What I Ate: Philippines Part I

January 26, 2018 Bohol, Philippines

I still dream of the food that we ate in the Philippines. It tastes very different from the Filipino restaurants here in Toronto. It just never tastes the same. 
The photo above is called pork liempo (grilled pork belly). It's so unhealthy but it tastes amazing! The skin is crispy and when you dip it in soy sauce with chilies then it tastes even better. I am craving it for it now.
Also, ordered barbeque. This is one is pork and hotdog.
We ate most of our meals from Pernia's. We came there most of the time, they knew us when we left. Love this family owned restaurant. This is one of our breakfasts there. This is tocino with egg and rice.
And this one is longganisa (sausages) with egg and rice. Pretty much every meal must have rice.
This was from a different restaurant. We ordered prawns with garlic sauce. This was heavenly! The prawns was very fresh. I mostly eat frozen here in Toronto :(
This was lunch one day - we ordered sinigang na isda (fish soup), greens beans with carrots, meat (honestly can't remember what this is called), and of course rice!
Malunggay (moringa) ice-cream from Bohol Bee farm. This was surprisingly good. Did not taste like the plant.
Another day, another breakfast...this time I picked the fried fish.
And A ordered corned beef.
We passed by the grill in front of Pernia one night before dinner and we were drooling. So we went back to our hotel, cleaned up, and went back here to order the pork belly. 

Bohol tour - Chocolate Hills

January 24, 2018 Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines

Since, I already trusted Julius in booking our boat tour, I also booked our Bohol tour with him. We became friends. We got to hang out with him one night when we were passing by the main street of Alona. I ended up talking to him for a few hours about his life, family, job...it was really fun speaking in my mother tongue. And joking around. 

Julius booked us a private car to use for half a day tour. It was ₱ 1,600 ($39 CDN) for two people (you can also have more people, 4max). I loved it because I didn't want a group tour and following an itinerary. We wanted to have full control on where to go and not wait around for other people. 

Ricky was our driver and he was awesome! 

The entrance fees for each attraction was not included in that price but it was very cheap so no problem! 

The one thing to remember is most attractions in Bohol closes around 4:30pm. 

After lunch, Ricky picked us up from our hotel and our first destination was Chocolate Hills because it was the farthest. We brought water and snacks in the car to keep us entertained. Ricky was a great driver and we felt very safe with him navigating the steep and winding roads. 

We saw fellow tourists driving scooters and I felt so queasy watching them drive on winding roads. I was glad we booked a car instead of renting a scooter. I don't think I would make it.

The entrance price for Chocolate Hills is 50 PHP per person which is $1.22 CDN. It's cheap! 
To see the hills, you have to first climb up the  steep stairs. It's 240 steeps to the top. It was tiring and also very hot so take your time climbing and make sure you have water with you. And if you want some shade bring an umbrella.
Once you get to the top, you are rewarded by the best view!
Chocolate hills are grass-formed limestone. During the dry season, the grass-formed hills dry up and turn chocolate brown hence the name "chocolate hills".  There is about 1,776 hills in total spread around the towns of Carmen, Batuan, and Sagbayan in Bohol. We went to the viewing deck in Carmen.
Take all the photos that you want at the top.
After leaving the Chocolate hills complex, we found rice fields by the side of the road. A has never seen a rice field before so I told Ricky to stop so we can have a look at the newly planted rice #riceislife.
I almost fell off the rice paddy and into the water hahaha. Oh well, it was a nice photo. And I had mud on my sandals after but it was worth it. 
I used to go to my Grandmother's farm because she had a rice field. This brings back childhood memories.
We also stop by a wet market. I wanted A to see the local market in Bohol and show him the different items they sell. And I needed new slippers since I had mud on my sandals.
I grew up eating dried fish so for me it's not a big deal but A didn't so I showed him the different varieties. A lot of people hate the smell of fish but I love it. The stinkier the better ;)
I used to eat dried fish all the time with rice. And you also can dip it in either vinegar or soy sauce.

Also showed him the different types of bananas and veggies at the market.
I really enjoyed our time at the market. Just walking around and talking to the locals.

Virgin Island sand bar

January 16, 2018 Pungtud Island, Philippines

We went back to our boat after stopping at Balicasag Island to our next destination. The virgin island sand bar.
It was raining when we arrived but that didn't stop us from docking and walking on the sand. The water was warm and clear. 

We were greeted by vendors selling food. They had fresh seafood like abalone, sea urchins, and other snacks like plantain for sale. 
 and also drinks like fresh coconut, pop,and water. 

It was funny to see this in the middle of the ocean. A hut selling food. I got over it quickly and went to walk around the sand bar instead.
It started raining but I kept walking around the sand bar. I was expecting it to get deeper. It was shallow and the water was crystal clear.
There is nothing to do here but take pictures!
One of our fellow tourist held up everyone on the boat by taking forever to get back. She ordered food and it took a long time to cook. We were all just waiting for her while everyone else came back to the boat. 

Of course, no apologies when she came back.

We went back to Alona beach after. That was the end of our tour. 

Lake Placid - Exploring the Adirondacks

January 5, 2018 Adirondack Mountains

I've been meaning to visit the Adirondacks for years now but somehow I kept on putting it off. I decided that this fall was the time I was going to visit.

We drove from Toronto to Kingston (crossing the border) and then down to Lake Placid. We took the scenic route. It was beautiful.
We stayed at an inn in the Upper Jay. It was a great location.The photo above was our view driving around Adirondacks.The mountain was full of birch trees.
 It was almost Halloween so the whole area was decked out in pumpkins and Halloween decorations. This was the wine store Keene.
Lake Placid was a 20 minute ride. It was easy to get there. We simply parked the car and walked around the main town. Lots of shops and restaurants to choose from.

The weather was gloomy and raining but we didn't mind. We were spared from the rain on our first night was clear so we enjoyed the bonfire from our inn.
We had dinner one night at Baxter Mountain Tavern. I had this massive plate of ravioli. It was delicious and I loved the coziness of the restaurant.
Another note worthy dinner was at Ausable Inn. They had duck wings on the menu and I have never eaten that before so we ordered it. It was amazing! I really liked it. And we also ordered a huge pizza. We couldn't finish it so we took it back to our inn and had it for lunch when we got back on the road.
This is a maple syrup store. It was empty when we got there. It's an honor system payment. We picked out what we wanted. Wrote down the items, date, and left the exact price on the box.

On our drive home, we took a different route. We found a lot of waterfalls while driving. And of course I had to stop and take pictures. 

I would love to come back during sunny/warmer days so I can hike the mountains. I'm sure it will be a good experience. 

Have you visited the Adirondacks?

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