Memories from SE Asia – Part 2

In part 2:

  • not everything goes as expected when travelling…
  • lessons learned – always keep backup of your photos
  • how to hitchhike a boat
  • diving the huge Japanese ships from WWII
  • Mt Pinatubo – my second volcano
  • setting foot in Taiwan – little and diverse 🙂
  • here is the link to Part 1 – Memories from a 4 months trip around South East Asia

Taal volcano

I set foot in the Philippines for the second time. I felt at home. Decided to go to Tagaitay to visit what’s left from the previous time – Taal volcano.

At Taal volcano with a beautiful lady

By 11 am I was at the hostel and found 2 French and one local. The local helped us to find a boat and we went together.

Taal is quite beautiful, I’m in love with this place. Taal is a volcano in a lake and in its crater there is a lake with a small island inside. On the way up you can see many holes smoking and the yellow dust.

Taal volcano

The day was amazing I went alone to have dinner. The local just asked me where I’m going and for how long. When I was back to the hostel I immediately went to my room to find my 2 cameras stolen. With all the photos from Vietnam. I hate you, my Philippino friend! 🙁

Police didn’t help. I had his phone number and even spoke with him but with no success.

Diving around Puerto Galera

But I had to let it go, the nasty feeling of hatred.

I let go. And by the 3rd day I was happy again. Diving in the most colorful coral reef in Puerto Galera.


Reaching Puerto Galera was extreme. Haggling and making it through the slum. Terrifying experience but I made it to Sabang… with 2 prostitutes 😀 Apparently this city has to offer vibrant nightlife for men. 😀

the Philippines


The coral reefs there are so beautiful and colorful – it’s unbelievable. Probably the best diving so far. Diving is very cheap in Puerto Galera and Sabang.

From there I explored the area around Sabang and sat off to Sablayan – to visit the second largest coral reef in the world after the Great Barrier. I set foot on Apo Reef <3

Apo reef – the world’s second largest coral reef system

Apo Reef Natural park – Apo Reef is a coral reef system in the Philippines situated on the western waters of Occidental Mindoro province in the Mindoro Strait. Encompassing 34 square kilometres (13 sq mi), it is the world’s second-largest contiguous coral reef system and the largest in the country. The reef and its surrounding waters are protected areas in the country administered as the Apo Reef Natural Park (ARNP). It is one of the best known and most popular dive sites in the country. It is listed in the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

I spent the most amazing time on the rangers’ island, only me (and my ex), 2 days and 2 nights, waiting for a boat to hitchhike to Palawan. There is only one lighthouse on the island. From there you see the most amazing sunsets and sunrises. I can summarize that was the most romantic time in my life.

The view from the lighthouse at sunset
The view from the lighthouse at sunset
The rangers’s island in Apo Reef – the lighthouse is on the right
Love this view from the lighthouse

In Apo Reef – where I saw tens of sharks – black tip and white tip
Waiting for a bigger boat to Palawan
Adventure + Romance = Love

Adventure + Romance = Love

We found a boat to take us to Coron – an archipelago and an important bio reserve part of  Coron Island Natural Biotic Area.

This is how I spent my time when I hitchhiked a boat
On the way to Coron and Palawan on the hitchhiked boat


And here I am – in Coron diving the huge Japanese ships. Quite technical diving with strong currents. I saw my blue blood (I knew it!) The archipelago around Coron is fantastic!

I dove in a lake without a suit. I saw the thermal lines and the one and only barracuda in Barracuda lake, Coron. I was lucky! And I almost caught a shrimp.

One of the best dives there. Fantastic!

El Nido, Palawan

Next, another archipelago – around El Nido. So beautiful, lagoons, caves, emerald water, white sand beaches, corals, fish…

It was really nice to camp on a deserted island with a bottle of rum. 😀

El Nido
El Nido

Dinner time
Lunch time
Take a rest time

Paradise on Earth!

Well, I must end here as the article became quite long. The story continues very very soon.

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Apo reef as seen from the sky





One Reply to “Memories from SE Asia – Part 2”

  1. […] Memories from SE Asia – Part 2 – Wander and Learn says: Reply October 11, 2017 at 9:51 am […]

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