Meet The Island Hoppers

by | Oct 13, 2014 | Introductions | 0 comments





Introducing the following monsooners (half of them are return travelers!) accompanying me on my December trip to Southeast Asia:

Calvin "O Captain! My Captain!" Sun: New York, NY; Columbia University ’08, SUNY Downstate College of Medicine ’14

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Samantha "FML" Kay Miller: Shorewood, IL; St. Petersburg College - Previous Monsooner: April '14 (Cuba)

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Alfred "20 Questions" Yeung: New York, NY - Previous Monsooner: April '14 (Cuba)

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June "Mamabear" Kao: New York, NY; NYU '12 - Previous Monsooner: December '11 (Iberia)

James Stephens: San Francisco, CA; Texas Tech University '11

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Tan Nguyen: New York, NY; UC Irvine

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Anthony Lui: New York, NY

Christina "Detour" Gee: New York, NY; Columbia University '14

Adison Song: Brooklyn, NY; Syracuse University '14

Jennifer "The Nomad" Li: New York, NY; Syracuse University '07

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Mariam "Amazon Queen" Dar: Honolulu, HI; University of Hawaii '08 - Previous Monsooner: December '13 (Pakistan)

Gareth "The Guvnor" Johnson: Xi'an, China; Young Pioneer Tours - Previous Monsooner: August '11 (North Korea), April '12 (Iran), December '12 (Ukraine & Poland), December '13 (Antarctica), April '14 (Cuba)

Dave "Ché" Zhou: New York, NY; Cornell University '05 - Previous Monsooner: April '14 (Cuba)

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Jenny "Ayurveda" Chu: New York, NY; Wellesley '08

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Lilliane "High Stakes" Ng: Hong Kong; University of Toronto '07 - Friend of the Monsoon: June '14 (Hong Kong)

Kevin Zhao: Berkeley, CA; Indiana University '12

Gordon "The Trainer" Pan: Londonderry, NH; University of New Hampshire '13

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Eric Chen: Chicago, IL; NYU '14
Tim Chen: New York, NY; University of Virginia


From December 2nd to December 13th we are monsooning through:

Manila, The Philippines

Makati District, Manila, The Philippines

Puerto Princesa, The Philippines


El Nido, The Philippines

Bacuit Archipelago, The Philippines

Bacuit Archipelago, The Philippines

Bacuit Archipelago, The Philippines

...are you getting the point?

Big and Small Lagoons, The Philippines

Commando Beach, The Philippines

...another island. You get to choose.

9 (secret lagoon)
Secret Lagoon Beach, The Philippines

Snake Island, The Philippines

Cathedral Caves, The Philippines

Codugnon Caves, The Philippines

Overnight camping on somewhere that looks like this

El Nido, The Philippines

Puerto Princesa, The Philippines

Manila, The Philippines


Bali, Indonesia

Dili, East Timor

Dili, East Timor

Baucau, East Timor

Baucau, East Timor

Dili, East Timor

Sunset in Dili, East Timor


Want to come with us? It’s never too late. Leave a comment or e-mail me to join.

Palawan Island Hopping

Dec. 2 – Dec. 7th

December 2nd

  • Arrive at your leisure and meet at Southern Cross Hotel in downtown Makati
  • Makati is the party town of Manila — we go out hot and hard here; karaoke, bars, clubs, the lot!

December 3rd

  • Despite the night out we get up nice and early for the short flight to Puerta Princesa in the island group of the Palawan.
  • On arrival we will be met by our private bus to start the 6 hour journey to El Nido. On the way we stop for lunch. This is a stunning drive with us heading through pristine Philippines countryside.
  • We check into our private accommodation before taking the short walk to the bars, restaurants and clubs that litter the beaches.

December 4th

  • First day of our private island hopping in the Bacuit Archipelago with visits to Big and Small Lagoons, Commando beach, and Secret Lagoon.
  • Fresh BBQ lunch by our boat crew.
  • Evening out eating, drinking and optional clubbing in El Nido

December 5th

  • Island hopping to Snake Island, Cathedral cave, and Codugnon Caves.
  • Fresh BBQ lunch by our boat crew.
  • Evening out Karaoke’ing. You have not been to Asia unless there is Karaoke.

December 6th

  • A little free morning time in El Nido (lunch on your own this day).
  • Afternoon departure for overnight camping on one of the close by islands for our own little October full moon party.
  • Dinner at night with island BBQ and breakfast on the beach the next morning.

December 7th

  • On our return to El Nido we check out of our accommodation and grab our bus again for the ride back to Puerto Princesa.
  • We stop for lunch on the way back and then for a quick dinner in Puerto Princesa before flying back to Manila
  • Another night in the Southern Cross and one last thriller in Manila.

Singapore, Bali and Timor

Dec. 8th – Dec. 13th

December 8th

  • Transfer to the airport for the 10:40am flight to Bali via a 4 hour layover in Singapore
  • While in Singapore, we will have a chance to clear customs for a quick city tour.
  • Fly on to Bali.
  • Bali is THE party town of Indonesia, so we check our bags at the airport and hit the town for an optional all nighter!

December 9th

  • After the all night bender that is Bali we board 9:55am flight to Dili, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
  • Transfer to our hostel before taking a city tour of this formerly war torn republic, and one of the newest countries on the planet.
  • Take a city tour of the capital which includes the statue of Jesus, resistance museum, and war memorial.
  • Dili is a beach town, so we can party the night away in one of the many beach bars of the city.

December 10th

  • We take a bus out to Baucau, the second largest city in the country and major player during the war of independence.
  • Stop for picture opportunities in the countryside.
  • Visit the convent mission and take an afternoon volunteering with the orphans of the country, helping with some of the great work they are doing.
  • Later in the afternoon we take a swim in the famous spring-fed pool.
  • Hang out on the beach.
  • Check into a beach hut and overnighting in Baucau.

December 11th

  • We take a very slow leisurely drive back to Dili, stopping off in the countryside for lunch and drinks.
  • Early evening we return to Dili and check back into our hotel.
  • Head back to the beach bars for our last night out in East Timor.

December 12th

  • Free morning in Dili before we board the 1:30pm flight to Bali, Indonesia.
  • 2:15pm arrival in Bali where we head to the city and check into our hostel.
  • Afternoon and evening dinner on the famous beaches of Bali.
  • One final night in Bali!

December 13th

  • Board the 10:45am flight back to Manila again via Singapore
  • Arriving in Manila at 8:10 pm.
  • Last night at the Southern Cross, and the end of our trip!

Prices (*We will give an immediate $100 discount from the following prices if you sign up on our mailing list and “like” us on our Facebook page!):

  Group A $795 (Manila – Manila, December 2nd – 7th)

  Group B $1840(Manila – Bali – Dili – Bali – Manila, including flights, December 2nd – 13th)

  Group C $1590 (Manila – Bali – Dili, including flights, December 2nd – 12th)

  Group D $495 (Dili only, December 9th – 12th)

  Group E $1190 (Manila – Bali – Dili, not including flights, December 2nd – 12th)

Price inclusive of:

  • All transport
  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights (International flights between The Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, East Timor, and back to The Philippines from December 2nd to December 12th, if Group B or C)
  • Unlimited rum on the bus
  • Selected meals

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to/from wherever you are to begin the trip
  • Visa (we will advise you depending on your passport and country of residence)
  • Insurance
  • All meals (except for 7 breakfasts, and homestay group meal)
  • Drinks
  • Tips
  • Optional activities/day-tours/excursions
  • Departure taxes and excess baggage fees

Interested? All you gotta do is email me: calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com or sign up for our emails.

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