Things to see and do in Baler Aurora, Philippines

It was another great weekend that I decided to join the Top View Philippines 2 days 1-night tour to Baler trip.

LOCATION

Baler is a small town in Aurora province on the east coast of Luzon in the Philippines. Baler is situated in the northeast of Manila and distance is about 231km from Metro Manila and took about 6 hours driving distance to reach here.

We departed on Saturday midnight at 12 am and in total 11 of us in a van. The journey would be accessed via a mountain pass hence the roads were curved.

HISTORY

According to Baler history, there was a Tsunami “Tromba Marina” demolished the town on the 27th of December 1735. Many people have been killed by the disaster and there were only 7 families survived. The seven families who were survivors climbed to the top of a hill which today is called Ermita Hill.

These are the statues of the families who survived in the tragedy which you could find at the foot of the hill

Credit: here

1) Giant Balete Tree 

This was the first stop of our trip to visit the biggest Balete tree in Asia. According to Wikipedia, “Balete tree is the several species of the trees in the Philippines from the genus Ficus that are broadly referred to as balete in the local language.”

Apparently, this is a 600-year-old Balete Tree and it is also known as The Millenium Tree.

2) Ditumabo Falls/Mother Falls 

After taking numerous photos at the first stop, finally, the group decided to head to Ditumabo Falls a.k.a. Mother Falls.

It required 30 minutes trekking / casual walk to enjoy the waterfall. It is advisable to wear the waterproof sandal since you will across many small streams.

Entrance Fee30 PHP ( 0.50 USD) & 200 PHP (3.70 USD) for group tour guide

3) SABANG BEACH 

It was a tired afternoon after a long journey to Baler and had fun at the mother waterfalls. We checked in our accommodation at Sabang Beach.  There are many accommodation options you could choose on the beach side, you could search more on Agoda website etc.

Surfing 

People said:” A Baler trip would not be completed without giving a try on surfing.”

If you are a first timer for surfing, this is the best place for you to pick up the surfing skill. Furthermore, the price is rather cheap which costs 300PHP (5 USD) only for 1-hour class with the local surf coach + Surfboard 

Had a great time with this group of people

Sunrise

When you were on the beach, all you need is to be laid back and also don’t forget to enjoy the sunrise view. Woke up at 5 am ++ if you do not want to miss this beautiful sunrise view.

 

4) Historical Walking Tour in Baler Town

Baler is a town full of historical story. When you are in the town, take a look and walk around :

  • Quezon memorial park
  • Museo de Baler *The opening hours only during weekdays. Saturday and Sunday are closed

  •  Baler Marker
  •  Baler Church
  • Dona Aurora Quezon house

5) Hanging bridge

A hanging bridge that allows you take some nice photo shoots. The bridge was made of wood and if you are not afraid of height, have a try walking across it.

6) Ermita Hill

As mentioned earlier, it was only 7 families survived during the tsunami in 1735. They went up to the hill and managed to escape. Ermita Hill is one of the highest places in Baler.

Going up to the hill is not that difficult, you just need to walk up around 250-300 concrete stairs to reach the big cross.

You get to see a great view of the ocean and the mountains in Baler.

7) PAGASA Baler Radar Station

This is one of the weather stations which allowed PAGASA (The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) to collect the data used for weather forecasts and predictive purposes against natural disasters.

8) Diguisit Beach

Next stop was at the Diguisit beach which is only 15 minutes driving distance from Baler town. People come here not to surf or swim, but to explore around the rock formations in Aniao Islets, which was amazing!

No doubt, this is another good photography spot for Instagram posts.

We chose to stay at AMCO Digisit resort to relax for a few hours.

 

Here came to the end of my Baler trip and if you like to join some outdoors activities, I would recommend Top View Philippines travel group which guide by a young team. Especially thanks to Maryse who organised this trip and thanks for the group who brought a lot of laughter and sweet memories during the trip. Hope to join other events in the near future. 😊

 

Below is the itinerary which organised by Top View Philippines Travel Group.

Event Fee: 1,800 PHP ( USD 33)

Day 0
11:00 pm – Meetup@ McD Panay Avenue
12:00 am – ETD to BaLer

Day 1
6:00 am – Breakfast on Pax Account
7:00 am – Start of tour
*Giant balete tree (oldest balete tree in Asia)
8:00 am – Ditumabo Falls/Mother falls
12:00 NN – Lunch on Pax Account
@famous seafood resto/Baler surfer grill/yolly’s seafood resto.
1:00 pm – Historical Tour
*Quezon memorial park
* Museo de Baler
* Baler Marker
* Baler Church
* Dona Aurora Quezon house
2:00pm – Hanging bridge
2:30pm – Ermita hill
3:30pm – Sabang beach Surfing
5:00pm – Check inn Accomodation

