Lonely Planet introduced Pulau Weh as a tiny tropical rock off the tip of Sumatra. Look carefully on the map or you would probably miss it. What brought me to Pulau Weh exactly? Diving, of course. In all honesty, I’ve not heard of this island and i literally had to google it up to see where in the world is this place. It is located on the north of Banda Aceh, Sumatra and the main town where most of Weh’s population live is known as Sabang. Surprisingly, it was just a 1.5 hours flight away from Penang to Banda Aceh via Fireflyz airline.
Pulau Weh marked my first trip for the year of 2017! There were so many modes of transport involved to get to Pulau Weh. Ulee Lheu Harbour is about 40 minutes away from Banda Aceh Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport and to get there, it is recommended for you to take a taxi. At the harbour, you have a choice to either take the fast or slow ferry depending on the availability. I arrived at 940am by flight and by the time i got to the harbour, it was almost 1030am. That left me with only one option – the slow ferry departing at 11am, which took about 1.5 hours to Balohan Harbour, Pulau Weh. From Balohan Harbour to Iboih beach, it took another 45 minutes by bejak (a local three wheel transport).
In December 2016, I made my way to Boracay Island in the Philippines. I have always love the sea and decided to take on the Open Water Diving (OWD) license with New Wave Divers. I did some research on which diving center to go for and New Wave Divers appealed most to me because of their prompt replies and excellent services. I liaised with Marge and Lynette via email. They were both very helpful and professional in answering all my enquiries. They were also rated number 1 on TripAdvisor and the reviews were great. My friends, who often go on diving trips used to tell me stories of how beautiful it is at the bottom of the ocean and I figured it is high time, I shall find that out myself.
“Sex – The first time you try, you get nervous.. But it’s still the best thing you’ve tried. The more you do it, the better it gets. As you do it with more people, you learn new techniques. With experience you can do it longer and deeper. If you enjoy sex, you’ll love diving!”
Savage! The display board caught my attention surely. Two weeks prior to my vacation, I signed up for the PADI e-learning online course and completed the OWD session. It took me about 6-10 hours in total to complete the course online, depending on how fast your internet speed is. The PADI e-learning course is valid for 1 year. It is fairly simple and i felt better to be adequately prepared theory wise beforehand. Everything went smoothly and it was very convenient – I paid the deposit via Paypal for the OWD course to New Wave Divers once i have completed the e-learning modules. The intention was to complete the whole course in two days. Well, of course you can opt to do the traditional method and only complete the theory upon arrival. However, i knew i wanted to see more of Boracay so two days for diving were sufficient.
Boracay, a small island in the Philippines is said to be the “Maldives of South East Asia”. Year after year, it has been listed as one of the top destinations for beaches around the world. I’ve been wanting to visit the Philippines for the longest time and without hesitation, i bought a return ticket to Boracay for six days.
Getting to Boracay Island was quite an effort from Penang, Malaysia. From Penang, I had to take a 1 hour domestic flight to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Air Asia flies directly from KLIA to Kalibo Airport and time of travel is approximately 3.5 hours. Prior to my travels, I have made bookings in advance with Islandstar Express. Their representative was waiting for me at the arrival hall and took care of everything precisely. I was pretty impressed. Kalibo Airport is about 2 hours away from Caticlan jetty and to get to the port, I hopped onto a bus. There were 3 couples and myself on the bus. I took the front seat and had a nice little chat with the local bus driver. At the port, the journey to Boracay Island is about 20 minutes via a small ferry. We were greeted by a truck-like transport and dropped off at our respective accommodation. I was the last to get off at Station 2.
Greetings! It has always been my wishful thinking to start a travel blog and to share my adventures with people. All my travels so far are on my own expenses, unless of course stated otherwise. I’ve been scaling on numerous types of budgets, from backpacking, flash packing and once in a blue moon luxury,where i will splurge a little. I figured there will never be the RIGHT time to start penning down the details of my travelogues and for the love of travel, this is it. Well, stay tune as i am looking forward to a greater 2017 and more travels up ahead!