[TRAVELS] Island Trekker PART 3: Kawasan Falls @ Moalboal

Posted by swisscheese on Jun 10, 2018 in cebu, rafting, waterfall

Island Trekker PART 1: Tumalog Falls

Island Trekker PART 2: Oslob Whale Shark Snorkeling

Right after our whale shark snorkeling program at Oslob, we had lunch at P&J in the Whale Shark Point.

As shown above, the lunch served consists of a type of Filipino Spicy Soup (second picture), Spring Roll (third picture), Adobo Chicken (forth picture), Sergeant Fish (fifth picture) and Roasted Pork (last picture). Since the sea water was very salty and we were in it for half an hour, we wanted to have a refreshing and light lunch but it turns out that practically ALL the food served were so salty! We could hardly finish the food! We just ate until we were more or less full because it will be another 2 hours car ride from Oslob to Kawasan Falls.

Kawasan Falls is a cascading three-layered eleven waterfalls in the mountain of Badian. It is known as the “cleanest Inland Body of Water in the Philippines.” If you noticed, the waters are turquoise blue in color and this surface river stretches from Kabukalan spring and streams towards the sea of Tanon Strait. I did not managed to take many photos at Kawasan Falls because we were having so much fun. We wanted to try canyoneering but since Jun Yuan had phobia of water previously (but he has learnt swimming and can finally swim now, weee!!!) and Oppa could not swim and always proclaims his motto of “Safety First”, we decided to try rafting instead! Since it was a long queue before our turn, Jia Ling and I decided to take a dip near the waterfall and swim first.

Then, when it was finally our turn, we had to prepare because we saw and hear how other teams screamed under the pouring waterfall. I was shocked that Oppa is not enthusiastic in trying all these activities but he was the most excited as we were approaching the waterfalls. Needless to say, we were screaming away when we were under the waterfall. The guide informed us to lie flat on our front in order to enjoy the “massage” to the maximum. We felt so victorious right after!

Rafting costs an additional 300 pesos (SGD$7.58 / USD$5.68) per pax on top of our Tumalog Falls / Whaleshark swimming / Kawasan Falls package (7350 philippine pesos for 4 pax). I think is very reasonable because if you have done this in the Western countries, it would cost a bomb! It was an enjoyable time with the double trouble sharkies and the entire day’s activities strengthen our bond even more. Thank you Island Trekker for the amazing day trip itinerary!


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[TRAVELS] Kawah Ijen 2018 @ Banyuwangi, East Java

Posted by swisscheese on Jun 3, 2018 in adventures, banyuwangi, diy, greenery, hiking, lake, night hike, travel, volcano

If you have read my blog since a long time ago, I have already been to Kawah Ijen on Good Friday in 2015. At that time, Charlene, Eugene and I were not prepared for the volcano hike as we only brought N95 masks with us. We did not know that we should have brought touch lights with us too. Although our guide gave us a touch light to use, it did not work very well as the lights shone from the torch lights were too dim. So back in Labour Day weekend this year, we were so prepared and got ourselves a torch light and oxygen mask each when I knew I was going to Kawah Ijen with Crystal and Marvin, . The reason why I accepted going to Kawah Ijen again is because I was anticipating to pay a visit to the crater this time!

I made a short video clip to commemorate this trip too! Pardon the soft voices in the videos as the winds were too strong but do keep your volume to a maximum!

Since I already took tonnes of photos in the previous Kawah Ijen entry, I focus a lot on the night hike itself and did not take a single picture of the journey up the volcano until I hit the peak, where we were admiring the sunrise. The night hike up the volcano was such a good exercise! There were many miners heading up the volcano with empty trolleys to carry hikers up the volcano. I did not remember seeing this before but perhaps because the torch was so dim that I did not notice. Two hikers had no choice but to take the “taxis” up the volcano since they were not feeling well. I believe it cost about 600,000 Rupiah (SGD$60) if you would like the miners to carry you up. Even on the way down, there were so many miners saying “taxi, taxi!”.

In my previous trip to Kawah Ijen, we went in April. It was not windy and cold when we hit the peak then. However, in late April this year, Kawah Ijen was so windy! This explains why you cannot hear the voices in the video clearly although I increased the volume to the maximum! Due to the strong wind not blowing the sulfur gas to our side, we did not have to put on our oxygen mask. By the way, the super long pictures (ie second to seventh pictures of this batch) that are longer than my usual pictures are taken by our dearest guide! I was amazed by his photos as it looks so magical in a way! The third picture looks like Crystal is jumping so high in the air. The forth picture looks like I am walking with strength! The fifth picture reminds me of Moses. Don’t you think Marvin looks like he is in power in the sixth picture? Lastly, Crystal looks like she is stomping with all her might in the last picture.

Back in late March this year,  Kawah Ijen released poisonous gas from 19:00 to 21:00, which injured 30 people. The attraction was then closed until early April. We were contemplating whether to book our tickets to Surabaya due to the closure but after it opened, we just decided to go ahead with it. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to go down to the crater because of the explosion. I was so disappointed because my main reason to revisit Kawah Ijen is to head down to the crater and be mesmerized by the turquoise blue lake. Maybe next time then?

Yet again, people usually do not appreciate the greenery while hiking up the volcano since it is pitch black at night but on the way down the volcano, we are able to be look at nature and be in awe God’s creation.

The place that we were staying in prior to our Kawah Ijen hike was none other than the famous yet dirty Katimor Homestay. Since we were only sleeping for a couple of hours, we ignored whatever spiderwebs we saw and closed our eyes to sleep. Katimor prepared eggs and sandwiches for our breakfast. I brought the eggs up the volcano to have it during our break before our hike down the volcano as shown in the first picture. As for the sandwich, I only ate it after getting back to the car after our hike at around 9-10am. Please note that there is a mini mart at the break area that sells chips, noodles and such for those that did not bring any food but is starving. As for the portable washrooms near the break area, you have to pay about 2,000 Rupiah (SGD$0.20) per pax.

I think I saved a lot of money this time as compared to my previous trip to Kawah Ijen! This is because my sister-in-law went to Kawah Ijen with her high school friends in 2016 and introduced me the person who made all the arrangements for them. I contacted him and he charged three of us 870,000 Rupiah altogether and this includes accommodation and entry tickets to Kawah Ijen, Sukamade and Mount Bromos and a driver that will be driving us from Surabaya to Kawah Ijen, Sukamade, Bromo and back to Surabaya. Looking forward to update about Sukamade soon!


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