Ways to Go to Kalinga

How to Go to Tabuk City, Kalinga

Tabuk City is the capital of Kalinga, one of the 6 provinces that comprise the Cordillera Administrative Region.

In recent years, the province was put in the spotlight thanks to the popularity of Apo Whang-Od, a Filipina that’s often regarded as the last tattoo artist (mambabatok) of the Kalinga people.

To get to Apo Whang-Od, many travelers, especially local guests, prefer to take an organized Baguio – Sagada/Bontoc – Tinglayan tour. If you’d like another route, Tabuk City makes a good base.

How can one go to Tabuk City, Kalinga by public transport? Here are your options.

1. Plane – Van/Jeep

Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines (PAL) offer daily one-hour flights from Manila to Tuguegarao City (Cagayan). From Tuguegarao, you can take either a passenger van or jeepney bound for Tabuk. The trip is about 1.5 hours.

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Tuguegarao Airport

2. Bus

There are three bus companies offering daily Manila-to-Tabuk trips. Choose among Victory Liner (Kamias and Earnshaw branches), ES Transport (Cubao), and Dangwa (Sampaloc). All these buses pass by the top hotels in Tabuk City.

Should you run out tickets, there’s an abundant supply of buses bound for Tuguegarao. From Tuguegarao, enjoy a van or jeepney ride to Tabuk.

If you’re coming from Baguio, you can purchase a ticket from either GL Trans or Dangwa.

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Khao San Road at Night

Famous Streets and Backpacker Areas in Southeast Asia

Not all countries in Southeast Asia have a so-called backpacker district. Here, we give you famous streets and areas frequented by travelers when they visit this part of the world.

You might want to check out these backpacker streets, or stay in one of the hostels within these areas. Aside from experiencing the local culture, interacting with fellow travelers can also be a life-enriching experience.

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Thailand: Khao San Road

If you’re visiting Bangkok soon, book a room at one of the hotels along Khao San Road and take in as much nightlife experience as you can because according to this article, it won’t be long before this famous backpacker street gets a makeover. It will definitely be a different experience the next time you drop by.

In Phuket, head over to Bangla Road at night if you want to party and get drunk with other backpackers / travelers.

Vietnam: Pham Ngu Lao

Pham Ngu Lao is Ho Chi Minh‘s version of Khao San Road. It’s located in District 1, and it’s where many low-budget travelers choose to book their hotel when in Ho Chi Minh. If you’re into local cuisine, Pham Ngu Lao has a number of restos where you can enjoy Vietnamese food (e.g., banh mi, pho, and coffee).

Does Hanoi also have a backpacker street?

There’s no specific street, but the Old Quarter in Hanoi‘s Hoan Kiem District can be considered as a “backpacker area.” It’s home to different types of hotels, restos, and top landmarks. Some of its most popular streets include Hang Bac, Hang Be, and Ma May.

Check out these top-reviewed hotels in Hanoi.

Cambodia: Pub Street

Siem Reap‘s Pub Street is lined with bars and vendors selling cheap cocktails and exotic food. This short road is dull during the day, but it comes to life at night. Angelina Jolie was seen hanging out at one of the bars in Pub Street when she was shooting Tomb Raider.

Check out these top-reviewed boutique hotels near Pub Street.

Indonesia: Poppies Lane

When in Indonesia, Bali is the place to be. Its three main areas – Kuta, Legian, Seminyak – are teeming with backpackers. You can find them in hostels, at clubs, at the beach, and in party villas.

There are also several “walking streets” in Bali, but Poppies Lane 1 and 2 are the most popular. Backpackers love these streets because they have everything, from shops to cheap hostels. Plus, they’re very close to the beach.

Check out this post for budget hotels near Kuta Beach.

Singapore: Bugis Street

No doubt, Bugis Street is the hottest street in Singapore. According to Wikipedia, the street used to be a nightly meetup place of transvestites and transsexuals. Fast-forward to 40 years later, it’s now a shopping and food mecca.

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Philippines

To our knowledge, there’s no backpacking area in the Philippines.

Metro Manila‘s Malate and some areas in Makati may be quite known, but it’s more of an expat district. If you want to meet other budget travelers, head over to popular islands such as Boracay and El Nido in Palawan.

Myanmar

Of course, it’s possible that we did not search enough, but Bagan, Yangon, and Mandalay don’t have a specific area that backpackers congregate in.

However, if you’d like to make new friends, our suggestion is to take a Kalaw-to-Inle Lake trek. After two or three days, you’d accomplish your goal.

Laos

The most popular places in Laos are Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, and Vientiane. These places don’t have a specific meet-up street for backpackers. What they have are bars that are famous among foreign travelers.

