Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Xiamen Airlines has formally announced on its Facebook Page that they will fly between the city of Quanzhou and Davao starting December 18, 2018. Quanzhou is one of the most popular historical and cultural cities in China. It is an important seaport situated in the southeast Fujian Province and is the political and economic center of the province.

Xiamen Air | Photo by Masakatsu Ukon under creative commons

The new Davao-Quanzhou route is expected to boost economic and tourism activities between the two cities.

The flight frequency based on the Xiamen Airlines website is 2x weekly, every Tuesdays and Fridays. Below is the schedule of flight from Quanzhou to Davao and Davao to Quanzhou. Flight time is 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Direct flight from Quanzhou to Davao via Xiamen Airlines 

Tuesday and Friday
Departs in Quanzhou at 9:00AM
Arrives in Davao at 12:15PM

Direct flight from Davao to Quanzhou via Xiamen Airlines 

Tuesday and Friday
Departs in Davao at 1:15PM
Arrives in Quanzhou at 4:30PM

*There is no time difference between Davao and Quanzhou.
**Fare starts at around Php7,000-8,000 one-way.

Chinese Visa

Philippine passport holders are required to apply for a Chinese Visa prior to his/her planned visit. You will need to process your Chinese Tourist Visa through the consular services of the Chinese Embassy or Consulate. 

The Consulate General of the People's Republic of China which recently opened in Davao is set to accept passport and visa applications starting December 10, 2018. The consulate is located at Acacia Street, Juna Subdivision, Matina, Davao City.

Tourist Attractions in Quanzhou

These are the most popular tourist attractions in Quanzhou City.

  • Kaiyuan Temple. It is one of the key Buddhist Temples and national heritage conservation sites in China, famous for its two towers - Zhen Guo and Ren Shou, both measures 40 meters in height.
  • Cao'an Manichean Temple. It's the only Manichean temple to survive anywhere in the world. It's located in the south foot of Huabiao Mountain about 19km away from the city center of Quanzhou.
  • Qingjing Mosque. Also known as the Ashab Mosque, Qingjing Mosque is located in the center of Tumen Street in Quanzhou City. It covers an area of 2,500 square meters and features a gate, the Mingshan Hall and the Fengtian Hall.
  • Luoyang Bridge. It is one of the four renowned ancient bridges in China. It is China's earliest stone beam bridge built in the seaport. 
To get updates about this new route, follow our social media channels.

Here's the latest flight deals from Jetstar Australia. Promo fares are available through web purchase only. Fares below are based on a one-way ticket. Checked baggage is not included in the fare but can be purchased separately or add upon checkout.

Jetstar Australia Flight Deals

Travel date: Mid January to early June 2019
Booking Period: Now until sold out
How to book? Visit https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/home

From Melbourne (Tullamarine Airport)
Cairns AUD127
Hobart AUD60
Adelaide AUD63
Launceston AUD49
Sydney AUD73
Brisbane AUD104
Bangkok AUD229
Christchurch AUD159
Bali (Denpasar) AUD219
Auckland AUD 186
Phuket AUD229
Singapore AUD179

From Sydney
Launceston AUD62
Cairns AUD121
Brisbane AUD71
Gold Coast AUD69
Perth AUD165
Melbourne AUD73
Adelaide AUD81
Hobart AUD86
Auckland AUD187
Bali AUD239
Christchurch AUD159
Phuket AUD249

Looking for more deals? Follow our social media channels to get updates on the latest travel promos.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Preserved for its natural beauty, El Nido remains as one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. For an island whose surrounding areas are composed of crystal-clear seawater, El Nido makes for the perfect location for beaches and anything else noteworthy on land.

El Nido Lagoon | Big Stock Photo


El Nido is an all-year round travel destination so you can pretty much visit the town any time of the year. But, if you want to enjoy more, the best time to go is during the summer season which usually starts in March and end in May. 


There are a number of ways to get to El Nido from different parts of the Philippines. Here are some of the common ways to get to El Nido from Manila, Cebu, Davao and Coron.

How to get to El Nido from Manila:

There is now a direct flight between Manila and El Nido via Airswift. Flights are limited so flying to Puerto Pricesa is still the most common way of going to El Nido.

