Sorsogon is the southernmost province in Luzon, Philippines. It may be a 12+ hours land travel to this place, but you won't be disappointed by its untouched beauty. This is a Do-It-Yourself itinerary good for a barkada trip.

Sorsogon: Province in Bicol Region, Luzon, Philippines
Coordinates: 12.7600° N, 123.9304° E
What to eat: A few dishes and desserts are Bicol Express (Stew with pork, shrimp paste, chili peppers, and coconut milk), Pili Nuts, Sili Ice Cream (Ice cream with Chili Peppers), Pili Ice Cream, Laing (Vegetable dish with gabi, chili peppers and shrimp paste)
What to do: surfing, beach, island hopping, heritage discovery
Where to stay: Lola Sayong Eco-Surf Camp in Gubat, Sorsogon, Holy Trinity Beach Resort in Subic beach
Ideal time to visit: Best time to visit is during summer, before or after the rainy season.
Language: Filipino/English/Bicol dialect
Currency: Philippine Peso: 53PHP = 1USD (rough estimate)


DAY 0: TRAVEL TO ALBAY, BICOL
We booked a Cagsawa bus from Cubao Bus Terminal to Legazpi, Albay in Bicol Province. It was a 12-hour trip with 3-5 bus stops. The trip started from 7pm to 8am. 

DAY 0 ITINERARY
Cubao to Legazpi: 12-14 hours via Cagsawa Bus | 935PHP | you can purchase tickets in advance or book online for fast queuing at the terminal. Book your trips at the Araneta Center Bus Port

DAY 0 SUMMARY: 935PHP per pax


DAY 1: SUBIC BEACH, MATNOG, SORSOGON
Subic beach is a secluded island known for its pink beach. This pink beach, which is a rare gem in the Philippines, is the only pink beach in the Luzon group of islands. The pinkness of the sand is caused by the broken corals and shells along the island.

From Legazpi Bus Terminal, we hired a van that would pick us up and drop us at Matnog, a town in far south of Sorsogon,which is the drop-off point heading to Subic Beach. We only walked for about 10 minutes from the town proper until we reached the pier. We booked our accommodation at the Holy Trinity Resort, which includes our transportation to and from Subic Beach, the island hopping tour, overnight stay and breakfast. Subic beach is roughly 40 minutes away from the main land and food and grocery prices are higher, I suggest buying your food and other necessity in Matnog instead.


If you are not planning to hire a private van, you may opt to ride a van to Sorsogon/Matnog. I would also suggest booking your rooms at The Holy Trinity for a smooth stay and travel to Subic Beach.

POINT OF INTEREST
🚩Subic Beach


DAY 1 ITINERARY:
Arrival at Legazpi Bus Terminal
Legazpi Bus Terminal to Matnog Town Proper, Sorsogon: 2-3 hours via hired van | 293PHP (3800PHP divided into 13 pax) | We hired a private van going to Matnog. Kuya Atoy (09213423685)
Lunch: 50-100PHP for a good meal
Matnog Town Proper to Matnog Port: 5-10 minutes walk | If you're booking with Holy Trinity Beach Resort, message your contact there and ask him to pick you up at the Town Proper. Kuya Alex, boatman (+639179030200)
Matnog Port to Subic Beach: 40 minutes via boat | inclusive in accommodation | Transportation to and from Subic Beach is included in the accommodation.
Accommodation in Subic Beach: The Holy Trinity Beach Resort | 1385PHP per pax (18,000PHP divided into 13pax) *Price was based on the quotation on our booking*
Dinner: 100PHP per pax | We bought our food to cook in Matnog since meals and drinks are pricier in Subic Beach

DAY 1 SUMMARY: 1828PHP per pax

NOTES:
📌 Van rental good for 13-14 pax (3800PHP)
(From Legazpi, Albay to Matnog, Sorsogon & From Gubat, Sorsogon to Legazpi, Albay)
- Contact Person: Kuya Atoy (09213423685); We booked him twice during our trip. Try to negotiate with him regarding your plans and tours. He can give you some useful tips.
📌 Packaged Accomodation & Tours at Holy Trinity Beach Resort for 13 pax (18,000PHP)
Includes pick-up from Matnog Port to Subic Island roundtrip, open cottage at beach, island hopping, environmental and island fees, tour guide, breakfast and accommodation 1 single room.split type aircon sidepool (2 to 3 pax) and 1 family room (10 pax)
- Contact Person: Kuya Alex, boatman (+639179030200) or Holy Trinity Beach Resort (+639997201326); message Holy Trinity Beach Resort for a quotation on your booking.

