A Week In My Travelling Bank Account: Thailand Edition

12 February 2019



Round up, round up: it's 'new blog series' o'clock, and this one's all about money and travelling. Countless people have sent me polite and tentative "don't answer this if you don't want to, but how much did you save for travelling?" DMs on Instagram, so I thought I'd take the awkwardness out of it for you and start sharing how much I'm spending.

Whatever your backpacking budget, I hope this helps anyone who's in the same boat that I was, e.g. 'I'm leaving home soon and have no clue how much things will actually cost in various parts of the world'. We're kicking things off in the very affordable town of Pai in Northern Thailand!

$1 = 31.45 Thai baht (฿)
£1 = 40.73 Thai baht (฿)

Monday = 1,000฿

Food
Brunch at Fat Cat (90 - avocado toast & salad, 50 - iced coconut latte). Dinner on Walking Street (100 - falafel & salad pitta at Queen Falafel50 - ginger tea & reusable bamboo cup)

Socialising:
140 - 2x rum & coke

Transport
150 - daily scooter hire
40 - litre of petrol

Accommodation:
450 - private bungalow at Paradise (between 2 people)

Miscellaneous:
150 - 2x homemade soap from Re-Wild
100 - 1x supplements from Earth Tone

Tuesday = 610฿

Food:
Brunch at One Fine Day (140 - avocado salad, 60 - iced coconut latte). Dinner at Pen's Kitchen (50 - veg & tofu noodle soup, 60 - beer)

Transport
150 - daily scooter hire

Accommodation:
450 - private bungalow at Paradise (between 2 people)

Wednesday = 850฿

Food:
Brunch at Cafecito (170 - burrito, 40 - mint tea). Dinner at Maya Burger Queen (100 - vegan burger, 60 - large fries, 60 - beer)

Socialising:
120 - G&T at Sundown Playground

Transport
150 - daily scooter hire

Accommodation:
450 - private bungalow at Paradise (between 2 people)

Thursday = 1,450฿
Food:
Brunch at Art In Chai (120 - avocado salad, 60 - chai latte). Dinner at Na's Kitchen (100 - red curry, 60 - tom yum soup, 80 - beer).

Socialising:
400 - wine at fire show
130 - 'I'm drunk and hungry' veggie avocado burger

Transport
150 - daily scooter hire

Accommodation:
450 - private bungalow at Paradise (between 2 people)

Miscellaneous:
200 - reusable water bottle

Friday = 450฿
Food:
Lunch at Paradise (free - kindly cooked by our friends!). Dinner at Food Truck (70 - veggie green curry, 60 - beer). Snacks on Walking Street (20 - pancakes)

Transport
150 - daily scooter hire

Accommodation:
450 - private bungalow at Paradise (between 2 people)

Saturday = 955฿
Food:
Lunch at Pen's Kitchen (70 - veggie stir fry, 30 - honey & lime iced tea). Dinner at Kome Maun (75 - rice noodle soup, 30 - ginger tea)

Socialising:
100 - wine

Transport
150 - daily scooter hire

Accommodation:
450 - private bungalow at Paradise (between 2 people)

Miscellaneous:
350 - gel pedicure

Sunday = 1,180฿

Food
Breakfast at market (100 - baguette, fruit and avocados). Lunch at Paradise (80 - fried rice, 40 - iced coconut latte). Dinner at Bebe Spice (320 - curry, 340 - rum & cokes)

Transport
150 - daily scooter hire

Accommodation:
450 - private bungalow at Paradise (between 2 people)


Monday = 2,370฿

Food:
Fruit from market (20 - pineapple, 40 - bananas, 10 - passionfruit). Breakfast at Cafecito (740 - 4x Mexican dishes, also paid for friends). Dinner at Le Reve De Pai (180 - mushroom pasta, 60 - gin & tonic)

Transport
150 - daily scooter hire
40 - litre of petrol
200 - bus from Pai to Chiang Mai
800 - sleeper train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok

Accommodation:
450 - private bungalow at Paradise (between 2 people)

Seven days of spending, done! This reflects an average week in Thailand for me. Some days I'm clearly feeling more frivolous than others, socialising tends to mean more pennies leave my purse and paying for a bus or train to another part of Thailand can be pricey, but on average I spent between £25 and £30 in total per day.