From Puerto Princesa, you can take a bus or van to El Nido. The travel time is around 5-6 hours. Vans take shorter time to reach El Nido. You can book a seat here by bus or van.

How to get to El Nido from Cebu:

There is also a direct flight from Cebu Mactan International Airport to El Nido via AirSwift. Again, flight frquency is limited so flying via Puerto Princesa from Cebu is still the most common way.

How to get to El Nido from Coron: 

There are boats that operate from Coron to El Nido and vice-versa. You can opt to take a fast craft, passhenger ship and outrigger. Here's the boat schedule from Coron to El Nido.


The most common mode of transportation in El Nido is tricycle. You can either share a ride with strangers or charter a trip if you are going to get out of the town proper. If you are more than five people, I highly suggest you rent a van for a more convenient journey.


Budget Hotels and Cheap Hostels in El Nido

El Nido View Deck Cottages
El Nido View Deck Cottages is located about 5 minutes walk from teh center. It offers a great view of both the city and the sea. it's a ideal place for visitors who are looking for a private room at a cheap rate.
Room rates: Php800 for a fan room
Check availability and book

Dakila Cabins
If you are looking for a cheap place to stay away from the town center of El Nido, you might want to consider staying at Dakila Cabins. It's located in Sibaltan, bout 34 kilometers away from El Nido. 
Room rates: Php950 for a budget double room
Check availability and book

Mid-range Hotels in El Nido

The Birdhouse El Nido
The Birdhouse El Nido is one of the hottest mid-range hotel / accommodation in El Nido. It easily gets booked so if you see an availability, book it immediately. The place is situated on top of a mountain. It features a yoga pavilion, a restaurant and a common area where guests can enjoy El Nido's landscapes and seascapes.
Room rates: Php7,000++ for a quadruple room
Check availability and book

Luxury Hotels in El Nido

El Nido Resort's Pangulasian Island
El Nido Resort's Pangulasian Island is an eco-luxury island resort in Bacuit Bay, El Nido featuring breathtaking views of the sunrise and the sunset. It offers a total of 42 deluxe rooms built in contemporary Filipino architecture. Check our or list of Luxury Resorts in Palawan.
Room rates: Php28,000 per night
Check availability and book


El Nido Tour A
Discover the islands, lagoons and beaches of El Nido through a whole day. Explore the clear waters of Miniloc Island and enjoy the beaches of Shimizu Island and Seven Commando. This tour includes a lunch on the beach.
Tour cost: Php900, Book now.

El Nido Small Lagoon | Fabio Achilli under creative commons

El Nido Tour B
El Nido Tour B allows you to explore the Snake Island, Pinagbuyatan Island, Cudugnon Cave, Cathedral Cave and Papaya Beach. This tour starts at around 9:30am and will usually end at 3pm.
Tour cost: Php,1,100 - Book this tour now.

El Nido Snake Island | Photo by Randomix under creative commons

El Nido Tour C
El Nido Tour C allows you to explore the islands of Dilumacad and Matinloc, known as one of the shooting location of the movie Bourne Legacy. You will also have a chance to visit Helicopter Island, Secret Beach and Talisay Beach. This tour starts at 9am and ends at 3pm.
Tour cost: Php1,250 - book online now.

Helicopter Island | Photo by jpl.me under creative commons


Nacpan Beach
Essentially a part that makes one of two intertwined—so-called twin—beaches, the Nacpan Beach makes for the better of the two for being bigger and encompassing a long stretch of land, dotted and lined with tall palm trees.

How to get there: The cheapest way to go there is by renting a motorcycle and drive your way to Nacpan Beach. The rental cost is around Php600 for a day. If you don't want to dribve, you can charter a tricycle for around Php1,000 for two people. Travel time is around an hour.

Nacpan Beach | Photo by jpl.me under creative commons

Taraw Cliff
No adventure in El Nido is ever complete without one braving the area’s highest peak, the Taraw Cliff. With a height which overlooks the overall town of El Nido and a fortress-like image from below, Taraw Cliff never ceases to amaze regardless of which angle you are from it. If you want a perfect view, try to start hiking as early as 5AM.

