to the other without it seems a care in the world. :D

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More pictures from the trip:

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Pretty corals were there to be seen too!

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Apo Island – above and below

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Group picture before getting on a tricycle to take us back to the city

 

Expenses:
50php – bus ride to Bayawan
3000php – boat for 10pax
100php – registration fee for foreigners/ non-Bisaya
100php – rental fee for equipments (snorkel gear, shoes, fin)
300php – guide fee, max of 4pax
300php – tables rented for our stay
400php – tricycle back to Daumaguete City for 5 of us

 

 

 

 

 

Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes

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Plitvice Lakes National Park

Michael, my boyfriend, and I love to travel. According to him, the fact that I’ve been to many European countries makes it difficult for him to decide on where else to go in this part of the world. I informed him I haven’t really travelled on the eastern side. ;) Setting our sights on it then, we chose to go to Croatia. More specifically, its Plitvice Lakes. Yes, we know people normally go there for Dubrovnik – but we kinda had our fill of old towns/ forts/ cities at the moment and would appreciate nature more.

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To get to Plitvice Lakes:

Fly in to Zagreb – capital city. Get on a bus from the main bus terminal bound for Plitvice Lakes – just double check with the driver if they’ll make a stop here. Travel time is 2hrs 20mins.
OR
Fly in to Zadar – city by the coast. Get on a bus bound for Plitvice Lakes. Travel time is 2hrs.
Last bus bound for Zagreb where we stayed at is at 6:30pm. I’ll advice to getting back to the bus stop well ahead of that as some of the buses would either get there ahead of their schedule – or later, but why risk missing your trip back?

I love road trips! Even if it means just sitting on a bus. The promise of an adventure is just so exciting!

I love road trips! Even if it means just sitting on a bus. The promise of an adventure is just so exciting!

Entrance Fees:

110 KN – 1 adult/day
180 KN – 2day ticket
55 KN – child

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Entrance 2’s bus stop

Don’t forget:

Wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking quite a lot. You don’t want your feet to hurt afterwards.
Water/ drinks to keep yourself hydrated.
Snacks if you’re like me who almost always seem to be eating! ;)
Camera to capture those moments – unless you’re not into it.
Shades/ hat for those bright, sunny days.

 

About to start our walking adventure. :)

About to start our walking adventure. :)

Lots of walking!

Lots of walking!

By the information counter near both entrance,  there would be boards which show you options on what route to take and how long it’d take. Pick the one that you’re comfortable with.

Paths are clearly marked with signs like this.

Paths are clearly marked with signs like this.

Our route:

We started our walk in ulaz (entrance) 2. That’s ST2 there. We took the train/bus to ST3. From hereon, we walked downwards to P2 then to P1. In P1, we got on the boat that sailed towards P3. We then walked towards the big waterfall then to ST1 where we again rode the bus towards ST2 to catch our bus back. All in all, it took us around 5 1/2 hours. That’s us stopping for snacks and lots of photo ops or to just plain stop to soak it all in! There’s no need to pay for the bus and the boat as it’s part of the entrance fee. This might be a bit confusing but once you have your ticket in front of you with the general outline of the park, you’ll understand perfectly what we did.

The park's train/ bus. It'd take you from ST1 to ST2 to ST3.

The park’s train/ bus. It’d take you from ST1 to ST2 to ST3

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One of the boats sailing across the still waters of Plitvice

One of the boats sailing across the still waters of Plitvice

Good to know:

The park is open all year round.
There are toilets/ WC in ST1, 2, and 3 as well as in P3.
You can buy some food and drinks in the places mentioned above as well as the 2 entrance to the park.

I loved walking on their wooden pathways. Felt like I was a kid! It was well maintained too.

I loved walking on their  well maintained, wooden pathways. Felt like I was a kid!

We think a day trip is enough to see the whole park. Unless your main objective to travelling there is to take pictures and might wanna be there during sunrise/ sunset – the golden hour of taking photographs. If that’s the case, you might need more then. ;)

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We encountered many kids on a school trip and people on tour groups. Don't let it dampen your trip. We're all there for the same reason :)

We encountered many kids on a school trip and people on tour groups. Don’t let it dampen your trip. We’re all there for the same reason :)

Making sure he doesn't get his shoes wet.

Making sure he doesn’t get his shoes wet. :)

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He says it’s one of the most beautiful place he’s been to in Europe. I have to agree!

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Have you been to Plitvice Lakes? Planning on going there? It would be great if you could share other tips and suggestions! Or ask here if you have questions. :)

Happy travels everyone!!!

