After nearly 3 month on tour, I am finally back home. Do I like it? I am not yet sure about it 😉
Somehow I was sure that the winter will be over until I am back. And now? It is still cold outside and spring is not yet there.
As I missed most of the winter I got a funny idea this week. I jumped on a train to Zermatt and from there to the Gornergrat. It was so sunny and great up there. On the way back down I rented a sledge and had a lot of fun in the snow 😉 So I tried to get over the winter blues.
Otherwise I started writing my papers. I wanted to do most of them during the trip, but hey I was on holiday. Also internet wasn’t always available or very expensive. I know now what “free WiFi” means. You have free WiFi, but you have to pay for the internet.
Next to it I started looking for a new job. I want to do something new, something challenging, where I can build up my knowledge again. Feel free to check my linkedIn profil.
Towards the end of my trip I stayed for 3 full days in Singapore. Is this enough? No! Singapore is such an amazing city where you simply need a week to discover everything.
I booked the Singapore Stopover Program with SIA. It included a hotel, a hop on and off bus and many free entrances to attractions all over Singapore.
I stayed at the IBIS on Bencoolen hotel. The hotel had the perfect location for me. It is just between the arab quater and little India. Both are places for good food and the perfect locations for taking photos.
In Singapore you get all different kind of food from all over the world. I wish I had more time to try all of them 😉 A must have eaten, for me, are the Kaya Toasts, a good curry and Dim Sums.
I did a trip to the night safari, which is a lot of fun. You can walk around in the zoo at night and watch the animals. They also offer some shows, which are fun as well.
The botanic garden, which also host the national orchid garden, is worth visiting as well. Especially if you love flowers.
The flyer is fun as well. You have an amazing view over Singapore, the newly created Gardens by the bay and the Marina Bay Resort.
Chinatown is worth visiting as well. You find a lot of shops and good restaurants. Don’t miss to try BAK KWA. Best is to take some back home.
One night you should go to Raffels longbar for a Singapore Sling. After you paid the bill, you know why there are not many drunken people in Singapore. Alcohol is so expensive in the city.
I had the best time during my Philippines trip on Bohol at the Blue star dive and resort. This place is just heaven. The diving here was also perfect. Small groups (mainly me and the diveguide), lots of fish and nudis 😉
Digi, who manages the resort, really takes care of each guest. He gives you also hints and tipps of what to see on Bohol. Neither on Leyte nor Negros I met such a manager again. Keep up the great work Digi!
If you ever make it to Bohol, don’t miss the chocolate hills and the cute tarsier monkeys.
I did spend 2 weeks in Southern Leyte mainly because I wanted to see the whalesharks. Leyte is one of the places where they do not feed the whalesharks. So I did go on 4 whaleshark trips and saw 16 whalesharks 😉
The resort, sogod bay resort, was okay, but not more. Don’t expect a personal touch there. You are just a person staying there. The food is okay, but for what you get far too expensive. The bungalows are okay as well, but you don’t have much space for wet and dry clothes. I had a look at the apartments and they are much nicer for a lower price. Sadly there are not that many good resort yet on Leyte, so there are not yet that many choices.
I learned during my stay that they grow cacao on Leyte. As a chocoholic I needed to get some. So I took a bus to Maasin. In Maasin they have a nice market where you also get pure cacao. It smells so good. Maasin is a nice city where you can do some shopping, get a haircut and good food. The bus from Padre Burgos costs 30 Pesos (one way) and needs around 1 hour to get there.
After Maasin I did take the bus to Sogod. On Wednesday and Thursday they have a big farmes market there. I was there on a Saturday and the daily market was impressive as well. I wish I would have had a possibility to cook there. They vegetables looked so great.
Moose & Squirrel is a cute restaurant just next to the resort where you get super yummy food for more or less nothing. Try the Kinilaw if they have it. Kinilaw is raw fish „cooked“ in lime juice, coconut milk, ginger and chili. This is so nice. From time to time they prepare Mango Float. Such a wonderful dessert.
