Was the Coke Studio homecoming event last night a disaster? I was not invited to the event but most of my lifestyle blogger friends were. My newsfeed last night till this morning was all about it. Some were ranting about how they were inconvenienced about the event cancellation while most were thankful and fully understood why the event had to be cancelled.
I am just glad that my blogger friends like Lhyzie Bongon and Mommy Lars got out of it safe and sound. I saw a clip on Facebook how rowdy the crowd was.
Here is my piece… I think that the organizers were actually preventing a potential disaster similar to the tragic Wowowee event that happened years ago in Ultra, Pasig. And nobody… I mean nobody wants the same thing happening again.
Let me refresh your memories by watching the video I found on youtube below:
Thanks to John Paulo Caparros of Strategic Works, Inc. for sharing what the management of Coca Cola Philippines has to say about the whole incident.
Below is Coca Cola Philippines’ official statement:
On December 07, 2018, the Coke Studio Concert organizers, Philippine National Police, the City of Pasay, and SM Mall of Asia decided to reschedule the Coke Studio Christmas Concert to early next year to prioritize the public’s safety.
The safety of everyone is of utmost importance to us. The unsafe behavior of portions of an estimated 15,000 spectators such as pushing, jumping on the barricades and throwing bottles, threatened the safety of the rest of the concert-goers, despite numerous reminders from authorities present.
There were some who sustained minor injuries and were immediately given medical attention. After careful assessment, and repeated requests for the public’s cooperation, Coca-Cola together with all the artists, PNP, the City of Pasay, and SM MOA, deemed it necessary to reschedule the concert to a later date.
We thank the PNP, the local government of Pasay, and SM MOA for their full support in helping ensure everyone’s protection, the artists for their passion and fully supporting the decision to prioritize their fans’ welfare, and lastly, to the concert goers for their understanding and support. We recognize that a lot of them have traveled far to see their favorite artists. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Rest assured that we will continue to coordinate with the relevant parties to further tighten control measures in our next events.
Again, we thank everyone for their understanding and their continued support.
I hope that we learn more about discipline as a people. We all can have fun and feast without having to act like wild animals. Better safe than sorry.
What do you think about the cancellation of the Coke Studio Homecoming last night? Let me know by putting your comments below.
Now that this masterpiece of an island paradise has finally reopened, let us do our part and be good stewards. Let us stay on guard in keeping the environment clean and green.
Boracay Do’s and Don’ts
Below are the do’s and don’ts when visiting Boracay:
Do dispose your garbage properly
Do smoke on the designated smoking areas
Do avoid using single use plastic bags instead use an eco bag
Do use public rest room, toilet or lavatory
Do all establishment maintain the cleanliness on their respective areas
Don’t litter on the beach and in other public areas
Don’t smoke on the beach and in other public areas
Don’t extract or collect sand and pebbles in the beach areas
Don’t carry or clutch glass bottles or any beverages in the beach areas
Don’t urinate or defecate in any public place
The above are Municipal Ordinances. Anyone caught doing what is not allowed by law will be dealt with accordingly by the authorities with corresponding fines and penalties. There are roving police officers and marshals. Hence, it is in your best interest to just follow the law while enjoying Boracay.
Drone flying is also prohibited unless authorization has been sought by the drone operator.
From the airport, go DIY and proceed to the tricycle queue just across Caticlan Airport. I shared a tricycle ride with Riczi Dio whom I just met at the queue. Tricycle fare is Php 50 per person. You can also rent the whole tricycle by your lonesome. You just need to pay Php 100.
The number of tourists allowed to enter the island is limited and monitored. Ensure that you have your hotel voucher with you upon registration at the Caticlan Jetty Port. If you are traveling with family or friends who will be staying with you in your hotel room, make sure that their names are listed on the hotel voucher as well.
Once verified, proceed to the counter to pay the following:
Pump boat fare Php 25
Terminal fee Php 100
Environmental fee Php 75
The boat ride from Caticlan Port to Cagban Port was smooth and only took twenty minutes. At the Cagban Port, Riczi and I shared another tricycle ride for Php 120 or Php 60 per person to bring us to Boracay D’Mall where we would go our separate ways. E-trikes are also available. Fare is Php 20 per head. The tricycle ride from Cagban Port to D’Mall took about thirty minutes versus the usual fifteen minutes because of slow traffic and ongoing road and drainage constructions.