In Pai I paid around £5 a night for a lovely bungalow, ate mostly local food like curries for £2.50 a portion and shared the cost of transport with my boyfriend. As a result, I haven't set myself a daily limit for Asia as pretty much everything is low-cost - Australia will be a very different story! - and I'm earning along the way through blogging, however if you're on a shoestring budget there are plenty of ways to save.

Let me know if you'd like a post sharing money-saving tips whilst travelling (I quite like the idea of setting myself spending challenges) and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this new series also? I thought it'd be a helpful idea for anyone embarking on a backpacking journey or a cost-effective holiday of their own - if you have any suggestions on what I should add or where I can improve, please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks, pals!

Photos by Will Burchill Photography

An Ode To Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

5 February 2019

 Oh Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, how I adore thee.

It's one of those products that I tell everyone about (seriously, even the postman has barely escaped my recommendation on this one) and I thought I'd let you know why... you know, just on the off-chance you weren't already convinced by the hoards of bloggers you follow and your equally obsessed pals who are die-hard fans of this beautiful, angelic product.

Glossier describe it as "the ultimate daily face wash" and I agree - I agree with my whole entire heart and soul, I tell you! I'm just so fond of it, to the point where it genuinely makes me looking forward to washing my face. I'll be in bed brushing sleep from my eyes seconds after hitting the snooze button and, when that winter chill hits my feet before they've even touched the floor and I get that 'ugh, mornings' feeling, Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser pings into my mind and suddenly getting out of bed isn't so bad.

The name hits the formulation nail on the head to be honest, as it's a gel that also manages to feel milky at the same time - it's lightweight and creamy whilst being translucent and seriously comforting. As soon as that stuff touches my skin I have to fight back an audible sigh of relief, as it's refreshing and relaxing all at once which leads me to think that it may actually be magical. Okay, maybe not actually magical, but it really is the stuff of dreams.

I use it as a straight-up face wash rather than a makeup remover, preferring to use an oil or balm to 'take my face off' - that's such a strange turn of phrase - first, then follow up with Milky Jelly as a second cleanse. It does remove makeup really well, but I already go through the stuff at an astronomically fast rate and using it for both steps would mean that Emily Weiss has more of my money than I do. You're instructed to apply to damp skin although I usually go straight onto dry as it feels the most satisfying, then I massage for a minute or so - thinking about how much I love it - then rinse off with clean water and pat dry.

The first time I ever used Milky Jelly Cleanser, I'd read hardly anything about it and as a result my untainted, uninfluenced brain/nose immediately thought of the dentist. I don't want to put anyone with dentophobia off as the scent is actually rose, but to me... yeah, it kinda smells like the dentist! Now that my brain/nose knows that it's rose I get that it has a lovely delicate and fresh rosewater scent to it but I think I'll always think it smells like going to the dentist, and I absolutely love it. Is that weird?

Not only can you adorn the packaging with the fab pack of stickers you get in every order - mine is business on the front (tiny pink loveheart) and party on the back (piano keys, red lipstick, googly eyes, peace sign) - but it's travel-friendly plastic and has a pump, so basically it's perfect. Props given, Glossier!

The results speak for themselves: my skin is clear, bright and happy 99% of the time. It feels comforted, soft, nourished, smooth and impeccably clean. I actually couldn't dream up a better cleanser and it's absolutely something that I deem holy grail worthy. The pH balanced formula contains the same cleansing agent found in contact lens solution, which kicks impurities and dirt to the curb whilst still being incredibly gentle. It rinses off wonderfully without that uncomfortable 'tight' feeling, and my skin never cries out for moisturiser like it can sometimes do following cleansing.

For how much joy it brings me I think £15 is perfectly reasonable (Glossier actually have a clever subscription service so you don't have to worry about remembering to repurchase), which is necessary for me as I truly do get the running-low-on-Milky-Jelly fear.

Perhaps one of the key indicators that I'm utterly obsessed with this product and would probably marry it if it was a person is that one of the main things at the forefront of my mind when it came to packing for travelling wasn't visas or vaccinations: it was how many Glossier Milky Jelly Cleansers I'd need to take. I need help. Get 10% off on it here!

The Monthly One #1

1 February 2019



When I first started this blog (in 2014, whilst on medical leave from my university degree) I had a little series called The Fortnightly One. It was an update on anything I'd enjoyed over the previous two weeks in classic 'Meg Says [insert verb here]' format - there was Apply (products), Watch (films, tv series, YouTube videos), Eat (food), Read (books, blogs, magazines), Wear (style), Listen (music, podcasts) and Inspire (quotes).


