Muang Thai Cravings

Been craving for some Thai food again and so I together with blogger Antonio and his girlfriend Teresa, met up for some authentic Thai restaurant outside the malls last weekend. Since they have not tasted any Thai food yet, I searched for our destination and just based everything on the reviews in the net. Good luck samin kung masarap dito.

I have a date too, his name is Vincent, my point and shoot camera. I miss you Vincent! Iwan muna si Harvey, my DSLR, sa bahay.

I chose Muang Thai. It is located in Diliman QC. The closest landmark is Sulo Hotel. And since I was not expecting much in this place, I was impressed that the ambiance is good. The details inside are far more interesting than Soms and Jatujak.

These pieces perfectly introduce Thailand.

The dining area is good for friends bonding, sunday family dine out, and dating places for couples.

Since Anton and Teresa haven't tried any Thai food yet, I was the in-charge of the food we'll order. Pressure? Not really. I know exactly what I wanted to eat that night. Di uso diet! Ü

Muang Thai Menu

Crispy Catfish Salad
Serving is generous, but this is more salty than Jatujak's version. This could have been better if there are more green mango strips and nuts. But still, I and the couple who were hesitant at first to try the catfish, we all enjoyed it.

Spicy Shrimp Soup
Tom Yum is a must try for newbies! It's spiciness is just right. I like it.

Pad Thai
What's a visit to a Thai resto without eating Pad Thai. We gotta have that too. Tastes like a normal pad thai. Just right.

Muang Thai Fried Rice
Rice with the combination of beef, chicken, shrimp, squid, etc. We loved their signature fried rice! Super yummy!

Red Curry Chicken
Serving satisfies the 3 of us. Another favorite of ours. Very flavorful and tasty.

Bill: a little over P1,000 only. Tax included. No service charge.

As of this writing, Im craving again for some Thai food. Kainis!

Go and find Muang Thai in your future Thai food craving!

Muang Thai
Malakas St., Diliman, QC
Banawe St., Sta Mesa Heights, QC

I had a great time with you again Vincent! ♥

Apuao Grande Island Resort

I strongly suggest you check these 2 related entries first:

Coming from Maculabo, we went back to Daet town proper and looked for a place to spend the night. The most decent place we found was Hotel Dolor. They charged us P1550 for a big room with 4 single beds and yes it comes with free breakfast.

And since we're already in Camarines Norte, our group decided to visit Apuao Grande the next day. It was located in Mercedes, a town 15mins away from Daet town proper. Jeepney ride costs P10.

a close encounter with a (live) stingray

the busy Mercedes port

Surprisingly, it was more difficult to bargain in Mercedes Port than in Paracale. Boatmen were charging us P1500 for the roundtrip boatride to Apuao Grande. The cheapest offer we found was P1000. Pwede na. Sayang oras kaka-negotiate.

take us there, mr. young boatman

Journey was around 45mins.
Nina, Leidy and I were just looking and smiling with grin as we reached our destination. This place is beautiful, no arguements about that. But after seeing Calaguas Island, ang taas na bigla ng standards namin sa beaches.

welcome to Apuao Grande

beautiful shoreline

and beautiful beach

But not enough to impress us.
This resort was abandoned 4 years ago. But tourists keep coming to this place for a daytour or overnight stay.

nipa hut for daytour/ picnic style

accommodation for overnight stay

fun fun fun in the beach

The care taker didn't charge us any daytour fee. But in case you want to spend the night here and use their house, rate per night is P3000/15pax already.

If we only have visited this place first before Calaguas and Maculabo, surely we would be impressed. Sadly, we did the other way around - and found Apuao unimpressive already. So in case you plan to visit Camnorte in the future, please do visit Apuao Grande first. *winks*
long stretch

our boat

and thank you too!

Yes, this place is beautiful, relaxing, and serene. But again, not as awesome as Calaguas Island! Be very excited to visit that place soon before it becomes commercialized. Im impressed with Camarines Norte.

Now meet my travel buddies, Camarines Norte edition:

Nina, Me, Ate Beth, and Leidy
(at Paracale Port)

I had fun doing this Calaguas, Maculabo, and Apuao Grande adventure with you. Next time ulit! And see you around the beautiful places here in Pinas! ♥

Gradients and Waves at Maculabo

check my Calaguas Island first before reading this entry.

We packed our things and left the beautiful island of Calaguas before lunch time. All of us agreed that we'll surely be back here someday... Or very soon!

Since Maculabo is around 45mins away from Calaguas, we decided to visit this place too before going back to Paracale Port. We were all satisfied already with our first destination so never mind what this Maculabo would look like.

the big fishing boat we saw as we sail

first view of Maculabo

Mang Lito, our boatman

We're just about to unboard the boat but my eyes were already drooling with amusement.

How can't I be impressed?

Whoa, another must visit island!

The heat of the sun didn't stop us from strolling the long white shore in Maculabo.

Notice the gradient of this beach, shades of blue in the water.

I cant say anything more but WOW! Ang ganda talaga ng Pinas. ♥

Some more shots to convince you more (in case you're still not)...

I have no plans to go swimming again, but the water is too irresistible..

super ok!

Whew, Maculabo island exceeded my expectations too. And after this one probably ang taas-taas na ng standard ko sa beaches. *winks*

I have been to Caramoan 2 years ago (please bear with my poor blogging skills back then) and I found that island beautiful.

But in my opinion, Calaguas and Maculabo Islands alone surpass the beauty of the 3-5 islands that I visited in Caramoan. It's no contest but Calaguas is really more spectacular!

