TREKKING, CLIFF JUMPING & SWIMMING IN TANGADAN FALLS, SAN GABRIEL, LA UNION

Almost every three months, my Dubai-based brother and I would spend quality time together by visiting a destination that we have not yet been to. #BROSontheROAD.

San Juan, La Union Road Sign
Surfing Area Road Sign, San Juan, La Union

Last April 2018, we went to San Juan, La Union with our mom and aunt who both opted to stay in the hotel room most of the time. On the other hand, my brother and I spent most of the time outside as expected.

On our first day, we went frolicking in San Juan’s Surf Town. I will post another blog about how we spent our day in San Juan. That night, I suggested that we go check out Tangadan Falls the next day. My brother said he would rather just stay in San Juan. I said “Okay, I am going anyway.”

I guess he felt I was so determined to go even by my lonesome. That is why the next day he woke me up and told me he was tagging along to explore San Gabriel and check out Tangadan Falls.

Trivia: I was told that San Gabriel is Vice Ganda’s hometown. 🙂

Below is the short #BROSontheROAD Travel Video featuring Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel, La Union. We went trekking, cliff jumping and swimming.

For better definition, you can watch the travel video posted on Youtube below instead:

There is also an IG TV version. Watch it below:

 

Getting To Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union

Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel Entrance, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union
Our Mom and Auntie in front of Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

 

We were billeted in Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. Just outside the hostel was a tricycle queue. We hired a tricycle to bring us to and from Tangadan Falls’ Jumping-Off Point  for P 500 or P 250 per head. I guess we got a good deal already since getting to San Gabriel would normally take about 45 minutes worth of gas tops and tricycle fare would be P 300 per person.

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We wore comfortable clothes and footwear and put on a generous amount of sunblock and insect repellent.   We left Flotsam and Jetsam at 8:15 AM. We got to the jumping-off point to meet our tour guide, Leo, at about 9 AM.

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It was an hour-trek to the cliff jumping point. Although, it was fairly an easy and enjoyable trek, I must say that one must be fit and ready for an hour of walking, climbing and crossing streams. Bringing the kids and elderly members of the family along may not be a good idea.

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There was also a resting area where snacks and refreshments were being sold.

Tangadan Falls Trek Vendor

Upon reaching the cliff jumping point, I immediately assembled my drone to get some aerial footage. My brother, on the other hand, did not waste time and went straight for the cliff and jumped into the water. I needed to stop whatever I was doing to capture his jump on video.

After ten minutes of flying, I packed my drone and jumped off the cliff to get underwater footage.

I would have wanted to stay a bit longer to get more photos for my Instagram feed but my brother was in a hurry and was already giving me the look. By 9:30 AM, we were back on the trail to the main attraction of San Gabriel, the Tangadan Falls. I asked my brother what was bothering him. He said he was worried that we would not be able to make it back on time to the hotel for check-out. Our check-out time was 11 AM.

At the rate we were going, I highly doubted we would make it back on time. But this I kept to myself and tried my best to entertain him in between climbing rocks and crossing streams. I told him not to worry in that our aunt can handle the check-out process. I also told him that I would advise our aunt via SMS that we might be running late and that she would have to just wait for us to get back. By the way, our Mom left early in the morning. She could not be away from her fur-babies for too long. Tough luck, there was no telecommunication signal in the area and was not able to advise our aunt just the same. LOL.

After 20 minutes, we reached Tangadan Falls. We paid the Environmental Fee of P 30 per person. I unpacked my drone for some #dronescapade while my brother… well… jumped immediately into the water.

My brother having a grand time in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
My brother having a grand time in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
Life vests for rent for P 50, Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
Life vests for rent for P 50.
Tangadan Falls Souvenirs
Souvenirs for sale onsite.

My brother, ever since, has always had a strong affinity to water. Even as a toddler, he could and would stay in the water until his skin got all wrinkled up. And so, he swam away in Tangadan Falls and completely forgot about the check-out time. LOL. We stayed in Tangadan Falls for almost two hours.

Swimming in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
My brother has always had a strong affinity to water. Even as a toddler, he could and would stay in the water until his skin got all wrinkled up.

On the way back to the jumping-off point, we opted to rent a habal habal (motorcycle) for P 250 each. However, we had to do another twenty-minute trek to get to the pick-up point. Talk about delaying self-gratification. The trek to the pick-up point was quite challenging. It was a steep climb. I was literally gasping for air on the way up.

Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
Raft or balsa for rent for P 250 per hour

The motorcycle ride back to the jumping-off point was another highlight of this trip. The concrete-paved road was narrow and full of peaks and troughs. It was like riding a roller coaster. I had fun being the adrenaline junkie that I am. The only downside was… well, we were not given crash helmets to wear. Perhaps, this is something that the local tourism office should address to ensure the safety of tourists.

Paved narrow road from the trail head of Tangadan Falls to the jumping-off point
Paved and narrow road from the trail head of Tangadan Falls to the jumping-off point.

We arrived at the jumping-off point by 12:30 PM where the same tricycle and driver were waiting. By the time we got back to Flotsam and Jetsam, it was already 1 PM. True enough, our aunt single-handedly managed to bring out all our stuff from the room, did the whole check-out process and was cozily waiting for us at the reception area. Thanks, auntie Bing!

Not all road trips with my brother is smooth sailing. Just like any siblings, we would bicker a lot and agree to disagree (NOT). I must say though that every road trip with him is memorable and always an opportunity to get to know each other more. He will be coming home this month. We have not yet finalized where we will be going to next but I am sure we will both have a grand time.

Screen Shot of  Jem's Post on his Facebook Page describing our trip to Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
Screen Shot of Jem’s Post on his Facebook Page describing our trip to Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.

 

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Me with our tour guide, Kuya Leo, in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.

Signing out for now. Peace!

HOW TO GET TO BATU CAVES, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

When I visited Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in January this year, I missed Batu Caves. Batu Caves is one of the most popular Hindu Shrines outside India. It is located in the northern part of Kuala Lumpur.

Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I already paid for the day tour online while in Manila. A city tour was scheduled in the morning and Batu Caves in the afternoon. A separate blog post about my Kuala Lumpur City Tour will be published soon (I hope, lol). My flight back to Manila was in the evening and I had to be at the airport by say about 7 PM.

By noon, the city tour was done and we were on our way back to the tour operator’s headquarters to switch vans and guides for Batu Caves. During the switch, I grabbed a quick lunch at a nearby eatery. After lunch, I boarded the van with other travelers. I was so excited because it would be my first #dronescapade outside the country.

Unknown to me and to my companions in the van, the tour included three stops before Batu Caves, being the last stop. After the first stop, the tour guide approached me and told me that I might miss my flight to Manila should I proceed any further with the tour. So they left me at the nearest train station to catch a trip back to KL Sentral and then to the KL International Airport unfortunately.

Me on board a train to KL Sentral Station
Me on board a train to KL Sentral Station

I did not know any better but had I known, I could have just taken the bus & train to Batu Caves from KL Sentral Train Station and not booked that day tour in the first place.

In March 2018, I traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia. My flight back to Manila had a long lay-over in Kuala Lumpur. I grabbed the opportunity to finally fly my drone in Batu Caves. I did not book a van for a day tour anymore. I did a DIY tour of Batu Caves and other places of interest in Kuala Lumpur. #solotravels

Getting to Batu Caves From the KL Sentral Train Station

Rapid KL Bus to Sentul Station from KL Sentral
Rapid KL Bus to Sentul Station from KL Sentral
Bus Terminal at the KL Sentral Station, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bus Terminal at the KL Sentral Station, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

There were no trains available that would take me from KL Sentral to Batu Caves. Apparently, a construction of the railway directly connecting KL Sentral and Batu Caves was (and still is) ongoing. Hence, I took the one-hour bus ride compliments of Rapid KL Bus from KL Sentral to Sentul Train Station instead. At the Sentul Station, I took the train to Batu Caves (only four stations away) for a meager 3 Malaysian Ringgit (approximately Php 40).

From the Batu Caves Train Station, the Batu Caves Shrine is a mere 10-minute walk. Devotees may buy flowers to serve as offering from a number of vendors just outside the gate of Batu Caves.

Flower vendors outside Batu Caves
Flower vendors outside Batu Caves
The Batu Caves Main Gate
The Batu Caves Main Gate
Batu Caves at sunrise
Batu Caves at sunrise

I arrived at the shrine’s parking lot before sunrise and was allowed to fly my drone by the park’s security on duty. Personally, I really prefer flying outside peak hours to avoid big crowds. I also kept my distance to avoid getting in the way of a huge flock of pigeons in the area.

