Phuket was my 8th city/province in my 6-county 12-city South East Asia backpacking tour of four weeks back in October 2011. Of the entire time, I’ve only actually been in the beach (as in, in the water or the islands) twice. Viking Cave was part of the one-day island hopping tour of some Ko Phi Phi (or was it Phi Phi Leh) islands in Phuket, which looked so much like El Nido in Palawan. Although we didn’t really go into the Viking Cave (we were on a BIG boat for like 90 or so people), the scene just got my attention. I actually called it shipwreck cave coz of the bamboo structure in the facade. Only while reading Matt Smith’s Blog did I learn that it’s actually a platform where the “guardian” of the cave stays during he entire month that he watches over the nests of swiftlets, the highly-valued resident birds of the cave. He also shared that it was called Viking Cave because of the painting of ships in the cave’s walls. If you want to take a word tour of Viking Cave, you should visit his site.>
On our way back to Puerto Princesa after the Underground River tour, we stopped by Sabang Beach to partake of the buffet lunch that was part of the tour package. Though I think it isn’t a top tourist, at least for tour package enjoying Pinoys, Sabang Beach is actually pretty cool — blue waters, nice sand, and a lot of coconut/palm trees. Eating all you can, enjoying the waves, and basking in the midday sun — just some of the things you can do while chilling by Sabang Beach, even just for an hour or two. >
When I did my first solo backpacking trip in March and April of 2011, Tikling Island was among the highlights. While I was researching, I read a blog which referred to Tikling Island in Matnog, Sorsogon as among the most pristine she has ever seen. And she was right! A very long shoreline stretch, cool rock formations, and nice trees. I imagined that’s how Boracay would have looked like back in the 80s when it has not yet been developed into the beach capital that it is today. Anyway, I’m not sure how Tikling Island looks like now since it’s been years but I’m guessing there had been developments already. If I were you, I’d head down to Matnog and make sure to enjoy Tikling Island, it’s fine white sand, strong waves hitting the rocks, and lush vegetation before it becomes a seashell short of what it used to be.
Spent Christmas of 2012 at the beaches and streets of Goa, with all it’s religious structures and Portuguese architecture. Calangute beach in Goa is among the most popular in this side of the world, with it’s fine brown side and really tropical weather. Kissed by the Arabian Sea, the shoreline of Calangute beach is filled with tourists, local and foreign, basking in the warmth of the sun and the clear blue skies.;