Classic backpacking errors

We’ve all been a rookie traveller at some point in our lives. Whether it’s trying to get the best deal on your upcoming snorkelling trip or mistaking that your flight is in 1 hour instead of 12 …. We had a few nightmare moments on our first big adventure backpacking and whilst we can look back and laugh now, it wasn’t so funny at the time! Hopefully giving you the heads up will mean you don’t make the same mistakes we did!

  1. That guy at the station đźš‚

IMG_1896

Travelling abroad, especially in Asia, can cost you peanuts compared to the overpriced tickets to sit on the delayed, overcrowded central line. However, as with most things when out of your comfort zone, it’s not simple.

You get to the train station and there is a ‘line’ longer than when queuing for your favourite ride at Alton Towers. No one speaks any English and you begin wondering why you ever left the tried and trusted underground.

Out of nowhere, a smiling face approaches you and offers you assistance in accented English. You feel you have found your saviour as he directs you to the “foreign tourist office” just outside the station.

Never be fooled by the tourist desk outside the station, it does not exist and is only a sure way of paying a premium to reach your desired destination or never reaching it at all!

Top tip: Always lookout for the English sign posts. There is quite often is a designated tourist ticket office within the station but will never be outside the station’s grounds.

  1. Don’t assume đź’­đźš«

IMG_0625

When you’re away from home you can’t help but compare how things are back where you’re from. Whether it’s the mannerisms of the people you meet or simply the colour of the road signs but everything isn’t always as it first seems. As they say; don’t judge a book by its cover.

On H’s first trip to India she was surprised to see so many of the men holding hands along the street. H said she never realised there was such a large gay community in India… she quickly discovered they weren’t gay and that’s just how things are in India! Men often link hands or cuddle each other along the street with friends and family.

When you’re in a new country and they do things a bit differently, it’s always good to wait for a second glance before assuming!

  1. Mixing currencies at the airport 💵💴💶

kreme

Ever mixed up your pound coin for a euro when at home? Tried getting rid of it by unlocking a shopping trolley or hoping the shopkeeper doesn’t spot it? We went one further when trying to get shot of our final few Filipino coins … at a Thailand airport! It was all for a good cause though, we scraped together enough change to get one last Krispy Kreme just before our flight!

Using a mixture of pesos and Baht we managed to scrounge together enough money across two different countries in an international airport. Unfortunately after we had finished the doughnut our tactic was discovered and we were sought out by the Krispy Kreme crew…  luckily we apologised and got away with paying for the doughnuts by card (probably should have done this in the first place!) lesson learnt here? Don’t get tight in an airport!

  1. Mistaking times for tickets 🎟

IMG_0392

It’s midnight and we’ve had one too many Bintangs on our last night in Bali. We decided to treat ourselves with a bit of luxury on our final night with a nice hotel. We’re safe in the knowledge that we have a bit of a lay in tomorrow as our flight isn’t until 13:00 tomorrow… 1.00pm … 1.00 …. 01.00 … 1am!!!

This wasn’t the first or the last time we almost missed our flight and if there is anywhere you don’t want to be overstaying your visa it’s Bali. Our top tip for any and all travelers would be to double, triple and quadruple check your flight times, no matter how organised you think you are, it’s a very easy mistake to make!

  1. Researching the country you’re in đź“ť

IMG_0624

When you’re visiting a new country you’re likely to have done some research especially if it’s a one off holiday. After a few months of backpacking and making a new home every few nights the easy mistake to make is feeling too comfortable with your surroundings.

When we first arrived in the Philippines we did a bit of research on Google images and thought we knew it all and that the whole of the Philippines was going to be a mixture of Palawan and Manila!

Unfortunately for us things took a turn for the worst almost immediately. When leaving the airport we jumped in a cab and directed the driver to San Jose, he responded by asking why we were going there? This wasn’t curiosity in his tone this was confusion and when we arrived we knew why! It was a very intimidating environment with nothing of relevance anywhere near us. We soon moved on but this wasn’t the end of our naivety.

When on the outskirts in Manila we knew that this was one of Australasia’s largest cities. We could see the skyscrapers far into the distance so we again hailed a cab but this time we felt sure we knew where we were going. To the city we said! The driver gave us that same confused look and asked where exactly we wanted to go.

We literally responded by pointing to the skyscrapers asking to be taken to the city centre – not even knowing the district we needed to get to was Makati! We got in the cab and 45 minutes later were dropped off at a mall. Not quite what we wanted but looking back what did we expect was going to happen? Always research your dream adventure before it turns into a nightmarish reality!