DAY 2 - ISLAND HOPPING IN SUBIC BEACH & SORSOGON TOUR

Our stay in the island was blessed with a little rain, yet we still feel like we are in paradise. We took our breakfast (inclusive in our booking) and head on for the island hopping. With the weather looking gloomy on one side and weirdly sunny on the other, we decided to skip a few islands and just visit the Jaun Fish Sanctuary since its route is on the way back to the mainland.

From Matnog, we climb our way back to the municipalities of Bulusan, Barcelona and Gubat. We hired a jeepney to take us on a tour along these areas such as Mt. Bulusan Lake and Barcelona Church. Smaller groups can hail a tricycle for 1500PHP. It is a reasonable price since you can have the tour for a whole day and explore more places in Sorsogon.

POINTS OF INTEREST
🚩Subic Beach
🚩Island Hopping Tour: Tikling Island 
🚩Island Hopping Tour: Jaun Fish Sanctuary
🚩Island Hopping Tour: Little Subic Island
🚩Island Hopping Tour: Calintaan Cave
🚩Mt. Bulusan Lake
🚩Barcelona Church
🚩Lola Sayong Eco Surf Camp


DAY 2 ITINERARY:
Breakfast: inclusive in the accommodation
Accommodation Check out
Island Hopping - Tikling Beach: via boat | inclusive in the accommodation
Island Hopping - Calintaan Cave: via boat | inclusive in the accommodation
Island Hopping - Little Subic Beach: via boat | inclusive in the accommodation
Island Hopping - Jaun Fish Sanctuary: via boat | inclusive in the accommodation
Fish Sanctuary to Matnog Port:  via boat | inclusive in the accommodation
Sorsogon City tour: via exclusive jeepney | 231PHP per pax (3000PHP for the whole jeepney) | We hired a whole jeepney to take us on a tour along Sorsogon City and drop us at our accommodation in Gubat.
Sorsogon City Tour - Bulusan Nature Park: inclusive in the tour + 20PHP Entrance fee
Sorsogon City Tour. - Barcelona Coral Church: inclusive in the tour + no entrance fee
Barcelona Church to Lola Sayong Surf Camp: inclusive in the tour
Accommodation Check in: Lola Sayong Surf Camp | 290PHP per pax (1450PHP for a whole Kubo good for 5pax); Check their rates here.
Lunch: 50-100PHP for a good meal
Relax at the beach: free
Dinner: 50-100PHP for a good meal

DAY 2 SUMMARY: 641PHP per pax

NOTES:
📌 Bulusan Volcano National Park
- Activities like kayaking and trekking are available here. 
📌 Lola Sayong Eco Surf Camp
- Lola Sayong is an Eco-surf Camp with the advocacy of  living with respect to the environment. It is a perfect place to find peace, to relax and to enjoy the nature. Lola Sayong offers packages inclusive of surfing, accommodation, tours and meals. Click here to know more about it. (Source: Lola Sayong Website)


DAY 3 - SURFING IN GUBAT, SORSOGON & ALBAY SIDE TRIP

Gubat is a municipality located at east of Sorsogon. This town is the home of Lola Sayong Eco-Surf Camp, the famous surf spot in Sorsogon. Something to like about this place is how untouched and bare the beach is. 

From Gubat, Sorsogon, we hired the same van we took from Legazpi to Matnog, this time, it would take us on a tour in Albay and drop us to the bus terminal in Legazpi. For a short side trip, we would be visiting Daraga Church and Cagsawa Ruins-- both with a great views of Mayon Volcano.

