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Islands Articles, Information, & Ideas

If your trip will include Islands, be sure to browse through all the Islands articles below. We at The Cheap Route have already done a lot of first hand research about Islands, we've been there done that when it comes to Islands, continue reading to gain first hand insight. Our goal is to to provide the hard to find information and photos about Islands.

Really Good Boxing Day Tsunami Film

Friday, September 7, 2012
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Tsunami Wave
The tsunami wave about to crash into the shore on Boxing Day 2004 in Phuket, Thailand

I just came across what I thought was a 10 minute compilation video of the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004. I clicked on it, got hooked, then found out it was only part 1 of 7. By that time I couldn't put it down, and ended up spending the next hour plus watching a handful of people's first hand Tsunami stories.

My 5 Best Travel Experiences Of 2011

Lechon With Friends In Siargao, Philippines
Eating Lechon (roasted suckling pig) and sushi on a private beach with friends

As 2011 comes to an end, I thought it would be cool to talk about my top 5 travel experiences of the year. My year was split roughly 6 months in Australia, 3 months in Southern Asia, and 3 in the US. It's hard to pick just 5, but here are my favorite travel memories from 2011, in no particular order.

The New Seven Wonders of Nature Released

Table Mountain
Table Mountain

The New7Wonders Foundation has recently provisionally nominated the New 7 Wonders of Nature from Zurich, Switzerland. The list was selected by a combination of votes and "expert judging" from a group of 28 finalists. There are some big ones missing like the Grand Canyon and Great Barrier Reef. I'm not sure I like this list very much, but I thought it was worth posting.

What To Do In Bohol, Philippines – Loboc River Cruise

Posing With Ati Tribe Spitting Fire
My friend posing with the Ati Tribesman for a photo as they spit fire

When traveling through the Philippines, we found ourselves in Cebu for 2 days, waiting for a flight to the island of Siargao. We didn't really know what we wanted to do, and in doing a little research discovered the island of Bohol, just a couple hours away from Cebu by ferry. The island, pronounced very similar to "Butthole", is best known for the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. When we arrived, we decided to rent scooters and explore the island that way. One of our destinations, a lazy 45 minute scooter ride away from our resort in the Mactan Island area of Bohol, was the Loboc River.

Would You Expect Sri Lanka To Be Cheap?

Sigiriya Rock Fortress Lion Gate
Whats left of a once fantastic Lion Gate entrance to the Sigiriya Rock Palace.

I'm currently wrapping up my time here in Sri Lanka, a place I never planned to visit on this trip, but threw in last minute as I worked my way west towards India. I had about 3 weeks of time to fill from when I split with one set of friends in Vietnam, and before meeting another in India. Originally I was going to head straight to India, but instead I ended up cruising up the Mekong to Cambodia for 5 days, then stopped over in Singapore for a couple, and then noticed flights to Sri Lanka and on to India didn't cost much more than straight to India. On a whim I went for it and booked my flight from Singapore to Sri Lanka.

Nature’s Infinity Pool: Magpupunkgko Beach, Tidal Pools and Lagoon, Siargao, Philippines

Thursday, September 8, 2011
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Magpupungko Lagoon in Siargao, Philippines
Two Guys getting ready to enter the warm waters of the lagoon.

Magpupungko is a place I am tempted to not write about because I want to keep it all for myself. The Philippines are amazing in general, but the Magpupunkgko Lagoon was amazing and deserted. It gave the satisfying affect of discovery and solitude being the only group at such a cool place. The water in the lagoon is very warm, a more buoyant person than myself could comfortably sleep in it. The lagoon itself is a giant tide pool carved out of the coral, and if you swim to the edge, you can look out over fields of coral to breaking waves,creating a natural infinity pool effect.

Swimming With Jellyfish – Bucas Grande, Philippines

Monday, September 5, 2011
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Snorkeling with the jellyfish in Bucas Grande, Philippines
A jellyfish up close with a snorkeler in the background

Last month I was travelling through the Philippines. We spent 5 days visiting a friend on the Island of Siargao, famous for its surfing break Cloud 9, and relatively unknown otherwise (for now). He took us around to all the cool things he’s discovered on the island, including a set of water caves a few hours away by boat. Apparently we lucked out with our timing, because the caves were nothing compared to what was going on in a nearby cove. I guess it’s seasonal, but every year a nearby protected lagoon becomes a breeding ground for jellyfish.

Sailing The Capricorn Coast: Great Keppel Island

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
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Corner Beach Girl Great Keppel Island
A girl enjoying the corner beach on Great Keppel Island

The east coast of Australia has a well worn travel path carved into it, running from Cairns to Melbourne in either direction.  Along the way there are a set of stops which virtually everyone picks, and all the tour agencies promote.  These include from south to north: The Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Sydney, Byron Bay, Gold Coast / Surfers Paradise, Brisbane, Fraser Island, Agnes Water / 1770, Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays, Townsville / Magnetic Island, and finally Cairns.  Most people don't stray very far off this path, but some of these places were not even that developed until fairly recently, so why do people not explore new places more often?  Recently I took a road trip from the Gold Coast up to a place called Yeppoon on the Capricorn Coast, where we set off for a sail around the Great Barrier Reef and Keppel Islands.

Tropical Birds of Hamilton Island, Australia

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
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Sulphur Crested Cockatoo & Rainbow Lorikeet
A Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and a Rainbow Lorikeet eating some leftover food off a table

Word to the wise, watch out for the Cockatoo's, they're poopers.  I'm usually not much of a bird person, but the birds in Australia are pretty cool.  This is just a small sample of the types of birds they have in Australia and in particular the birds on Hamilton Island.  These Sulphur Crested Cockatoo's and Rainbow Lorikeets can be found all around the East Coast of Australia, and I believe up in parts of South East Asia as well.

Inishmore (Inis Mór), Aran Islands, Ireland

Thursday, May 12, 2011
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A beach on Inishmore, Aran Islands, Ireland
One of the best looking beaches on Inishmore. Still a little too cold in mid-summer to swim

Like to be active and explore ruins? See prehistoric forts, 300ft cliffs, a castle, ancient cemeteries and beaches all within a 2 mile radius? Inishmore in the Aran Islands, just off the coast of the University city, Galway, is inch for inch one of the most historically saturated sites in Ireland, and while it may also be saturated with tourists, if you choose to explore the island on bike, you will get a glimpse of the solitude of Inishmore.

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