The New Boracay
I stayed in Boracay for eleven days, probably the longest I have ever been on an island. Why? Well, simply because I fell in love with the place again. Despite the ongoing road construction and establishment repairs, it seemed that everything was in its proper place. It felt like the Boracay I first saw way back in the early days. But then again, this is me. Some like it wild and cluttered. I like it serene and clean.
I had a chance to talk to Tita Connie, owner of Red Coconut Hotel. She has been living on the island since 1982. She shared that after six months of closure, Boracay now looks like the Boracay of the 1990s. She feels sad though that the locals had to suffer the brunt of the closure. There was practically no business going on on the island for six months. But she believes that the closure was necessary to save Boracay from being a cesspool. I have spoken to a number of locals as well and they all feel the same thing. After six months of rest, they are now more than ready to welcome tourists on the island.
Yes! No more bed mats or umbrellas near the shore. No clutter. All beach front properties have to follow the 25+5-meter no-build zone. This means that there should be no private structures built within the 30-meter easement between the shore and the beachfront property.
One afternoon, I went jogging from Station Two to Station One. It was only a day after typhoon #Rosita and I noticed that the strong waves brought by habagat (south wind) have pushed ashore a number of garbage.
On the beach of Station One, I found a big ziploc plastic bag. I picked it up. After a few steps, I saw candy and Rebisco wrappers. I picked them up and put them in the ziploc bag. Then, I saw one and yet another trash. Picked them up and placed them in the bag. Not soon enough, the big ziploc bag was already full of plastic trash I picked up from the shores of Station One.
Near Station Two, I saw an empty sack. I placed the already full ziploc bag inside and continued my way picking trash. By the time I reached the front of our hotel, my sack was already heavy and full of plastic garbage. I gave the sack of garbage to the hotel staff for disposal.
I felt proud of myself because I was able to contribute in my own little way in cleaning the newly reopened Boracay. So when you do get to visit Boracay or any of our beautiful islands, please be responsible and leave no trash behind. I was guilty of it in the past.
I also hope that more trash bins are installed in Stations One and Two like the ones donated by The Juan Effect of Cebu Pacific Air in Stations Two and Three.
Kudos also to the staff / volunteers of Department of Environment and Natural Resources for regularly collecting trash on the beautiful beach of Boracay.
I will be back very soon. Booked my tickets already for February 2019. I might be back even before that though. And when I do, I hope to see the same, if not better, Boracay.
Remember to never stop exploring the world one story at a time. Signing out for now. Peace!
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Batanes is an island group province located at the northernmost tip of the Philippines. Undeniably, Batanes is one of the most sought after places to visit in the Philippines because of its mystifying beauty. In fact, Batanes is the only province in the country that is protected in its entirety, both landscapes and seascapes and was listed in the Tentative List of the Philippines for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.
Batanes is the country’s smallest province in terms of population and land area and is composed of only ten islands. The three largest of which are the only ones inhabited. These are Batan, Itbayat and Sabtang. I was able to visit two, Batan and Sabtang.
What made my stay in Batanes memorable, more than the picturesque sights, was really the warm welcome that I got from the Ivatans or locals whom I met. Not unknown to many of my friends and followers, I lost my drone on day one to the mighty winds of Batanes during the first and the last time I visited. Because I lost my main video equipment, I was not able to produce a travel video which was the primary reason of my trip. Watch the vlog here.
The entry point of Batanes by air is Basco, the capital of Batanes. Basco is located in the island of Batan.
Upon arrival, I met Tita Elda, her son Mitchel Lechuga and family of Safetravel Philippines at the airport and brought me to a quaint bed and breakfast inn in Basco, the Katuvang B&B.
Owned and managed by couple Mike and Edna Acebes, Katuvang B&B offers exquisite accommodation with casual elegance. The couple are pretty much hands on in making sure everything is in place and each guest is taken good care of.
I woke up in the morning of my first night with Tito Mike tending the front yard and Tita Edna asking me if she should prepare my breakfast already.