I thought I'd add Travel to that list (seeing as I'm currently backpacking the world) and bring back The Fortnightly One! Kind of, as it's gonna be monthly instead. For a throwback, see what I was loving aged 20 here, and for right now, let's do this thing!


Travel

I'll always remember Pai as a bubble as that's honestly what it felt like - a rose-tinted hippie bubble in which fire-spinners spun and souls healed. It's the kind of place I can imagine being hit or miss for some, but our month there was free of pretentiousness!

Another 'hit or miss'-er that we've been lucky enough to catch at a really beautiful time is where we're currently residing, Gili Trawangan. Known as a party island popular with teenage backpackers, we unknowingly arrived in wet season which means less drunk Brits in Magaluf vests, more meaningful conversations. Score!


Apply

Asian tiger mosquitoes are the bane of my 2019 so far and despite having our own net, applying plastic-melting repellent and wearing long cotton trousers, I'm being eaten alive and seem to have awful reactions to the bites. Cue me lying in bed (with the fan on full-blast, obviously) and whacking Tropic Tamanu Healing Balm on every single one of the 197 sore, painful little blighters on my body. This lime-green wonder balm accelerates skin healing, helps with the itching and restores a little bit of my sanity.

Watch

Netflix had a real moment in January, didn't it? I had to mute the words 'Bird Box' from my Twitter timeline, and don't even get me started on how hard I fought to avoid Bandersnatch spoilers. I hate to say it but whilst both were interesting, the word 'overhyped' springs to mind (sorry Bullock, apologies Brooker) and I wasn't bowled over by either. Bird Box felt drawn out and I gave up with Bandersnatch in the end - or maybe I actually did reach 'the end', who bloody knows?

'Dan Humphrey being a creep' (something we thought got left behind in 2012 when the finale of Gossip Girl premiered) made a comeback with the arrival of You on Netflix, a psychological thriller that gave me an 'it's kind of crap but I'm enjoying it so much that I can ignore the cheesy dialogue and plot-holes' feeling. Worth a watch!


Potentially unpopular opinion incoming: Netflix's version of A Series of Unfortunate Events is better than the movie, and Neil Patrick Harris is a better Count Olaf than Jim Carrey. THERE, I said it! The script is intelligent, the attention to detail when it comes to sets, costumes and storylines is impeccable and I actually 'awww!' out loud at every Sunny scene.

Eat

You know when you try a dish and you just know you'll spend the rest of your life trying to recreate it even though it won't be half as delicious? Khao soi, Dash restaurant, Chiang Mai. My lovely hairdresser Christie recommended Dash to us and my gorgeous friend Callie recommend khao soi, and the two came together in the most perfect way when I spied the coconut curry noodle dish from Northern Thailand on the menu. It's my ideal meal!

I'm sure the 'Eat' section of these posts won't be half as long when I'm back in the UK and cooking for myself again, and I've been truly making the most of eating out in restaurants and cafés for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One dish I got obsessed with was red or green curry soup, then I'd order a plain rice and tip it in. The result? Hot, spicy and fragrant homemade soup with tofu and tons of al dente veggies. Miss you already, Thai food - so much so that tears are about to start splashing on my keyboard.


Read

Whilst in Chiang Mai we stumbled across The Lost Book Shop, a wonderful little store crammed full of used books which is run by an amazing Irishman with glasses on the end of his nose and enviable book knowledge. Having adored The Lovely Bones, I picked up The Almost Moon by the same author, a story about the twenty-four hours that follow a woman murdering her own mother. I expected a powerful, clever thriller and am sad to say that if it wasn't for Sebold's masterful writing and the fact that I had no other book with me on the plane, I wouldn't have bothered reading past the third chapter.

It was mind-numbingly slow, the characters were of little interest and my 'keep going, it might get better!' attitude that the plane journey induced was fruitless. The narrative was haphazard and messy, nothing ever seemed to come to a satisfying conclusion and some parts were just plain weird. I know I'm meant to be talking about things I've actually liked, but I didn't buy a Kindle for this trip (mistake of the century) and so a negative review it is.


Wear

After receiving a bag of clothes back from the laundrette (one of the best feelings you'll have whilst travelling!) and realising that a few items had gone missing, namely a white tee that I wore with everything, I headed to the closest market which just so happened to be Khao San Road in Bangkok. I bought a white ribbed cami top for a couple of quid and have since worn it to death - it's now a funny shade of cream and I have the outline of it on my chest and shoulders.

