If you’re tired of the maddening crowds of Boracay island and you might want to go somewhere peaceful, with crystal clear blue waters, tall coconut trees, sparkling white sand, and virgin coast views, then Hinugtan Beach is the best for you.
Hinugtan beach in Buruanga, Aklan is a great seascape from the crowded beaches of Boracay island. It is located in the Westernmost part of Aklan and is a coastal Municipality that served as the secret hideaway of the province. It has remained unspoiled due to its proximity to Boracay island and with only a few tourists visiting easch year. This beach is quite similar to Boracay but smaller and older version of it.
This unspoiled beach is located on the foot of a hill with a kilometer of shore line, where guests are free to swim on the sea, lie on the sand, play volleyball or fresbee, take a nap on the bamboo cottages, ride on a swing, and other fun activities imaginable.
How to get here
The private boat that operates from Boracay to Hinugtan picks up guest from boat station 1. This day tour package cost 2, 500 pesos per person, for a minimum of 10 guests per trip (Lunch is included).
The 45 minute boat ride will surely leave its passengers in great awe with the panoramic view of limestone cliffs, crystal blue waters, and white shoreline of Hinugtan Beach.
Since my bestfriend and I are coming from Iloilo, we hit the road by bus directly to Buruanga, Aklan. Go down the bus in Brgy. Alegria, Buruanga where the port is located and choose whether you want to reach Hinugtan by land or by sea. Ask suggestions from the locals especially when you are not sure about the weather. In our case we chose to ride the boat beause we don’t have much time to trek the hilly part before reaching hinugtan. We paid 600 pesos for our back and fort boat ride plus the sidetrip which is already good for two pax and travel time is 30 minutes. The boatride we had was a rollercoaster ride since the waves were so big and the boat was so small that it could only carry a maximum of 4 people (ka thrilling gne😅). Good thing was manong bankero was so expert in this field and he’s so accommodating that he even brought us to our resort. He fetch us the next morning and we had our sidetrip in Jambo beach resort. We stayed for about 2 hours on that beach mostly in the swing on a high tide.
But if you really want to go directly to Hinugtan beach by land with a 10 minute of trekking, you can negotiate the single motor driver to bring you there. Usually it will cost you 200 pesos (good for 1 or 2 passenger).
Note: prepare 50 pesos for the environmental fee
Overnight stay is possible because a number of resorts are available along the beach. Expect that there’s no cell phone signal in most parts of the beach but electricity and water supply are very stable.
Since we brought our tent, we only payed 500 pesos for the accommodation plus the use of the common cr, pillows and foam (what a very comfy camp night).
We didn’t spent much in food because we had our baons (sandwishes, canned goods, bottled water, and chichirias).
There are sari-sari stores available if you want to buy the basics like biscuits, chichirias and drinks.
Well..experiencing paradise again does not mean spending too much of our hard earned money. We we’re able to enjoy our weekend with a minimum budget of 1,500 pesos only! (With san mig light while on the swing looking at the stars..charot). So, if you want to also experience the serene beach vibe of this unspoiled beach without sacrificing much of your savings, then bring your baons and tent! And bawal ang mag inarte!✌
Guimaras the idyllic island is known for its sweet mangoes and its natural wonders. For us, this 15-minute boat ride from Iloilo is our easy and fast escape from our hustle and bustle life.
We usually go to the unspoiled beaches of this island on long weekends spending 1 or 2 nights renting a cottage or sleeping in a tent. But now, it’s totally different from what we’re used to because we’re staying in a luxurious accommodation, the Andana Resort.
This resort located in a hidden cove southwest of Guimaras island just opened last December 2017 with classy suites, white sand shorelines, prestine waters, and extravant landscapes. This high-end resort has 70 rooms which includes the beach pod, pool side suite, sea view one bedroom suite, and presidential suite.
We chose to stay in a beach pod since we want the seaside view and the cuteness of the room. Since the pods are too small, 2 pods share a shower/toilet in between pods. Literally, beach pods are far from the pool and restaurants. So, whenever you want to access these amenities you have to call the front desk for the shuttle service and take flight of stairs. But if you wish to have an easy access to the resort’s amneties, then book the pool side suite.
The sea-side view outside the beach pod
This restaurant is located between the reception building and the pool area that serves American, Italian, and Filipino dishes with some twist.
I wasn’t able to take a photo of their famous ‘sinigang na baboy sa mangga’ since we were eager to taste it and already so hungry that time.