Katuvang B&B is also located near the town center or Basco’s Historic Plaza. On my first morning in Batanes, I went jogging. It felt as if I was in a small town abroad where the only and most convenient means of getting from point A to point B was by walking.
Room with breakfast for 2 persons- Php 2,500 per night
Room with breakfast for 3 persons- Php 3,250 per night
Katuvang B&B rooms are comfortably spacious and properly air-conditioned with the option to use the ceiling fan. I loved their linens. The bed also felt luxurious. The room came with complimentary toiletries, extra beddings and breakfast for two. They have rooms ideal for friends and families.
I enjoyed my stay overall in Batanes. Batanes will always occupy a special place in my heart. To all my friends in Batanes who treated me like family… Dios Mamajes and see you again very soon.
For bookings and inquiries, visit Katuvang B&B’s Facebook Page here or contact Safetravel Philippines here.
If you just can’t wait to have that elusive vacation but do not have the time and budget to go out of town whether alone or with family and friends, then the Selah Garden Hotel in Pasay City could be your best option.
My brother was here two weeks ago on a short nine-day vacation. He is a flight attendant based in the United Arab Emirates. We wanted to maximize his short stay with fun and excitement without having to leave Metro Manila. So the day he arrived, I packed my bags of clothes and shooting equipment and we booked a Grab Car and headed to the Selah Garden Hotel.
The Selah Garden Hotel is a boutique hotel near the Makati Business District and various historical landmarks such as Intramuros and Luneta Park. Likewise, the Selah Garden Hotel is accessible to the airport and the Mall of Asia (one of the biggest shopping malls in Asia).
Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed at the lobby by the receptionists with refreshing welcome drinks. Check in time is 2 PM and check out is 12 noon. We stayed in a Flagship Double Room.
The Selah Garden Hotel has 83 rooms of varying types that can fit different guest preferences. Below are Selah Garden Hotel’s type of accommodations and corresponding published rates:
Flagship Room at Php 3,200 per night for two with breakfast and Php 3,800 per night for three with breakfast
Cozy Room at Php 3,800 per night for two with breakfast
Fantastic Loft at Php 5,100 per night for four to five occupants with breakfast
Fantabulous Loft at Php 6,700 per night for seven occupants with breakfast
Fabulous Suite at Php 5,900 per night for five to six occupants
Stellar Suite at Php 13,000 per night for ten occupants
Bunk Room at Php 800 per occupant per night, good for four, six or eight occupants
Clique Room at Php 800 per occupant per night, good for ten occupants
Complimentary wi-fi access
Safety deposit box
24-hour room service
TV with cable channels
Daily complimentary bottled water per person
Hot and cold shower with toiletries set
24-hour elevator service
Laundry service upon request
Hotel features include:
Spa by Selah
Scuba diving course
Team-building facilities with high rope activities
It was a tiring but fruitful day one at the Selah Garden Hotel. My brother and I tried out Selah Garden Hotel’s high-rope activities such as wall climbing, zip line, control descent, Burma Bridge, multivines, Jacob’s Ladder and broken bridge with the other bloggers. We also joined the team building activity arranged by the hotel staff.
It was a hot and humid day and the infinity pool was just too tempting. I, however, conserved all the energy I had left and postponed swimming the next day. It was, anyway, going to be a long and fun Karaoke night with the gang as we celebrated our fellow blogger and friend’s birthday at the TLC Room of the Selah Garden Hotel.
After eating a sumptuous dinner, chugging on some drinks, singing our hearts out and basically had one of the most fun get-together’s we have ever had, we called it a night.
The next day, my brother woke up early and decided to have an early swim. I, on the other hand, slept in and woke up much later.
I had breakfast with some of the not so early birds. After breakfast, I went for a quick swim and met new friends. I also took some aerial shots. I did not fly my drone too high because I am not so at ease flying my drone in the city.
Overall, my brother and I had a grand time in The Selah Garden Hotel, a quick getaway found right smack in the middle of the city.
For more information, visit The Selah Garden Hotel’s website here.
Carabao Island (or Hambil), officially known as the Municipality of San Jose, is the southernmost island of the province of Romblon. It sits right smack in between the islands of Tablas, Romblon and Boracay, Aklan.
