Sand like fine white sugar. Crystal clear turquoise waters. Dreamy sunset.

Wait, which beach am I talking about? Boracay or Panglao?

Boracay Island in Aklan and Panglao Island in Bohol have long been pitted against each other. Both are known to have pristine white beaches, various outdoor activities and vivid night scene. But which island deserves your vote?

White Beach
 Photo Credit: StrudelMonkey
Boracay vs Panglao: Identical Beaches?
Panglao Beach
Photo Credit: ubo_pakes
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Full Moon Party3

1 Sawasdee Ka is used by females and the end word Kap by males. I initially thought that I would use Ka when talking to women and Kap when talking to men. That took me a while.

2 Thailand is the best country for delicious, spicy, cheap and can't-quite-get-over-it gastronomic goodness.

Tom Yum Kai

3 It's possible to travel to Thailand on the cheap. Here are a few tips to help you out. But 8,000 PHP for 9 days probably won't be enough as I found out on my challenge.

4 The southern islands of Thailand, Koh Samui and Koh Pangan in particular, are not so rustic after all..

5 It's not so scary to travel alone. In fact, it can actually be quite fun.
Bangkok Transportation 3

6 Thailand (and the world) is filled with generous, kind and friendly strangers so long as you have a ready smile and an open mind. And you might just run into old friends and make new ones on the many islands of Thailand.

7 Full Moon Party on Koh Pangan is a crazy must-do-before-you-die get hitched experience. But don't forget to read the guide before going. Fire jumping and buckets of alcohol just don't mix.
Full Moon Party4

8 If you can skip one touristy thing in Thailand, skip the floating markets. Or at least go to an authentic one.

9 Even if you're having wat-overload from the many temples of Bangkok, Ayutthaya is still worth the few hours drive from the city. Majestic isn't enough to describe this temple complex. And be sure to rent a bike and go around on your own!
Wat Yai Chaimongkhol, Ayutthaya

10 I've said this many times before, Thailand truly is Ah-mazing. Here's why I keep coming back..

Thanks for joining me on my Thailand adventures!

Sole Sister Lois
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Why Travel James of Journeyingjames.com?
Why Travel Wednesdays: Journeying James
When I had youth I had no money; now I have the money I have no time; and when I get the time, if I ever do, I shall have no health to enjoy life.
- Louisa May Alcott
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floating market 2
Photo Credit: Jesslee Cuizon

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Man-made forest
Photo Credit: coolnumber9
 
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7K challenge, backpacking, el nido, palawan, philippines island, travelWhat is it about El Nido that forcefully draws me time and time again?

Check out a sneak preview of Chichi's 7k Extreme Palawan Challenge Video. (I'm still working on the full travel video.)


I Left my Heart in El Nido from Sole Sisters on Vimeo.

If you just can't get enough of Palawan, check out more of Chichi's 7k Palawan series.

Thanks Sole Sister Zuring for editing the video!

Until the next trip,
Sole Sister Chichi

Chichi's 7k Palawan Challenge is a series where she shares all the wonders that Palawan has to offer (with a Sole Sister twist).  Watch out for the next post in this series, Battle of the Islands: El Nido vs Coron.
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From New York to France


Thibault 5
Photo Credit: Tanya Hotchkiss

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Everyone knows Thailand is the best country for delicious, spicy, cheap and can't-quite-get-over-it gastronomic goodness. It's been months since my last trip but I still have dreams about the yummy street food on Khao San Road. I'm practically salivating as I write this post!  

Since I've been back, friends have been asking me what was the best meal I had in Thailand. I've only been there twice, but the food itself is enough to make me go back. (Do I hear Songkran 2011?) So here are some memorable food I've had in Thailand starting with:

The Traditional

The Traditional
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Why Travel, Nina of Justwandering.org?


I don't have any deep, meaningful reason for traveling. I travel simply because I want to; because I feel the need to.

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This is the 6th post in the series: Chichi's 7k Extreme Challenge.

What is it about El Nido that forcefully draws me time and time again?

el_nido_preview

How to Get to El Nido (A Sole Sister's Story)

Amazingracelogo
Leg 12. El Nido, Palawan
It started in 2004 when I saw that final leg from The Amazing Race 5 where the 3 remaining contestants flew from New Zealand straight to the Bacuit Bay archipelago where El Nido is located. I couldn't believe that such a place existed...and in my own country! I so wanted to go but it was impossible at that time because only chartered (e.g. private and expensive) planes flew to the island.

Fast forward to 4 years later. I was finally going to El Nido to celebrate a special occassion with a special someone. Flights were booked, modest accommodations reserved and itinerary (in excel file) completed. But as it turns out, there was no celebration on that special occassion nor was there a special someone to celebrate it with. (Don't worry, I'm ok! Read about how I coped with it here.)

I asked the travel gods, was I really ever going to set foot in this paradise? How do I get to El Nido?

(Warning: Picture overload after the jump. Don't say I didn't warn you!)

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Philippines - Bohol - Tarsier
Photo Credit: dibaer
Yes, you read it right. I was in Bohol for 6 days but I didn't see a single Tarsier. Nor did I go on the Loboc River Cruise. No ziplining either. Pretty boring vacay don't you think? Well, let me tell you what I did do: I rode on top of a chicken bus to an elementary school in the small town of Dusita. I sat down with kids to talk about their ailments and gave them medicine. I spoke to the locals in their native dialect to ask them what life was like in these parts. Of course I didn't do it alone so I made about 30 new friends in the process. And that was just Day 1.
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Strangers We Know: Mr. G Story
Just missing his eyepatch and bandanna
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
          Maya Angelou

From the last Strangers We Know, I shared the experience of meeting Bing & Christopher en route to Koh Samui. I met up with another friend on that island, Mr. G. He's from Australia. I'm from the Philippines. We first met in Germany and a year later, in Thailand. Talk about an international intercontinental friendship!


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Why Travel, Dave of The Longest Way Home?


Dave has been on the road for 5 years 10 months 10 days in his quest to find a home. He has travelled overland through Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet, China and finally...to the Philippines. You may remember Dave as one of the inspirations for Sole Sister Chichi's travels.

The Sole Sisters asked Dave why he travels. Here's why:
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At the Sole Sisters HQ, keyboards are furiously tapping travel dates and personal information while mouses (mice?) are busy trying to find the best seats available. What's up? Oh nothing much except it's only the BIGGEST FREE SEAT SALE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA!


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Solo1
Photo Credit: Carl Custodio
Although I prefer traveling with friends rather than traveling alone, I often find myself sporadically replying to the ticketing agent: It's just me. Ticket for one, please. Traveling alone has certain advantages. You have the flexibility to go wherever you want, at any pace you want. You're forced out of your comfort zone to do things you don't normally do like chatting up a stranger or meeting the locals. You make quick decisions because there are no votes to cast, no one to consult and more importantly: No one to please but yourself.

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Last weekend I got a small rectangular sized present. It practically fit in my palm and weighed less than a letter. Mountain Safety Research, the label indicated. I opened the box and got- a shammy? I don't even have a car to clean it with!


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Koh Samui4
Photo Credit: Greg Scourse
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basco batanes coast
Photo Credit: chemanyulo
Sumdup kamu.

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