Long term travel affords some opportunities that you might not normally have on a normal trip or vacation. Leaving room for flexibility and making it up as we go along was one of the goals of this trip. And we have decided to make use of it.
We have loved our trip so far. In both Japan and China we have seen temples and shrines that don’t exist in the West, tried foods that are never quite correctly replicated back home, and become familiar with cultures that are different from our own.
What we really haven’t had yet, though, is a honeymoon. Yes, this trip entire trip is a honeymoon, but we want to make sure that parts of our trip is made up of honeymoon-y things like lying on a beach, cheap massages, tropical smoothies, and snorkeling in crystal clear water. Having grown up in San Diego, Kelsi has developed an especially strong itch to be somewhere with swimming. Now that we’re on the road over a month and a half we have decided that we want a relax part of our trip, a honeymoon part of our trip, a little earlier than we originally planned (we knew we'd eventually get there in Southern Thailand, but that's likely at least a month off).
After leaving Beijing we spent a couple of days couchsurfing with an amazing Canadian couple who live in the Tianjin Economic Development Area, or TEDA, an industrial and business community on the coast. They have traveled extensively in East and Southeast Asia and we asked them what the best thing they had done in this part of the world. Immediately, they both said a boat trip they took in the Philippines called Tao Philippines. They joined a small group of 15-25 people who spent five days and four nights on a small boat island hopping in the Philippines in the remote area of Palawan. The excursion is not like a tour but instead a relaxed, locally-oriented voyage with only a loosely predetermined route through uninhabited or sparsely populated islands where no tourists visit. Days are spent exploring the islands, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, or simply relaxing on the boat enjoying the view. At night, passengers sleep in beach huts or under the stars, while meals consist of fish caught off the boat and fruit purchased from local villages.
That all sounded very honeymoon-y to us.
So we looked into it, found that the boat company had availability in late October, and decided to cut our six weeks in China to four and half to go to the Philippines, a country that wasn’t even on our itinerary when we left Boston. We even moved up our plans for scuba classes and will do those in the Philippines before we leave to meet family in Hong Kong at the end of the month.
Our time in the Philippines will largely be on a boat with no internet access or on islands that only have power for part of the day and certainly lack internet access. We have some blog posts cued up that should publish even while we are offline, but we'll be off the grid and unreachable until almost November. Feel free to leave comments or send replies while we are gone as we will read it all once we are online again. We look forward to catching up with all of you when we get back.