6) Wet washing – not a good look … or smell! đź‘•đź‘–

cloths

Being a backpacker, having your clothes washed is probably one of the most important yet annoying things to do as it takes a bit of planning! In most countries we’ve come across our hostel / hotel could arrange a laundry service for you, which we strongly advise you to use! Washing in the bathroom sink and hanging your underwear all around the room is pure agg! However, a word of warning is you’re likely to need 2 / 3 days before your washing is returned, so don’t leave yourself too short on clothes and give yourselves plenty of time!

We once had to catch a bus before our washing was ready and asked them to return it as it wa… half finished. That resulted in a screwed up damp pile of clothes in a carrier bag which we couldn’t pack and took AGES to finally dry. When they did they had to be rewashed because they stunk!

couple 2

We could go on and on about more of the silly mistakes we’ve made whilst travelling, it’s always going to happen! We just hope pointing out a few of the more obvious ones may help you out even a little bit when you’re visiting a new country for the first time!

 

Advertisements

9 Top Tips on Volunteering

We’ve volunteered in five different countries and have a huge passion for travel, charity work and most importantly; change. We’ve therefore combined some top tips and experiences from our fellow travellers and volunteers to help you when planning your volunteering trip. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start, who to trust and where to go so hopefully this will answer some of your questions.

1) Rox Oquendo; Former Director of Hands on Manila

IMG_0201

“You don’t always have to donate money to make a difference in small communities, your time can be much more beneficial. Contact NGO’s in the Philippines to find out how you can get involved with their ongoing programmes. If you have any special skills you think may be of benefit, for example if you’re a medical practitioner then make the NGO you are volunteering with aware, you may be able to help with specialist missions. By volunteering you’re exposed to the real Philippines and get to explore places off the beaten track.”

Our first volunteering experience abroad was with Hands on Manila and we can’t recommend them enough!

2) Skye Sandhu-Nelson; Community Champion

IMG_0205

“Each person has their own reasons to give or volunteer and you’ve got to have an affinity to the cause your supporting which will be unique to each individual. This needs to be taken into consideration before deciding on where is right for you to volunteer.”

Skye is an incredibly experienced volunteer and as has supported the YMCA, Salvation Army, The Citizens Advice Bureau, local schools and play groups, Womankind Worldwide and many more.

3) Emily Hudson; Explorer

IMG_0356

“All I would say is get stuck in as any little job goes a long way, get to know the locals, learn their ways and work with them to help your cause. Don’t forget to keep in touch even after your time volunteering has come to an end. It’s such a buzz to get updates and see how things are progressing when you’re back home. Also, do some research on how you can continue to support your project from home through online tasks and spreading the word.”

Emily volunteered at The African Impact, Marine Conservation Project in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

4) Sam Rees-Davies; Backpacking Biker

IMG_0820

We met Sam in February 2017 on our first day returning to Our Home Community. Unfortunately it was their last night volunteering there but although we had very little time together we instantly knew we shared the same passion about Our Home.

“Our first and most important tip when volunteering is always plan your route before you set off on your journey. Initially getting to Our Home seemed impossible as we were travelling by bike from Ooty with nothing but road signs! When we finally arrived we were mobbed by so many excitable children. One of the most refreshing things when you speak to anyone at Our Home is that they never refer to it as an orphanage, it is quite literally their home. The sense of community and family is breathtaking. Never have I seen so many children with such a zest for life, and if you need inspiration to volunteer, this is it!

We spent our days playing football, painting, cooking and also took the children on a trip to the local dam. Reflecting on my time at Our Home my biggest advice is get involved as much as you can and think of something new to introduce, cooking macaroni cheese was certainly a first time experience for these Indian kids and it was great I could give them that.”

5) Chloe Leach; Backpacker

“If I was to give any suggestions to someone wanting to volunteer abroad I’d say first and foremost – do your research. There are a lot of ‘volunteer projects’ that are scams, especially in SE Asia. They take your money and it doesn’t go to benefiting the cause they ‘stand for’. Please ensure you look for ethical projects.

I’d also say, GET STUCK IN. You’ll probably be given some tasks that aren’t as enjoyable as others. However, it is what you make it and at the end of the day you’re there volunteering to benefit the lives of others and not yourself.”

