If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam, let me be the first to warn you about how damn expensive this city is. I’ll try to stop myself from going on a rant about how extortionate everything was in this overrated city, but I’m cheap and I love to complain, so bear with me.
After we had been in Puerto Princesa for two nights, we made our way via van to the -almost- northern most part of Palawan; El Nido. The ride there was pretty painful; it took about 6 or so hours with multiple stops picking up and dropping off passengers (both tourists and locals) along the way in the towns of Roxas, Taytay, and who knows where else. However, I was in for a real treat on the ride back to Puerto Princesa when we were stuck in a much smaller van with the same amount of people, and had a pregnant lady moaning as if she were having contractions and an older woman who was horking into a baggy that she tied around the back of a seat… But, I digress.
The majority of travelers who go to Puerto Princesa, Palawan in the Philippines are not there for a long time. Usually they stop for a night or two at most before heading north towards El Nido and/or Coron. Because the turnover of travelers is quite high, there isn’t much to do in Puerto Princesa.
I was like many of these other in-and-out travelers, as we only had a three night stay in Puerto Princesa before I made my way on a long and exhausting journey up to El Nido. Though my time in PP was short, I tried to make the best of it by going to see most of the touristy things I found online, as well as the obligatory wanderings of a backpacker who has found themselves in a new place.
We spent our final two days of our Bali holiday in Jimbaran; just 15 minutes south of the airport. I had heard good reviews from coworkers about Jimbaran and wanted to try to see as much of Bali as possible during our short trip. Unfortunately, Jimbaran did not come close to our expectations and was the least enjoyable part of our trip. Allow me to explain..
I have quickly learned that preparing your travel itinerary ahead of time can save you a lot of unnecessary stress and money on Advil for those sure-to-happen headaches. Finding and booking a place to stay is one of the things I make sure to do ahead of time when going on a shorter trip.
Depending on the time of your visit to the Gili Islands, I would highly recommend booking ahead of time during their high season. We figured that most accommodation would be sold out, however, we were surprised to have multiple locals approach us when getting off the boat asking if we needed a room. We didn’t look into details regarding the price, area, or set-up since we already had something booked. However, I suppose it is good to know that you can head over there without any real plan (though doing this during high season would not be the wisest decision, unless you enjoy sleeping on the beach).
One thing I’ve noticed when travelling is that pending your destination, the name of your accommodations change; hostel, pension house, guesthouse, and so forth. In Ubud, most places were referred to as “homestays” and it is quite a fitting name, as the accommodations were very home-y, alluring, and comfortable.
When walking through the streets of Ubud you will notice steps leading up to a narrow passage with an over-arching frame and usually a statue of an elephant or some other symbol at the front. These are what the entrance-ways to most homestays look like, which is very different from other accommodations I’ve stayed in. Once stepping through the entrance, it felt as though I was transported to a different time and place where I was surrounded by the beauty of Balinese architecture and the simplicity of a far-off time. Finally. This was the Bali I was looking for (you can check out my opinion on Kuta, our first stop, here).