In Luang Prabang, for instance, there’s Utopia Restaurant and Bar, a chill place facing the Nam Khan river. In Vang Vieng, Sakura Bar is the place to be. Check out this post to know more about the best area to stay in Vang Vieng.

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How to Travel Light in Southeast Asia

More Backpacking Tips: How to Travel Light Across Southeast Asia

Budget airlines in Southeast Asia (SEA) impose a maximum carry-on weight limit of 7kg. It may sound impossible, but you can adhere to this rule everytime you fly.

Here are some practical tips on how to pack light when budget traveling in Southeast Asia.

Collect memories, not material things.

People travel for different reasons. Some go abroad for sightseeing, and backpackers are most probably in the mood to soak in as much Southeast Asian culture as they can.

Make sure you stick to your purpose. Material things can weigh you down, but memories stay with you forever. As we think back on the trips we made in the past, we don’t remember the things we should’ve bought. Instead, we smile at the memories of the adventures we took and the people we met, such as our rock-climbing experience in Laos.

That said, it pays to have a large smartphone or DSLR memory.

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Don’t pack for emergency situations.

What if it rains? What if you get sick? Don’t worry too much about emergency situations. Tendency is, your hostel or the nearby establishment has the things you need.

If you need a haircut, walk around town and you’ll find a barber offering cheap services. If you need an insect repellent, there’s a pharmacy for that.

Don’t forget to have travel insurance, though.

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Pack multi-functional pieces.

SEA is filled with adventurous outdoor activities such as hiking and trekking, so go for pants that can zip off into shorts. As pants, they can protect you from the elements, and as a pair of shorts, they’re perfect for walking on a hot day.

A sarong (or lungi) is also a must-have. It instantly becomes a blanket, a pillow, or even a private dressing room for girls.

Go for a pair of shoes that has a good traction for hiking and a nice exterior for picture-taking. Speaking of footwear, read our review on the Vibram Five Fingers

Quick-dry clothes are your best friend.

Laundry can take a toll on your budget, but to keep this expense to a minimum, pack quick-dry shirts and shorts and stay at a hotel or homestay that allows washing of clothes.

In SEA, detergents come in packets, so you can buy only what you need.

Hone your layering skills.

We’ve heard of funny “layering” stories from time to time. Remember this man who wore 15 layers of clothes to avoid paying for excess baggage?

You don’t have to do this, but if you have to, make sure you don’t appear suspicious.

At the airport before getting your boarding pass, put on your jacket (or wrap it around your waist), and neatly fold some clothes and tuck them nicely into your pockets.

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Volunteer in exchange for food and accommodation.

Sites such as HelpX and Workaway connect backpackers and hosts. The idea is simple. In exchange for your skills or your time, a host agrees to give you food and lend you a bed for an agreed-upon number of days.

You get to live at an authentic Southeast Asian home, learn the local language, gain a new skill, and immerse in the culture without paying for food and accommodation.

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Some Notes to Heed Before Visiting the Angkor Archaeological Park

There’s only one major reason why you’d want to go to Siem Reap, and that is to visit Angkor Wat, a temple complex said to be one of the largest in the world at 162.6 hectares.

Here are some Angkor Wat tips and notes to make your visit a memorable one.

A 1-Day Pass is enough.

Entry tickets are available in 1-, 2-, and 3-day passes. These should give you access to the Angkor Archaeological Park.

The 1-Day Pass is reserved for the most popular or largest temples in the complex, of which Angkor Wat is included. Expect also to visit Ta Prohm, the site of Angelina Jolie‘s movie, Tomb Raider.

The 2nd and 3rd days are for smaller structures in the park.

Unless you’re doing some research about temples or the Khmer Empire, a 1-day temple pass is more than enough.

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Prepare for the tropical heat.

First, wear loose cotton clothes.

It will be very hot, so wear something cotton and loose. Remember, though, that you’ll be visiting a religious complex, so wear something that would cover your knees especially for women.

Next, go for shoes, not sandals.

You’ll do a lot of walking either on hot stone slabs or dusty pathways, so an open footwear is not a good idea.

A fan and a hat are must-haves. And so is sunscreen.

Don’t worry because you’ll have access to unlimited bottled water depending on your tour operator or guide.

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Bottled Water Angkor Wat

Get a legit guide, or read as much as you can about the place before the trip.

It’s better to have someone give you a crash course on the temples. Not only will you leave with a better appreciation of the place, but you’ll also help Siem Reap’s tourism industry.

If you don’t have budget for a guide, at least read as much as you can about the temples or Khmer culture.

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Is a self-guided tour possible?

Yes.

But if you want a hassle-free temple visit (e.g., not having to worry about parking), then sign up for a tour.

Entrance to the Angkor Archaeological Park