Two Days on Magnetic Island: The Bungalow Bay Experience

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Magnetic Island was right at the top of my Australian bucket list, and it completely exceeded all my expectations.

I was only on the island for exactly 48 hours, but I can confidently say that I made every single minute count.  Magnetic Island is definitely a special destination, and I now fully understand why it’s one of the most popular stops for backpackers and travelers exploring the east coast of Australia.

I’m currently sitting on a Greyhound bus down to Airlie Beach, but all I’m thinking about is how incredible the past two days were on “Maggie Island”.  If I were on a Working Holiday Visa, I definitely would have taken up the offer to work at Bungalow Bay in exchange for accommodation and one meal / drink per day.  Alas, this is not the case, and I continue my travels in Australia, only with a plan to someday return to this beautiful idyllic paradise for further explorations.     

So what made these two days so amazing…?  Let me try and explain, and impress you with some pretty photos at the same time. 

The Bungalow Bay YHA — Magnetic Island

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The minute I stepped foot into the reception area at The Bungalow Bay, I already had an amazing feeling about the place.  This wasn’t just another comfortable YHA hostel to get a night’s sleep at — this was an all-encompassing Australian experience.  You would stroll by Koala & Kangaroo crossing signs to find your bungalow while the colorful birds were chirping from above.

The entire time you’re at the Bungalow Bay, you really feel one with the Australian wilderness.  You’d walk to the bathroom at midnight only to be greeted by friendly wallabies who are just out for their nighty bounce around the property.  If that doesn’t sound cool to you, than you defintiely have a problem.

I also found the hostel vibe really strong here.  The communal kitchen area was clean and organized, and the pool was absolutely beautiful.  Everyone seemed super happy as they walked around the hostel, which is expected though when you’re spending your days exploring paradise.


Canary Feeding

I arrived right around 4 P.M at Bungalow Bay, and was told that I couldn’t miss the daily canary bird feeding at 4:30 P.M.  So after dropping my bag off in my room, splashing some water on my face, and getting 20 minutes of camera charging time in — I was ready to go. 

These canaries are so colorful, friendly, and were flying all over the place.  I honestly didn’t even know this type of vibrant bird existed, so the was an extra bonus to my stay at Bungalow Bay.  🙂

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The Forts Walk During Sunset

This is one of the absolute must-do’s for anyone coming to Magnetic Island.  Not only is the walk relatively short and easy, but you’ll be rewarded wit stunning view points, and even spot a few Koala bears in the wild!  I’d also recommend doing it during sunset because it’ll be a lot less hot, and the views from up at the fort are unreal.  It was a cloudy night when I was up there so the sunset wasn’t all that special, but still an amazing time.       

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Renting a 4-Wheel Drive

At first when I got to Magnetic Island, my plan was to rent a scooter like I used to do all the time in South-East Asia, but I quickly learned that the only way you can properly explore the island is with a 4-Wheel Drive.   So I called the amazing family-owned and operated Isle Hire Rentals and organized to rent their only automatic 4-Wheel Drive van left. 

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My car was an absolute bad-ass, and it’s name was called “The Red Beast”.  If you’re going to Magnetic Island anytime soon, I’d highly recommend driving it.  When you’re driving on some of these roads, you’ll be really glad you’re in a massive car like this one.  

Trust me — you’ll need a 4 Wheel Drive car to get the full Magnetic Island experience. 


Exploring All The Bays

When you first look at a map of Magnetic Island, you might feel a bit overwhelmed about all the different areas there are to go.  Don’t stress.  It’s actually a pretty small island, and you can easily knock out all of the different bays during your visit.  If I could do it in just 48 hours, than I’m sure you can do it as well.  


Arthur Bay

Absolutely gorgeous look-out point, and from what I’ve heard is an excellent snorkeling spot as well.

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Radical Bay

The farthest bay and one of the more challenging to get to, but it’s beautiful.  I unfortunately only stayed on this bay for a total of 10 minutes, as my friend I was traveling with slipped and busted open her chin, so we had to make a quick little detour to the hospital!

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Alma Bay

Locataed right off the main road, this is a very quick, easy, and beautiful spot to relax for an afternoon.  There’s a park right before you hit the beach, and I saw people chilling out in the shade while enjoying a nice little picnic.

This is also where they do a lot of the scuba certification dives.  

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Horseshoe Bay

The biggest and largest bay with the most stuff going on.  There are a couple of restaurants and bars along the main street, beautiful trees on the beach, and an enclosure which makes it safe for swimming.  If you walk all the way to the right there are these big rocks you can climb and explore.  Tons of beautiful views of Horseshoe bay!

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George Bay

I didn’t really spend any time here, but this is where you need to go for the rock-wallaby feeding!

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Nelly Bay / Picnic Bay Look-Out

The staff at YHA told me about this amazing view-point that overlooks both Nelly & Picnic Bay, and it was absolutely worth it!  From the main road, it’s only a brief 10 minute walk up to this big rock.  Definitely a must!

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Balding Bay

THE NUDE BEACH

To get to this little nude bathing paradise, you’ll have a brief 20 minute walk from Horseshoe Bay, or about a 10-15 minute from Radical Bay.  It is probably the most beautiful bay on the island.  When I made my here there weren’t any naked people, but you might run into some naturists when you go.

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Feeding The Rock Wallabies

This was without a doubt one of my favorite things I did while on Magnetic Island.  I find wallabies to be the cutest little animals in the world, and I really just want one as a pet.  So when the staff at Bungalow Bay told me that I could just rock up to these rocks with a bag of food, and they’ll eat out of my hands — that became a top priority.  

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Westpoint for Sunset

There’s no better place to watch the sunset on the island than at Westpoint.  I’ve seen my fair share of beautiful sunsets in Australia, but I think this might have been the best so far. 

This is actually another reason why renting that 4-Wheel Drive Van from Isle Hire is an absolute must! 

You simply can’t get to Westpoint without a car that can handle extreme driving conditions.     

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The Koala Experience!

Last but certainly not least — a trip to Magnetic Island wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the incredible 2-Hour Koala / wildlife trip at The Bungalow Bay.

Complete with a turtle, baby crocodile, two cockatoo’s, various lizards, one snake, and of course — the cutest little Koala Bears. 

You obviously can’t leave Australia without the signature tourist shot…

There are 3 Daily Wildlife Presentations at 10:00 A.M, 12:00 P.M, and 2:30 P.M

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——-

If you couldn’t tell from my pictures, I really did have two of the most incredible days on Magnetic Island.  If I wasn’t on a bit of a tighter schedule for my travels along the east coast of Australia, I would have easily stayed for another couple weeks.  I don’t know when I’ll be going back, but I know it will happen someday. 

Thanks to everyone at Bungalow Bay YHA for such an amazing visit.

