Adventures in Bicolandia: Aboard the Bicol Express! Part 1

Hello everyone! Just arrived from our Bicol trip and I can't wait to share my experiences with all of you. This trip was the most spontaneous (so not me!) since my friends and I never booked a hotel beforehand. When I go on trips, I usually carry with me a paper with the list of itineraries written on it but because of my busy days at work before this trip I just let my friends carry out my destiny during this trip. =D We only looked for a hotel/inn when we got to Legazpi City, Naga City and Caramoan. I will be highlighting the expenses and important parts each day so you could also budget your future Bicol trip. So here is a detailed itinerary of the things we did in Albay and CamSur.

Day 1: January 7, 2014 (Hello! Mt. Mayon!)
1:00 PM - Arrival in Legazpi Airport from Mactan Cebu Airport. We hired a van going to 1st Colonial Grill restaurant in Pacific Mall. You can also ride a tricycle going to Pacific Mall but I'm not sure how much is the fare.
* Fare: PHP 100 for 3 persons = Php 33.33/person

1:20 PM - Arrival in 1st Colonial Grill in Pacific Mall.
* 1st Colonial Grill restaurant is a must try when you visit the Bicol region. It offers a variety of Bikolano cuisines such as the famous Bicol Express, Laing and Pinangat. From all the Bicol Express I tasted during this trip, 1st Colonial Grill has the best Bicol Express so don't you dare miss this. If you are an ice cream lover, don't forget to try out their different unique ice cream flavors like the famous Sili ice cream but don't worry if you are not fond of eating spicy food because they offer spicyness of the Sili ice cream in 3 levels. They also offer Pipino, Kamote, Kalamansi, Pili, Malunggay, Tinutong na Bigas flavors. My favorite was the Pipino and Sili ice cream. Each viand costs around Php 150.00 up. Our total bill was Php1,037 for 3 persons = Php 345.66/person

2:20 PM - After we ate our lunch in 1st Colonial Grill, we proceeded to the Legazpi Grand Central Bus Station. Today, we were supposed to be travelling to Caramoan but we had to spend the night in Naga City.
*Tricycle fare: Php 8.00/person
  Bus fare:        Php 130.00/person
Travelling by bus took us 5 hours! So I suggest you take the van since it is much faster (around 3 hours). Fare for the van is Php 140.00.

2:30 PM - Depart from Legazpi City to Naga City

6:30 PM - Arrival in Naga City, Camarines Sur.
We stayed at Sogo Hotel just beside the Naga City Bus Terminal. We availed the 10 hours stay to save money.
*Hotel rate: Php 939.00 for 3 persons = Php 313.00/person

7:00 PM - After we left our bags in the hotel, we went to SM City Naga to buy our toiletries.
We ate our dinner in Red Platter in Magsaysay Ave. Naga City. Magsaysay Ave is a food strip in Naga City. We ordered their best seller, Kare-Kare, together with Pinangat and Bicol Express.
* Tricycle fare: Php 8.00/person
   Total bill: Php 800.00 for 3 persons = Php 266.67/person

8:45 PM - Went back to Sogo Hotel and checked in around 9:00 PM so we could check out 7:00 AM the next day. (10 hours only)
* Tricycle fare: Php 8.00/person

Day 2: January 8, 2014 (Survivor Caramoan!)
6:00 AM - Checked out in Sogo Hotel and depart to the van terminal going to Sabang.
* Tricycle fate: Php 8.00/person

6:39 AM - Arrived in the van terminal.
* Van fare: Php 100.00/person

7:00 AM - Depart to Sabang. The van driver waited for more passengers so we departed 30 minutes later.

8:41 AM - Arrived in Sabang and travel to Guijalo, Caramoan. Sabang has no port so the motorized pump boat docks in the seashore. Passengers had to hop on a "man made float" to reach the pump boat.
* Boat fare: Php 120.00/person
   Float: Php 10.00/person

10:32 AM - Arrived in Guijalo, Caramoan. We still had to find an inn to stay and the tricycle driver brought us to Island View Lodge in Paniman, Caramoan. Travel time from Guijalo to town proper is around 1 hour.
* Tricycle fare: Php 300.00 = Php 100.00/person

11:45 PM - Arrived in Island View Lodge. The lodge we stayed had walls like a bahay kubo. The rate was reasonable since our room only had an electric fan and a CR.
* Lodge rate: Php 1,500.00 for 2 nights = Php 500.00/person for 2 nights (just HAGGLE)

Island hopping in the Caramoan Islands takes 2 days. Upon arrival in Island View, the attendant asked us what we would eat when we reach one of the islands since we have to stay there and have our little picnic. We ordered one big fish for Php 250.00 plus Php 100.00 for a kilo of rice and sawsawan. There were 2 boatmen and a tour guide who accompanied us during our island hopping. We visited the islands of Matukad and Lahos. We also visited the extension island of Gota Village Resort where Survivor staffs and crew stayed during the production of Survivor within the islands.
* Island Hopping rates 1st day: Php 1,500.00 = Php 500.00/person 
* Island Hopping rates 2nd day: Php 2,000.00 = Php 666.67/person
* Tour guide:                              Php 1000.00 for 2 days = Php 333.33/person
* Fish and Rice:                          Php 350.00 = Php 116.67/person
* Fresh Buko juice:                     Php 25.00/person
12:30 PM - Started island hopping. DON'T FORGET to bring sunblock!

Matukad Island

Lahos Island

I wasn't able to take a picture of the extensin island of Gota Village Resort.

5:00 PM Went back to Island View Lodge. There is no electricity in Caramoan from 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM EVERYDAY.

Day 3: January 9, 2014 (Survivor Caramoan!)
8:30 AM -  Start 2nd day island hopping. These islands are far from one another so we have to allot a day for this trip.

Cotivas Island

Sabitang Laya Island
* Fish and rice:  Php 200.00 = Php 66.67/person
* Fresh Buko juice: Php 25.00/person

2:00 PM - That concludes our Caramoan Island Hopping! There was no electricity when we got back to Island View Lodge, so you better bring something/someone you could kill time with.

4:30 PM - A trip will never be complete without a souvenir so we visited Tribe Camp Souvenir Shop. You can buy T-shirts, native bags, Pili nuts, key chains and most of all Survivor souvenirs!
* Souvenirs: Php 500.00

This will be it for now. Stay tuned for part 2.


2 Thoughts:

Christian Kathleen Gabales said...

Perfect ang weather sa pag punta nyo sis ♥


Lindsey said...

Great post, I absolutely love the pictures!!