My go-to January outfit was that cami, these amazing rainbow flared Miss Selfridge trousers in the day or this flattering ASOS polka dot midi skirt in the evening and a pair of trusty Havaianas. Easy, comfortable and cute (despite the rum and coke on the top and the white lines underneath it).

Listen

A Star Is Born, on repeat, every day, all night. I saw it twice in the cinema, desperately tried to track down a screening in the Philippines and saying that I'm obsessed is a true understatement. Look What I've Found gets me up in the morning, Diggin' My Grave has me stomping my feet and Will has politely asked me to go ten minutes without belting out "I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in!" Each listen of the soundtrack reveals something else to me about the story and I get so excited when I can match a lyric with a specific moment in the film - I feel such a connection with it and simply think it's a masterpiece. Current favourite: Hair Body Face. Yes, Gaga, just YES.

Inspire

A couple of days after January 1st, I had a really nice conversation with someone from Colorado about how the start of a new year makes us feel. She explained that she's always placed huge importance on becoming 'better' in countless ways, practically as soon as the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, and I said that I've done the same. We agreed that placing that huge importance with such urgency creates huge pressure, as whilst self-improvement is important and necessary, becoming 'the best version of yourself' immediately and without work is impossible.

In the past I've said things like "this year I want to be more organised", not actually doing anything constructive to become more so, then feeling like a failure when I'm, surprise surprise, unorganised. In 2019 I'll be adopting a 'small and often' approach, and feel so thankful to that girl for reminding me that we shouldn't wait for the start of a new week, month or year to do something: life is now!

The Ultimate Philippines Vegetarian/Vegan Guide: Best Restaurants, What To Order etc

29 January 2019



Eating as a vegetarian in the Philippines was quite the adventure. Upon asking whether they offered vegetarian options before entering a restaurant I'd often be told "yes, of course!" only to find none in the menu, which then elicited responses such as "you eat chicken - no pork or beef!" or "it's fish, it's vegetarian" or, my personal favourite, a fit of laughter!

Filipino cuisine focuses very heavily on meat and fish, and having spent six weeks there and sometimes ending up with no choice but to eat plain rice for dinner, I'm here to help you navigate the vegetarian/vegan waters and eat the tastiest food possible. Let's dive in!

Order
using these phrases

Vegetarian = walang karne
Vegan = vegan
Thank you = salamat

Choose
from these Filipino vegetarian/vegan dishes

Kangkong: water spinach, which is like tenderstem broccoli and spinach in one (aka flipping delicious). It's in most Filipino menus under 'vegetables' or 'sides', and is often cooked in a thin oyster sauce with lots of garlic and red onion

Adobong kangkong: you'll see 'adobo' in menus non-stop in the Philippines as it's their unofficial national dish. Instead of chicken, pork, beef or fish marinated in the famous soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and peppercorn sauce, you can ask for 'abobong kangkong' which is the vegan water spinach version

Adobong talong: again, this is the traditional adobo dish but made with eggplant/aubergine

Tortang talong: one of my absolute favourites, this is the only traditional Filipino vegetarian classic I came across - at a roadside barbecue, no less! They take a grilled eggplant or aubergine then peel and mash it, soak in beaten egg, season with salt and pepper then fry until golden brown. It is divine, and something you absolutely cannot miss if you eat eggs!

Pinkabet: traditionally pinakbet is a vegetable dish made with pork and shrimp paste, however I was offered vegetarian/vegan versions throughout our trip. It's not the most exciting dish in the world (sort of like pan-cooked vegetables with a bit of a garlicky sauce) but there are always condiments on tables in Filipino restaurants so you can jazz it up with chilli and soy sauce etc

Lumpia: spring rolls, wahey! Served deep fried or fresh, these are the exactly how you're probably picturing them to be - just double check that they're actually veggie!