POINTS OF INTEREST
🚩Surfing at Lola Sayong Surf Camp
🚩Daraga Church
🚩Cagsawa Ruins


DAY 3 ITINERARY:
Breakfast: 50-100PHP for a good meal
(Optional) Surfing: 350PHP for an instructor and 1 hour surfing at Lola Sayong. See other rates here. Nearby resorts offered surfing for only 300PHP.
Accommodation Check Out
Gubat, Sorsogon to Legazpi, Albay: 1.5-2 hours via hired van | 293PHP (3800PHP divided into 13 pax) | We hired the same van. Kuya Atoy (09213423685)
Lunch: 150-200PHP at Small Talks Cafe; we tried local delicacies in the restaurant
Albay Tour - Cagsawa Ruins: inclusive in the tour + 20PHP Entrance fee
Albay Tour - Daraga Church: inclusive in the tour + no entrance fee
Albay Terminal to Cubao Terminal: 12-14 hours via Cagsawa Bus | 895PHP | you can purchase tickets in advance or book online for fast queuing at the terminal. Book your trips at the Araneta Center Bus Port

DAY 3 SUMMARY: 1408PHP per pax (without surfing)

TOTAL EXPENSES FOR THE TRIP: 4812PHP

The whole trip to Sorsogon was definitely something to remember. It is a place to live off-the-grid for a few days-- a true untouched paradise.

PIN IT FOR YOUR FUTURE TRAVEL:

FOOTNOTES:
Itinerary and planning made by Pam Ortiz.
Photos shot by Rae Argallon, Cheloi Marasigan, Theo Residilla, Katrina Rinon, Alyssa Manrique, Pam Ortiz, Ryee Malonzo, Braely Vicente, Jamscott Manalo, Leandro Lacsamana, Itos Lelina, Luis Zulueta, Jayson Tabia and Ela Zabayle | Sorsogon, Bicol Region | November 2018

RAESCAPE contains affiliate links in the website. By clicking and purchasing through this links, I get to earn a small commission to help me run this website without extra cost to you. Thank you for helping a fellow traveler and say yes to adventures!
Read about the Disclosure and Disclaimer here.







Happy holidays! It seems like everyone is on the holiday rush. We are in the busiest time of the year-- malls are always packed and queues in the counters are very long. Us Filipinos, we show our love and appreciation through gift-giving. It also says, 'I remembered you this Christmas and I wish you and your family a happy holiday.' This gift-giving developed as our Christmas tradition.

We still have a couple of days before Christmas, so don't you fret! This post is for anyone who loves to travel, whether it's for your parents, girlfriend or even for yourself, here are some ideas to make that wanderlust-filled loved one be excited about your gift. Trust me, you can't go wrong with any of these!

1. Travel Planner by Where To Next




Where To Next is a community showcasing beautiful photos, each sharing a story behind it. According to the founders, Ayen dela Torre and Rachel Halili, "Travel for us is no longer the desired end. It is just the means for us to connect, to create, and change people through our art. It serves as a reminder that our life is in a constant motion, some things will happen to us regardless of what we do, but for the things we have control over, we have to grab it by the reins and evolve with it. We hope that in our little ways, through our products and events, we can help you realize that too."

Their travel planner, WTN Planner 2019: Find Your Tribe, is a carefully crafted planner perfect for any traveler. Inside is a bucket list, packing list, dateless monthly and weekly pages, 2019-2020 calendars, and much more. Did you know that for every planner purchased, 10% of the profit will go their projects for the Aeta communities in Yangil & Botolan, Zambales. Learn more about their stories and planners here.




Shop the planner here.
Follow them on Instagram: @wtn_wheretonext
Like them on Facebook: /wheretonextph

2. Luggage by Love123byCamille


Camille Gayoso of Love123byCamille is a Filipina entrepreneur who originally offered personalized design of luggage and later on supplies her own line. I had the opportunity to collaborate with her in a giveaway. Learn more about it here.

Her idea of personalizing a luggage is perfect when waiting at the baggage claim, this way, it would be easy to spot as well as prevent loss. Her products ranges from 1200PHP to 4000PHP (different sizes and colors) This holiday season, she is hosting giveaways, raffles and sales! Check out her Instagram account for more info.




