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  1. #26
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    ^ thanks for that Cyrille!

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLD View Post
    @katie, yeah arriving bali Tuesday afternoon. Will putter over to sanur with some cheese for switch
    Good to know, but I am happy to travel now most of the Javanese tourists have gone home.

    As far as Topper is concerned, the black sand volcanic beaches to the east are for surfers. The black sand on the north coast is friendlier but quieter. Civilised but travel distance is a problem.

    Everywhere is calming down after Christmas/New year domestic tourism. Sorry I canít advise on Vietnam or Phils. Not enough experience.
    Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    After living in the PI for three years, I've not visited the beach yet
    So..my guess is that you aren't the avid swimmer.

    But you prefer places with the best beaches and therefore the most tourists.

    Is it the vibe of those places; better choices in food..or what ?


    If I didn't have kids, I would visit the fishing town with the most rocky beach.

    Those places have..soul, man.


    Seems I agree somewhat with David

    My fault

    Sorry, Topper. Never been to any of those fine places

  4. #29
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    ^Mrs Topper doesn't swim and is afraid of boat rides.

    My guess is Topper isn't an avid swimmer and his idea of a beach holiday is lounging on the beach with a beer (nothing wrong with that).

    My suggestion is to go local for Songkran & save up for a longer holiday in Vietnam or Bali for the Christmas holidays. Cebu Pacific sometimes has promos - follow their FB page. My flights to Saigon (SGN) & Bali were with Cebu Pac - no complaints. It's a budget airline, I know what to expect, you get what you pay for.

    If you have the $$ and time (10 to 14 days), you can do Danang, Nha Trang and Saigon in Vietnam - travel by train between the cities. There's an o/n train from NT to SGN. Fly out via SGN to MNL.

    Or you could do Bali and visit several areas there on your ~2 weeks: Kuta/ Seminyak, Sanur, go to the highlands (forgot the name), visit Lombok island, etc.

    Btw, if Songkran is at the same time as Holy Week in PH, it will be chaotic in PH too.

    *****

    I live ~2 hrs away from the beaches of Batangas and I haven't been to a beach in 3 yrs too. I prefer mountains vs beach. Hmm... this summer I may join a hike which has a beach side trip, just to see the sea for a bit!

    ****
    Edit: btw, you said you were going to offer to buy your townhouse. Did your landlord agree? Any update on that?
    Last edited by katie23; 08-01-2024 at 06:57 AM. Reason: just because...

  5. #30
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    I grew up at the beach, I'm not really interested in swimming that much anymore but just enjoy the vibe at the beach, as Katie said relaxing at the beach with a cool, refreshing barley based beverage is just where I feel "home", if that makes any sense.

    We've not talked to the landlord yet, Katie. Also, our trip will only be about 5 days, not another weeks long thing again.
    "I was a good student. I comprehend very well, OK, better than I think almost anybody," - President Trump comparing his legal knowledge to a Federal judge.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    our trip will only be about 5 days, not another weeks long thing again.
    You'll lose two travelling so perhaps the Phils is the way to go

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    You'll lose two travelling so perhaps the Phils is the way to go
    Another place I'm looking at for an overnighter is Lakawan Island.

  8. #33
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    ^^I agree with Mike. If you choose VN or Bali, you'll have to fly to Manila or Cebu first before your international flight. So only 3 days of chillaxing. If you go to Siargao or Bantayan by ferry, travel will be ~half day each way, so you'll have more time for yourselves.

    Thnx for the update re: your landlord/ land. If you still plan (or want) the container/ smart house idea, you could probably buy 2 of them & put them in an L-shape or in front of each other & make a patio in between. Put kitchen & living room in one, bedroom for another. Then build an outhouse for T&B. That's what 1 other person did. You previously said that you wanted it raised - but don't raise it too high because when you age, stairs will be tough (the case of my mom now).

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    Another place I'm looking at for an overnighter is Lakawan Island.
    That looks interesting. Had to Google its location. It's near Bacolod, so not much time will be lost travelling.

    You could also try Siquijor island, where the aswangs are. (ask your wife abt "aswang")

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    If you go to Siargao or Bantayan by ferry
    I find the whole airport business and air travel a hassle even with lounges etc, a ferry on the other hand is great you can wind down once you board, find a nice place to camp and start your hols without having to breath in other peoples recirculated farts

  11. #36
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    ^I agree. I think as we get older, the excitement of air travel wears off. At this point, I don't want to be transferring cities every 2 or 3 days. (OMG, I'm becoming an old fart. Lol) I think now of my hectic Taiwan & multi-country trips and wonder - how did I do that?!

    *****
    @topper - another suggestion is Camiguin island. Check first if there's a ferry from Dumaguete to Cagayan de Oro (CDO). From CDO, it's 1.5H ferry ride to Camiguin. Went there many years ago - quaint little island.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Camiguin island
    had to look that up and it looks like a great getaway, some stunning scenery

  13. #38
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    Oh Katie, they've recently added the customs declaration to the e travel thingy. It's sooooooo much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We filled ours out today and enjoyed every hour of it!

    What makes it fun is that you just can't say "No" to all the items, like nothing to declare. You have to show that you bought something of some value.

  14. #39
    Thailand Expat DrWilly's Avatar
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    Ouch. What if you didn’t buy any tobacco?

  15. #40
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    ^^Lol. Thnx for the update. There was no customs declaration thingy from my travel last year. For those who had stuff to declare, they were given paper forms. I think the IT ppl constantly tweak things to keep themselves employed.

    Safe travels, Mr & Mrs Topper!

    ******
    @Mike - yeah, Camiguin is a pleasant island to explore. There are hot springs, cold spring, waterfalls, there's a volcano (my group visited the seismic observation station), a sandbar which is only visible during early mornings, etc. It's a good island to explore if one likes doing nature stuff.

    It was in Camiguin where I first tasted sea urchin. It tasted like snot. 'nuff said.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWilly View Post
    Ouch. What if you didn’t buy any tobacco?
    The last "section" was for misc crap. I bought a decent kitchen knife (something rarely found in the PI) and the wife's clothes and shoes. Also, most of the categories had places where you had to submit proof the item was cool to bring into the PI, like cosmetics and perfume or food products. Amazingly enough, all our stuff fell into the misc category.

  17. #42
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    ^^ Katie, are you sure you ate the right part, I've eaten it many times, you only eat the roe and it tastes of the sea.

  18. #43
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    ^yes, I did. It tastes of the sea & of snot. A colleague said that to her, it tasted of oysters. Individual tastes, I guess. <shrug>

    We bought sea urchins from some local kids selling them. They broke it for us, opened it & told us how to eat it.

  19. #44
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    I love eating urchins.

    Also a win win given they are in invasive species and a pest.

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