THANKS FOR READING ! ! ! 

Singapore to Bangkok Overland Backpacking Itinerary

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Introduction

One of the most common routes for backpacking in South-East Asia is traveling from Singapore to Bangkok overland.  It’s an absolute amazing trip with tons of incredible places to see along the way.  From starting out in amazing metropolitan cities like Singapore & Kuala Lumpur, and then breaking away to gorgeous islands — this is definitely going to be a trip you’ll never forget.  This Singapore to Bangkok guide will go over my proposed route, travel tips, helpful websites, and some of my favorite blog posts I’ve written along my travels.

Brief Overview & Itinerary Route

  1. Singapore
  2. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
  3. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
  4. Penang, Malaysia
  5. Langkawi, Malaysia
  6. Koh Lipe, Thailand
  7. Koh Lanta, Thailand
  8. Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
  9. Ao Nang / Railey Beach, Thailand
  10. Koh Phangan, Thailand
  11. Koh Tao, Thailand
  12. Bangkok, Thailand

Starting in Singapore (2-3 Days)

Singapore is an absolutely gorgeous city, and it is often overlooked by South-East Asia backpackers.  This tends to be a very popular “layover” destination, and I always hear people who have only seen the airport, or max spent a day in the city.  I would personally recommend staying in this city for at least 2-3 nights!  There’s a lot of amazing things to see, places to visit, and incredible food to eat!

Check out this article written by fellow travel blogger Adventurous Miriam titled,” Top Free Things To Do in Singapore“.  This is a great starting point for planning your travels in this amazing city.

Note:  Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and definitely the priciest place in South-East Asia.  Try to limit your expenses here, or else you might break your budget here!  My personal advice — don’t go out drinking.  Maybe a beer here or there, but don’t go out partying.  It’s so expensive, and it will be better to save your party energy for other destinations on this itinerary 😉

 

Bus Or Train to Kuala Lumpur (3-4 Days)

From Singapore, it is incredibly easy to get up to the Malaysian Capital, Kuala Lumpur.  Your choice between Train, Bus, or Flight.

Train & Bus Bookings:  Easybook

Welcome to Kuala Lumpur.  This is truly a special place with friendly people, beautiful sights, and delicious food (just like the rest of Malaysia).  During my travels in South-East Asia , I was lucky enough to call this city home for awhile.  The first time I visited Kuala Lumpur I actually didn’t enjoy the city too much, but after spending more time there I discovered how special the city really is.

For more information on Kuala Lumpur, check out the following blog posts I’ve written:

This is one of my favorite cities in South-East Asia, and definitely worth the visit for a few days.  If you’re on a time crunch, you won’t want to spend too much time here.  Just make sure you cover all the city highlights.

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Bus to Cameron Highlands (2-3 days)

The Cameron Highlands is a stunning hill station in central peninsular Malaysia, and has become a popular destination for visitors in Malaysia. Roughly the size of Singapore, the Cameron Highlands covers a large stretch of land, and there’s tons to see, do, and explore.  You’ll fall in love with the beautiful green tea plantations, and will leave you speechless when you visit the highest peak in the Cameron Highlands

For more information on the Cameron Highlands, check out the guide below!

A Backpacker’s Guide to the Cameron Highlands

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Bus to Penang (2-3 Days)

Penang is the cultural hotspot in Malaysia!  You’ll fall in love with it’s busy streets, beautiful artwork, and enchanting history.  Oh, and the food is absolutely amazing.  Most people come to Penang only planning a few day stay, but end up staying much longer than they expected.  You can spend a day on Batu Ferringi beach, hike through the National Park, and take the journey up to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the entire city.        

Best things to do in Penang:

  • Beach day and sunset on Batu Ferringi Beach
  • Spend some time hiking through the National Park
  • Take a visit to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the city
  • Stroll through Georgetown and check out all the artwork
  • Eat at Penang’s famous hawker stalls
View from Penang Hill

View from Penang Hill

 

Ferry from Penang – Langkawi (4-5 Days) 

Officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, around 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia.  It’s right at the border of Thailand, and is a popular place to visit for traveller’s going north/south between Malaysia and Thailand.  It is truly an amazing island with amazing things to do, cheap accommodations, tax-free booze, and beautiful landscape.

Check out some of my blog posts on Langkawi:

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Ferry from Langkawi – Koh Lipe, Thailand  *Seasonal (4-5 Days)

After spending some time on Langkawi, you’re ready to journey further north into Thailand.  You’ll start your Thailand Island Hopping adventures in Koh Lipe, which is known as the “Maldives of Thailand”.  Pristine beaches, incredible food, and amazing sunrises & sunsets.

Ferry from Langkawi – Koh Lipe only available from November – May throughout the year.  If you’re traveling during the low season, you’ll have to take the ferry to Satun, Thailand — and catch the bus + ferry combo ticket from mainland Thailand.  Traveling during this time can be a bit expensive, it just depends on your budget and time restrictions.  It might be best to skip this island if you can’t take the direct ferry. 

Check out this amazing post from my friends at Getting Stamped titled, “The Ultimate Guide to Koh Lipe, Thailand.”  This is one of the most informative guides I’ve ever seen, and will answer all your questions about traveling to this beautiful island.

Sunrise on Koh Lipe. Photo credit

Sunrise on Koh Lipe. Photo credit:  Bambo Corr

 

Ferry from Koh Lipe – Koh Lanta (4-5 Days) 

Also depends on time of the year.  You might have to catch ferry + bus combo ticket up to the Krabi Province. 

After you’ve explored Koh Lipe to your liking, catch a ferry up to your next Thai Island, Koh Lanta.

Check out this awesome travel guide from the crew over at Never Ending Voyage titled, “Finding the Perfect Balance: Our Guide to Koh Lanta“.  This post will go over all the information you need for your time in Koh Lanta.

You’ll fall in love with this incredibly relaxing island.  There’s incredible beaches, a beautiful national park, and loads of other stuff to explore.  My main recommendation would be to hire a moped, and explore the entire island.  It’s the best way to see the island.   You can pack a bag, take breaks at all the beaches, and see how beautiful the island is.

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Ferry from Koh Lanta – Koh Phi Phi (4-5 Days)

When you’re ready to leave Koh Lanta (which can be harder than you think), you’ll be on your way to one of the most beautiful, photogenic, and most well-known places in Thailand — Koh Phi Phi.  Known primarily for the nearby Maya Bay being the film location for the Leonardo DiCaprio hit movie — “The Beach”.

Some people criticize Koh Phi Phi for being too touristy now, and too focused on partying — but it is still an absolute must visit during your time in Thailand.

Read my following blog posts on Koh Phi Phi

Leaving Koh Phi Phi is no easy task.  The party vibe is solid, there is amazing food, and you’re guaranteed to make some amazing new friends!  I personally think it’s the most beautiful area in Thailand!