Batu Caves early in the morning.
Batu Caves early in the morning
Huge flock of pigeons in Batu Caves
Huge flock of pigeons in Batu Caves
IMG_8835Huge flock of pigeons in Batu Caves
Pigeons pigeons everywhere. I kept my distance when flying my drone to avoid getting in the way.

Below is a 60-second video that I prepared featuring Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

For better viewing, you may also watch the Youtube video below instead:

272 steps to Batu Caves
272 steps to Batu Caves

After flying my drone, it was time to climb 272 steps to get to Batu Caves. Batu Caves is located about 100 meters above ground. At the foot of the staircase is the the world’s tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity.

The world's tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity
The world’s tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity, can be found in Batu Caves.

Monkeys darted and congregated on the steps on the way up. I was cautioned by one of the visitors to be very careful and to keep an eye on my mobile phone and other belongings. The monkeys are notorious for “stealing” the visitor’s belongings just out of curiosity.

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There are souvenir shops near the entrance of Batu Caves. They sell religious artifacts and mementos.

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Inside Batu Caves is a temple cave featuring various Hindu shrines and characters. The interior is so huge. It looked like a giant carved a cathedral out of the belly of the mountain.

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Me overwhelmed inside Batu Caves, one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. It is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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After taking photos and being mesmerized by the sheer grandeur of the Batu Caves Shrine, it was time to leave and catch the next bus and train to the city. People were also starting to pour in.

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Before leaving the shrine, I had a quick snack at an eatery inside the park. I had my favorite LiqaLic by MFruits and tried Black Currant Fruit Drink by Ribena. Click here to know more about how much I love MFruits’ LiqaLic.

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I had a great time visiting Batu Caves. I got to fly my drone and got a good workout from climbing up and down a flight of stairs, 272 steps to be exact. Signing out for now. Peace!

GET A CAR INSURANCE & PROTECT YOUR CAR, YOURSELF & THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE.

As a Travel Blogger, I travel regularly to various places to create online content. Hence, I always tick that tiny box for Travel Insurance every time I book an airline ticket for both of my domestic and international travels. It does not hurt to be covered in case any untoward incidents happen during the trip.

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If you are a car owner traversing the streets of Metro Manila, then that makes you a regular traveler as well. Driving a car to work would most likely mean being in your car for at least 2 to 4 hours a day on a regular work day and 4 to 6 hours a day during weekends for that getaway or malling.

Malayan

Accidents may happen anytime (knock on wood). That is why to me, protecting yourself by getting a car insurance policy in the Philippines is just the most logical thing to do. While on the road, it is important to value yourself, your passengers, your car and others.

Make sure your car is covered with Automaster Insurance, one of if not the best when it comes to car insurance in the Philippines. Get free quotation here.

Malayan Automaster Insurance safeguards your vehicle against accidents from natural calamities, theft and automobile damage among others.

The Malayan Automaster covers the following benefits:

  • Car Loss/Own Damage: car loss due to theft or damage due to accident;
  • Third Party Liability: Compulsory Third Party Liability, Excess Bodily Injury of up to Php 500,000.00 and Property Damage of up to Php 500,000.00;
  • Auto Personal Accident: for insured/authorized driver or any of his or her passengers (4) riding in, boarding or alighting the insured car;
  • Acts of God Protection: car damages directly caused by typhoon, flood, hurricane, volcanic eruption, earthquake, etc.
  • Riots, Strikes and Civil Commotion: car loss or damages due to social unrest whether intentionally or unintentionally by third parties
  • Standard Automobile Accessories Protection: free protection for car’s standard accessories
  • Loss of Use: Transportation reimbursement of Php 500 per day for a maximum of fifteen days while insured car is undergoing repairs due to an accident covered by the Policy. Malayan Insurance is the first car insurance policy in the Philippines to offer this.
  • Accredited Repair Shops: Over 160 accredited repair shops all over the country

For more information about this car insurance policy in the Philippines, visit www.malayan.com.

There are no two ways about it. Driving in Metro Manila to get from from point A to point B requires safety. Driving safely is a responsibility. Get a car insurance policy now and protect yourself, your car and the people you love.

Signing out for now. Peace!