Climbing Mount Kinabalu: overcome with good fortune

Climbing Mount Kinabalu: overcome with good fortune

For a few years in my early twenties, I worked for a travel agency and had access to travel brochures and guidebooks galore. The term ‘bucket list’ didn’t cross my mind but during that time I compiled a lengthy one. Blackwater rafting the Waitomo caves, hiking to Everest base camp, diving in the Galapagos Islands, climbing Mount Kinabalu, taking a train across Australia, meeting the Masai Mara in Kenya, watching

Diving in the Philippines

Diving in the Philippines

Diving was what drew me to the Philippines and although I stayed as long as I did for many reasons, it remains the primary. It’s also a major reason I want to return. I didn’t make it to well-known Apo Reef or Tubataha, to the slightly-lesser-known sites of Mactan, Anda, Camiguin, and so many others. Nor did I give Coron or Puerto Galera the time they each deserve. I’ve posted

Beautiful El Nido: a far cry from the peace of Port Barton

Beautiful El Nido: a far cry from the peace of Port Barton

The Bacuit Archipelago is considered one of the highlights of any visit to the Philippines: limestone cliffs jutting out of the sea as in HaLong Bay but without much litter and with great snorkeling. El Nido, at the northern end of Palawan, is the best base for exploring the area and the tour industry is booming.   There are four standard island hopping tours with tours A and C reputed

Paradise Found: Port Barton

Paradise Found: Port Barton

Getting to and from Port Barton on the island of Palawan requires time on a terrible road or forking over a fair amount of cash for a boat. The road into town is under construction and will, almost certainly, increase tourist numbers when complete. But for now, Port Barton is a tranquil respite from the crowds of Puerto Princesa’s Underground River and El Nido. For me, it was nothing short

Palawan’s Underground River

Palawan’s Underground River

Having sped through Kong Lor cave in a longtail boat in Laos and wandered on foot through countless caves in New Zealand and multiple SE Asian countries, I wasn’t entirely convinced that the Underground River in Palawan would live up to its hype. But to be in Puerto Princesa and not check out this place, voted one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, would have been a wasted opportunity