 

Ferry from Koh Phi Phi – Ao Nang, Railey Beach, & Krabi (4-6 Days)

After spending the past couple weeks on Islands, it’s time to cruise back to the mainland.  Ao Nang is a really beautiful beach area, has a decent nightlife scene, and is definitely worth a visit.  There’s an island hopping tour that goes to nearby places, and a really fun pub crawl at night.

Don’t spend too much time in Ao Nang though — make sure you get over to the beautiful Railey Beach & Ton Sai Bay.

You can also hire a mo-ped and explore Krabi town, and the surrounding highlights.

Read:  The Best Hostels in Thailand

 

Book a Bus + Ferry Combo from Krabi to Koh Phangan (5 Days)

There are loads of travel agencies around Ao Nang and the Krabi that will help you book this ticket.  I typically travel with Lomprayah .  It is by the most established and organized company out there, and enjoy my travels when I book with them.  During peak season, they can sell out tickets.  (Especially prior to a Full Moon Party.)

Koh Phangan is one of the craziest party islands in South-East Asia !  You’ll often hear bad things about the Full Moon Party, but too be honest — it’s a damn good time (if you’re with the right people).  There’s something really fun about getting dressed up in Neon, covering yourself in bodypaint, and dancing all night with fellow backpackers.

To be perfectly honest though, the best party on Koh Phangan isn’t the Full Moon Party.  There’s so many better clubs, venues, and events that you should look into!  If your trip doesn’t align well with a date for the FMP, definitely still go to Koh Phangan!  It’s a great place to spend some time, relax, meet people, party, and enjoy paradise!

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Ferry up to Koh Tao (4-5 Days)

Koh Tao is the very first island I visited in my travels in South-East Asia, and it is by far one of my favorite places in Thailand.  This is a scuba-diver’s paradise, and is the perfect location to get your PADI certifications.  If you don’t want to do the full course, make sure you at least do a “Discover Scuba” one-day course.  It’s one of the most affordable places to try out scuba-diving, and is absolutely beautiful.  When you’re not scuba diving, Koh Tao is an amazing island to explore by moto.  Just choose carefully where you rent it, because this island is notorious for rental places taking advantages of tourists and withholding passports until the pay ridiculous “damage fees”.  Also make sure you do a day-trip to Koh Nang Yuan, Mango View point, The Koh Tao Pub Crawl, and party hard on Sairee Beach!

Read:  7 Amazing Things to do on Koh Tao  

 

Ferry from Koh Tao to Bangkok

You’ve seen the best islands Thailand has to offer, now it’s time to finish your trip in the “Big Mango”.  Bangkok is truly an amazing city, and there’s tons of amazing things to do, see, and explore.  It’s the gateway to South-East Asia, and most backpackers out here find themselves in Bangkok more than once.  The street food is delicious, the people are friendly, and you’ll absolutely love exploring all the temples, malls, and rooftop bars.

ReadWhere to Stay in Bangkok

Read10 Amazing Things to do in Bangkok

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Congratulations!  You’ve just crossed off three amazing countries in South-East Asia, and some of my favorite spots in the world to visit!

Substitutions & Other Destinations

  • The Perhentian Islands:  When you are traveling up through Malaysia, you could easily head over to the stunning Perhentian Islands.  It’s all the way on the east coast of Malaysia, so it’s a bit out of the way for this itinerary- but it would be incredible.  You could get a bus + ferry here from the Cameron Highlands.  Then when you’re ready to leave, take a bus over to Penang to continue the itinerary.
  • Phuket & Koh Samui:  Two of the most popular touristy destinations in Thailand, but I always recommend people to skip them.  They are overcrowded, expensive, and you can find much better places to spend your time.
  • Thailand National ParksKo Yao Nai National Park & Ko Tarutao are both absolutely gorgeous, and could easily be worked into this itinerary during your time on Koh Lipe, and Koh Phi Phi.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  • Travel slow.  I give a recommended time in each place, but if you’re in not on a time crunch, then take it slow and enjoy your time in each place.  Otherwise, you might be spending a lot of time in transit.
  • Buy a Local Sim Card.  This always comes in handy in Malaysia & Thailand.  There are really cheap data plans.
  • Download my Free-Book.  “77 Amazing, Helpful, Money-Saving Tips for Backpacking South-East Asia” for all my best backpacking tips.
  • Stay in Hostels.  This is such an awesome backpacker route, and the best way to experience these destinations is to interact with other travelers!
  • Eat often!  The food in all three of these countries is absolutely amazing!  There are plenty of places for cheap eats, and all the meals are delicious.

Check out These Articles About This Region

Malaysia Travel Guide: Trip Highlights, Destinations, & Itineraries

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Thailand (Instagram Checklist)

Thanks for reading my Singapore to Bangkok Backpacking Trip Itinerary!

If you’re planning a trip to South-East Asia and have any questions, feel free to Contact Me with any questions you have!  I’ve spent a lot of time backpacking around the area, and love helping people plan their travels!  Also, make sure you sign-up for my Newsletter below to download my FREE E-Book below that is full of amazing tips and information.

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MALAYSIA Travel Guide: Trip Highlights, Itineraries, & Tips

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Welcome to Malaysia! 

Malaysia is an amazing and diverse country that has something to offer everyone.  If you’re looking for amazing food, gorgeous islands, and beautiful landscapes — Malaysia is a destination you should highly consider for your next holiday.  I have traveled pretty extensively through Peninsular Malaysia, and it has grown to become one of my favorite countries in entire world!  I’ve compiled this Malaysia Travel Guide as a source for people planning trips to this amazing country.

This guide will go over trip highlights, how to get around Malaysia, Malaysia itineraries, and general travel advice!

Hope you enjoy reading my Malaysia Travel Guide and favorite photos from my travels!

Note:  This Malaysia Travel will focus entirely on Peninsular Malaysia.  I have never traveled to Sabah or Sarawak, and am not too well informed about those areas of the country. 

Trip Highlights

Kuala Lumpur

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You’ll most likely be starting your Malaysian holidays in the amazing capital city — Kuala Lumpur.  This is truly a special place with friendly people, beautiful sights, and delicious food (just like the rest of Malaysia).  During my travels in South-East Asia , I was lucky enough to call this city home for awhile.  The first time I visited Kuala Lumpur I actually didn’t enjoy the city too much, but after spending more time there I discovered how special the city really is.

For more information on Kuala Lumpur, check out the following blog posts I’ve written:

 

Penang

Penang is the cultural hotspot in Malaysia!  You’ll fall in love with it’s busy streets, beautiful artwork, and enchanting history.  Oh, and the food is absolutely amazing.  Most people come to Penang only planning a few day stay, but end up staying much longer than they expected.  You can spend a day on Batu Ferringi beach, hike through the National Park, and take the journey up to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the entire city.        