Shop the luggage here.
Follow them on Instagram: @love123bycamille
Like them on Facebook: /love123bycamille 

3. Beach Roundies and Scratch Maps by Must Haves By Marcael





Must Haves by Marcael is a side business of Cath. She felt the need to channel her extra energy and time to something worthwhile. She started selling things she love and need-- scratch maps, roundies, wax seal stamps and pepper sprays. She believe that is how buyers' satisfaction are achieved since these things are also her personal must-haves.

The beach roundies and scratch maps are definitely a must-haves. The colorful roundies can also complement your beach OOTDs while the scratch maps are definitely for travel goals this 2019. These two trendy products would surely make any traveler's getaway an ideal one!


Shop the products here.
Follow them on Instagram: @musthavesbymarcael
Like them on Facebook: /musthavesbymarcael

4. Customized swimwear by Hodge Podge MNL




We love all things personalized, unique and we can call out 'this is so me!'. Another must-have for your beach OOTD is a swimsuit that flawlessly feature your beautiful body!

Hodgepodgemnl started with the struggle of finding a swimsuit that fits since S, M, L, don’t really fit perfectly for everyone. Their brand has been empowering women in all shapes and sizes. This way, everyone can feel confidently beautiful in a swimsuit. All their designs are custom made. Designs either depends on what the client wants, or follows the current trends, like the tube top high waist swimsuit.





Shop their swimsuits here.
Follow them on Instagram: @hodgepodgemnl
Like them on Facebook: /hodgepodgeswimwear

5. Passport holder and 
Camera casing by Kuero Krafts




Kuero Krafts is a local online shop perfect for personalizing your passport holders, camera casings and more. Their products are classy, sleek, minimalist, and customized based on your liking. Here's another good thing about it-- its made of leather. A perfect gift for him and even for her!

They started everything last year and officially went online last April 2018. They started with customizing and re-skinning camera cases and other products until they decided to make their own lighter holders, bags, bi-fold wallets and their best-selling passport holders. Their passport holders are perfect for any traveler and includes a pouch when shipped within Metro Manila.




Shop the passport holder here.
Kuero Krafts Instagram Page: @kuerokrafts
Kuero Krafts Facebook Page: /kuerokrafts

I hope these ideas are useful! These gifts would surely make anyone's 2019 travel goals a good one. Everything in this post is Filipina-made so let's support local! What gifts are you hoping for this Christmas?

SHARING IS CARING! PIN IT!

FOOTNOTES:

RAESCAPE contains affiliate links in the website. By clicking and purchasing through this links, I get to earn a small commission to help me run this website without extra cost to you. Thank you for helping a fellow traveler and say yes to adventures! 

Read about the Disclosure and Disclaimer here.





4 DAYS 3 NIGHTS IN HONG KONG

Hong Kong is probably one of the most family-friendly countries to visit. This itinerary is good for a family vacation to Hong Kong. Here is an itinerary including budget for a family trip.



Hong Kong: Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China

Coordinates: 22.3964° N, 114.1095° E

What to eat: Dimsum, Roast goose, Char Siu (Cantonese pork barbecue), Brisket noodles, see more food below.

What to do: city exploration, visits temples, theme parks

Where to stay: It would be convenient to book a hotel at Tsim Tsa Tsui since most cheap hotels are located there. Cheap hostel starting from 159HKD (1100PHP)

Ideal time to visit: Hong Kong is very touristy and people tend to visit it all year round.
Language: Chinese/English
Currency: Hong Kong Dollars: 53PHP = 1USD = 8HKD 1PHP = 0.15HKD (rough estimate)


DAY 1: EXPLORING HONG KONG CENTRAL
We arrived in Hong Kong almost noontime. We decided to drop our luggage at the hotel and head to Central. Located in Central are the business offices (some of them made by famous architects-- at some point I was awe-strucked seeing the actual buildings in real life), local and foreign restaurants and boutiques as well.