Taraw Cliff | Photo by Klaus Stiefel under creative commons

Big Lagoon
When we speak of the ocean, it always gets deeper the farther you go from the coast. But for a long stretch of shallow seawater that seems to outsize its smaller counterpart, the Big Lagoon makes for a very interesting visit to the shallow areas of El Nido.

How to get there: Join El Nido Tour A.

El Nido Big Lagoon | GreenArcher04 under creative commons

Small Lagoon
Basically the smaller of the two prominent lagoons in El Nido. Although the Small Lagoon may little in size, it more than makes up for its unique structure that makes visiting it an equally impressive experience.

How to get there: Join El Nido Tour A.

El Nido Small Lagoon | Fabio Achilli under creative commons

Seven Commando Beach
As intriguing as its name may sound like, there is no military operations taking place in this coast. The name actually harkens back to a tale which speaks of seven soldiers who were stranded in the island which some might openly dispute. Regardless of the island’s name, however, the main highlight of being in this shore is its unique scenery as highlighted by the perfect mixture of verdant trees on land and clear seawaters.

How to get there: Join El Nido Tour A.

Seven Commando Beach | Fabio Achilli under creative commons

Pinagbuyutan Island
Made of mostly rocky formations as carpeted with greeneries on most of its surface, the Pinagbuyutan Island has an imposing presence from a relative distance. But take the bold steps to get close and you shall see the ground of powdery whites that is hallmark on almost every beautiful islands in the area.

How to get there: Join El Nido Tour B.

Pinagbuyutan Island | Fabio Achilli under creative commons

Secret Beach
Not many people who are not native to El Nido knew of the Secret Beach, hence its name. Although the shore itself is not entirely hidden when seen from the sky, its rather unusual entrance—which requires a bit of swimming—makes it relatively obscure, particularly to any unsuspecting person.

How to get there: Join El Nido Tour C.

Secret Beach | Photo by denAsuncioner under creative commons

Corong Corong Beach
El Nido is booming in the tourism business. Nowhere is this more evident than in an area where hospitality business establishments thrive such as around Corong Corong Beach. Yet, for an island where solitude makes for a prevailing theme, the Corong Corong Beach’s rather wide expanse is never too crowded.

How to get there: Corong Corong Beach is close to El Nido town proper. You can hail a tricycle from the town propwer and alight at the drop-off point or you can charter a tricycle for around Php150-200.

Corong Corong Beach | Photo by Syromaniac under creative commons

Cathedral Cave
Having an inner view which mimics a cathedral, the Cathedral Cave makes for a picturesque place in an island. But, as a home to known venomous sea snakes, it is a place where swimming is strictly forbidden.

How to get there: Join El Nido Tour B.

Cadlao Island
Embodying a beauty that is akin to Tahiti, only smaller, the Cadlao Island can be quite easily mistaken as a place in the French Polynesia. Apart from the sea, the main highlight of the Cadlao Island is the snorkel paradise of Ubungun Cove.

How to get there: Join El Nido Tour D.


Day 1: Off to El Nido
3PM - Arrival in El Nido
4PM - Check in at the hotel
4:30PM - Explore El Nido town proper
7PM - Dinner
9PM - Sleep

Day 2 : El Nido Tour C
9:00am hotel pick up
9:30am depart El Nido Pier Harbor and explore Helicopter Island and Matinloc Shrine
12:00pm lunch then proceed to Secret Beach, Talisay Beach and Hidden Beach
3:00pm end of tour

3:30pm hotel drop off

Day 3 : El Nido Tour A
9:00am hotel pick up then proceed to Small lagoon, Big lagoon, Hidden lagoon
12:00pm lunch then proceed to Shimizu Island, 7 Commando Beach
3:00pm end of tour

3:30pm hotel drop of


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Pristine lagoons, coves, lakes, stingless jellyfish, rock formations, and sea caves are just few of the things one can enjoy in Bucas Grande

Bucas Grande | Big Stock Photo

In the simple province of Surigao del Norte, hidden in a labyrinthine terrain, is an island with rounded and hilly islets covered in thick evergreen – the hidden world of Bucas Grande. The island is situated on the far eastern part of Surigao del Norte and lies within the breadth of the Pacific. Bucas Grande has been blessed with peaceful shorelines and magnificent white beaches. 