Chloe has volunteered at SchoolsWorldwide, a charity that runs volunteer trips through schools in Namibia, and Elephant Nature Park in Thailand where we also had a fantastic experience.

6) Sofia Candy; Backpacker

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sofia volunteered with the Soi Dog Foundation, Thailand in 2015 and has incredibly now adopted Sansa, a dog they fell in love with during their time there. Sansa has been living in the U.K. for almost a year and is loving her new family life.

“If you wish to volunteer at Soi Dog make sure you contact them in advance to arrange your dates as they get booked up quickly during busy seasons. Take some dog treats with you in a bum bag for when you walk the dogs, they love a treat! Wear comfy shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and smelly … Hanging out with the dogs and cats all day can get messy but it’s an amazing experience and you’ll hear lots of stories about how these animals were saved from torture and cruelty. It’s a fab life experience you will never forget.”

7) Thuy An; Community Outreach Coordinator; YMCA Vietnam

IMG_0202

“Vietnam is a great place to volunteer and have a life changing experience. To make sure you have the most enjoyable time possible and not too much of a culture shock, this is what I would recommend:

  • First and foremost make sure you participate in a voluntary experience that will excite you. This way you will be able to put 100% into everything you too.
  • When planning to volunteer make sure you obtain necessary visas and documents required before you arrive to avoid any problems.
  • Be prepared to eat all kinds of food in Vietnam … the infamous durian and fish sauce is typical for daily meals, if you’re a picky eater or dislike smelly food Vietnam might not be the place for you!
  • Most Vietnamese people are nice and friendly but always be aware of scams and rip-offs when shopping in local or tourist markets.
  • Don’t get run over by a car! The traffic is crazy. When crossing the streets be alert, confident and steady.
  • Lastly, equip yourself with some local knowledge about wherever you go. The Vietnamese people will love that you’ve taken the time to get to know their culture.

Thuy An organised our brilliant voluntary trip with YMCA Vietnam in 2015.

8) Swostik Pandey; Student and Entrepreneur

IMG_0204

“Whilst volunteering in Vietnam I often found myself being so thankful for the opportunity to give back. My main advice for volunteering abroad is to be as passionate as possible. Most people only volunteer once or twice in their lifetime so give it all you have and make sure you don’t forget to embrace the culture. Not only does this teach you about the local people, food and lifestyle of where you are volunteering but it also makes you appreciate everything you have in life. My second tip would be to be outgoing. Being able to create memories is great but always remember the people around you are the ones who help form those memories. Whether it is sharing a smile or attempting to speak an unknown language, every little thing will go a very long way!”

We volunteered with Swostik in 2015 as part of the YMCA Vietnam Overseas Community Project.

9) KHTravels; Blogging & Volunteering Couple 

IMG_0665

Our ultimate tip would be to prepare yourself for the hardships that go alongside the incredible experience you will have whilst volunteering. Volunteering isn’t easy and can be a very emotional journey.

Your accommodation will be very basic with no luxuries; uncomfortable beds, no fans, mosquito bites, squat toilets, hand washing clothes, no TV and no wifi! Culture shock can also be daunting and you’re often in remote communities that may not have seen foreigners before so expect a mixture of responses. These are the first things to come to terms with and the rest will fall into place. We of course do not want to deter your from volunteering but you need to be aware of what you’re letting yourself in for and if this doesn’t put you off, then you’re ready to go!

So there you have it, from some of our most trusted friends from around the world, we hope you’ll find their suggestions and advice helpful. If you still have any unanswered questions then please get in touch.

img_0148

We’ve got 99 problems but travelling isn’t one!

The realities of coming home…

2380Two people, two back packs, nine countries, twelve planes, ten months and then … home. Did that just happen? Did we really just spend the majority of 2015 living our dream, fulfilling our wanderlust, exploring, adventuring, and travelling the world… to now be home?

The harsh reality is coming home is harder, much harder than going away and this is our first really personal blog. We’re going to let you into our minds and see how we are feeling now we’re home. If you’re NOT a traveller the likelihood is you won’t have a clue what we’re talking about reading this, and if you ARE a traveller we know you’ll be able to relate to this more than anything else you’ve read today.

Our year travelling Singapore, Australia, Bali, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and India came to an abrupt ending the minute we arrived back on home turf. As the plane landed in Heathrow we were a mixture of emotions; tired, sad, shocked, excited to see our families (we were surprising them) uncertainty, and most of all it all just seemed like a big haze, a dream, we couldn’t accept that we were now home. They say time flies when you’re having fun, well boy, we must have had a blast because it felt like we simply blinked and we were home again.

