I am a very lucky girl being surrounded by friends who are willing to spend around 2.5 weeks of their vacation with me. After having an amazing time in the Philippines 2018 with different island hopping, the Philippines were calling again. This time with other people (except Mila) and an other island, not less amazing than the year before, but let's go through the journey step by step :)
As mentioned, this time we left the Gspändlinis from last year at home. It was time for some girls power or how we called it - tripletrouble :) as I was travelling with Mila and Simone. Before we could re-unite, as the two started their vacation two days earlier and with some days in Camotes, I arrived from Singapore and decided to stay for one night not too far form the airport, at Hotel Mayoo which is perfect for a quick stop as all I needed first was a pool! When I arrived, everything looked different than the year before. Reason - the new international terminal opened and I could not find the ATM's where I had them in mind the year before. So I decided to walk in the heat and my luggage to the national terminal where the ATM was out of order. Not sure what I should do I decided heading back to the international terminal and - surprise - the ATM's showed up outside of the terminal which i would have seen when taking another exit door.
Then, next surprise, the settings of my Bankcard to withdrawl money somehow did not get saved and I didn't get any out of it. Luckily I still had some roaming to change the setting online and then I heard the releiving noise from the machine :).
Life is easier when having cash - next stop was the Globe shelter to get a local simcard and then I took a taxi to the hotel and you know now why I needed the pool so desperatley and I finally
made it after getting lost with the elevator system. Right on time for the sunset I was at the pool, yessaa.
After all the exhausting travel, I booked a relaxing massage. It was that relaxing, that I forgot my beloved Garmin watch there and it has never been found again in the hotel. I hope she is living a happy life now in the Philippines, there are worse places on earth to get retired :).
Too tired for getting out, I went for a light dinner at the inhouse restaurant Uma - was very delicious!
After having enough of travels and airports, it was time the next day to get to the local terminal and flying to our island for the next 10 days - Siargao - yay! And, furthermore to re-unite with the girls - triple yay!
The fun started at the airport already. We were finally re-united and additionally, Milas father and his wife joined us for some days on the island too as this year's program didn't allow us to visit them in Dalaguete.
After a short flight (it was not even possible to play the fun plane game at Cebu Pacific due to time constraints), we arrived in Siargao and got transferred (transfer is 300 pesos per person to General Luna) to our stop for the next days - the Romantic Beach Villa. We got a huge villa with direct beach and pool access which we enjoyed after having a Mahi Mahi lunch and drinking fresh coconut :)
In the evening we enjoyed a very delicious dinner at the Bliss restaurant which just got opened 6 days ago by that time and is managed by symphatetic Swiss Guys from Bern :). The food was very delicious and for us it was clear that it was not the last time being there :).
When we returned home, we had an unromantic experience at the bathroom as there was a coackroach joining us who had to be removed by a brave local! :)
Friends and Family on the island
When your travel plans are crossing the plans of your friends: As Milas and my former working colleague Martin was on the island with two friends for surfing, we did also catch up regularly (mostly on the evenings for dinner and a drink) and enjoyed cool and fun company with the boys (Martin, Patrick aka Giovanni and at least for one evening Joao aka. Schwan :)) and having Milas father and his wife on the island for some days too, we could enjoy some day activities together.
In order not to bore you what we've done day by day, I split the activities into different sections:
Trips and what to do on the island
What you shouldn't do
Food & Drinks
Eating great food while being on holidays is important. The great thing on Siargao being a surfers paradise is that it is attracting people around the world (I haven't seen many Asian people as on other islands, but many European, American and Australian) and that's why the island offers a huge food and drink variety for everyone. Here is an overview of what we have tried (yes, there are still restaurants we didn't go :))
Another thing I like in Siargao is that the place to be for drinks varies every evening and during the day you'll find out by speaking to others :) The places to be after midnight is either the Rum Bar or the Jungle Party - however we didn't make it to the Jungle Party. Where we used to hang out:
Where to stay
The place to be where you have all the restaurants and tour operator and accommodation is General Luna. However I can imagine that in the near future the North has a bright future too if General Luna gets too crowded. The thing I do also like is that there are not huge hotel complexes, rather small accommodations with some villas and bungalows. There is a huge variety, I've only been to two and I can both recommend it:
Romantic Beach Villa - ok the pool is probably 10m2 and not 100 as advertised on the website :). The Villas are well located, direct beach access and restaurants and bars in walking distances. However I still recommend to get a motorbike, Cloud 9 e.g. is around 2 km away.
Villa Maya - a bit more exclusive, located closer to Cloud9 but a bit on the hill - beautiful views from up there, but also a bit remote.
At both resorts the people were very friendly and helpful..
On the list for next time
When I look back it's fun as we were worried first if 10 days being on one island could be too much. Consider it with last year where we had the same timeframe and were on 4 different islands. But I have to say as there is so much to do in Siargao, we were never bored and there are even some (popular) things we have not done:
Sugba Lagoon - definitively something on the list for next time
Sohoton Cove - where you can swim with stingless jellyfish
JUNGLE PARTY :)
And who knows, if I'll ever make it to Siargao again, I might give the surfboard another chance :). We had an amazing time and one additional day in Cebu for some more shopping, Sushi and Massage before heading to a new country, Taiwan was calling!