I kept this diary of things we have done in Singapore for 2 years. I have now moved some of it to other travel pages but you can still find links to many of our activities here. I have also created a reading list of books we have read about the region.

Western Japan

Birds in Singapore

Kuala Lumpur stopover

Thai Diving

Singapore Liveaboard

Local Residents

Beijing Summer

Diving with Sharks

Shanghai Heatwave

Taiwan Tourists

An Indian week

Where U bin?

Island hideaway

Steamy running

A Trip to the Zoo

Gardens by the Bay


Singapore walks

Mind the bus

Flower power


Early weeks


Vicky's Blog


lau TengahWe were looking for somewhere to go over the August National Day holiday in Singapore - Thursday and Friday off so you can make it into a really long weekend. Some folks recommended Malapascua Island in the Philippines so we checked out flights and resorts on the web and made a booking.

The Philippines are not so close to Singapore as I had thought - a 3 1/2 hour flight direct to Cebu. I hadn't realised that we were half way to Australia and further East than Shanghai. We whizzed through the airport in 10 minutes and our driver (and lots of his friends waiting for tips) was ready to go. It's quite a long drive (2-3 hr) up the East coast of Cebu but plenty of sights along the way including a very jolly festival. We crossed the island through some windy mountain roads reminiscent of Tobago and, after a few miles through big flat sugar cane fields, reached the end of the road at Maya jetty. A guy from the resort loaded us into a very dodgy little boat. We can't cross in that we thought but fortunately it was only ferrying us to a larger outrigger for the 30 minute ride to Malapascua.

Exotic Dive boatsExotic roomExotic Dive Resort is quite a large and well equipped place to stay. The restaurant and bar are good, diving facilities are excellent with 6 boats, Nitrox, good gear cleaning and storage facilities. We stay in a comfortable (if noisy) room on the beach (right).

Thresher sharkMalapascua is famous for its thresher shark diving. These rare sharks come to a cleaning station by a wall on the Monad Shoal almost every day. This is only 20 minutes from the resort. The downside is that they come early in the morning so the boats leave between 4.45 and 5.00 am.

The dive itself is a bit of an industrial operation - 4 or 5 dive operators, each with 10 to 20 divers descend on the shoal and lines secured by concrete blocks are set back from the drop-off where a long row of divers, lying down low, watch as devil rays and thresher sharks circle above. Despite the crowds it is pretty spectacular.

Gato Island tunnelApart from the threshers there is loads of other good diving to be found. There are many small islands, shoals and pinnacles within 30-60 mins from the resort. At Gato Island a disappointing first dive (fish and coral have been dynamited) is followed by a great 40m tunnel swim-through (right). At other sites like Chocolate Island and Ubang Bato pinnacle we find gorgeous walls and coral gardens with mostly smaller fish, frogfish, and seahorses. At Calanggama Island we have a very jolly picnic between our two dives with BBQ provided by the resort. Click on the images below to view photo diary.


This is a great place to come for four or five days. Go soon because there are too many dive operators and too much uncontrolled fishing and dynamiting. However the Philippines are relatively easy to get to compared to sites in Indonesia and further East, very friendly and Exotic is a relaxing but professional dive resort.