Day 2
6:00am – Breakfast on pax Account
7:00 am- Eco strip tour
*Diguisit falls
*Diguisit Rock formation
*Baler Radar station
*Tromba Marina
*Aniao islets
*Diguisit beach
11:30am -Lunch on pax account
12:30pm – Checkout Accomodation
1:00pm – Free time for own leisure
3:30pm – Souvenir shopping
4:00pm – Departure to Manila

Tour inclusions:
* private Van RT (Manila- Baler- Manila)
( GL Grandia )
* Transient accomodation

Exclusions:
All entrance fees
*Ditumabo falls PHP 30/head plus guide fee
*Diguisit beach
*Meals

Optional Activities:
*Surfing lesson with a surfing instructor
*Board rental 200-300/head

Things to Bring:
*Swimwear
*camera
*Personal meds
*Slippers

More pictures: Instagram

Must-See Places in Palawan, Philippines: Click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chiang Mai,Thailand-Why I Like You So Much

Chiang Mai apparently is the largest and mountainous city in the northern of Thailand.

The first time when I arrived at Chiang Mai, I fell in love with the place at the first sight. It is a city but the city not as crowded as Bangkok. It is energetic yet it can be quiet too. These are some of the reasons why I like here.

chiang mai city

It is not surprised why many expats and retirees chose to move and settle down here, because of the low-cost living yet you still could remain the good quality of life in Chiang Mai.

What to see and do in Chiang Mai?

Songthaew/ Red Pick Up Truck Taxi

In the total of 5 hours bus journey from Golden Triangle to Chiang Mai, the first transport I used was the local Songthaew where this is a  pickup and shared taxi/truck that commonly used in both Thailand and Laos.

Especially in Chiang Mai, Red Pick Up truck taxi is the shared taxi for the passengers who will travel roughly in the same direction. And of course, the price is cheaper.

sonthaewCredit

*You may read more about Songthaew on another blogger’s post, they explained it in details.

Me U2 Hostel

The Red taxi stopped me outside of my hostel and this is the place that I have stayed for two nights:

Book here

The hostel location is good where is accessible and convenient to many tourist spots within walking distance.

Chang Phuek market

Recommended by the owner of the hostel, the famous Sukiya at chang phuek market:

sukiya chiangmai

the food stall is just right in front of the Ford showroom. The business working hours starts from 6pm onwards.

Address: ฟอร์ด อเมริกัน มอเตอร์ส (เชียงใหม่) 234/19 ถ. มณีนพรัตน์ ต. ศรีภูมิ อ. เมือง, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Chiang mai sukiya food court

Morning Market

Visiting the morning market (next to the Ford showroom)  where you can find a lot of nice and fresh food there

food

Warorot Market/Kad Luang 

You can shop clothing, grocery items, foods & home goods etc. here.

Daily opening hours: 5am-11pm

Credit

Visiting Wat(s)/ Temples

There are many temples in Chiang Mai. Some of the temples are located in the city centre within walking distance.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

One of the most sacred temples where it is located on top of the mountain.

Entrance fee for the foreigner: 30 Baht per person

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

You could enjoy the peak view/ whole Chiang Mai view at the top of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Meet Up with friends

 

Food Hunting

The locals know the best! My local friends brought me to try out the famous Anchan noodles aka blue noodles:

Anchan which means Butterfly-pea flower, the color of the noodles and drinks were made by anchan. That’s why it is in blue color.

anchan noodles

Guu Fusion Roti & Tea

Many varieties of Roti here. We were greedy enough to order four plates for 3 persons. 😛

Guu Fusion Roti & Tea

Guu Fusion Roti & Tea

SUGOI BBQ

Dinner: Guess how much it costs?

SUGOI BBQ

It’s only 180 Baht for all- you- can- eat buffet!

Chiang Mai University

Do you know Chiang Mai University is also a tourist attraction?

chiang mai university

At Chiang Mai University lake -Ang Kaew reservoir

Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center

You can walk around and window shop at Maya shopping center area. The Think Park Chiang Mai is also nice to check out.

maya shopping center

chiang mai

chiang maichiang mai

Chiang Mai Brazilian Jutjitsu

If you want to practice BJJ while travel, there are many BJJ class in Chiang Mai.I went to Chiang Mai BJJ this time. Awesome people here 🙂

chiangmai bjj

chiangmai bjj

chiangmai bjj

chiangmai brazilian jujitsu

Local Night Pub in Chiang Mai

Tried out the new Thailand beer and exotic (crunchy) food here:

exotic foodUbeer thailand

I was in Chiang Mai only for 3 days 2 nights. I should have extended the stay longer.There are other many nice places in Chiang Mai such as the National Park, a trip to Pai and etc. etc. which I haven’t got a chance to visit.