Pancit: noodles, wahey again! You'll hear 'pancit bihon' and 'pancit canton' - they're both the same fried noodle dish but bihon has thin glass noodles, and canton has thicker egg noodles

Bam-i: fun to say, fun to eat and fun for your wallet as it's usually extremely cheap, bam-i is like a mixture of pancit bihon and pancit canton. It's made with the two different types of noodles mixed together along with soy sauce and vegetables, and you might also hear or see it referred to as 'pancit bisaya'

Banana blossom burger: basically the Filipino version of the veggie burger, banana blossom patties are popular and taste like a regular one except sweeter - think sweet potato mixed with black bean! You might also hear banana blossom referred to as 'banana heart' or 'puso ng saging'. They usually come in your usual setup with fries on the side, lettuce, tomato etc

Okra: you probably already know this one, but if you don't, okra is a green vegetable in the mallow family (the taste is similar to green beans, the texture is more like soft cucumber and it has these funny white spherical seeds) and I just wanted to mention it here as it was in pretty much every vegetarian or vegan meal I had in the Philippines! 

Kalabasa: squash, basically - one of the pretty green/orange ones

Calamansi: a citrus fruit native to the Philippines that looks and pretty much tastes like a very tiny lime... they're extremely cute and you'll get at least one on anything you order, whether that's chopsuey or a rum and coke!

Ampalaya: also known as 'bitter gourd' or 'bitter melon', this stuff's pretty gross and basically tastes like dodgy sea cucumber. As the alternative names would suggest it's extremely bitter, to the point where you pull a face whilst eating it, and if I was going to advise you to avoid one thing in the Philippines it'd be ampalaya! Unfortunately it's in a lot of vegetarian/vegan dishes so I'd suggest asking beforehand or picking it out. Hint: it looks like dark celery, and was created by the devil

Watch
out for these things

If you're staying in a more remote area there may be a couple of occasions where there isn't anything you can eat on the menu, especially if you're vegan. Whenever it happened (usually in tiny villages with barely any tourists), I simply ordered garlic rice: everywhere does this and it's way more exciting than plain boiled!

Chop suey is often on Filipino menus, it's slightly different to American/European versions in that it normally comes as a stir-fried noodle and vegetables dish, just make sure you use a vegan translation app like Veganagogo to ensure that's definitely no meat in there.

Shrimp paste is used in many recipes, as is fish sauce, and many people I met along the way thought that vegetarians could still eat fish and chicken, and some soups and curries may be cooked using carcasses or meat juices. On many occasions I asked for a vegetarian option and would be pointed towards something like 'pork in soy sauce with vegetables', so it's handy to know how to say "I don't eat meat or fish" (Hindi ako kumakain ng karne o isda - use Veganagogo or keep this on your Notes on your phone).

Visit
my following top picks

EL NIDO:
Happiness Beach Bar: A lively, colourful veggie joint with swings at the bar, head to Happiness for great Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine: think hearty wooden bowls filled with hummus and dips, falafel pittas and shakshuka. They do a generous tabbouleh salad, and these amazing 'fries' that are like a Ready Salted crisp had a baby with a chip!

Big Bad Thai Bistro: Ask for a seat upstairs - you eat overlooking the beach that way! - and order the som tum (spicy green papaya salad), the vegetable and tofu green curry or the classic Pad Thai. The sweetcorn salad is one to give a miss, as the corn was quite dry and bitter rather than succulent and sweet. Their cocktail menu is something special, so spoil yourself with their silver tequila, mango purée and chilli concoction dubbed 'The Thairita'.

Taste El Nido: With a small vegan menu, Taste (or The Vegan Café) is well worth a visit. Choose from eggplant lasagna (made with cashew cream béchamel, so delicious!), Mexican chipotle bowl or mac 'n' cheese for your main, enjoy a variety of smoothie bowls and vegan coffees for breakfast, and try their sweet vegan snacks - we'd recommend the chocolate chip cookies.

V and V Bagel: Lunch doesn't get much quicker or easier than a filled bagel, and this spot does a vegetarian one (eggplant, bell peppers, pesto, lettuce and Parmesan - forgo the cheese to make it vegan) for £3.50. Their wifi is top notch and whilst their regular coffee is good, upgrade to the Illy blend for a real treat. They also do a veggie burger as well as pizza, pasta and desserts.

SIQUIJOR:
Coco GroveVegetarians often get ignored at barbecues but not at Coco Grove, where they have a barbecue and entertainment evening every Tuesday at their beachfront Sunset restaurant. They do these vegetable kebabs that are smothered in an amazing spicy satay sauce before they're grilled and served up with rice, salad and salsa.

