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Arrival in Bali, Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Penida

After a fantastic week in Singapore, we flew on Sunday 4th June to Bali, Indonesia. We plan to spend a full month in the area around Bali and Lombok, so should have plenty of time to explore a few areas, a lot of where we are planning to go to is influenced by several friends who have been here before and recommended certain places, but Bali is very well-known tourist spot so we assume it’s where most people will go.

One of the first places we wanted to go was Nusa Lembongan, a small island about 30 minutes from Bali, but because we landed at night, we couldn’t go straight to there, so we headed over to the east side of Bali to Sanur, which is the closest port to get the boat to Nusa Lembongan, it’s more of a holiday destination than a backpacker hub, we just spent a couple of nights there to do some planning for the month ahead and sort out a boat to take us over.

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Three and a half months ago, on our first weekend in South East Asia, we were sat at a Bia Hoi stall in Hanoi, on tiny plastic chairs, drinking beer for 5,000 Dong (16 pence) per glass, and we meet a couple of friends who are from Singapore. Fast forward 106 days and here we are, arriving in Singapore, and heading towards their home.

There are lots of reasons why we think the last six months have been the best of our lives, but right at the top of that list is the amazing people we meet everywhere we go. Meeting people in the street, sharing a few drinks and laughs, and those very same people inviting you in to their home, thousands of miles away, is just one of the many things that seems normal to us now but was something we had never experienced before.

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Bohol – Panglao Island

We flew back to Cebu from Palawan, and stayed in Cebu City again for one night before taking the boat the next morning to Bohol. On the way back to the airport in Palawan, the bus company we used forgot to charge us for the bus, they just dropped us at the airport and drove off before we’d even got our bags sorted, so that was 1,000 pesos saved.

We got to the boat pier the next morning, to go to Bohol, to be told all the normal seats had been sold already, and only business class was left, to save waiting a few hours for the next one, we’d have to pay for business class, which coincidently cost us an extra 1,000 pesos, it’s funny how karma works sometimes.

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El Nido

Our next destination in the Philippines would be El Nido, Palawan, but first we had to get there from Bantayan Island. This isn’t as straightforward as just going there, first we took a tricycle (like a motorbike tuk-tuk) to the port on Bantayan, then the ferry to Cebu (which for some unknown reason, maybe the shape of the moon, or the wind direction or the captain was sobering up, took two hours this time). Then it was the four-hour bus back to Cebu city, followed by a taxi to Cebu airport.

Next was the one hour flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, and because we arrived at night, we’d have to stay there in the city for one night before going to El Nido the next morning, so it was another tricycle from the airport to the hotel. The next morning we got up early and took the six-hour bus (that only took five) to El Nido, I think the driver was making up for the slowness of Philippine time by trying to drive at close to the speed of light to get there quicker.

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The Philippines; Cebu & Bantayan Island

A four-hour flight from KL took us direct to Cebu, in the Central Visayas, Philippines. Cebu City is one of the biggest cities in the Philippines, and is a base to get to many other areas on Cebu island or the other surrounding islands. It’s safe to say that we weren’t short of options when planning where to go in the Philippines, there’s 7,641 islands to choose from, so picking just a few to visit was never going to be easy.

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