The only way you haven’t heard of Lembeh is if you’ve been living under a rock – like many of the critters we found in Lembeh. Hailed as a mecca for divers seeking to uncover strange creatures, we decided to head over there and see what all the fuss was about. I think this is a case where the pictures do speak for themselves.
International Breakfast Day at school is done and dusted! Phew! My first event at a new school and it went pretty smoothly. Different language sections had their own tables (English, Italian, Spanish & German) featuring foods specific to their culture. Our English table was overflowing with mini pancakes, scones, muffins, cookies, BACON!, and so forth.
Much food was had (by students, teachers and parent volunteers) and tummies were filled. Just thinking that this would have been an amazing thing to have in Singapore (seeing how Singaporeans are such foodies), although slightly redundant in public schools I suppose. Waiting in anticipation for the next school event … Thanksgiving!
As I fin forward, the light around me takes on an eerie, inky hue. I crane my neck to either side, before realising that swimming above me are millions of sardines, their school so thick that they block out much of the ambient light…
Going to school in Moalboal
Every few metres, you see a new sardine ball drifting in the seas. It’s like school has let out and they’re just hanging around at the nearby mall 🙂
This was a really easy dive – the sardines just hang out around the shore of Panagsama beach which meant that we walked into the water from the beach in front of Savedra Dive Centre. It was an amazing sight to see – I’ve only seen huge schools like this in Sipadan, in the Tulamben wreck of Bali (schools of jacks) and during my LOB trip in the Similan Islands.
Somehow, the fishermen have avoided overfishing the sardines as it is a huge tourist draw to this Cebuan town.
I’ll still make it to the Great Sardine Run of Africa one day – but for now, seeing this huge balls of Sardines in the balmy tropical waters of Moalboal was simply breathtaking 🙂
- Recommended diving experience: Open Water Diver
- Great for: Sardine Ball, Airplane Wreck & others (We only had time to do the Sardine Shore dive & Pescador Island dive)
I kick and launch myself forward, swimming through vertical beams while trying to catch a glimpse of the sleeping big potato grouper. As I near the hull of the ship, the water turns freezing cold – the thermoclines here are hard at work. As am I.
The USAT Liberty was sunk during World War II and is one of the most popular wreck dives in Southeast Asia. Pro tip, if you want to dive the Liberty and want to see cool stuff like the sleeping grouper or the bumphead parrot fish, plan to overnight in Tulamben (a small, sleepy fishing town in Bali’s Northeast) and head to the wreck at 6 a.m. in the morning. Otherwise, it gets way too crowded with day trippers from 9 a.m. onwards.
Having heard of Songkran through friends and seen the many videos and pictures, naturally I was keen to head to Thailand for the festival once I found out that it was about to fall on a long weekend in 2017 (even despite my many Thailand Trials which keep putting me off the Land of Smiles).
We made it to Bangkok with minimal fuss – there was some scaremongering that this year’s Songkran would be downplayed due to King Bhumibol’s death however as you can see from our photo, we all had a splashing good fun.
Here’s some things I took away in general from my experience.
This was a big item on my bucketlist. The experience itself? On a scale of “Sign me up for another 4.30 wake-up” to “I should have just pressed that snooze button”, it leaned more towards the former (due to a few nice and unexpected perks!) … but could have easily gone both ways. If I were to return to Angkor Wat, it’d be purely with a better camera to take nicer snaps. But here were the highlights of my visit.
Dear Barefoot Kuata,
I was unsure if I had picked the right island to hop off – after all, only having 12 days to choose between 20 volcanic islands to get off… what if I made a bad choice?! Or horrors, what if I got bored? After all, Kuata seemed to be the smallest island (or one of!) in that plasticky brochure I was given at the Awesome Adventures booth.
Well, after spending five days on Barefoot Kuata, I have finally compiled a list of reasons why I will never return.
1) Look at that untidy beachfront
Filled with bures, beach tents, natural foliage and white powder sand. How unsightly.
2) I pay this much to sleep in a tent?!
Mind you, this ‘tent’ (deluxe dorm) has an attached bathroom through the back. It is also terribly difficult to sleep at night with the cooling sea breezes and fans switched on. Also, don’t forget the crashing waves. Such horrid conditions! And down the stone steps of your tent, you literally have ugly views like this: Continue reading “Dear Barefoot Kuata – Why I will never return.”
Carmen Chocolate Hills, one of the reasons why we decided to make a sidetrip to Bohol during our one week Cebu stay. Amongst the contenders were a trip to Moalboal, the Kawasan Falls or diving in Mactan. However, since we knew that most of our time in Cebu would be spent diving in Malapascua, we decided that Bohol would make a nice little detour in our trip.
Once we arrived at Bohol (hint: don’t book your ferry tickets online, we got them for much cheaper at the ferry terminal), we asked around and managed to rent our own bright yellow scooter:
We found a place to stay on Panglao Island in Bohol on Momo Beach (although, I wouldn’t recommend it). After which, we set off to see two things that Bohol is known for – the tarsiers and Chocolate Hills!
Corella Tarsier Sanctuary
Malapascua… a small island that is well known in diving circles for the world famous dive site that is Monad Shoal. While not as beautiful as some islands that I’ve been to, Malapascua possesses a certain charm that has managed to capture my heart weeks after I’d left it. If you’re looking for an island populated by local villages and some resorts without massive tourist hordes, sounds like Malapascua is the island for you.