POINTS OF INTEREST 
🚩HSBC Building, Central
🚩Cheung Kong Center, Central
🚩Bank of China, Central
🚩Victoria Peak
🚩Man Mo Temple
🚩Desserts tasting

DAY 1 ITINERARY:
🚩Arrival at Airport & Immigration
🚩Hong Kong Sim Card: 52HKD (282PHP) | Booked with Klook (Hong Kong Sim Card), airport pick-up. Or you may opt to rent a pocket WIFI, also Booked and can be picked up at the airport (Hong Kong Pocket WIFI)
🚩MTR Octopus Card: 65HKD (439PHP) | Booked with Klook (MTR Octopus Card), airport pick-up
🚩Airport to Tsim Tsa Tsui Accommodation: 1.50 hours via A21 Bus | 33HKD (223PHP) | Rent or buy an Octopus Card to save on train and bus fares.
🚩Tsim Tsa Tsui Accommodation: Marrigold Hostel: | 755HKD (5100PHP) (252HKD OR 1700PHP for a room for 4pax per night, booked for 3 nights) | Booked with Agoda - Marrigold Hostel
🚩Tsim Tsa Tsui Station to Hong Kong Central Station: via MTR | 9.7HKD (66PHP)
🚩Hong Kong Central Station to HSBC Building, Bank of China, Cheung Kong Center: 5-minute walk | these buildings are right next to each other.
Lunch: 50-70HKD (338-473PHP) for a good meal
🚩Central Station to local dessert restaurants/stalls: walk (see route below)
It's a long walk going to these places but the food was definitely worth it. I also enjoyed looking around the area. These restaurants are not only 'Instagram-worthy' food, but are some of the known dessert in the area for local and foreign people.
Tai Cheong Bakery's Egg tarts: 10HKD (69PHP)
Oddies Foodies's Egg Waffles: 50HKD (345PHP)
Local food stalls: Curry Fishball, Pineapple buns, Stinky tofu: Budget of 50HKD for all (345PHP)
🚩Oddies Foodies to Man Mo Temple: 5 minutes walk
🚩Man Mo Temple Entrance Fee: donations only
🚩Man Mo Temple to Peak Tram: 7 minutes via Taxi | 30HKD (200PHP)
🚩Peak Tram and Sky Terrace 428 at Victoria Peak: 74HKD (500PHP) | Booked with Klook (Peak Tram Sky Ticket)
Dinner: 50-70HKD (338-473PHP) for a good meal 
🚩Central Station to Tsim Tsa Tsui Station (Accommodation): via MTR | 9.7HKD (66PHP)

DAY 1 SUMMARY: 1238.4HKD (8356PHP) For Solo-traveler | 845.9HKD (5708PHP) per pax for 2 Pax-travelers | 650HKD (4386PHP) per pax for group of 4 travelers

DAY 2: HONG KONG DISNEYLAND
The Hong Kong Disneyland is one of the notable places in the island. Kids and kids-at-heart can both enjoy the rides and shows. 

POINTS OF INTEREST:
🚩Disneyland

DAY 2 ITINERARY:
Breakfast: 20-30HKD (135-202PHP) for a cheap breakfast bread and tea
🚩Tsim Tsa Tsui Station to Disneyland Resort: via MTR | 20.1HKD (136PHP)
🚩Disneyland Entrance Fee: 537HKD (3600PHP) | Booked via Klook (Disneyland Ticket)
Lunch in Disneyland: 100HKD (675PHP) for a lunch, snacks and drinks
🚩Disneyland Resort Station to Tsim Tsa Tsui Station: via MTR | 20.1HKD (136PHP)
Dinner at a local restaurant: 50-70HKD (338-473PHP) for a good meal 

DAY 2 SUMMARY: 747.2HKD (5043PHP) per person

DAY 3: HONG KONG OCEAN PARK
The Hong Kong Ocean Park is another worthwhile experience. It is an all-in-one theme park with rides, shows, oceanarium, wildlife park. Both theme parks offer different set of exciting rides, shows and features.