781After three months in India the journey in a black cab down the M25 was somewhat different to a tuctuc zooming around Delhi. All of a sudden we were being bombarded with being home; red busses, Ford KA’s, level roads, road signs, Costa Coffees, rain and we had to take all of this in as we made our way into Essex. Culture shock going to India? Forget that, coming home after so long is the biggest culture shock ever and you’ll either settle back in going back to your old ways or you’ll feel this now alien country is no longer home.

Our first few weeks home were incredible. Seeing the looks on the faces of both our families and friends when surprising them after so long was priceless, emotional and completely unforgettable. Sleeping in our own bed, the build up to Christmas, the welcome cold weather, the partying, it was good to be home. You know you’ve been away for a long time when you can feel yourself talking in slow, broken English to your mum!

However, as the weeks passed we both started to feel unsettled. Imagine being together 24/7 for nearly a year, just us in our own little bubble, doing what we want, when we wanted with no one to answer to and not being held back by the reality that is society. We feel it may have been easier if we came home and were living together, but we’ve both had to go back home to our parents, and we’re hugely thankful to them, but truthfully we just want to be together in our own little routine that we built whilst travelling.

671We’ve both had to adjust back in to our old lives, new clothes, hair and makeup done, nights out and expensive dinners. Gone are the days of 20p beer in the street with Pad Thai for dinner wearing anything we could reach for from our backpacks including the tops with international beer logos on (we would never wear those at home!) We found this really difficult, why can’t we walk around bare foot anymore?

As we’re writing this we don’t really know where we are going or what we are trying to say? It’s hard; it is really hard being home and we think people underestimate that. All we want to do is look for new and exciting opportunities, spend time on our blog, keep talking about the incredible experiences we’ve encountered and keep posting our favourite travel snaps. But the truth is no one really cares. At first this is hard to accept, but it’s true and you will soon realise that no one cares about the name of the volcano you spent a day climbing and were so proud of yourself for doing so. Yes of course everyone wants to know how it was… How was it? How was your year travelling? What was your favourite country? How can we answer any of these questions, have you got another year to listen to us? No not really, so you reply with “It was great, we can’t tell you our favourite country as they were all so different” If someone asks a question and you actually begin to open up and elaborate into your magical story, well to you it is, it’s almost guaranteed you will notice the person is not paying for attention, because they don’t care! And in all fairness why would they?

1051You experience all of these wonderful countries, with beautiful cultures and you embrace them throwing yourselves in head first. The people you meet become your family and you rely on them as much as you would your parents. We spent a lot of time volunteering so got to experience first-hand a lot of local communities and we fell in love with all of them particularly, Our Home Community in India. We now spend our days missing them and wondering why we aren’t there, we feel we could be of so much more use out in the big wide world, where we can freely express our love, passion and understanding that has become who we are.

We want to spend every minute of every day together because only we know what each other is feeling, but we can’t. That isn’t reality is it; we have to work to make a living so it’s back to our 9-5 desk jobs whilst our minds are still wandering to the days where what we would have for dinner was our hardest decision. We now realise the simplest luxuries that we took for granted, normal toilets and no more carrying around toilet roll? Much easier right? But so boring.

1118Travelling gave us a sense of purpose, and belonging that we can no longer feel here? And will we ever? It’s been three months since we returned and we still have the same hunger and desire to be waking up in the morning to something new, a different adventure every day. We miss the simplicities in life that is travelling and appreciating the treats when you get them! Our first Nando’s in Chennai was literally like heaven on a plate after six months. Being able to have it every week in Romford Brewery isn’t exactly the same. The excitement of having a decent Wi-Fi and being able to contact your friends and family for a real catch up is brilliant. So is being able to update yourself with the world of social media, not having it on hand every second of every day. Spending evenings watching countless friends episodes was a real treat, here they’re on Comedy Central all the time! The novelty wears off…

We were lucky travellers, only one case of bed bugs, a few Delhi belly occasions, a little bit of travel sickness, some sleepless nights. But we’ve come home with something much worse. We have a very bad case of the travel bug, and what’s the cure for that? To go again…

1046

<<<Our Home Country, The UKThe West End>>>

 

Travels

We have travelled 22 countries so far, and visited the majority of those during a year we spent backpacking through Australasia and Asia.

