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About This Blog
Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!

Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.

More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
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    Travel Inspiration for the First-time Solo Traveller

    Your bags are packed and you’re ready to embark on your first solo adventure for a little bit of soul searching but the one thing you’ve yet to decide is where to go. Do you take on the backpacker rite of passage better known as the pancake trail, do a full 360 degree jaunt around the world, crossing continents as you go or navigate your path via a motorcycling route? The beauty of backpacking solo is that there’s no clear cut way to do it and regardless of time, mode of transportation and everything else in between, the journey you choose is purely personal and you’re bound to make memories that you’ll carry with you for a lifetime.

    But just in case you need a little inspiration on where or how to start, here are five ideas to help you map out your journey and for the savvy traveller, remember to think of Saleduck for the best deals on accommodation, tours, travel tickets,and more to help you save smart while you travel.

    Do a food trail

    Eating is a global pastime and if you’re a foodie who loves discovering unique cuisines, why not build your trip around food? Southeast Asia’s street food scene alone is enough to keep you on your toes as you wander from bazaar to market, sampling everything from khao soy in Thailand to char koay teow in Malaysia. Want to learn how to whip up some of the dishes you’ve fallen in love with along the way? Take a cooking class from local cooks and learn how to do it yourself for when you’ve returned home and are aching for the flavours you’ve sampled during your travels.

    Get involved with volunteer work

    Teach English to young children in Namibia, rebuild homes for disaster victims in Ecuador - volunteering is a great way to see the world that exists beyond your comfort zone and gain new perspectives while making a positive difference to the lives of others. Volunteers typically dedicate a few hours of their day helping out with projects and are often encouraged to socialise and explore during their downtime.Whether it's through education, eco-regeneration, disaster relief of community uplift, there are plenty of organisations that you can work with to get you started on your first volunteering trip depending on your interests, abilities, travel period and etc.

    Opt for shorter journeys

    There’s no rule to how short or long your travels should be so if the thought of having to leave home for a long time is still a little intimidating or if you cannot afford to take extended leaves of absence due to commitments, shorter journeys can make just as much of an impact and are often great teasers for bigger adventures yet to come. Try a week or two exploring a neighbouring country or spend a few days going on a roadtrip to cities that are close to home. Shorter breaks can help you test the waters and get a feel of solo travel without having to dive right into the deep end.

    Stick to overland travel

    Buses, bicycles, trains, cars and the list goes on. The only rule at hand is to avoid flying at all costs! A plane ticket can have you whizzing between continents with only hours to spare and while it is convenient, it can also be pretty expensive and you might just be missing out on some great stories that only land travel can offer. Aside from helping you cut back on your budget, taking the scenic route is often a great way to interact with the cultures and locals whose paths you’re bound to cross as you make your way from point A to B. You’ll make stops, meet new faces, exchange stories and maybe even change your route as you go. All in all, land travel is an immersive experience that lets you get up close and personal with everything you encounter.

    Follow your hobbies

    If you have a love for diving and marine life, plan your trip around some of the world’s most beautiful dive spots; for lovers of nature, let your journey take you to national parks and hiking trails. Mapping out your travel itinerary around the things you love allows you to have a clearer idea of where to go while travelling with purpose plus it also allows you to cross some incredible spots off your bucket list. There’s always a chance of stumbling upon places you’ve never heard off as you go along and this element of discovery is always reason enough to keep on going.


    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 8:53 PM, , links to this post

    5 Philippine Mountain Trails for Newbie Hikers

    Beaches and tropical islands aren’t the only great things about the Philippines. It also has numerous hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging. Fortunately, some of the best ones are just a road trip away from Manila. They’re also great places to start out if you just got into hiking.

    So if you’re looking to book affordable hotels in the Philippines and enjoy some scenic views, you’ve come to the right country. Let’s take a look at some of the beginner-friendly mountain trails for any aspiring hiker:

    1. Mt. Makiling

    One of the easiest mountain trails around, Mt. Makiling is a manageable 3-4 hour trek for any newbie hiker. The trail also boasts a lush forest, shielding you from most of the day’s heat while providing a variety of plants and animals to see on the way.

    The mountain itself is a dormant volcano that rises to an elevation of 3,580 feet above mean sea level, making it the highest feature of the Laguna Volcanic Field. The forests surrounding the mountain is also part of a natural preserve that’s administered by the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. The mountain was also the first national park of the Philippines.

    The summit is also forested, though some parts of it offer views of Laguna de Bay and some of the lakeshore towns of Laguna. Nature lovers are sure to enjoy this place for its rich scenery.

    2. Pico de Loro

    Rising at 2,178 feet above mean sea level. Pico de Loro is aptly named for its summit that resembles a parrot’s beak. This mountain in Cavite features well-established trails, beautiful forests and breathtaking views at the peak. Its signature feature is the unique formation known as the ‘Monolith,’— a great place to take great pictures and selfies.

    The trail begins at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources office, where trekkers need to register prior to climbing. While the trail can get rather steep and rocky, the traverse is one of the quieter areas of the mountain. The bamboo groves and woodlands along the trail also offer great sights for nature enthusiasts.

    3. Taal Volcano

    One of the most unique features of the Philippines, Taal Volcano is a small volcanic island that rests on a caldera lake – a former crater of an older and bigger volcano. It’s located in the province of Batangas and boasts year-round mild weather, making it ideal for beginning hikers.

    Its hiking trail is a relatively easy path, though it’s recommended to start the trek early in the morning to avoid the heat. The 1.7 km-long trail features rocks that have a volcanic quality, and steam vents can be seen along the path. Once you reach the summit, the entire panoramic view of the Crater Lake can be enjoyed, along with other notable mountain ranges near the province.

    4. Mt. Batulao

    Like Taal, Batulao is also located in Batangas. It’s also one of the most accessible trails from Manila, which is little more than a few hours away. One signature features of this trail is the way the sun touches the rocks, making them appear to glow – this is said to be one of the origins of the trail’s name. It’s a preferred choice for beginning hikers not only for the ease of the hike but also because it makes for a decent training climb.

    The jumpoff point starts from the Evercrest Golf Course. From there you can choose between the old and new trails - two options on which route to start from. It’s recommended to visit this place during the months of November to February and start early in the morning when temperatures are still pleasant. The trail is straightforward and easy enough to climb, with about 10 stations to pass through and catch a breather if needed. Upon reaching the summit, you get to see the full expanse of the forests and mountains surrounding Tagaytay and Nasugbu – all of which make for great memorable photos.

    5. Mt. Manabu

    Manabu is one of the mountains located in Sto. Tomas, Batangas and a distinct part of Malarayat mountain ranges. This place can be easily reached from Manila either by a private or public vehicle, while the trail itself can be completed within two hours when hiking at a normal pace.

    Hikers are treated to a combination of rolling slopes and a gradual ascent, both of which are manageable for beginners. Along the way, you can stop by a wide, garden-like campsite which is perfect for overnight campers. At its summit is a big white cross, where more religious trekkers can stop to pray and pay respects. The best part of the trail is the free brewed coffee that the mountain’s caretakers offer all hikers.

    Now that you’re read about these five peaks, all that’s left is to start packing for your next trip. Always remember to pack appropriate clothes, such as hiking boots and caps for ample protection. It’s also advisable to bring a sizable water jug and camping supplies if your chosen hiking trail has sites where you can stop over. Get started on your next trip by consulting with your preferred travel agent today!

    Read more after the jump!

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 11:11 PM, , links to this post