Best things to do in Penang:

  • Beach day and sunset on Batu Ferringi Beach
  • Spend some time hiking through the National Park
  • Take a visit to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the city
  • Stroll through Georgetown and check out all the artwork
  • Eat at Penang’s famous hawker stalls

 

Langkawi

Officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, around 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia.  It’s right at the border of Thailand, and is a popular place to visit for traveller’s going north/south between Malaysia and Thailand.  It is truly an amazing island with amazing things to do, cheap accommodations, tax-free booze, and beautiful landscape.

Check out some of my blog posts on Langkawi:

 

Cameron Highlands

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The Cameron Highlands is a stunning hill station in central peninsular Malaysia, and has become a popular destination for visitors in Malaysia. Roughly the size of Singapore, the Cameron Highlands covers a large stretch of land, and there’s tons to see, do, and explore.  You’ll fall in love with the beautiful green tea plantations, and will leave you speechless when you visit the highest peak in the Cameron Highlands

For more information on the Cameron Highlands, check out the guide below!

 

Taman Negara

Teman Negara National Park is the perfect place for travelers who love wild life viewing, jungle trekking, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, camping and many more. It is well established as one of the most popular ecotourism in Malaysia.  Popular activities include the canopy walk, jungle trekking, rapid shooting, cave exploration, and boat cruises.

Recommend days spent here:  1-2 days max

Check out the Teman Negara National Park website for more information

 

The Perhentian Islands

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Welcome to paradise.  The Perhentian Islands consist of both Perhentian Kecil & Perhentian Besar.  They are both absolutely stunning, and the minute you step foot on of the two islands you’ll never want to leave.   I’ve visited Perhentian Kecil on two different occasions now, and I definitely would not mind going back for a third.  The beaches are gorgeous, the atmosphere is relaxing, and the nightlife can get pretty crazy.

Perhentian Kecil is more for a younger crowd.  It’s much more lively at night and has an incredible fireshow.  Perhentian Besar has a lot more resorts, and is a bit more family oriented.

If you’re going to Malaysia — you’d be mistaken to skip the Perhentian Islands!

Check out my blog posts on this paradise island!

 

Pulau Kapas

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Pulau Kapas is an idyllic island escape for those looking for a bit more of a remote location.  You won’t find any big crazy resorts, fast wi-fi connection, or luxury restaurants.  What you will be rewarded with is amazingly beautiful water, suburb underwater life, and an extremely laidback atmosphere.  Pulau Kapas is truly a Malaysian gem, and I guarantee if you go for a couple days you won’t regret it!

For more information about traveling to Pulau Kapas:

 

Tioman Island

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If you’ve looking for some more island action, than definitely make your way over to Tioman Island.  It isn’t as gorgeous as the Perhentians or Kapas, but it has some of the best scuba-diving sites in the whole country.  The island is pretty massive, and is a 2-hour ferry ride from the mainland.  It is a DUTY-FREE island, which makes drinking on this island pretty cheap!  It’s a popular destination for weekend trips from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, so book in advance if you plan on being there on a Saturday & Sunday.  If you do plan on going, I’d definitely recommend staying on ABC Beach.

When I was there, I happened to catch really bad weather, and had some transportation issues.  I still had a great trip.  Read about it below:

 

Melaka

Melaka is just a short bus ride away from Kuala Lumpur, and can be a great place to spend one night.  It’s small enough to walk around, explore, and try some delicious food.  There’s not a whole lot to see here, but it’s definitely worth the visit.

To plan your visit, check out this post titled:

 

 

Getting Around Malaysia

The Malaysian transportation is some of the best I’ve found in all of South-East Asia.  Prices are relatively low, there’s tons of options, and they are all relatively comfortable.

Flights / Airfare

Malaysia is actually a really easy country to book extremely cheap domestic flights.

If you know your exact dates, you can actually get great flight deals.  Malindo Air is really great and includes 1 20kh checked bag.  These are particularly useful for flights to/from Kuala Lumpur.

Perhentian Islands

Perhentian Islands

 

Busses

Traveling around Malaysia on the bus transport is actually really easy, budget friendly, and comfortable.  There are loads of different companies that offer a ton of different routes.  None of the journeys take that long, and the busses can actually be really nice.  For bus schedules, routes, and fares, check out the website below.  I’ve booked online tickets with them, and made the process extremely easy.  You can just show the email confirmation at the bus station, and receive your ticket.

Pulau Kapas

Pulau Kapas

 

Hitchhiking in Malaysia

Just like in any destination, you should be careful when hitching a ride alone.  With that being said, Hitchhiking in Malaysia can be done, and it’s actually not too difficult.  I met these Spanish girls on Pulau Kapas who found a ride all the way from Teman Negara – Kuala Terranganu.  It’s not that it saves a ton of money, but it’s a great way to meet some local people, and have a unique travel experience.  For more information on Hitchhiking in Malaysia check the website below:

Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur

 

Trains

I’ve actually never taken a train in Malaysia, but I have heard that the system works out.  I almost boarded a train from Penang – Kuala Lumpur, but ended up extending my stay in Penang, and finding a flight that was cheaper than the train!  I honestly think that dealing with trains on other routes would just get complicated, so I’d just personally recommend Flights and Busses over taking trains in Malaysia.

Sunset on Tioman Island

Sunset on Tioman Island

Renting A Car

I’ve never rented a car and explored Malaysia on my own (mainly because I’m a solo budget traveler), but I have had some friends rent a van and go on weekend trips from Kuala Lumpur.  It’s definitely not the best option for everyone,

Jeep Excursions in the Cameron Highlands

Jeep Excursions in the Cameron Highlands

 

Malaysia Trip Itineraries

If you look at each of these locations on a map, you can see that it actually fits pretty well

One Week Malaysia Itinerary

If you are only in Malaysia for a brief visit, than you want to enjoy your holiday.  My advice would be to enjoy 2-3 days in Kuala Lumpur, and fly to either Penang for 3-4 days.  You don’t want to rush around each destination, because you will want enough time to enjoy each place and do all the activities.

 

Two Week Malaysia Itinerary

Days 1-3 — Kuala Lumpur

Take a morning bus to Teman Negara

Days 4-5 — Teman Negara

Book the early bus ticket to the Cameron Highlands

Days 6-7 —  Exploring the Cameron Highlands

Book the early departure bus to Penang

Days 8-10 — Penang

Catch the two hour ferry to Langkawi

Days 11-13 — Langkawi

Catch a domestic flight from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur

Day 14 // End of Trip — Kuala Lumpur for your outgoing flight..