After our scrumptious dinner we headed to Danilo’s Beach Bar just a few steps down the second level after the pool. We had some cocktails in this bar overlooking the nighty serenity of the sea. We also had our buffet breakfast the next morning here. And that was one of the best breakfasts I had!
The resort’s beach offers many activities such as beach volleyball, kayaks, and the floating water park. The early morning stroll and swimming at the beach is already satisfying. The sound of the waves, the fresh salty air, and the scenery are just perfect for those looking for a relaxing getaway.
ANDANA RESORT AT NIGHT
How to get here
If you are from Manila, the direct flight is to Iloilo because there’s no direct flight to Guimaras. From Iloilo airport, take a cab going to Ortiz Wharf, and take a 15-minute boat ride going to Jordan Wharf. After getting off the Jordan Wharf, choose a ride that you want to bring you to the resort. The Guimaras Tourism may assist you in choosing the kind of vehicle you want that suits your budget and comfort. There are SUVs, jeepneys, multicabs, tricycles, and single motorcyles could take you there at negotiable rates. Andana resort has vans that could pick you up from there for P1,000.00 (max of 8 persons). And we ended up getting the tricycle which cost us 600 pesos back and forth.
Weekdays- P 380.00
Pool and beach access plus snacks- P880.00
Beach Pod- P4, 880++
Poolside suite- P8,880 NETT
Seaview one-bedroom suite- P18,880++
Presidential Suite- P24,800+
Extra person rate- P1,800 NETT
Inclusions: OVERNIGHT STAY FOR 2 WITH BREAKFAST AND DISCOUNTED RATES AT THE WATER PARK.
Way back 2014 my girlfriends and I decided to finally check the underrated Sipalay on our travel bucket list. We were so thirsty for adventure and the beach vibe that time that we ended up spending our long weekend in a less crowded and not so popular part of Negros Occidental, the Sipalay. Continue reading “Perth Paradise and Sugar Beach, Sipalay, Negros: BB’s Summer Sweet Escape”
Whenever I travel I make sure that I try to immerse myself to the cultures and traditions of the place I visit. Though my travel buddy and I loves matching outfits and to eat our “baons” (packed snacks and canned goods) whenever we travel, as ‘turistas’ we always make sure that wherever we are, we try to talk to the locals, dress like the locals, and try the foods that the locals eat.
Speaking of foods, we are not that type of travelers who spends much for food alone. We always look for something cheap yet considered a ‘must try’ and of course something that could satisfy our cravings. So, when we were in South Korea we were worried how we could afford the foods there. Good thing is, many ‘pojangmacha‘ –street carts are found around the city that serves affordable and appetizing Korean flavors in bite size.
So, here are some of the most known street foods that you must also try in the streets of South Korea.
1. Odeng (Eumok Tang)
These are fishcakes in skewers that are served best with hot broth. The broth that could cure hangovers is infused with gentle seafood and spring onions. You’ll surely love the taste of these skewers and its soup especially when the weather is cold. This is actually my street-eat fave.
2. Korean Spicy Chicken Skewers (Dakkkochi)
This is a type of Korean chicken kebab on a stick. The spicy-sweet sauce adds a great taste to the grilled meat.
3. Tempura Prawns
These are deep fried prawns wrapped in crunchy batter.
4. Baked Cheese
Though it is called baked cheese, it’s more of a grilled mozzarella cheese and rice cakes since it’s prepared on an oiled griddle. It tastes pretty good fresh off the grill, but once it cools, it taste a bit like oily rubber. These skewers cost ₩3,000 a piece.
5. Gyeran-Bbang (Egg Bread)
This is sweet, hot, and fluffy little loaf of bread with a whole baked egg on top and a dusting of parsley. You can also see this in carts in the streets of Korea.
6. Fish Cake (Eumok)
This deep fried rectangular skewer is made of ground white fish, potato starch, vegetables, and sugar.
7. Hweori Gamja (Tornado Potato)
Twisted potato, skewered, dipped in a light flour batter, deep-fried to a golden hue, tossed with a sprinkling of cheese powder, and finished with a blaze of sweet mustard sauce. This tornado will surely disappear in seconds. There are other flavors one can try like the barbecue, cheese, and plain salted.
This is the Korean street version of sushi roll wrapped with a seaweed (gim) and filled with steamed white rice (bap) and various ingredients such as kimchi, cheese, vegetables, pickles and meat. All the ingredients are rolled into the gimbap and serve in bite-size slices. This can be eaten as a on-the go snack or as a meal.
9. Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cakes)
This chewy rice cake is also called as teokbokki, ddeokbokki, topokki. If you hate spice, then skip this one. Tteokbokki comes with a sauce called gochujang, a sweet spicy red pepper sauce that is used extensively in Korean dishes. This can be served in a stick or a bowl with additional ingredients such as eggs, cheese, or noodles. 1 bowl cost ₩ 5, 000.
10. Boneless Chicken Feet (Dak-bal)
This boneless chicken feet is marinated and fried with a spicy sauce. It has a chewy texture when eaten. This one is very popular among Korean women because of its rich collagen that helps improve the skin.
11. Korean Grilled Cheese Lobster
Who said that good lobster rolls are serve only in fancy restaurants? Enjoy this delicious lobster grilled with cheese melted over the top at ₩15, 000 in the streets of Myeong-dong.
12. Isaac Egg Toast
One of the most well known Korean breakfast in Seoul is Isaac toast. A long line of tourists and locals can always be spotted that lasts an hour queuing at Myeong-dong. This Korean Egg Toast comes with thinly shredded vegetables, spam and sprinkled with sugar at the end. Isaac toast serves up 7 varieties, including Bulgalbi at ₩ 3,200, Bulgogi ₩2,800, Hot Tteokgalbi ₩ 3,200, Hot Chicken ₩3,000, Steak Ham ₩2,800, Bacon Best ₩2,800 and Ham Special ₩2,400.
13. Korean Fried Chicken (Yangnyeom Tongdak)
KFC is usually called as chikin in Korea. Double-deep fried chicken pieces coated in a slick of sweet or smoky ‘gochujang’ chilli paste, roasted sesame oil, soy, garlic, ginger and vinegar. A stick usually cost for ₩3,000.
I had an opportunity to try every street food when I was in Seoul but the cash I brought was not enough to indulge in all the mouth-watering STREATS. I really regret not trying the grilled cheese lobster, Korean Fried Chicken, hotteok, and many other. So don’t make the same mistake ever. Bring extra dollars/won and make sure that your bank lets you withdraw cash wherever and whenever you like!lol
You may also like
I am one of those who’se fond of binged watching K dramas and hmmn K pop. Well, korean artists, korean food, korean merchandise and anything korean were the reasons why we planned a trip to South Korea. We actually booked our plane ticket 8 months beforehand giving us enough time to plan and to save just enough for this dream trip.
Our first 3 days were spent in Busan, Korea which we really enjoyed so much from its flower farms, night life, beaches and streetfoods. After our 3 fully-loaded day in Busan, we were so ready for a Seoulful adventure. Although we’re tired and badly needed some rest, I was so excited to explore Seoul that moment. We we’re welcomed again by the chilly weather and of course with the fast pace lifestyle (literally people who walks too fast and who looked like they’re running after the other) of Seoul right after we went out the train station.
So here it is! Just a few snaps of our DIY 5 days 4 nights tour in Seoul, South Korea.
1. Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)
Gyeongbokgung Palace is also known as the Northern Palace that was built in 1395 and the main royal Palace of Joseon Dynasty.
A must for tourist who visits Seoul for the first time. This is considered as the grandiest and most beautiful of all other five palaces in Seoul (Changgyeonggung, Gyeonghuigung, Deoksugung, Changdeokgung).
Visiting the palace wearing the traditional Korean attire, ‘Hanbok’ will grant you free entry into the palace while having the oppurtunity to fully embrace the Korean culture.
So, ready your camera and be prepared to capture beautiful archetectures and scenery in this palace.
2. Haneul Sky Park (하늘공원)
One of the most visited parks in Seoul. This park is situated near Seoul World Cup Stadium and is best to go during Autumn.
How to get here
Haneul Park can be reached by Subway from Seoul city center. Get off at the World Cup Stadium Station (Subway Line 6) and then take Exit 1. Right after we came out the subway station we got confused because we didn’t know which way to go from exit 1. Good thing was, google map and a step by step direction in getting here was screenshot by my friend. You may also look for the World Cup Park Map to guide to in reaching the park.
From Exit 1, just turn right and go around the stadium. Follow the big road and turn left to cross the street at the 4-way intersection. You’ll know that you’re near the park if you can see stairs on the hill. In parking lot area, there is a shuttle bus station that you can use to reach the top. We didn’t bought a ticket instead we decided to take the zigzag stairway with 291 steps to finally arrive at the Park.
