Saturday, December 17, 2016

Thresher Sharks in Malapascua Island, Philippines

Mention Malapascua Island and two words come to mind - Thresher Shark. This is the only place where divers are able to consistently spot thresher sharks with a 99.7 percentage. That's pretty high considering sharks actually swim and the ocean is a huge ass place. Monad Shoal is the dive site to be in to view these magnificent creatures.

It's quite a bitch to travel to Malapascua from Kuala Lumpur. Thank God for the newly opened Air Asia 3 hour direct flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Cebu. Three hours to fly to Cebu.
Cebu Island
Have someone from the Malapascua Island dive centre pick you up from Cebu International Airport and drive you back to the island. This land journey is exactly 4 hours through 2 lane roads , construction and pesky lorries complete with jeepneys.Do tell your driver stop at a petrol kiosk convinience store and buy snacks because it's a long road ahead
San Mig
. The scenery along the way is meh.

By the time you arrive at the pier (sunset), you need to take another 30 minute bangka boatride to Malapascua Island. If the timing is right, a nice sunset hue will emerge as the bangka sails along the open sea.

Ride towards Malapascua Island
Filipino Bangka
Filipino Bangka
Before I continue on, the worst job anyone can have is probably the van driver from the pier. He's got to travel back and forth on a daily basis. How crazy is that???
Anyway, we arrived at had dinner. Generally, Pinoy food ain't the most delicious food on the planet. Be it their local or Westernized food - it's bad.
Bad to the bone

There are many dive centres on Malapascua Island. We chose a locally based Dive Centre. While the main highlight are thresher sharks, there are a good amount of critters found here as well especially the one and only rare psychedelic frogfish. Apparently, there are a lot of frogfish species here. You must not miss diving at Gato Island.2 hours away from Malapascua and the diving there is quite good especially the swim throughs and encountering sharks.
Gato Island cliff jumping spot
It's freaking high. At least a 5 second freefall duration.
Wear clothes while jumping off the cliff because you'll be stung by jellyfishes
Pee on my arm !!!

Here's a video of the magnificent thresher shark :

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Currently Ranking No.1 Beef Noodle

For the past 25 years, the ranking no.1 beef noodle is held by by Lai Foong. For your information, I have been consuming their fabulous beef noodle for at least 10 years now. About a year ago, their regular beef noodle guy seems to be irregular. And because of his irregularity, someone took over the helm. And that someone literally destroyed a much loved decades old beef noodles. The soup is so diluted now and the internal beef parts isn't as tender as Priscilla Presley's thighs anymore. I decided to abandon eating at Lai Foong in protest.
Lai Foong
You broke my heart Lai Foong
Coz I don't wanna miss a thing
It's So Hard To Say Goodbye ..To Lai Foong

About 3 months ago, I read in a blog of a recently opened new beef noodle stall that's making waves amongst beef noodle lovers in the Klang Valley. Hidden in a narrow road around Jalan Pasar (the electronics haven), all you can see is a typical stainless steel hawker cart. Behind the hawker cart is an equally steely chef. This chef hails from Hong Kong and he makes the meanest beef noodles. I tried it and was blown away by the soup, the tenderness of the beef, the varieties of the beef parts and most importantly - they also offer wagyu beef.

Tripe at right with the special beef sauce to dip it in

I call this dish -The Gym Pope because of it's beefy holiness

The restaurant's name is Kwai Chup. Parking can be brutal. The wait can be brutal. Here is the Standard Operating Procedure when you are there - Park, arrive, sit on the table and wait for you someone to come over to order from you. DO NOT GO NEAR THE BEEF NOODLE STATION OR YOU WILL BE THE RECEIVING END OF THE GRUMPY HK CHEF's BEEFY ANGRY BULL GLARE. You can order in English but it's best to know your beef lingo - tripe, brisket, striploin, tendon, beef ball, wagyu, kobe and stomach.
Price List