Island Hopping Boats in Langkawi

 

Three Week Malaysia Itinerary

Days 1-3 — Kuala Lumpur

Take a morning bus to Teman Negara

Days 4-5 — Teman Negara

Book the early bus ticket to the Cameron Highlands

Days 6-7 —  Exploring the Cameron Highlands

Book transportation to Marang Jetty for access to Pulau Kapas (Close to Kuala Terranganu)

Days 8-10 — Pulau Kapas & Gem Island

Book early morning boat back to mainland, and get to main bus station.  Book transport to Perhentian Islands

Days 11-15 — The Perhentians Islands

Book Domestic Flight from Kuala Terrananu Airport – Penang.  Cheap fares available if booked in advanced. 

Days 16-17 – Penang

Catch the two hour ferry to Langkawi

Days 18-20 — Langkawi

Catch a domestic flight from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur

Day 21 // End of Trip — Kuala Lumpur for your outgoing flight..

Water & Lights show at KLCC

Water & Lights show at KLCC

 

One Month in Malaysia Itinerary

If you have a full month in Malaysia, I honestly would just recommend to follow the 3-week itinerary, but travel slower.  This will also allow flexibility with the domestic flights, and also spending less time on travel.  I would also recommend staying in Kuala Lumpur for an extra couple days, and doing a one-day trip to Melaka.  If you want to see it all, you can switch up this itinerary to add Pulau Tioman, but I would honestly skip it.  I found it to be really touristy, difficult to get to, and there are much better islands and beaches in Malaysia.

If you have even more time in Malaysia, look out for cheap domestic flights over to Borneo.  You could scuba-dive off the coasts of the world famous Sipadan island, or hike the highest peak in Malaysia — Mt. Kinabalu!

 

 

General Malaysia Travel Advice

Eat as much as you possibly can!  The food in Malaysia is absolutely incredible.  When you get to Kuala Lumpur, check out a Nasi Kandar and try the various curries, Roti Canai, and Nasi Lemak!

Interact with the locals!  Malaysian people are extremely friendly, and generally speak really great English!  They are very open and welcome to tourism, and can be a great experience.

Understand you are in a Muslim country!  Be respectful with your clothing!

Get a local SIM card!  Malaysia has a wide variety of phone plans, and it will come in handy to have 3G / 4G internet when your traveling.  I’d recommend Tune Talk.  There are great prices and deals, and it’s good coverage.

Download my Free E-Book — 77 Amazing, Helpful, Money-Saving Tips for Backpacking South-East Asia.  This goes over a ton of valuable information for Malaysia!

10 Amazing Thingsto Do (5)

 

If you haven’t figured it out by reading this post, I have traveled pretty extensively throughout Malaysia.   I think it’s an amazing country, and am always thinking about going soon and exploring different parts.  I’m actually dying to get over to Borneo, but I’m sure that time will come eventually.

If you’re ever planning a trip to Malaysia, feel free to Contact Me with any questions!

Thanks for reading!

Share the Malaysian Love!

 

One Month

Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok Overland: Backpacking Trip Itinerary

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Introduction

One of the most common routes for backpacking in South-East Asia is traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok overland.  It’s an absolute amazing trip with tons of incredible places to see along the way!  From starting out this trip in an amazing metropolitan city like Kuala Lumpur, and then breaking away to some gorgeous islands — this is definitely going to be a trip you’ll never forget.  This Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok overland travel guide will go over my proposed route, travel tips, helpful websites, and some of my favorite blog posts I’ve written along my travels.

Brief Overview & Itinerary Route

  1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
  2. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
  3. Penang, Malaysia
  4. Langkawi, Malaysia
  5. Koh Lipe, Thailand
  6. Koh Lanta, Thailand
  7. Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
  8. Ao Nang / Railey Beach, Thailand
  9. Koh Phangan, Thailand
  10. Koh Tao, Thailand
  11. Bangkok, Thailand

 Kuala Lumpur (3-4 Days)

Welcome to Kuala Lumpur.  This is truly a special place with friendly people, beautiful sights, and delicious food (just like the rest of Malaysia).  During my travels in South-East Asia , I was lucky enough to call this city home for awhile.  The first time I visited Kuala Lumpur I actually didn’t enjoy the city too much, but after spending more time there I discovered how special the city really is.

For more information on Kuala Lumpur, check out the following blog posts I’ve written:

This is one of my favorite cities in South-East Asia, and definitely worth the visit for a few days.  If you’re on a time crunch, you won’t want to spend too much time here.  Just make sure you cover all the city highlights.

Train & Bus Bookings:  Easybook

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Bus to Cameron Highlands (2-3 days)

The Cameron Highlands is a stunning hill station in central peninsular Malaysia, and has become a popular destination for visitors in Malaysia. Roughly the size of Singapore, the Cameron Highlands covers a large stretch of land, and there’s tons to see, do, and explore.  You’ll fall in love with the beautiful green tea plantations, and will leave you speechless when you visit the highest peak in the Cameron Highlands

For more information on the Cameron Highlands, check out the guide below!

A Backpacker’s Guide to the Cameron Highlands

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Bus to Penang (2-3 Days)

Penang is the cultural hotspot in Malaysia!  You’ll fall in love with it’s busy streets, beautiful artwork, and enchanting history.  Oh, and the food is absolutely amazing.  Most people come to Penang only planning a few day stay, but end up staying much longer than they expected.  You can spend a day on Batu Ferringi beach, hike through the National Park, and take the journey up to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the entire city.        

Best things to do in Penang:

  • Beach day and sunset on Batu Ferringi Beach
  • Spend some time hiking through the National Park
  • Take a visit to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the city
  • Stroll through Georgetown and check out all the artwork
  • Eat at Penang’s famous hawker stalls
View from Penang Hill

View from Penang Hill

 

Ferry from Penang – Langkawi (4-5 Days) 

Officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, around 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia.  It’s right at the border of Thailand, and is a popular place to visit for traveller’s going north/south between Malaysia and Thailand.  It is truly an amazing island with amazing things to do, cheap accommodations, tax-free booze, and beautiful landscape.

Check out some of my blog posts on Langkawi:

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Ferry from Langkawi – Koh Lipe, Thailand  *Seasonal (4-5 Days)

After spending some time on Langkawi, you’re ready to journey further north into Thailand.  You’ll start your Thailand Island Hopping adventures in Koh Lipe, which is known as the “Maldives of Thailand”.  Pristine beaches, incredible food, and amazing sunrises & sunsets.

Ferry from Langkawi – Koh Lipe only available from November – May throughout the year.  If you’re traveling during the low season, you’ll have to take the ferry to Satun, Thailand — and catch the bus + ferry combo ticket from mainland Thailand.  Traveling during this time can be a bit expensive, it just depends on your budget and time restrictions.  It might be best to skip this island if you can’t take the direct ferry. 