Well, each island has it's own beauty so if you're in Bicol and you have lots of time, then I suggest you visit Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur. Wow Philippines! ♥

ooppsie, there still one more to come: Apuao Grande up next!

Calaguas At Last

Im back! And survived Calaguas - the Do-It-Yourself style.

Before I start, I would like to mention these people who gave me details about Calaguas, Maculabo, and Apuao Grande: Angel Juarez of, Tutubi of Backpackingphilippines, Gael Hilotin of, and Andiboi of - Thank you all for patiently answering all my queries, and I hope next time I could join you in 1 of your future travels (specially you Angel Juarez!) Ü

Now meet my travel buddies- Camarines Norte edition:
○ Leidy de Ocampo ( - I met this girl in Sagada. For 2010 alone, she has traveled Sagada, Anawangin, Nagsasa, Capones, Puerto Princesa and El Nido. And next week she'll be in Coron. Btw, her sister Ate Beth tagged along in this trip.

○ Nina Fuentes ( - Oh yes! To travel with a travel blogger like her is a pleasure. Na-starstruck ako. For 2010 alone, she has traveled to Pangasinan, Zambales, Benguet, Baguio, Cagayan, Tuguegarao, La union, El Nido, and Kota Kinabalu. Next week she'll be in Nagsasa. (whew!)

○ Chyng Reyes (yours truly) has only traveled to Boracay, Roxas City, and Sagada for 2010. Compared to them, Im a home buddy! Ü

○ Calaguas Expenses ○ Do-It-Yourself Style

Excluding the airfare, expenses per head is just P1115 (if you're a group of 4)

Calaguas Island is located in Daet, Camarines Norte. We took the plane in Manila and after an hour were in Naga. In Naga we traveled to Daet by van. In this same terminal, you will also find the van going to Sabang (the jump off point to Caramoan).

While traveling, it started to rain. We're all worried because that's our main concern. How can we survive in a remote island without any tent, and it is raining?! We don't bother to bring a tent because we availed CebuPac's Go Lite fare, all the excess baggage will have an additional payment. Aside from that, we dont have any tents at all! Ü

God is good and the rain stopped. After 2 hours, we arrived in Daet. We took another van going to Paracale and that took 1 hour of travel. The driver pointed where Paracale port was and there we finally saw a body of water and lots of boats. At last!

We asked a boatman and he offered his boat for P3,000 roundtrip fare to Calaguas - Mahabang Buhangin beach. I almost agreed but Leidy was very good at haggling. She got it for as low as P2,300! Good job! Our boatman is Mang Nelson 0920.3179315 and his companion's name is Mang Lito.

Paracale Port

Before going to Calaguas - Mahabang Buhangin, we ate our lunch first in a nearby carinderia. We also bought extra food for dinner and some supplies like drinking water, cup noodles, chicha, etc.

And so our boat ride begins... Lucky us the weather and the waves were cooperative. It is best to travel in January-May because the sea is calm. From June-Dec, the waves are notorious.

After traveling by air, land, and sea, I kept saying: "this island should really be worth it." Ang haggard din magpatransfer-transfer ng rides with my big backpack, DSLR bag, and a tripod.

Two hours after, we finally saw Munting Buhangin, Calaguas.

first glimpse

Honestly, it's not that impressive at first. Yeah it's good but I kept thinking, "was this worth the travel?" It's almost sunset by the time we arrived and we didn't get to see clearly the color of the sand and water. It was good but Im not that impressed. Not yet.

There is a family who lives there and serves as caretakers of the island. Other than them, we were the only visitors in this virgin beach. We paid P100 each for maintenance fee, and P200/group for the nipa hut rental. There is also a source of fresh water and CR here, for convenience.

finally at Calaguas
the nipa hut
sleeping area

We cared to swim after the sun has set. The water was warm and very clear. The sand was white and it wont hurt your feet. There are no stones in the sea bed, purely fine sand. We enjoyed this beach! Very serene and relaxing.

After dinner, we chose to place our sarongs in the sand, lay down, and do star gazing. Very lovely scene. There were also fireflies around. Ang ganda! And right there we decided to sleep under the big sky with lots of stars!

small flashlights are our only sources of light

Thank God it didn't rain. The coldness of the night was just right. There were no insects to bother you. All of us had a good sleep (even w/out a tent!).

In the morning, the family provided us hot water for our cup noodles. Here's my breakfast:

my definition of masustansyang pagkain

And at this time, the beach looked very tempting and irresistable. The place became very very beautiful.

very tempting beach
our boat

Each island has its own beauty but there are really some which are so much more outstanding than the others!

I gave in to temptation. It's the first time I didn't care about having a sunburn.

...and first time kong mag two-piece sa beach! Ü

This is Boracay less the crowd and the seaweeds. Looks like Caramoan but with finer seabed. Comparable to El Nido & Coron, Leidy and Nina both said yes!
It's really not necessary to compare the best beaches in the Philippines, but so far my vote goes to Calaguas.

S is for Sunburn!
Reminder: we were the only guests. We have the whole beach all by ourselves! And that's the best part. Ü

best beach Ive been to

We enjoyed our stay so much in this beach. We actually had a hard time leaving this place. It's not exaggerated or anything, it's just that beautiful.

I love this beach! ♥

My shots still can not show you how beautiful this beach is. Mind you, I didn't modify the contrast, brightness, saturation, even the auto levels in these shots. The place is amazingly beautiful already. I strongly suggest you visit this place.

Worth the air, land, and sea travel? Definitely yes!

Calaguas - Mahabang Buhangin beach exceeded my expectations. Outstanding!

Up next: Maculabo and Apuao Grande

* swimwear by

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