3. Petite France
A French cultural village perfectly set in the Korean countryside! Petite France serves as both a French cultural village and a youth training facility (Goseong Youth Training Center). The village consists of 16 French-style buildings where visitors can lodge and experience French food, clothing, music and even household culture.
Little Prince is one of the concept of Petite France. This is also one of the filming locations of the famous ‘My Love from the Star’ and ‘Secret Garden’.
4. Namiseom Island
If you’ve watched the famous K drama ‘Winter Sonata’ you’ll surely know that many scenes were shot in this place. Nami island or now called as the Naminara Republic as declared its independence from the Republic of Korea is a half moon-shaped isle near Seoul. One should never miss visiting Nami Island because of the amazing scenic experience each season thus, making it the perfect day trip from Seoul any time of the year.
5. Garden of the Morning Calm
A 30, 000 square meter garden inspired by Korea’s nickname, ” The Land of the Morning Calm”. Nature lovers and photographers will surely enjoy the floral arrangements and lanscaped gardens built in harmony with the surroundings.
This is also one of the filming locations of the many Kdramas including the, “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds”.
How to get here
Located in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province north of Seoul. The Garden of Morning Calm can be reached within 2 hours by car.
For first-time travelers like us, taking a tour is one a great option if you want to save time. It is the most convenient way to visit the garden and other 2 famous tourist destinations nearby which are the Nami Island and Petite France.
6. Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon is a village where traditional Korean houses called hanoks are found. This Northern village is located between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung palace. The streets of the village are lined with the traditional hanok houses where tourists could see the kind of life of the Koreans during the Joseon Dynasty 600 years ago.
How to get here
From Anguk Station Line 3 take Exit 2. Walk straight for about 300m
Aside from Kdramas, Kpops, cosmetics, food, culture and tradition, Seoul is also famous for their amusements parks. And one of the most reccommended parks is Everland!
We spent 1 whole day in this park and tried all the rides we could find including the most thrilling of all the T Express! We also had a chance experience the Lost Valley adventure where we board a particular vehicle and got a chance to interact with the wild animals that roam around freely.
Lucky us we were able to see thousands of tulips because of the coming tulips festival.
How to get here
By Subway & Bus – Jeondae-Everland Station (Yongin EverLine) – Exit 3. Take the free shuttle bus to Everland.
8. N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower is located at the heart of the city atop Namsan mountain. It attracts tourists for its view atop especially the cityscape at night. This location was also featured in many Kdrama series such as “Legend of the Blue sea” and “My Love from the Star”.
N Seoul tower is also a great place to spend with friends and loved ones over a meal or a cup of coffee while taking in the beautiful cityscape.
How to get here
From Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, 4), Exit 2 → From Chungmuro Station Exit 2•Daehan Theater Bus Stop, take Namsan Circulation Bus No. 02 to N Seoul Tower Bus Stop
If you are looking for beauty items, hottest fashion trends and mouth- watering foods, then this district is the best for you to visit. This famous streets of Myeong-dong features food carts, shopping malls and entertainment. Any hour of the day the streets are packed with locals and tourist who enjoys their food, shopping and night life.
For a hassle-free travels we klooked our day tour in 3 destinations which includes Nami Island, Garden of the Morning Calm, and Petite France. In addition, we also klooked our Hanbok rentals and N Seoul Tower pass.
You might also like
I’ve read a few blogs and saw great photos of Busan that made me and my friend ended up with a decision to add Busan in our SoKor itinerary. It says there that aside from Seoul, Busan is now gaining attention and sees a steady flow of tourist.
Busan is located at the southern regions, a seaside town and considered as the second largest city in South Korea. And the city of Busan is a more chilled out and relaxed version of the more populated Seoul.
We searched for beautiful spots to visit and of course what and where to eat in Busan. For us to save time and money on train tickets, we booked our 3 day korail pass (a railpass for foreigners that allows pass holder to take almost all trains operated by Korail in a selected period of time) early. We availed the unlimited KTX rides within 3 days and we really saved much on this.
That’s it! We rode the train to Busan using our Korail pass. Luckily! No zombies running after us😂.
So, let me share to you our itinerary during our trip last April 10 to April 12, 2018. Here’s a breakdown of our itinerary, hope you’ll find it interesting and helpful for your next trip to Busan!
# 1. Haeundae Beach
Haeundae beach is considered as Busan’s top beach destination. What I love about Haeundae is the fact that it’s a beautiful city but less crowded compared to other cities in Korea. There are restaurants all over the place and it is just a few meters away from the beach.