Check out this amazing post from my friends at Getting Stamped titled, “The Ultimate Guide to Koh Lipe, Thailand.”  This is one of the most informative guides I’ve ever seen, and will answer all your questions about traveling to this beautiful island.

Sunrise on Koh Lipe. Photo credit

Sunrise on Koh Lipe. Photo credit:  Bambo Corr

 

Ferry from Koh Lipe – Koh Lanta (4-5 Days) 

Also depends on time of the year.  You might have to catch ferry + bus combo ticket up to the Krabi Province. 

After you’ve explored Koh Lipe to your liking, catch a ferry up to your next Thai Island, Koh Lanta.

Check out this awesome travel guide from the crew over at Never Ending Voyage titled, “Finding the Perfect Balance: Our Guide to Koh Lanta“.  This post will go over all the information you need for your time in Koh Lanta.

You’ll fall in love with this incredibly relaxing island.  There’s incredible beaches, a beautiful national park, and loads of other stuff to explore.  My main recommendation would be to hire a moped, and explore the entire island.  It’s the best way to see the island.   You can pack a bag, take breaks at all the beaches, and see how beautiful the island is.

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Ferry from Koh Lanta – Koh Phi Phi (4-5 Days)

When you’re ready to leave Koh Lanta (which can be harder than you think), you’ll be on your way to one of the most beautiful, photogenic, and most well-known places in Thailand — Koh Phi Phi.  Known primarily for the nearby Maya Bay being the film location for the Leonardo DiCaprio hit movie — “The Beach”.

Some people criticize Koh Phi Phi for being too touristy now, and too focused on partying — but it is still an absolute must visit during your time in Thailand.

Read my following blog posts on Koh Phi Phi

Leaving Koh Phi Phi is no easy task.  The party vibe is solid, there is amazing food, and you’re guaranteed to make some amazing new friends!  I personally think it’s the most beautiful area in Thailand!

Ferry from Koh Phi Phi – Ao Nang, Railey Beach, & Krabi (4-6 Days)

After spending the past couple weeks on Islands, it’s time to cruise back to the mainland.  Ao Nang is a really beautiful beach area, has a decent nightlife scene, and is definitely worth a visit.  There’s an island hopping tour that goes to nearby places, and a really fun pub crawl at night.

Don’t spend too much time in Ao Nang though — make sure you get over to the beautiful Railey Beach & Ton Sai Bay.

You can also hire a mo-ped and explore Krabi town, and the surrounding highlights.

Read:  The Best Hostels in Thailand

Book a Bus + Ferry Combo from Krabi to Koh Phangan (5 Days)

There are loads of travel agencies around Ao Nang and the Krabi that will help you book this ticket.  I typically travel with Lomprayah .  It is by the most established and organized company out there, and enjoy my travels when I book with them.  During peak season, they can sell out tickets.  (Especially prior to a Full Moon Party.)

Koh Phangan is one of the craziest party islands in South-East Asia !  You’ll often hear bad things about the Full Moon Party, but too be honest — it’s a damn good time (if you’re with the right people).  There’s something really fun about getting dressed up in Neon, covering yourself in bodypaint, and dancing all night with fellow backpackers.

To be perfectly honest though, the best party on Koh Phangan isn’t the Full Moon Party.  There’s so many better clubs, venues, and events that you should look into!  If your trip doesn’t align well with a date for the FMP, definitely still go to Koh Phangan!  It’s a great place to spend some time, relax, meet people, party, and enjoy paradise!

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Ferry up to Koh Tao (4-5 Days)

Koh Tao is the very first island I visited in my travels in South-East Asia, and it is by far one of my favorite places in Thailand.  This is a scuba-diver’s paradise, and is the perfect location to get your PADI certifications.  If you don’t want to do the full course, make sure you at least do a “Discover Scuba” one-day course.  It’s one of the most affordable places to try out scuba-diving, and is absolutely beautiful.  When you’re not scuba diving, Koh Tao is an amazing island to explore by moto.  Just choose carefully where you rent it, because this island is notorious for rental places taking advantages of tourists and withholding passports until the pay ridiculous “damage fees”.  Also make sure you do a day-trip to Koh Nang Yuan, Mango View point, The Koh Tao Pub Crawl, and party hard on Sairee Beach!

Read:  7 Amazing Things to do on Koh Tao  

Ferry + Bus from Koh Tao to Bangkok

You’ve seen the best islands Thailand has to offer, now it’s time to finish your trip in the “Big Mango”.  Bangkok is truly an amazing city, and there’s tons of amazing things to do, see, and explore.  It’s the gateway to South-East Asia, and most backpackers out here find themselves in Bangkok more than once.  The street food is delicious, the people are friendly, and you’ll absolutely love exploring all the temples, malls, and rooftop bars.

ReadWhere to Stay in Bangkok

Read10 Amazing Things to do in Bangkok

 


Congratulations!  You’ve just crossed off three amazing countries in South-East Asia, and some of my favorite spots in the world to visit!

Substitutions & Other Destinations

  • The Perhentian Islands:  When you are traveling up through Malaysia, you could easily head over to the stunning Perhentian Islands.  It’s all the way on the east coast of Malaysia, so it’s a bit out of the way for this itinerary- but it would be incredible.  You could get a bus + ferry here from the Cameron Highlands.  Then when you’re ready to leave, take a bus over to Penang to continue the itinerary.
  • Phuket & Koh Samui:  Two of the most popular touristy destinations in Thailand, but I always recommend people to skip them.  They are overcrowded, expensive, and you can find much better places to spend your time.
  • Ko Yao Nai National Park & Ko Tarutao are both absolutely gorgeous, and could easily be worked into this itinerary during your time on Koh Lipe, and Koh Phi Phi.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  • Travel slow.  I give a recommended time in each place, but if you’re in not on a time crunch, then take it slow and enjoy your time in each place.  Otherwise, you might be spending a lot of time in transit.
  • Buy a Local Sim Card.  This always comes in handy in Malaysia & Thailand.  There are really cheap data plans.
  • Download my Free-Book.  “77 Amazing, Helpful, Money-Saving Tips for Backpacking South-East Asia” for all my best backpacking tips.
  • Stay in Hostels.  This is such an awesome backpacker route, and the best way to experience these destinations is to interact with other travelers!
  • Eat often!  The food in all three of these countries is absolutely amazing!  There are plenty of places for cheap eats, and all the meals are delicious.

Check out These Articles About This Region

Malaysia Travel Guide: Trip Highlights, Destinations, & Itineraries

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Thailand (Instagram Checklist)

Thanks for reading my Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok Backpacking Trip Itinerary!

