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Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.
So I just got back from 5 weeks overseas and dealing with bad jet-lag so I figured I'd share my most recent trip with you all to pass the time at 3am. Unfortunately this isn't a mongering trip, I was with one girl the whole time, but I did get to see some cool stuff and experience some interesting places most of you all probably haven't been. I'll break them down into three categories: Batanes, Malaysia, and Bali.
Batanes Islands, Philippines
So this is a place I've always dreamed about going to in the Philippines as it's a dream destination for most Filipinos (and that of my girlfriend) and always looked so surreal. It's quite pricey to get to compared to most destinations in PH, around $200 round trip airfare, but was money well spent. For those of you who don't know where it is, the Islands are the very northern point of the Philippines and are actually closer to Taiwan than the mainland of Luzon.
The Islands are known for being hit by strong Typhoons and thus most of the houses are built out of stone. Unfortunately while I was there a Typhoon struck on my last day, causing flights to be canceled for 2 days and stranding us there. The landscape has a very mountainous tropical island feel but with immense pasture land for grazing cattle and goats. For those that are familiar with Far Cry video game series, the scenery is very similar minus of course the dangerous animals and warring locals. With that said the island is probably the most laid back and truly friendliest place I've been to in the Philippines. There is virtually no crime, poverty levels seem pretty low, and average life span is quite high. They even have a store called The Honesty Store where there is no attendee and you pick the items you want and are expected to be honest and pay.
Fortunately for us a local festival was going on and I finally got to experience a Cock fight. No not between lady boys but between Roosters. I ended up winning $10 after which a local invited us back to their friends house for food and drinks.
Overall I give the islands a 7/10. They are beautiful with amazing locals and awesome seafood but lose points due to frequent Typhoons, running short on supplies, and lack of some modern amenities. For guys interested solely in girls and nightlife, you won't find much here. Women are very basic and simple and there is virtually little nightlife.
Here are a few pictures from the trip. Apologies for the poor quality, most were taken with an Iphone which has a terrible quality.
Typhoon creating huge swell