POINTS OF INTEREST:
🚩Ocean Park

DAY 3 ITINERARY:
Breakfast: 20-30HKD (135-202PHP) for a cheap breakfast bread and tea
🚩Tsim Tsa Tsui Accommodation to Ocean Park Station: via MTR | 11.9HKD (81PHP)
🚩Ocean Park Entrance Fee: 398HKD (2700PHP) | Booked with Klook (Ocean Park Ticket)
Lunch in Ocean Park: we used our free food as our lunch.
🚩Ocean Park Station to Tsim Tsa Tsui Station: via MTR | 11.9HKD (81PHP)
Dinner: 50-70HKD (338-473PHP) for a good meal 

DAY 3 SUMMARY: 491.8HKD (3319PHP) per person

DAY 4: NGONG PING 360
This day is reserved for a short visit to the Big Buddha.


POINTS OF INTEREST
🚩Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car
🚩Big Buddha/Tian Tan Buddha
🚩Po Lin Monastery

DAY 4 ITINERARY:
🚩Accommodation: Check out
Breakfast: 20-30HKD (135-202PHP) for a cheap breakfast bread and tea
🚩Tsim Tsa Tsui Station to Tung Chung Station: via MTR | 16.8HKD (114PHP)
🚩Tung Chung Station to Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal: few minutes walk
🚩Ngong Ping 360 Entrance Ticket: 148HKD (987PHP) Booked via Klook (Ngong Ping 360 Pass)
Lunch: 50-70HKD (338-473PHP) for a good meal 
🚩Ngong Ping Village: free
🚩Big Buddha: free
🚩Po Lin Monastery: free
🚩Po Lin Monastery to Ngong Ping Station: free
🚩Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal to Tung Chung Station: free
🚩Tung Chung Station to Tsim Tsa Tsui Station: via MTR | 16.8HKD (114PHP)
🚩Tsim Tsa Tsui Station to Accommodation: Pick up luggage
🚩Tsim Tsa Tsui to Airport: 1.50 hours via A21 Bus | 33HKD (223PHP) | Rent or buy an Octopus Card to save on train and bus fares.

DAY 4 SUMMARY: 285HKD (1923PHP) per person

TOTAL EXPENSES: 2763HKD (18641PHP) for solo-travelers; 11131PHP for 2pax travelers
*exclusive of airfare*


TIPS ON VISITING HONG KONG
A. Pre-travel essentials:
↠ PH Travel Tax: 1620PHP
↠ Book your hotels through Booking or Agoda. They offer pay at the hotel or credit card payments. I highly suggest booking hotels near the beach, in the city centers or within transport terminals. The second concern I look into would be the amenities and overall aesthetics of the place. I prefer hotels with ac, own bath, wifi and breakfast included. Pools, gardens and other amenities would be a plus. I prefer booking cheap hotels since I only stay there for sleeping.
↠ Pre-booked tours with Klook.
         ↠ Hong Kong Sim Card or Hong Kong Pocket WIFI: you can use it to navigate, search for restaurants or hotels.
         ↠ MTR Octopus Card: Card for trains, buses and even food.
         ↠ Peak Tram Sky Ticket
         ↠ Disneyland Ticket
         ↠ Ocean Park Ticket
         ↠ Ngong Ping 360 Pass

B. Getting around:
↠ The best mode of transportation is through utilizing the train and bus system. (Source: MTR)

D. Tips:
↠ USD to HKD and PHP to HKD can be easily exchanged everywhere.
↠ It would be cheaper to travel in a group and splitting cab rides, but Hong Kong has an efficient bus and train system and using these would be much cheaper.
↠There's not much language barrier, people know and can speak English.
↠ Eat at the local stalls because they are cheaper and most of then are authentic Hong Kong cuisine.
↠ Book cheap hotels near Tsim Tsa Tsui and within walking distance from transport terminals. You can check hotels here. Agoda
↠ Bring a water bottle and had it refilled at the your hotel. It's one way of saving money as well as doing good for the environment
↠ Know the places where you want to go and build your itinerary around it. Then cross off places that are too far away (unless you really want to go).

PIN IT!


FOOTNOTES:
Credits to Rae Argallon and Michelle Alegro | Hong Kong, China | September 2018

RAESCAPE contains affiliate links in the website. By clicking and purchasing through this links, I get to earn a small commission to help me run this website without extra cost to you. Thank you for helping a fellow traveler and say yes to adventures! 

Read about the Disclosure here.