If you’re planning a trip to South-East Asia and have any questions, feel free to Contact Me with any questions you have!  I’ve spent a lot of time backpacking around the area, and love helping people plan their travels!  Also, make sure you sign-up for my Newsletter below to download my FREE E-Book below that is full of amazing tips and information.

 

One Month In The Philippines: Travel Itinerary

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Spending one month in the Philippines was absolutely one of the best decisions I made during my travels through-out South-East Asia.  After my trip was over, I almost booked a return ticket, because to put it simply:  30 days in the Philippines is not enough!

Did you know that there are over 7,107 islands in the Philippines?  With the fantastic beaches, world-class diving, stunning landscapes, vibrant festivals, and friendly people — a trip to the Philippines will be something you’ll never forget.

Planing a trip the Philippines can be kind of intimidating, because there’s so much you’ll want to see.  I’m here to help you out.

This is the Itinerary I used for my month exploring the Philippines.  I hope you find it useful, and if you ever have any questions — feel free to email me or leave a mentsment at the bottom of the post!


1.  Fly Into Manila

You’ll most likely find the best deals flying into Manila..

Honestly, Manila is one of those cities that backpackers loves to hate.  It’s busy, overcrowded, dirty, and there’s not much to see.  Apparently there is some decent nightlife, but I never experienced it for myself.  I have met people who actually really love Manila, I just didn’t find it all that appealing.  Who knows though, maybe you’ll have a different experience and really enjoy your time there.

If there’s one must-do activity in Manila — you have to go check out Intramuros quarter.  It’s the beautiful old Spanish section of the city, and really fun to explore by foot.

Cathedral in Intramuros

Cathedral in Intramuros





2.  Take The Overnight Ferry from Manila – Coron

This is always the cheapest option on getting to Coron.  For some reason, all the flights to this island tend to be really expensive.  If you happen to be able to find a cheap, then book it.  But the overnight ferry option is a solid budget option.  

There is one main ferry company in The Phillippines — 2Go Travel.  I only used them for this route, but they offer a ton of different routes around the country.

For this Manila – Coron overnight ferry, THEY ONLY DEPART ONCE A WEEK ON FRIDAYS.  

Tip:  When you are looking at flights to Manila, try to book a flight that arrives on a Wednesday or Thursday.  That way you can explore for one day, then get on the overnight ferry on Friday evening.

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3.  Coron, Palawan

I absolutely fell in love with Coron.  It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.  I was fortunate enough to meet some amazing people the very first night, and had a blast the remaining time I was there.

The island is fantastic, the sunsets are incredible, and it’s a really relaxing area to spend a few days.

Read:  Where To Stay in Coron, Phillippines

Read:  Island Hopping in Coron, Phillippines

Tip:  If you want to be really adventurous, you can hire a boat driver to drop you off on an empty island, and camp there for 2-3 nights.  Arrange a pick-up time, and you’ll be living a real Robinson Crusoe experience.  Make sure you bring enough food, water, and a good book or two!

[ I’d recommend staying in Coron for 3-4 days]

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4.  El Nido, Palawan

When you are in Coron, you’ll see tons of different signs for transportation to El Nido.  Try to bargain them down to a cheaper price, because all the signs are more expensive.  

The crown jewel of Palawan, El Nido is a must see destination during your visit to the Philippines.

It’s a much more lively area than Coron, with some amazing restaurants and fun bars to check out at night.  As you should now, the most important thing you do while in El Nido is book one or two of the island hopping packages.

I’d strongly recommend checking out both tours A & C.  All the tours are amazing, but these two in particular are worth every penny.  

[I’d Recommend Staying in El Nido for 4-6 days]

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5.  Puerto Galera and Puerto Princesa

Since you only have 30 days allowed in the Philippines, you’re not going to be able to see everything.  After El Nido, you could hop down to Puerto Galera for a night or two.  I didn’t do this, but I’ve heard it’s a really amazing place with a chilled out vibe.  There’s also supposed to be some amazing diving here.

Puerto Princesa is the main city in Palawan, and it’s also where you’ll be flying to your next destination.

One of the main attractions in Puerto Princesa is visiting the famous “Underground River”.  I decided to skip this because I found it to be rather expensive, and I heard from a couple people they weren’t too impressed.  The choice is yours.


6.  Cebu City & Bohol

Book your flights well-in-advance from Puerto Princesa – Cebu with Cebu Pacific Airlines.  

When it comes to Cebu City, there are a few things to see in the actual city.  I actually didn’t do too much sight-seeing in the city itself, but used Cebu as a jumping off point to explore the rest of the island or neighboring islands.  

I’d definitely recommend taking the ferry over to Bohol Island.  You can spend a day or two there, but it’s also a decent place just to take a day trip.

Read:  Chocolate Hills & Tarsier Monkeys: Bohol Island, The Philippines

After you’ve spent a few days exploring the city and a day or two on Bohol Island, you’ll make your way down to check out some more of the highlights of The Philippines.

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7.  Moalboal & Oslob

Getting around Cebu Island is as easy as getting to the bus station.  They aren’t the most comfortable rides, but they get you from point A – point B for very cheap!

I’d recommend you check out Moalboal first.  There’s an incredible beach, and it will provide absolutely stunning sunsets.  Moalboal is also known for having some excellent diving if you are looking to dive.  

Absolute Must Visit:  Kawasan Waterfalls (about a 20 minute drive from Moalboal city)

Read: Chasing Waterfalls on Cebu Island, Phillippines

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After watching a sunset and checking out the amazing Kawasan falls, you’re ready to head down to Oslob to cross off a big bucket-list item:  SWIMMING WITH WHALE SHARKS!

This the main draw that brings people down to Oslob, and you really have to do it!  For the small cost of around $25 USD, you get to swim with massive whale sharks.  The entire experience was incredible, and it’s one of the highlights of my travels in South-East Asia.

Read:  Swimming with Whale Sharks:  Oslob, Cebu

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8.  Flight to Boracay

After you’ve explored the southern parts of Cebu Island, Bohol Island, and the city itself — it’s time to book your flight from Cebu City – Boracay.  

 Boracay is the paradise island of your dreams — or so it used to be.  This beautiful island has become a major tourist destination, resulting it in to become the most over-developed part of The Philippines.

With that being said — is it still worth it to visit Boracay?  Absolutely yes.  

The island is gorgeous, there’s plenty to do, and the nightlife is amazing.

Read:  The 5 Best Party Islands in South-East Asia

If you’re going to Boracay, then you should definitely also check out Sabina’s incredible blogpost “Boracay On a Budget“.  She gives an incredible overview of the island, and was a great resource to have when planning my trip to Boracay.

Boracay has two airports (Caticlan & Kalibo).  You’ll most likely fly to Kalibo because flights are substantially cheaper.  Kalibo airport has international departures, and is the perfect place to end your trip in The Philippines.        