The primary destination in Bucas Grande is the Sohoton Cove. It is packed with bewildering discoveries that will make you come out of the same cove entrance spell-bounded. Sohoton Cove got its name from the Cebuano word so-oton or to pass through a small opening --- this is because the only entrance to the cove is a cavernous expanse with very low ceiling. The cove is the home of the Hagukan Sea Cave and Magkuku-ob cavern.

Bucas Grande | Big Stock Photo

Hagukan Cave derives its name from snore-like (haguk) sound the waves produce inside the cave. The cave has a half-submerged, small entrance, and ceiling that is decorated with stalactites. Its green waters glows and illuminates the dark cave. You will also notice a glow in your skin when swimming inside the cave since its small entrance lets the sunlight to stream directly into the water resulting to illuminating reflection. 

The diving platform at Magkukuob Cavern | Photo by Jefferson Balon

Magkukuob cavern is also one of the caves found in Sohoton Cove and blue lagoon. In order to get inside the cavern, one must paddle in waist-level cold water and walk like a duck to reach the dry path. The walls of the cavern are naturally painted with different colors --- yellow, aqua, and turquoise --- a sight like a galaxy. Once inside the cavern, you will find yourself standing in the middle of remarkable collection of rock formations. In order to get out of the cavern, some rock-climbing skills are required since the only way out is on the top. At the exit, a platform rests on a cliff where you have to take a 5-meter jump to the clear, blue sea, in order to return to the boat.

Stingless Jellyfish | Photo by: Jefferson Balon

Another place to visit in Bucas Grande is the stingless Jellyfish Sanctuary. The visit to the sanctuary requires moving to a small paddle boat that can carry two to three persons. The island’s caretakers make it a priority to preserve the environment, thus motorized boat in this area of the island is prohibited. The sanctuary is a lagoon of still azure water set in idyllic seclusion. During months of March to May millions of jellyfish show up in the sanctuary and they bloom in full grandeur from July up to August. 

The trip to Bucas Grande is not limited to Sohoton Cove since the place is endowed with beautiful islands that are open for exploration. One of the islands to visit is the Cinnamon Island. From the name itself, the island is draped with cinnamon trees and visitors or this island are welcomed with delicious cinnamon tea. 

If you are in search for an ideal snorkeling site, Mark-A island is also a place to go. It is an A-shaped paradise and is one of Bucas Grande’s islands with powdery white sand beaches. A few meters away from the island is a place filled with corals teeming with marine life. When visiting this island, it is a must to bring your snorkeling gear. 

Stingless Jellyfish | Photo by: Jefferson Balon

Bucas Grade is a truly a hidden tropical paradise. It offers unparalleled island escapade for its visitors. Bucas Grande is definitely an “all-in-one” travelling experience. Give Bucas Grande a visit and be transported to another world of wonder. 

About the Author
LUCKY A.M. EBROLE works as a technical writer for an LGU. Her way of coping up with stress is sleeping and travelling. She wants to visit the unexplored places in the Philippines. She also dreams of seeing the beauty of the world.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Here's the latest airline promotion of Jetstar Singapore. Promo fares are available through web purchase only. Fares below are based on a one-way ticket. Checked baggage is not included in the fare but can be purchased separately or add upon checkout.

Jetstar Singapore Flight Promotion

Travel date: Late December to early October 2019

Booking Period: Now until sold out
How to book? Visit https://www.jetstar.com/sg/en/deals

Discounted Flight from Singapore to:

Penang SGD57
Hong Kong SGD94
Surabaya SGD93
Da Nang SGD115
Jakarta SGD63
Bali (Denpasar) SGD93
Phnom Penh SGD88
Manila SGD117
Darwin SGD136
Taipei SGD138
Clark SGD114
Siem Reap SGD127
Ho Chi Minh City SGD76
Melbourne SGD182
Yangon SGD88
Sanya SGD93
Phuket SGD64
Haikou SGD139

Looking for more deals? Follow our social media channels to get updates on the latest travel promos.

Instagram : www.instagram.com/escapemanila