In a nutshell, I like Chiang Mai very much.I will definitely  be back in one day soon.

Other Posts/ Itinerary/ Trips:  Home Page

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Kanchanaburi Thailand Itinerary, close to Bangkok

Kanchanaburi

All of us like to travel to Thailand especially for food and shopping purposes.

Of course, Bangkok (BKK) is in our top priority list, because it is such an affordable, cheap and a food paradise for everyone.

Lately, I just back from Bangkok Thailand. Since I have been to Bangkok many times and I will be there for workaway about a month. I have decided to explore a new place which is near to Bangkok: Kanchanaburi.

Kanchaburi just takes about 3 hours train/van journey from BKK. In the total of 129 kilometres away from BKK to Kanchanaburi.

What is this place about?

It is a historical place where it is known for the Death Railway, built during World War II.
Numbers of Southeast Asian civilian labourers (Burmese, Chinese, Thai etc.) workers were recruited to build on the Burma railway and has been estimated more than 180,000 labourers, sacrificed and died in its construction.

Sadly to say that as a Malaysian, I only got to know about the history after I have visited this place. I know I am a bit outdated but on another note, is it a time to concern and think about our Malaysian education system?

How to go to Kanchanaburi?

From Bangkok

Taking the train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, it only costs 100THB one way.

I will recommend you to take the old train from Thonburi station in Bangkok to arrive here. Alternatively, you may choose to go by bus or minivan.

There is only two trains to go Kanchanaburi from BKK (per day) :

07:45 am  and  13:35 pm

Check out more here:  Kanchanaburi info

I would recommend you to go by the morning train where you would be able to enjoy the morning fresh air.

Furthermore, the old train is only provided fans.

In addition, the morning train arrives at Kanchanaburi around 11 am morning time.Hence you will have extra time to walk around.

Where to stay?

I chose my accommodation which is close to the train station. It only takes 5 minutes walking distance from the train station. The hostel name is Asleep Hostel.

If you are on budget and a solo backpacker like me, it is a good place for you. You may book from here

home cook kanchanaburi

The host, Mimi from the hostel is very friendly and generous. During my stay, she was invited all the travellers to have dinner at home. It was a home cooked and it tasted good! Home away from home.

Night Market

The night market is just next to the hostel which is way too convenient.

Have you tried foot massage at night market before? 🙂

I always like to try out something new 😛

What to see here?

The Bridge over the River Kwai – I liked this place and recommend you to walk over the bridge

http://www.goodian.space/images/catalog/5633/20180216_15187700889851.jpgPhoto credit: here

DEATH RAILWAY MUSEUM : Very informative, but the entrance fee a bit costly which includes one free coffee/tea during the visit.

You may check out Hellfire pass museum which is free of charge if you happen to go there.

War Cemetery – it is just next to the  death railway museum, a place to give some respects to the heroes and victims

http://www.goodian.space/images/catalog/5633/20180216_15187708762451.jpg

ERAWAN WATERFALL – I skipped this because I have seen many waterfalls throughout my SEA trip. I heard it was similar to Kuang Si Waterfall in Laos

http://www.goodian.space/images/catalog/5633/20180216_15187724273181.jpgPhoto credit: here

HELL FIRE PASS – this is a bit far from the town, you have to take the public transport to go. During my visited, I was lucky enough to meet a good Irish uncle and he offered me a ride to go together with his friends from Scotland.

http://www.goodian.space/images/catalog/5633/20180216_15187727983511.jpg

The museum is free entrance.Afterwards, you may start to track the hellfire pass (in the jungle) :
http://www.goodian.space/images/catalog/5633/20180216_15187728607561.jpg

http://www.goodian.space/images/catalog/5633/20180216_15187729312231.jpg

Along the hell pass fire trek, you will start to relate  and understand how suffered the labourers were (without food and water) when building the bridge.

 

I have visited hell pass fire with the three of them. They gave me a free ride and treated me for free lunch and sent me back to the bus station to BKK.

I was blessed enough to meet them and they did not want anything in return.Nice people are everywhere indeed.

NAM LOK STATION: Taking the train to the last stop, Nam Lok. I did not manage to go this time.Hence there will be some reasons to come back this place?

http://www.goodian.space/images/catalog/5633/20180216_15187729984811.jpg

Kanchanaburi is one of the places  that I recommended my friends to visit. It is a lovely and peaceful place. If you’ve ever been here before or planning to go soon, share with me your experience and stories.

Planning a trip to Asia? I have been using this website to book for my Thailand trip -Flight, Bus, Train tickets:  click here

Book a flight ticket to Asia with Qatar Airways:

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Other posts: Home Page

Till next time!
Cheers!

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