Week 2/13 (30/01-06/02)
The rest of the week we stayed in Ho Chi Minh City, we decided to do two different tours because they were so cheap! The first tour ($10) was to a Cao Tai Temple and then the Cu Chi Tunnels, this was a full day tour which I would not recommend. Next time I would skip the temple and just do the half day tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels. We ended up being not the bus 4 hours to the temple and then 1-2 hours to the Tunnels and then 3 hours back stuck int he city traffic. The temple was pretty interesting but not worth the long trip. The tunnels were pretty amazing and it was great to learn about the war and the things they did to survive.
The second tour ($12) was to Mekong River and I really enjoyed this day tour. It consisted of being on a small boat and stopping at different islands to see the production of different locals and the produce they make. On one stop we saw how they made coconut toffee lollies and on another we tasted the local honey in a delicious honey lemon tea. This tour also included lunch and a short river ride on a banana boat which was an amazing experience. I have written a longer blog about this tour here.
The rest of the time we spent here was just relaxing in our hotel and exploring the streets.
We then had our overnight flight to Manila and then another flight straight after to Puerto Princesa (Palawan) which we were all exhausted from and when we got to our hotel pretty much collapsed and slept the rest of the day.
The next day we wanted to do an underground river tour but the water was too rough so that got cancelled and we decided to book a van up to go up to Port Barton. Well this ended up being a crazy, long, exhausting day. The hotel told us it would be a 2 hour drive up (ended up being 4) and we had to fit 17 people in a 12 seater van. Onto of that the driver sped the whole way and it was raining, whilst going through the bendy mountains and through the muddy rainforest (was definitely an experience I will never forget). After finally arriving at the spot to get a boat out to the island we got told the water was too rough and we could go out. So we decided to get on some locals motorbikes and head to the closest beach, White Beach. It was the first of many beautiful beaches in the Philippines and was a nice few hours relaxing there.
The next day we were so exhausted we just decided to explore closer to our hotel. That night we got the local tricycle to the water pier and watched the sunset and ate at a nice restrauant. The next day was our flight to Bohol which went well and we got settled in our new homestay apartment which we were only stayed in for 2 nights.