Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
South Terminal Hotel

Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Saturday, December 3, 2011

Baguio, Luzon, Phillipines -

Flying from Tokyo to Clark airport in Manila involved a stop in Kuala Lumpar (KL) for a day. Simple reason, cheap flights! The low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in KL feels like a second home! I've been there so often now, mainly due to AirAsia. Instead of spending 24 hours at the airport, I grabbed a bus/train combo to the city centre. The main plan was to catch up on my blog, find some tasty food and maybe find a post office!

I'm back in KL soon so I'll leave out details on the city but in short, you are either soaked through with sweat or soaked through from a heavy downpour! You just can't win! I also had a curry for lunch from a street vendor and a curry in the evening! Both were a quid! I got back to the airport at midnight and slept on the floor till check in at 4am. LCCT also has free wifi, so I'll be back there again before I fly to Perth.

So, it's been two nights without a bed! When I board my flight to Manila, I think I head bob for the whole flight. I had ten minutes left on a football podcast and I must have tried to listen to it 15 times, but each time I dropped off!

Now, I've been through three sets of ear plugs this year, you know, for my itouch. I was disappointed to hear my right plug wasn't soft, however, after further inspection, I think my actual right ear is broken. I'm sure it'll fix itself but I'm having that sensation of not really hearing what I'm saying! Oh well!

Landing in Clark, Manila, I quickly jumped into a sweaty 'air con' jeepney (small bus with two benches in the back) and a 15 minute journey to Dau bus terminal. I feel like I'm back in Central America. The bus terminal is crazy! Porters are running around everywhere helping everyone and anyone find their bus. I had to wait 30 minutes to board a train for Baguio. On boarding, I ask the driver how long till we get to Baguio, he answered 45 minutes. Six hours later we arrived. There was a film playing on a tv when I asked the question so maybe he told me how long till the end of the film. I did get to see the green lantern on a journey when I was expecting to depart at any point.

Vibrant, woodsy and cool by Philippine standards, Baguio is the Cordillera's nerve centre. A huge student city, I arrive during a festive carnival. I grab a small hotel room near the bus terminal and spent an hour looking for food. Everywhere I went had a long line or nowhere to sit, I eventually settled for chicken and rice. Again, feels like Central America.

Baguio was mainly a stop off point as I head north. The city has major air and noise pollution problems and the main charms of the city lie outside the city centre.

At last, a good night sleep! I went to bed at 9pm and slept for hours!!

Next morning, I quickly headed for Sagada. I jumped in a taxi to a different bus stop, on the way, the taxi is hit by another car. The driver jumps out and checks the damage. All was ok, then he tells me it was his third hit that week. Insurance is not compulsory, and the guy told me his last hit was from a woman while she was texting! Anyway, the friendly driver stopped in front of a bus that was leaving for Sagada, so I managed to jump on that bus. The next one was two hours later.

The views on the way to Sagada were spectacular. Enjoy.

Next stop, Sagada, Philippines.
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