Travelling is something that is a priority for us, we’d even go as far to say a necessity. We have a hunger to explore, and will continue to fulfil our wanderlust through budget travelling and luxury breaks.

We’re currently back in London after four months volunteering at Our Home Community Orphanage. You can read about our adventures below:

Hands on Manila

image

The Philippines was one of our most favourite countries, with much of our time spent in the city of Manila. The Filipino capital is a wonderful city full of sky scrapers and mega malls but behind the mask of wealth is also a city draped with poverty and struggle.

We volunteered with Hands on Manila (HOM), a non-profit organisation that envisions “a community where people contribute their time, talent, and resources for sustainable development.”

image

Before we arrived in the Philippines we made contact with the Executive Director of HOM; Rox. From then we immediately learnt what a fantastic organisation this was as Rox greeted us with a host of information and incredible enthusiasm.

We were working towards the Brigada Eskwela project partnered with TELUS. This project was a huge event in which more than 2000 Filipino and International volunteers would come together to completely renovate an old school in one of the poorest communities in Manila. The aim was to make it a safer, cleaner and more enjoyable environment for the children to learn in.

image

Upon first visiting the school, we found a dusty, dirty and almost derelict site that looked like it hadn’t been used in years. In reality, this was just an end of term break from school and what you saw was what you got. Any Western government would have immediately deemed this school unfit for purpose with the classrooms filled with broken chairs and worn chalkboards and corridors lined with years of dust build up. There were also numerous hazards such as broken glass and nails protruding from cupboards and other furniture. We could not believe this was an active school just days from the start of a new term.

Leading up to the event we spent our time preparing for this huge day by readying classrooms and sorting materials. With a small team of around 5-10 people on site, we managed to successfully organise all materials and maps for the upcoming volunteering event. Rox’s meticulous planning ensured all went smoothly, alongside the rest of the HOM team. It was a great week but we can’t pretend we didn’t find it a struggle. After over two months of not working the 5am starts were certainly a shock to the system!

image

On the day as volunteer leaders we were oversaw various projects in different areas of the school as well as participating in the manual labour too. The day consisted of mural painting, gardening, cleaning, painting furniture, and so much more. To see the school completely transform throughout the course of the day was fascinating, and there was something special about so many people joining forces for this small community.

This was our first volunteering experience on our travels and we really did love loved every minute. We are now registered volunteers and when we return to Manila in the future we will not hesitate but to work with HOM again!

To find out more about Hands on Manila or to register as a volunteer for this great charity please click here.

image

Our volunteering adventure

As well as visiting incredible places, meeting wonderful people and making unforgettable memories, we also do our best to support those less fortunate than ourselves.

While at home we have been working alongside The Asian Circle, a fantastic organisation who support women in need throughout Asia.

We also provide ongoing support to Our Home Community Orphanage, a charity based in Kerala, India which is home to 40+ orphans.

Beyond the UK and India we have also volunteered with various international charities which we would highly recommend. If you have any questions about these organisations or would like more info on how to get involved please feel free to contact us.

It’s more fun in the Philippines

IMG_0305

The Philippines; a place full of fantastic people, home to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and over 7000 islands. This is where our Asian adventure really started.

After the chaos of almost missing our flight to Manila, we arrived in the capital on the eve of Manny Pacquio’s infamous fight against Floyd Mayweather. What a start! The city was a buzz with excitement, anticipating the fight of the century with their hero and icon hopefully coming out on top. Unfortunately, the fight failed to live up to expectations but the country certainly did.

Manila

IMG_0313

Manila is a place that personifies rags to riches. Split into multiple towns, we spent the majority of our time in Makati. The area showed stark contrasts in the money food chain from one street to the next. From walking through the red light districts and shanty towns, featuring many homeless and street children, to immediately entering into rows of towering skyscrapers, home to some of the world’s leading organisations.

One of our best nights in the city came when going to an event called “HottAsia”. Ladyboys, Filipino comedians, terrible singers and a fantastic laugh! This really was a welcome to South East Asia. After a night of social drinking and filling ourselves on the multiple food stalls available, we ended up on stage with one of the scariest looking bald ladyboys you are every likely to see. Brilliant!