Carabao Island has a lot of potential in becoming one of the best islands in the country. Its sheer beauty, i.e. clear waters and amazing landscape, is enough to capture one’s fancy. Carabao Island is a mere 20-minute boat ride from one of the most sought after resort islands in the world, Boracay, which happens to be closed for tourism as it undergoes rehabilitation. Hence, to those who have already booked their flights prior to the government’s announcement of Boracay’s closure last April 26, 2018, Carabao Island might just be a good alternative. While Boracay is closed, Carabao has got your back!
I had the opportunity to explore Carabao Island when I tagged along with fellow travel blogger Cai Dominguez of Travelosyo.com. From Manila, I arrived at 1335H via Air Asia in Caticlan Airport. Outside Caticlan Airport, I met Cai who traveled all the way by bus from Iloilo to Caticlan and Kuya (big brother) Yolly Loquinto of Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11.
From Caticlan Airport, we rode a tricycle to Sambiray Port in Malay, Aklan. After paying the environmental fee of Php 50, we boarded a small boat to bring us to a bigger boat that would take us to Carabao Island. Total boat fare was Php 100 per head. There are two daily boat trips from Caticlan to Carabao Island. The first one is at 9 AM. We took the 3 PM trip. Return trip to Caticlan is at 6 AM. Quite honestly, I did not know much about Carabao Island. I would hear about it though from boatmen in Boracay as part of their island hopping tours.
The 45-minute boat ride to Carabao Island was smooth despite the gloomy weather. I must say though that I was a bit disappointed because I won’t be able to fly my drone as much as I initially planned because of the strong habagat or south wind.
Upon arrival at Said Port, I could not help but be amazed by how alive the waters of this island was. It was crystal clear. From the wharf, I could readily see a number of starfishes darting the shore.
Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 is situated on the western side of the island. Hence, from Said Port, we had to ride a habal-habal or motorcycle that took us through the poblacion or town of San Jose. It was a twenty-minute-or-so ride on a narrow and winding path. The habal-habal fare ranges from Php 150 to 200 with luggage. The locals discourage tourists from renting habal-habal without drivers to avoid any untoward incidents because the roads are not as paved. Even Kuya Yolly, admittedly, still finds them challenging.
On the way to Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11, Carabao Island reminded me so much of the virginal Boracay of the late 90’s before commercialization set in. The green lush, pristine waters, fresh sea breeze and the “innocence” of the island took me to a trip down memory lane.
To date, Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 tops the list of resorts in Carabao Island. They offer warm accommodations and the best of home-made organically grown meals. They can also arrange a land tour for in-house guests to visit the amazing spots on the island.
Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 has 5 suites and 2 apartments (rates below are inclusive of VAT):
Villa Sol Suite, top floor, for 2, Php 2800 per night or Php 3584 per night with breakfast
Villa Sol Suite, ground floor, for 4, Php 2800 per night or Php 4368 per night with breakfast
Light House Suite (ground or upper), for 2, Php 3360 per night or Php 4144 per night with breakfast
Villa Bo Apartment, top floor, for 2, Php 3920 per night or Php 4704 per night with breakfast
Villa Bo Apartment, ground floor, for 6, Php 3360 per night or Php 5712 per night with breakfast
Below are some of the photos that I took of the Villa Sol Suite and Villa Bo Apartment.
Villa Sol Suite (Ground Floor)
Villa Bo Apartment (Top Floor)
We stayed in the the Light House Ground Floor Suite. It has a veranda that opens up to the sea. It is the best place to have a drink or two while watching the sunset.
Light House Suites
With windows all over, the Light House Suite on the upper floor to me is the best suite in the resort. Imagine waking up to the beautiful sight of the ocean while cuddling up with your significant other.
Complimentary water and toiletries are provided upon check-in.
All accommodations have air-conditioning. Cooking is discouraged in the rooms but may be discussed with the resort management if necessary. Pets are allowed as long as the guests abide by the House Rules.
