Sunday, November 18, 2012

Why do we do this?

<p>Trip planning can go two ways; on one hand you're super excited to read about the places you want to go and see and experience. On the other, it's a test of negotiation and time management when you realize you cannot possibly do it all within your given time frame.<br>
There are over 7000 islands in the Philippines - you try picking the idyllic palm-fringed one that you want to go to! How to choose? Well, we both want to do some scuba-diving, and windsurfing and I've got the plethora of suggestions from the Filipinos at work. So we're trying to evaluate the islands on their merits of satisfying those two activities. Not easy. <br>
We're definitely going to a place called Palawan that I've had my eye on for years. It's purported to be one of those "frontier" places, where everything's a bit more natural and rustic. The big tourist draw here is the underground river; an 8km long cave with a river in it that flows out to the sea. Beyond that, there are numerous tiny little islands with their own quaint, white sand beaches that you can lay claim to all on your own. <br>
Aside from Palawan, we don't know where we'll go. Boracay ("bor-ACK-ay", not "bora-kay") is PHP's version of Cancun, with loads of nightlife and some of the best windsurfing around. A small place closer to Manila is Puerto Galera. Not much of a town, or beach, but better diving.  Finally there's Bohol, which I'm thinking is the best combo of beach, diving and hopefully windsurfing. It's also much touted by my Phils friends.</p>
<p>The drawbacks of travelling, especially the self-tour style that we do, is the scheduling and research.  A couple weeks ago Air Asia decided to move our connecting flight ahead by 3 hours, which essentially mucked up the entire flight from HKG to Palawan. At times like these we we sort of wish we just booked a tour and someone else could deal with this.  It took a while but they eventually refunded our fare. It's too bad since we scored one of their great $25 seat sales. <br>
A few last-minute cram sessions in the evenings before our departure will certainly be a test of negotiations.
In the meantime, we almost totally forgot about planning Hong Kong! But fortunately that is quite easy by simply visiting and checking out the events.  It's food and wine month! :-)

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