Week 47: Diving Sipadan and Mabul

I’m a spoiled scuba diver. I started diving last October in the Philippines when I realized that my motorcycle habit wasn’t going to be fulfilled and was instantly fascinated with the underwater world. Over the last year, I’ve done around 80+ dives (not too shabby for a recreational diver!). While I’ve enjoyed almost every dive, the first 40 or so tend to be the most memorable since they took place in the Philippines.

The Philippines pretty much had it all as far as I was concerned. Great macro and muck diving in the Dauin area. Fantastic wall dives at Siquijor. Beautiful soft corals and schools of fish at Apo Island. Turtles at Moalboal and sharks at Malapascua. It’s a package that was hard to beat. Traveling through Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, I never came across a place with the diversity that the Visayas offered. Sure, there were some amazing hi-lights along the way like the whale shark in Thailand and manta rays in Indonesia, but never matching the sheer range of corals, creatures, and dive opportunities. Until Sipadan…

Sipadan, Borneo
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Posted by: Shim

Week 46: The Perhentian Islands

July 27, 2009 - Filed under Scuba Diving, Weekly Report

Monday was a travel day. It took us almost 11 hours to get from Penang to the Perhentian Islands off the east coast of Malaysia. One taxi, two planes, a mini-bus and one very bumpy speed boat, and we finally arrived.

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Posted by: Kelly

Week 45: The week that we forgot

July 21, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

Ok so I know I’m a bit late in posting this, but to be honest, not a lot happened during our last week in Penang. We had couple of the biggest storms we’ve seen since we arrived in Asia (with the exception of the huge one in the Philippines). The thunder was some of the loudest I’ve ever heard, and the lightning was so close together it felt like it was practically on top of us. At one point it struck a tree outside of our condo and I must have jumped about 3 feet.

Needless to say with the weather so crappy we didn’t get up to much that week. We ate dinner at the hawker stalls a few more times, and hit up the local mall to buy a few new books and pick up some travel essentials to see us through the last few weeks.

We’re down to our last month of traveling in Asia, and have quite a bit planned. We’re hoping to put away the laptops as much as possible, and head a little more off the beaten path. So, we might be a little late with the next couple of updates, but stay tuned for our adventures in Borneo!

Posted by: Kelly

Philippines, Thailand, and Bali travel budgets

July 9, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Travel

Friends and family often tell us they’re jealous of our adventures and how lucky we are to be able to afford our nomadic travel lifestyle. We agree. We’re in a very advantageous position, earning an income working online while we travel. But how much is this costing us exactly, and how does the cost of living abroad compare to what we were paying back home in Vancouver, Canada?

You’ll notice that we spent significantly less in the Philippines on a per month basis than anywhere else. I primarily attribute this to being settled in a beach house with a full kitchen for a 4 month stretch and being fairly remote which limited restaurant expenses to local options. This illustrates my previous post about how to keep costs down by traveling slowly and minimizing food expenses. There’s also no international flight costs included in the Philippines expenses. I’m not sure if something like that should be averaged over the whole trip, or attributed to the arrival country. In which case, Hong Kong cost us $3400. :) Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Week 44: This week in pictures

July 6, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

Monday: Steamboat dinner @ Guan Guan Cafe

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Posted by: Kelly