Just a 10 minute of walk away from the beach there’s a handfull of chic bars, restaurants, and clubs in this area of Heaundae.
Enjoying our tornado potato and korean spicy chicken skewers (dakkkochi) before we explored the beach. I suggest that you must try every street foods in Busan.
At Haeundae beach we watched locals as they play and run after the seagulls (dami talagang seagulls jan lumipad lng).
How to get here
Take the metro to Haeundae Beach station Line 2 (Green Line), then walk to the beach about 10 minutes.
# 2 Gwangalli Beach
Gwangalli beach is popular among Busan locals and is populated during weekends. The beach offers fine sand and clear blue waters. This is a perfect spot to see the lighted cityscape at night. You can watch the LED light show on the beach every hour after sunset. Every show last about 10 monutes.
How to get here
By subway take line 2 (green line) to Geumyeonsan exit 3. Do an about-face and turn right. Walk down about 3 blocks to the beach.
#3 Canola Flower Fields
The pink cherry blossoms was the main reason why we travelled to South Korea. But to my disappointment, the blooming peak was over and the flowers were falling from the trees when we reached Seoul and Busan. We just crossed our fingers that we could still catch a glimpse of cherry blossoms in some places in Seoul.
Growing leaves of sakura trees were already evident when we reached Daegu.
We were kind of sad and disapointed but that mood was changed when we saw the vast fied of canola flowers. I didn’t expect that the yellow fields would be as beautiful as this. I really felt that this was like in a fairytale.
How to get here
Take the metro line 3 and stop at Gangseo-Gu Office.
#4. Gamcheon Culture Village
At about 1 in the afternoon my friend and I went directly to the Machu Picchu of Busan, the Gamcheon Culture Village. Gamecheon is the epitome of beauty and chaos rolled into one. The former slum is now a vibrant community with pastel colored and lego-like houses located at the foothills of a coastal mountain of Busan.
When we arrived at Gamcheon we really got lost in its labyrinth of alleys. Getting lost in steep slopes and tiny alleys was actually fun becuase we were able to pass by the cute and artsy shops, cafes and art galleries.
How to get here
Take the Subway Line 1 from Busan station to Toseong Station. Come out Exit 6. When you see an intersection, turn right at the corner and walk straight. You will then see a hospital on your right where the bus stop is located. Take either Bus # 2 or 2-2 that will take you to Gamcheon Culture Village.
#5. Taejongdae Park
Taejongdae park is viewed as the scenic yet rustic part of the southern most tip of Yeongdo-gu. Though the park is quite far from the city of Busan, the lush, thick forest, the blue sea and the rocky seaside cliffs is worth the visit.
This was taken the first time we ventured the park at around 6 pm. The Danubi train which is the easiest way to reach the 5 major destinations of the park stops operating at exactly 5 in the afternoon. Since we were already late that time we don’t have any choice but to hiked all the way up here, where we were promised a view that would take our breaths away.
We were actually running because it’s almost dark when we reached the park.
We came back here the very next day since we were not satisfied with our first visit at the park. This time we were on time to catch the Danubi train and were able to visit the observatory station and Yeongdo lighthouse. We skipped the other 3 stations because we were already satisfied with the magnificient view at the lighthouse and were actually short in time.
How to get here
From Nampo station, take Subway Line 1 (Orange) and take Exit # 6. Walk to the Bus stop at the opposite of Lotte Department Store. Hop on the Bus #8/30/88 and drop at Taejongdae station.
#6 Haedong Yonggung Temple (Haedong Yonggungsa)
This Buddist temple was built 1376 by the teacher known as Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty, and was originally known as Bomun Temple in the coast of the north-eastern portion of Busan. The seafront location of Haedong Yunggong Temple made it unique among South Korea’s temple which are set amid the mountains. This temple is also referred as “The Water Temple” because of the breathtaking coastal views it offers.
Buddists worshiping the golden Buddha
12 zodiac human-sized stone figures
Golden fat pagoda
The 108 steps to the temple.
The 8 storey pagoda marks the entrance of the temple
How to get here
From Haeundae Station (Line 2), Exit 7 Take Bus 181 get off at Yonggungsa Temple and walk about 15-20 minutes to the main entrance of the temple or you can take a cab from the Haeundae Station
The temple is open daily from early morning until sundown with no entrance fee.
If you are looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle city life of Seoul, then Busan is a must to visit. My friend and I experienced so much culture, food, and great people. We really had an amazing time and wished that we could have stayed longer.
You might also like