A [tried and tested] Myanmar Itinerary and Budget

The Shwedagon Pagoda (Photo courtesy of Anamarie Umaña)

This blog’s worst nightmare (so far) has materialized.  I now have more than a year’s backlog of entries that need to be posted.  I have, like, 5 pending drafts that are in varying stages of completeness – or the lack of it – and I desperately hope it doesn’t take another year to finish them.

Anyway, I recently just came back from a truly great adventure in the golden land of Myanmar and I have been asked by various people for my itinerary.  I had a working itinerary and budget estimate prior to the trip that was the product of months of research.  I hesitated to just pass that on to others because, in hindsight, a lot of details have to be updated.  (In some instances, we even took entirely unexpected detours.) Continue reading


Gigantes Islands Sample Itinerary & Budget Estimate

This sample itinerary and budget estimate is for a 1-day island hopping tour of the Gigantes Islands. The actual length however stretches to 4 days due to the distance of the Gigantes from the nearest airport and the flight schedules involved. This is patterned after our own itinerary, with some adjustments to account for what actually transpired. Continue reading

Budget Estimate for a 7-day Vietnam-Cambodia Tour

To get straight to the point, this entire post can be summarized in one figure: USD 400.

But predictably, you’d all want a breakdown of the expenses as a guide for making your own budget estimate, which necessitates a blog post.  Making this task confusing is that there were 4 different currencies involved when I traveled: Philippine pesos, U.S. dollars, Cambodian riels, and Vietnamese dongs [cue juvenile sniggering].  I’ve also committed the unforgivable sin of forgetfulness when I stopped listing down my expenses after the second day.  And so I’ll be doing a lot of recalling, guesstimating, and cross-referencing with some receipts I kept. Continue reading

Mt. Batulao Travel Guide


  • Drinking water – 1-1.5 liters for day hikes, 2-3 liters for overnight camps
  • Backpack – for better balance and stability
  • Extra dry clothes
  • Cellphone
  • Camera
  • Plastic bags and/or dry sacks – to waterproof gadgets and extra dry clothes
  • Cash in small bills – in case you run out of water, there’s a lot of huts selling drinks
  • Packed lunch – optional
  • Hiking pole – optional Continue reading

Biri Island Travel Tips

This photo shows the basic seaside geography of the Northeast coast of Biri: (1) the island itself; (2) the mangroves; and (3) and the rock formations at the outermost.


If you’re from Metro Manila, the simplest way to get to Biri Island involves the following 4 steps: Continue reading

Batanes Travel Tips

Since I promised not a few people that I would be sharing travel tips to Batanes, I’m finally making an entry just for that purpose after I’ve managed to finish my blogs.


(I’m not even going to assume that any of you are interested in traveling to Batanes by ship, so I’ll just confine my discussion on air travel.)

Air travel going to Batanes is generally very expensive.  I had to shell out P13,650 for a round-trip ticket last December.  The thing is, I traveled to Batanes during a time in the year when tourists visit the least and there was only one airline (SEAir) servicing the Manila-Basco route.  I hear that in summer (during peak tourist season), the air fare gets slashed by as much as 50%, but you’d have to stay tuned to various airline promos around 2 months before summer in order to avail yourselves of any special discounted rate.  In the summer during peak tourist season, I hear that PAL and ZestAir also travel to Basco – that’s probably the reason why airfares aren’t as expensive.

Continue reading