Baha Ba'r: Aside from ordering a strong af and patriotic cocktail (quite literally, every time you buy a Baha Ba'r special you get to add a tally to your country on their chart) you should also order the Pandasal Express which is a banana blossom burger with sweet potato fries. Double check your order as some items on the menu are marked as vegetarian, but include shrimp or fish.

The Bee Farm: The organic garden salad here is adorned with pretty edible flowers and comes with the most divine mustard dressing that really takes lettuce from drab to fab! Ask for a different one if you're vegan rather than vegetarian as it's heavy on the honey, and try the vegetable stir-fry with garlic rice for main.

SIARGAO:
Bamboo Garden Bar: I have a full review of our stay at Bamboo here, and would highly recommend checking out the food there even if you're not a resident. The vegetarian pizza, panini and sandwich are all great (ask for no cheese to make them vegan) and I was a huge fan of their hearty and filling vegetable curry.

Miguel's Taqueria Y Cerveceria: This place is #3 in General Luna on Trip Advisor and never anything else than heaving. With a tiny menu of either a classic foil-wrapped burrito or two soft filled tacos, you'll order within seconds and get your food within minutes. Both have a 'vegetable' option which will only set you back about £2 and can be made vegan if you ask for no cheese or creamy sauce, and there are two vegan sauce options on every table: salsa verde and pico de gallo.

Kermit: The restaurant within this surf resort does a delicious vegetarian panini that's vegan without the cheese for 160 pisos (about £2.50, and comes with chips or wedges too!) as well as a wide range of Italian options. They have a huge wood-fired oven making fresh pizzas, calzones and focaccia, and if you're a pasta lover you'll be spoilt for choice: the spaghetti options are vegan (pomodoro, aglio e olio, pesto) and there's a creamy gorgonzola gnocchi and a porcini mushroom risotto if you eat dairy.

Altrove: Sticking with the Italian theme, head here and choose from three different pastas (spaghetti, penne or fettuccini) then order the Pomodori Secchi - crushed tomatoes with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. I added chilli to my order, and asked for no Parmesan cheese to make it vegan. 

Bravo: Our favourite 'date night' spot thanks to the beachfront location, beautiful lighting and live music. Their menu has a brilliant tapas section, most of which is vegetarian, and the staff are incredibly friendly and informed about making dishes vegan - so get your patatas bravas and baba ganoush on! Their mongo bean, eggplant and mushroom veggie burger is divine (if you like onion bhajis then you'll love this) and every Sunday they have a paella night, one of which is 100% vegan!

PORT BARTON:
Deep Moon: A* veggie dining! In the relaxed, open-air restaurant you'll find no end of options from vegan pancakes, sandwiches, paninis, pizzas, local dishes and more. Even if a dish is marked as 'vegetarian' it's likely to be vegan, as the kitchen uses fresh soy milk instead of cow's milk or egg. One of those places where you open the menu and feel spoilt for choice!

Mabuti: Not only does this cute little spot have the speediest wifi (quite rare in Port Barton!), they only sell vegetarian and vegan food as seen in their full menu here. At only £2.40 for a breakfast dish AND a coffee, you can't go wrong. The soups, salads and pastas all received rave reviews and, like everything else, the veggie burger is made from locally sourced ingredients. Mabuti make their own bamboo straws and donate the profits to rehabilitating reefs, and on the whole have a large focus on protecting the environment.

Gorgonzola: A trendy spot that wouldn't look out of place in Seven Dials in Covent Garden, you're gonna struggle to choose just one dish from this menu. It's pricier than spots serving local food rather than Western, but their pizzas (550 pisos for a margherita base, then you can add toppings like vegetarian bolognese or vegan cheese) are a whopping 60cm and can feed 2-4 people. The salads are proper (aka generous and actually tasty), and here's a handy tip: order their hummus without the focaccia then dip your crusts in it instead. You are welcome!

Ausan: This beachfront resort has a restaurant where you get a truly good bang for your buck, as they offer a three-course set menu for around £3.50 each! The veggie options for main include a chop suey style stir-fry, mushroom pasta and a banana blossom burger with fries to name a few, and I had a fruit platter for dessert. The first time we went the starter was a delicious sweetcorn soup and the second time it was chicken and corn so I couldn't have it, but they deducted this from the bill. Try and get the romantic candlelit 'treehouse' table if you can, and order the onion rings - they're immense!

I hope this helps you navigate your way as a vegetarian or vegan around the Philippines - there's so much delicious food on offer when you know what to look and ask for! 
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