IMG_0315

Manila is a great city but it is not New York, Hong Kong or London. It has its own positives such as some incredible food markets but the Philippines is an incredible place for much more than just its capital.
.
Palawan

IMG_0314

Visiting Palawan is a must for anyone visiting this awesome nation. A beautiful island in the south which homes the Underground River, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world! Taking a short boat ride to this island, you will pass some of the most beautiful and secluded islands you are ever likely to see. Beaches never been touched by man and seawater so clear you can envisage every detail of the rainbow coloured coral below.
.
IMG_0312
.
The underground river itself is beyond belief. A huge maze of tunnels spanning for miles inside a cave full of bats. With thousands of stalactites and stalagmites, you are guided through thin streams and enormous caverns which have been forged over thousands of years. Words don’t do it justice, you need to visit it to believe it.
.
However, that wasn’t all Palawan had to offer as we also went on an island hopping tour visiting Starfish, Luli and Cowrie island.
.
IMG_0311
.
Starfish Island is probably the most appropriately named place in the world! Getting off the boat, we expected to come across maybe one or two starfish. The island is so small you can see from one side to the other, and soon enough we did come across our first starfish washed in the dead coral on the beach. With a hard and spikey exterior, we were delighted to have seen our first ever wild starfish…
.
After walking on a bit more we decided to put on our snorkels and swim out to sea, at which point we were greeted by hundreds of starfish scattered across the sea bed! This really was a sight to behold, swimming out slightly further, we found a coral reef to rival the Great Barrier, with fish featuring more colours than a rainbow.
.
IMG_0310
.
Luli and Cowrie island were equally as incredible, just without the hundreds of starfish. These were also islands small enough to walk around, with colourful coral and a furore of fish just metres from the point where sea meets sand. With a diving board in the middle of the sea and San Miguels on tap, these islands were a real heaven on earth.
.
Volcano Taal
.
IMG_0309
.
Volcano Taal was the second volcano climb of our travels, following our ascent of Mount Batur. Picture this, a giant dormant volcano with a huge lake filling the crater stretching as far as the eye can see. Within it lies another island, with what looks like a small mountain within it, that’s volcano Taal.
.
Deciding to climb the volcano during the hottest part of the day was a mistake. With temperatures of near 40 degrees, we decided against using the poorly treated horses and instead climbed the mountain ourselves, by foot, the way it should be done.
.
IMG_0316
.
Arriving on the island was inspiring in itself, knowing you are at the centre of a gigantic volcano crater, one of natures most powerful and destructive weapons.
.
The island is mainly made up of sand and after being guided to the right path, we were told to stay on the main track as we trekked through a series of small villages with locals who have probably never taken the short 20 minute boat ride to the mainland. The white sand proved to be our downfall as each step saw our feet sink deep into the grains. As the sand cleared, we came to our next obstacle, a near vertical ascent in the searing heat.

IMG_0308

After numerous water breaks, we finally made it to the edge of the crater and wow! Once walking about 150 metres from the small village based in the tip of an active volcano, we were encountering one of most surreal experiences of our travelling adventure so far. Standing on the tip of an active volcano, within the crater of another enormous volcano crater, a sense of accomplishment was writhe as we finally made it to the peak.
.
Food
.

IMG_0307

The food in the Philippines was extreme, from the beach buffets to the crazy markets. This was our first encounter with delicacies such as grilled chicken feet and chicken liver and to be honest, they didn’t look the most appeasing dishes you’ll ever see but like any good traveller, we tried it. And we never had either again.
.
One thing we didn’t try though was chicken blood on a stick. Yes, somehow, the locals manage to squeeze chicken blood onto skewers and then grill them on barbecues in cubes, mental.
.
However, Manila is full of a multitude of eateries, and to our delight we found our favourite restaurant, Bubba Gumps. This is where we celebrated K’s 24th birthday and it exceeded expectations with the Filipino rendition of “Happy Birthday”.
.
Wingstop was another of our favourite restaurants whilst here, after months of travelling a good western eatery is a great find. With a wide variety of chicken flavours, buffalo wings and personalised chips, it really was a haven for chicken wing lovers!
.
There are also a number of markets and barbecue stalls to eat at and don’t worry, they don’t only serve chicken blood!
.
Volunteering

IMG_0306

With such a large section of Manila’s population homeless, and many children without education, we spent some of our time volunteering with Hands on Manila. Click here to find out how we helped redevelop and revamp this school in one of the poorest areas in Manila.
.
The Philippines is up there with one of our favourite countries and we will be sure to return. With thousands of islands to discover and the most hospitable people in the world, who wouldn’t go back?