Tagbilaran and Bohol

Dotted with historical landmarks, Tagbilaran seems rustic and culturally rich. My hike down to the Peir revealed a view looking back at the town which resembled a Picasso painting. After the sun went down I eventually found myself at a park in the town center, where the local Tagbilaranians were gathered to enjoy a barbecue with a live band playing. While the adults drank and ate, their children hopped around on a miniature scale version of the chocolate hills in the center of the park.

View from the pier
Mini Chocolate Hills

Snek Spotting @ Boracay

After a whole day spent mostly arguing with Cebu Airlines and Citibank, I realized I'd be spending an extra day on Boracay. My extra day was cloudy as another tropical depression was working its way over the area, but I figure Id make the most of it by walking north along the beach until I found something new.

Pathway along cliffside

North Beach @ Boracay

On my second day I decided to cross over to the north east side of the island. After about a 20 minute walk passing through the center road I hit the north beach. On this side of the island the main business is diving, which can thrive if the wind direction causes the other-side of the island to become to choppy. Other then that I noticed lots of locals, some fixing up boats, some walking the beach and others playing around doing back-flips in the sand. I eventually found a restaurant which I stopped into for a tuna belly dinner. I enjoyed a glass of wine here as I ate my dinner, and after the amount of mosquito attention I attracted I'd say the mosquitoes enjoy alcoholic blood.

Boat repair shop

First Thoughts On Boracay

Landing at Caticlan Airport you realize quickly that you're on a tourist conveyor belt until you get to Boracay. On the way to the island you'll pay tricycle fees, boat fees, port fees and environmental fee for using the port; people will offer to help you find a hotel also, I'm sure this comes with a fee also but I opted to find my own. After the boat ride a second tricycle ride runs you up the center of the island and eventually to your destination, in my case this was Boat Station 2.

My initial thought about Boracay after moseying about my first day is that it's an extreme tourist trap, however a pleasant one. Just like Phan Thiet and Lung Prabang, as soon as you enter the city you're enveloped in a micro-economic cloud of tourism.  The main difference here is that you're on a island, so options become limited and prices are driven higher.

Aside from the touristy aspect of the island, my initial impression is that this is one of the more beautiful beach destinations I've been to. This is the rainy season here in the Philippines, however even when it started raining tonight, the beach still looked pretty spectacular in its clouded over state. I cant say the same for places like Nha Trang.

Shanghai Brewery

To start my day I decided to hop over to Shanghai Brewery in the French Quarter. This area is relaxed and clean, the trees lining the streets block any view of the skyscrapers helping you to forget where you really are. I located Shanghai Brewery after a couple minutes walking around the district, as usual I opted for a sampler, but after a couple minutes of trying to select 4 beers to fill the tray I was told that only 4 were available. Of what I tasted the dark was my favorite as usual, however nothing struck me as awesome. The fried fish burger on the other hand was quite impressive, I added bacon and a fried egg to top it off and when it arrived I inhaled it in about a minute.

French Quarter streets
Outside Shanghai Brewery

Pudong CBD @ Shanghai

On my first day in Shanghai I did a little visit over to Pudong, the CBD area of the city. The view from the west side of the Bund river looking toward CBD is the postcard image of Shanghai that I'm used to seeing come up on Google searches.

Pudong from across the Bund river