If you ever go to southern Leyte, especially Padre Burgos, and your resort doesn’t offer daytrips, here are some tours you can do using public transportation:
- Padre Burgos – Maasin – Bato – Sogod – Padre Burgos: you should be able to do this tour within one day with the bus. You have time enough to visit the cities and their markets.
- Padre Burgos – Maasin: go to Maasin and take a tricycle from there to the waterfalls and caves next to Maasin. As the tricycle driver to pick you up after a certain amount of time
- Padre Burgos – Sogod: you can visit the market in Sogod and have a good Pizza at Doc’s Pizza place. Close to Sogod there is a volcano with a lake. I honestly have no idea how you can reach the volcano with public transportation. Somebody told me, that it is possible.
If you have been in the region and have some more tips, just drop them as comment.
After a week on the Aggressor I went on to Peleliu. This was like moving from hell to heaven. The cottages of the „Dolphin Bay Resort“ were really wonderful.
The resort also rents bicycles, so I got one twice for a half day to cruise around the island. This was really great. After the first ride I knew most of the people on the island.
The diving at the resort was wonderful. Small groups and always 2 dive guides. Isaac and Massako did a great job in showing us everything they found under water. The service above the water was also great. I really liked diving there.
What I didn’t like so much was the bottled water. They call themselves „Eco-friendly“ but I haven’t seen too much “Eco-friendliness”. You get per day 2 bottles of water in your room. Why not use a container you can re-use? So there are still some small things you could do to become really „Eco-friendly“.
I was for a week on the Palau Aggressor II. A big yacht made for divers. The slogan of the Aggressor fleet is „eat, sleep, dive“.
1. EAT: the food was simply amazing. Cameron, our chef, was preparing 1st class food for us during the whole week. The lamb curry was one of the best I ever had. The day started with a cold breakfast at 6am, followed by a warm breakfast at 8:15, after the second dive we got buffet lunch and in the evening a wonderful dinner. You always had 2 meals you could select from. Like said, the food was amazing 😉
2. SLEEP: the room were big enough for 2 people and had plenty of space for clothes, bags and so on. So sleeping was fine, but don’t forget that you have to get up early every day for the diving
3. DIVE: this was the not so good part on the yacht. We were 17 divers and they didn’t split us in groups. So 17 divers with different levels were in the water at the same time. Sometimes it was okay, but most of the time it was just painful. It would have been so easy to form 3 groups, but somehow they didn’t want to.
What else to say? The trip to jellyfish lake was cool and the land tour on Peleliu was full of history.
Would I go again on the Aggressor? Probably not, as I love to dive in small groups with people who have a similar level like me.
My 2 weeks on Yap are nearly over. It is amazing how time flies by. A month ago I started my big journey and now the first third is already over. Somehow I am still not bored 😉
I loved it here in Yap. The people are so friendly here. You also can do a lot next to diving.
My hotel, the O’Keefe’s waterfront inn,is simply wonderful. Cute rooms, wonderful staff and a great lounge for a drink before you go to bed. Divers will love this place as it has a special dry room, where you can place your gear in and after one or two hours everything is dry. So cool.
For me the best restaurant on the island is Oasis. Just across the street from the O’Keefe’s hotel. The most expensive dish is 15 USD. There is always a soup with the main course and salad. They were even so nice and prepared some taro, a local root, for me.
If you want to do diving, go to the Yap Divers. I really enjoyed diving with them. Sadly the weather wasn’t always great so we did mainly dives inside the lagoon. At Stammtisch you see Mantas, Mantas and even more Mantas. At Slow and Easy you see a lot of little things, like nudibranches, clownfish, leaf scropionfish and so on. I liked it there. Gordon is a wonderful dive guide and diving with him was always fun.
I can only recommend to do some tours over the island. The Manta Ray hotel organizes them and they are really great. I did the full day island and the village tour. Both were wow! Now I know much more about Yap, the stone money and the locals.
I for sure will come back to Yap one day as I want to do more diving here. My trip will take me now to Palau where I will be for a week on the Aggressor fleet for eat, sleep and dive 😉