Be ready to embrace the island life when in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11:
No electricity from 6 AM to 2 PM
No WIFI but there is a strong mobile internet signal by Globe to upload your photos on Instagram
Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 also offers the following resort services to make your stay as fun, convenient and relaxing as ever:
Small Boat for 6 persons: Php 3500
Medium Boat for 16 persons: Php 7500
Big Boat for 20 persons: Php 8000
Speed Boat for 3 hours: Php 8500
Land Tours: Php 1000 for the whole day, includes visits to
Bat Cave (Mireton)
Cathedral (cliff diving)
Kuding-kuding (sea cave and cliff diving)
Poblacion (San Jose)
Boracay View Point
Massage Service: starts at Php 500
Laundry: Php 60 per kilo
What I liked best about my stay in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 was their affordable gourmet food. The Resort Manager happens to be the Executive Chef, too. Chef James Altas made sure that our dining experience was memorable.
They have a fixed menu but they also serve “Catch of the Day” meals like the one that we had during our first dinner in the resort: Seafood Laksa and Sea Urchin Omelette. Being a sweet-tooth myself, I celebrated eating their Turon a la Mode for dessert. Mind you, the ice cream topping was home-made.
Chef James also generously showed us how to cook Chicken Binakol. Chicken Binakol is chicken stew (similar to Tinola) cooked in coconut water instead of water. I got this on video and will publish a vlog soon. Stay tuned!
Both in-house and walk-in guests may enjoy the gourmet offerings of Lanas Beach Resort Restaurant, located just steps away from the white sand beach of Lanas. It has a seating capacity of up to 30 people.
For more information, visit their website here or follow their Facebook page here.
For bookings, call +63-32-4164021 or +63908-1363319 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I believe that Carabao Island is not just a good Boracay-alternative but will be one popular island destination soon. I cannot wait to be back in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 and explore the island. I only got to visit a few of the tourist spots last time and was not able to do cliff diving because of the inclement weather.
I went to Batanes to cover the wonderful and amazing tourist spots. I went to Vayang Rolling Hills and took off. My first attempt failed as I chickened out and decided to land as soon as I felt the gustiness of the wind. I told myself, “next time, Jaws… next time.”
And then in ten minutes, I took off for the second time. I struggled piloting my drone…. until I could no longer control it. I wanted it to return to me but the wind just won’t let it. I could feel my drone’s yearning to come home to me… I stared at the distance counter on my mobile go higher and higher as my drone went farther and farther away. I watched my drone as it grew smaller and smaller in the horizon until we lost contact.
Thanks to my fellow travel blogger Cai Dominguez of Travelosyo and Kuya Wilson for staying with me and helping me look for my drone. Special thanks, too, to Mark Lawrence B Lechuga of Safetravel Philippines and Mike Barcelona Acebes of Katuvang B&B for their concern.
I will never forget Batanes. Batanes will hold a special place in my heart not only because of this unfortunate experience but because of its sheer and mystical beauty. I am going down in history as the first person to lose his drone while in flight in Batanes.
I am not giving up. I am only on my second day in Batanes. I will come up with a beautiful travel video featuring Batanes with or without a drone. Not yet signing out… sorry. Peace!
WATCH and let me take you to some of the amazing spots in #SIARGAO #RoamingRoomies #dronescapades.
It was a short last minute summer getaway. I intended it to be a #solotravel to Siargao. Coincidentally, my best buddy Jeff, who I have known more than half of my life and is now based in Paris, also flew all the way to Siargao for a quick visit. The last time I met him was more than a decade ago. Without any travel itineraries and pre-booked tours, we rented our own bikes and explored the island.
The places of interests that we visited were Cloud 9 in General Luna, Taktak Falls in Santa Monica, Magpupungko Rock Pools in Pilar, Naked Island and Daco Island in just 3.5 days. Because it was just a short visit, I was not able to visit other places like Guyam Island, Corregidor Island, Sugba Lagoon and a lot more. I plan to go back soon, perhaps, after the rainy season.
This blog will be updated soon for the back story, some travel guides, photos and tips.
I hope you enjoy watching this short video and do subscribe for more travel videos. Signing out for now. Peace!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
There was also a resting area where snacks and refreshments were being sold.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
There are souvenir shops near the entrance of Batu Caves. They sell religious artifacts and mementos.
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.
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.
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.
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!