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Possible Substitutions

Banaue Rice Terraces:   If you get into Manila, and don’t want to spend too many days there.  Look into taking the overnight bus up to the Rice Terraces.  I didn’t have time to explore it during my month, but it’s definitely highly recommended!

Skip Boracay:  Although it is a very beautiful island, and a great place to party — you might want to think about skipping Boracay.  The island is decently expensive, and can be a pain in the ass to get there.  Kalibo airport is 2 hours away.  So you have to take a van, a boat, and a taxi, just to get to your hostel.

Siquijor Island:  If you do skip Boracay island, that frees up time to explore some of the islands around Cebu.  While your down in Oslob, you could hop down to the beautiful and spiritual island of Siquijor. The island has a fascinating story, and is home to some of the best beaches and sunsets in the Philippines.

Siargio Island:  If you like to surf, then I’m sure you’ve heard about this island.  This is at the top of my list of places to see during my next visit to the Philippines, but unfortunately I didn’t have the time to get there.  There’s not much else to do on the island, but if you’re looking for a laid-back surfing hotspot, then you’ll definitely enjoy your time there.

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Philippines Travel Tips

Book All Your Flights in Advance.  This country is not as easy to get around, and if you wait until the last minute — you will have to pay ridiculous amounts for flights.  This is the only country I really recommend that, because with 30 days, you will want to see as much as possible.

Meet and Travel with the Locals.  When are you are traveling the Philippines, you’ll realize that you’ll meet more young local backpackers than you would in any other country in South-East Asia.  The Filipino community really loves to travel!  They also are extremely friendly, welcoming, and typically speak amazing English!  

Research Festivals Before You Go:  The Philippines is known for having some amazing festivals.  As a starting point, check out this list of the Top Ten Festivals in The Philippines.  Just be careful, sometimes if you go during a big festival, accommodation prices can sky rocket.

Try out Couchsurfing.  As I mentioned above, Filipino people are really awesome, and they are very active when it comes to the popular travel community website Couchsurfing.  There are weekly meet-ups in the bigger cities, and it would be a really cool experience!

Don’t skip Palawan:  It’s definitely one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in the world!  It’s defintiely not as “off-the-beaten-path” as it used to be, but skipping it would be a mistake.

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No matter where you go, or itinerary you customize for your trip, you will most definitely fall in love with the Philippines.  It’s one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever visited, and I can’t wait to get back there myself.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this one month itinerary for the Philippines useful!  Definitely check out my posts on the Philippines!

Safe Travels!!! 🙂




THANKS FOR READING!


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3 Week Thailand Itinerary

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Looking for a 3 week Thailand itinerary?  Look no further.  I’m here to help.  Thailand, AKA, “The Land of Smiles” is a trip you’ll never forget.  From the vibrant culture, amazing scenery, and affordable prices; you’re guaranteed to fall in love with this amazing country.  

While 3 weeks is not too long to spend in the country, it still gives plenty of time to see what this country has to offer.  I think everyone is different, and could easily design a trip that directly reflects their exact idea of perfection, but I think this itinerary can give you a starting point for the highlights and schedule.

*Note – This itinerary starts and ends from two different airports.  Setting up an itinerary like this can be very useful, save you time and money, and is better since you don’t have to revisit the same place twice. 

Week 1)  The Hustle & Bustle of Chiang Mai & Bangkok  

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You’ll begin your adventure in Thailand’s second biggest city; Chiang Mai.  It’s a perfect introduction into the country, and you’ll immediately fall in love with the people, the food, the culture, and the affordability.  Spend a few days around the city, exploring the many temples, bustling night markets, and eating more pad thai you ever had.  

Depending on what you are looking for; you can voyage over to Chiang Rai to visit the beautiful White Palace, or head over to Pai for some hippie relaxation and backpacker fun.  

From Chiang Mai, take the sleeper train down to Bangkok.  It saves a night of accommodation, is a really fun experience, and avoids the hassle of taxis to the airport.  (If you do choose to Fly, check out AirAsia, NokAir, or ThaiSmile).   




Week 2) The Gulf Of Thailand Islands (Koh Tao & Koh Phangan)

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After experiencing the two major cities in Thailand, it’s time for you to get to your first Thai Island.  You’ll book a ticket online (3 days in advance), or through one of the many travel agencies along Khao San Road.

This is where you’ll catch your 9:00 P.M departure on Lomprayah Ferry to Koh Tao, Thailand.  Truly a chilled out island, with a wild party side, but above all, diving comes first.  If you feel like it, sign up to get your scuba diving PADI certificaiton through one of the many schools on the island.  (Keep in mind, this does take 3-4 days).  

If you’re not in the mood to do diving, feel free to spend a brief 2 days on Koh Tao, before making your journey over to Koh Phangan, Thailand, the location of the infamous Full Moon Party.  If there isn’t a FMP during your schedule, or you don’t care to go to one; I’d still recommend checking out the island.


Read:  The Best 5 Party Islands in South-East Asia


On Koh Phangan, there are tons of amazing beaches, cool hikes, a WipeOut course, and AMAZING parties.  I like to call it the “Ibiza of South-East-Asia”.  Big DJ’s rarely play, but the music is always amazing!  You have 7 days between Koh Tao and Koh Phangan.

Note:  You might have noticed I’ve left out Koh Samui.  Well, I honestly think it can and should be skipped.  It’s very heavily touristic and overly priced.  But if it’s a destination you really want to see, you’ll need to hop from island to island quicker.  




Week 3)  Andaman Islands (Krabi, Ao Nang, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket)

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From Koh Phangan (Or Samui), book a ferry + van ticket combo to Krabi, Thailand through one of the many agents on the island.  Just remember to shop around for the best price.  

For the first 2/3 days explore Ton Sai Bay, Railey Beach, and Ao Nang beach area.  All of these areas are located extremely close to each other, and are a great way to meet other backpackers.  I’d also highly recommend rock-climbing in Railey!

From there, it’s time to make your journey to the paradise known as Koh Phi Phi.  Fair warning, this is a PARTY island!  It’s incredibly beautiful, with an amazing island hopping tour, but it is notoriously known for having some of the wildest parties at night.


Read:  The Absolute Best Thing to To On Koh Phi Phi


After spending a few days checking out Koh Phi Phi, then you’ll make your way over to Phuket.  You can spend a day or two there, but it’s another very touristy part of Thailand.  From there you can either catch your flight home, or back to Chiang Mai or Bangkok (Wherever your next flight is).

Between the busy cities and beautiful islands, this is guaranteed to be an amazing trip in Thailand.  This is a pretty great route, and you get to see a lot of the country.  Hope you found this information useful.  Make sure to check out some of my other Thailand posts.

Further Reading:

THANKS FOR READING!  Feel free to shoot me any questions you have!


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