I kept hearing “UR” over and over on a conversation one night on my first trip to Puerto Princesa with other bloggers. I kept nodding my head to agree and then have to ask “What’s UR again?” I was thinking “Usual Route” but it turns out to be the popular term for the “Underground River” there. Oh hell with the names whether it’s St Paul’s Cave or St Paul’s Subterranean River, we’re going there now and it sure isn’t hell from the views I’ve seen on a boat from Sabang to the entrance of this famed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s a funny thing since I’ve been to Bohol several times but I never got to see the Chocolate Hills from that famous view deck in Carmen, Bohol. So l let myself be a tourist for the day. Joining in a bus load of media people who hosted and participated on the Survivor Challenge and get led like a flock of sheep around some of Bohol’s touristy side.
It’s the time we get down and dirty, for caving that is. We now visit Penablanca after at least an hour’s drive from Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat. Penablanca is the caving capital of Cagayan Valley. With more than 300 caves in the vicinity, 75 documented and more than 30 being mapped, it’s a spelunker’s haven. Out of the many caves, there are only 2 caves which tourist are allowed to visit for safety and preservation reasons. These are the Callao and Sierra Cave.
When I got back to Thony II guesthouse after spending time by the Mekong River and eating dinner, I met Johnny by the entrance of the guesthouse. I met him before there and we had a little chat when I told him I’ll be going back to Vang Vieng tomorrow. He offered his Van service costing 100,000 Kip which was a small portion cheaper by going by bus. I agreed since I don’t have to spend another fare going to the bus station since the Van would be coming from the guest house.
At least a couple of hours bus ride from Tongren, we arrived at the town of Fenghuang, located at the north-western side of Hunan province. Since our next bus ride to is a bit late in the afternoon, we decided to spend some time in town. Fenghuang has two sides, the modern and the ancient. The Ancient River side town is considered as one of China’s Heritage and also one of the two most beautiful town in the whole China, the other being Chang Ting in Fujian Province.
Kayak and tubbing in Wahig River, Bohol
Note: I’m reposting this entry as before I was asked kindly by the folks at Smile Magazine to remove the post until the issue is out. Now the October/November issue of Smile Magazine is out, and it’s an Adventure Packed issue, so if you are flying via Cebu Pacific Airlines anytime between October and November, don’t forget to check out the latest issue of Smile. You could preview the line up at their website www.cebusmile.com.
For the meantime, forget about anything you commonly know about Bohol. Forget about the chocolate hills, the historical churches, the tarsiers, the beaches and the diving. Now open yourself up as we go inland off-center to the heart of Bohol where extreme adventures awaits for every nature lover and outdoor thrill seekers. Let us now venture into Danao, Bohol’s newest adventure mecca.
Entrance to one of the Art Shops in Hoi An
So there we were, riding on a back of a motorcycle on a 4 hour journey towards Hoi An from Hue. It was an exciting ride speeding through the hi-ways of Vietnam. I felt I was the young Che Guevarra (hoping to look as well :P) of Motorcycle Diaries who traveled from Argentina to Chile. But the problem was I was really feeling sleepy during the trip, which is kind of dangerous when you’re on the back of the bike. Good thing our “Easy Rider” guide gave me a bubble gum to chew on to fight the sleepiness.