Kanchanaburi Day Trip

February 18, 2011

It was already late, past 1am, and we’re to go on a day trip to Kanchanaburi around 7am. Even though we knew that, we were still chatting nonstop. Then someone turned off the lights, we went to sleep. :)

Luckily for me and my cousin, that day was a holiday. Thailand being a Buddhist country observed Makha Bucha wherein they were celebrating Buddha’s first sermon to his disciples. For us, it meant that our hosts can join us for a day trip since they won’t be working. For other tourists, it meant that entrance to all temples are for free and that selling alcohol is prohibited (it was a full moon that night to boot!). hehe

The guys arranged the Kanchanaburi day trip for us. They booked at one of the many agencies you can find in Khao San. We’re paying 550 Thai Baht (1THB= 1.45PHP) each. It included van transportation to and from Khao San, trips to JEATH musuem, Sai Nok Noi water falls and bridge over River Kwai, an elephant and train ride as well as bamboo rafting, and a buffet Thai lunch. Sulit! :D

Khao San early in the day :)

Pad thai for breakfast

We got to Khao San at quarter to 7 and I had my first Thai dish there. Drinks and snacks were bought then we waited… and waited… and waited more! Our guide met us when it was already nearing 8! We could have slept more. Oh well. When we got in the van, there were 4 other tourists inside, all Filipinas. They were on the same flight as me coming here (and turns out, same flight back too).

Bundles of laughter with these trio around :D

First stop: Don-Rak War Cemetery a.k.a. Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

My first reaction, “why are we in a cemetery?”

All the while, I can hear the others talk excitedly to each other. “We’re here at the cemetery! It’s……” They definitely did their homework. hehe

The place was the burial ground for many prisoners of war who died building the Burma railway during the 2nd World War (WWII). Most of which were Australians, British and  Dutch.

First stop: War Cemetery

A marker for an Australian soldier

There are 6.892 graves in this cemetery

Second stop: “JEATH War Museum” and “Art Gallery & War Museum”

Entrance fee: 40THB each

“The JEATH War Museum is one of two war museums in Thailand about the Death Railway built from 1942 to 1943 by Allied POWs under the direction of the Japanese. The museum was founded in 1977 by the chief abbot of Wat Chaichumpol Venerable Phra Theppanyasuthee. It is located on the grounds of a temple at the junction of the Khwae Yai and Khwae Noi rivers in Kanchanaburi. The acronym JEATH stands for the primary nationalities involved in the construction of the railway: Japanese, English, Australian, American, Thai and Holland.” -wikipedia

Third Stop: The Bridge over the River Kwai a.k.a. Burma Railway a.k.a. Death Railway

Built by the Empire of Japan during WWII using forced labour to support its forces in Burma. More than 100,000 people died during the construction of the said railway earning for it the monicker Death Railway.

Fourth Stop: Train Ride from Tha Kilen to Nam Tok

150THB will get you a “first-class” seat that comes with some snacks (water, soda and bread) and a certification that you rode the Death Railway train ride. Otherwise, just shell out 50THB.

Thakilen Train Station

Passing beside a cliff

Handing out certificates

Pretty nice ride! :D

Fifth Stop: Lunch!

Our van was waiting for us at the end of our train ride. We were then brought to a floating restaurant where we had our lunch. Food was served buffet style. Though there wasn’t that much of choice, the foods served were good. Spicy too,  a common among Thai foods which is what I prefer. hehe About an hour later, we then rode a bamboo raft that brought us over to our sixth stop.

Heading towards our lunch ;)

Buffet

The river's current IS strong

Aboard the bamboo raft for a quick ride :)

Sixth Stop: Bamboo Camp

An elephant camp. :)

Also included in the fee we paid for was a trip to an elephant camp. We all got to ride (yes!) an elephant. However, should you want to feed them, 20THB will get you a small basket of fruits for feeding the elephants. They would also take a souvenir picture of you  that you can later buy for 100THB if you want.

Food for the elephants. 20THB.

Seventh Stop: Sai Yok Noi Falls

This was our last destination for this trip. When we got to the falls though, there was hardly any “falls” to look at. Maybe because it was dry season? Anyways, we didn’t spend much time there but we did walk around to look at some stuff and to get some snacks. I was hungry! ;)

We came upon this stall that was selling chips made of taro, potatoes, etc (in plain, salty, sweet flavors). When suddenly, the lady manning it was offering me and my companions fistful of their products to try. Of course, I ate some (I WAS hungry. haha). They were actually pretty good. We got 3 bags for 100THB. Then, she did her sales talk.

Vendor: “Khun suway. Khun suway mak mak!” (while pointing at me)

Me: “Ah… What? English? Please?” (looks toward hosts)

Hosts: “She’s saying that you’re very beautiful” (do they have to laugh while explaining this? Tsk! Tsk!)

Me: (turns to cousin since she’s got our money) “Ate, let’s buy more!” :D (I’m sooo easy to deal with! haha)

Too bad I wasn’t able to take a pic of her nor of her stall. :(

Having satiated my hunger from all that free taste, next on my list of concern was to look for something refreshing to drink. Kcia, a friend of mine, kept on telling me to try Thai iced tea once I’m in Thailand. With that in mind, I made a beeline to the first stall I saw selling it. A few minutes later, I was a very happy person! It was sweet (I have sweet tooth) and cool (it was a hot day), perfect! The rest of the other tourists were already inside the van, waiting for us. It was time to head back to Bangkok. :)

Crossing the highway

Thai English

Sai Yok Noi Falls

New job for our hosts :D

Making Thai iced tea

Love at first sip! :D

Related Posts:

Arrival in Bangkok

A Night in Khao San

Bangkok and Shopping

Bangkok City Tour (part 1)

Bangkok City Tour (part 2)