Posts Tagged ‘ Palawan ’

Asia. 5 Weeks. 4 Countries.

5 weeks. 4 countries. 10 cities.

I wasn’t really being crazy. I just got so excited with the idea of going back to Asia. I missed the beaches -the ones in Europe are IMO not as good as those back home -so for almost 3 weeks, I was beach hopping! I wanted to see so many things – visit old faves and try something new so that’s what happened! I figured, I’ll be dead tired by the end of 5 weeks but I’ll have so much time to recuperate once I get back. hehe
Here’s a sneak preview in pictures of what went on for this trip. I hope I could go into more details soon.

Boracay

With friends who flew to the island to meet up with me! <3

Back for the nth time in this beautiful beach island. This time around, with friends who flew there to meet up with me as their excuse! haha <3

Oslob

Swimming with whalesharks!

Swimming with whalesharks is always a pretty cool experience!

Dalaguete

Scaling high peaks!

From swimming with whalesharks, we then went on to scale the highest peaks of Cebu!

Bohol

Chocolate Hills

Behind us is the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Browsing through our pictures for this trip, I told one of the guys who travelled with me that it looked like we had one big photoshoot in the Philippines! The country is just so picturesque, every shot is looking so awesome!

Puerto Princesa

Getting stranded

Getting stranded then hitching a ride enroute to an almost secluded, pristine beach!

Sabang

Visiting a natural wonder of the world

Visiting a natural wonder of the world is on our must-do list while in the island of Palawan.

El Nido

El Nido!!!

El Nido!!! Nothing more to add. :D

Hong Kong

Hong Kong island mural

Back again in my fave Asian city, Hong Kong. The length of time I’ve spent here would total more than a month already! Wow! Posing in front one of the island’s mural.

Macau

First family overseas trip!

First family overseas trip! I’ve always travelled with my mom but it’s the first time for the boys to go out of the country. :D

Singapore

With the Marina Bay Sands Hotel at the background

With the Marina Bay Sands Hotel at the background.

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia

The iconic Petronas Tower of Malaysia, once the highest building in the world!

Melaka

Quick stop over in Melaka

Quick stop over in the UNESCO World Heritage city that is Melaka! :D

 

Related posts:
Travel Wish List for 2013!
Bohol: A 3D2N Adventure!
Boracay
El Nido Escapade (day1)
Swimming with Whalesharks in Donsol

El Nido Escapade (day 4)

February 25, 2011

It’s decided, another day for island hopping! Happy and excited to be back at sea! Yay! haha :D

We took Tour C. Actually, I was supposed to organize our own trip. I have already talked to someone who’s friend with a boat owner. I’ve got people joining me. Places to go to had been chosen. We’re gonna wake up early to go to the market. The works. And then, other people had to complicate stuff. I was starting to get a headache (it’s so hard to please everyone, it’s just impossible!). My friends were telling me that it’s not worth the hassle it’s causing me and urged me to just scrap it. I did though with a heavy heart coz I enjoy DIYs so much! hehe

Island hopping, day 2! :D

First stop is a hidden beach. We have to swim to get there. I used a pair of fins since I’m certain I would lag way behind the others if I don’t. The spot where our boat was docked was a place good enough for snorkeling. Lots of corals and fishes. Charlie stayed behind and snorkeled around the area. While the others and I swam ahead. In the hidden beach, the fishes were kinda territorial. You can translate that to us being bit every now and then by a few of them. Ack! hehehe

Our guide, Kuya Leo was very funny. He loves to crack jokes while sharing some infos about the places where we’re at. Though his jokes works best if said in Filipino. That was why I was usually laughing out loud while the others just looked on. Hehe He offered to be my guide for my next trip and I would love to take him up on his offer. I told him that I wanted to organize my own island hopping trip but had to cancel because the person I was talking with would always up the price or bring up another concern after a prior price had been agreed upon or after a previous problem had been solved. He told me I should have talked directly to the owner/ boatman, things would have been so much easier. I know that but… what’s done is done. ;)

Kuya Leo, cool guide!

We went next to Matinloc Shrine,  an island owned by the Fernandez clan. The place where it was built is just naturally beautiful: jagged limestone cliffs, crystal clear waters, picturesque view. We had our lunch here. The place took my breath away and is by far, my fave island there! Some pictures of the island I fell in love with. :)

Matinloc Shrine

This time around, there were 8 of us (not counting our 3 guides) and almost all were CSers, except for Emilien that is. We met the others a day or so before.

We took our time here. But soon, it was time to move on to the next island. Make that a secret beach. ;) It’s called a secret beach since you’ll have to swim in between a crack beneath a limestone cliff. The water surrounding it was very clear and you can see all the way down, around 15-20feet down. Once you made it through the crack, you’ll find yourself on a secret beach indeed.

And then off to this rugged beauty of an isle. When we got here, only few got off the boat. The rest took a quick nap or took pictures of the area.

Last stop, Helicopter Island! So named coz the shape of the whole island supposedly resembles that of a helicopter. This was a nice place to just chill. Sit/ lie down on the sand; eat snacks while chatting with friends; take a dip if you feel like doing so; take a nap by the beach if you’re tired.

rugged beauty!

For dinner, Emilien recommended a bistro named Balay Tubay, a cozy hangout place for local artists that’s quite popular because they  have local bands playing there every night. Food is good here. They have free wi-fi too. :D

dinner at Balay Tubay

Mmmm! :D

The famed El Nido soup

Last night in El Nido. *sigh* Think happy thoughts: I will go back! :D

PS: Unfortunately, I lost my phone on my last trip. That is why I can’t post Kuya’s contact number. I’ll update this as soon as I have it again.

Related posts:

Getting to El Nido

1st day of island hopping

Lazy day in El Nido

El Nido Escapade (day 3)

February 24, 2011

So we did a day of island hopping the day before. One of my travel companion is now sunburnt. The idea of another day of it wasn’t that appealing to him. Another wanted a break from the sea (come on guys!). It was decided then. We’re gonna stay in town. Try and trek a mountain, chill by the beach, eat, get lazy. Doesn’t sound bad really. :)

The view that awaits us upon waking up :)

After getting ready and drinking our morning coffee (courtesy of Entalula), we went out and looked for a carinderia for cheap but good foods. We’re going to meet up with  the guys at their place. We walked by the beach to get there, passing by another friend’s place first. :)

My cousin. At Entalula. :)

With newly met Estonian friends

I miss El Nido!

When we saw Nick, he was really red! haha (sorry dear! ;)) It’s a good thing we brought along an after sun spray with us to help relieve him of some pain. After applying it on, we went out on the street to get to our goal: climb a mountain. I had no idea which mountain nor what peak and neither do they. Brenda, my trusted El Nido guide, told me before if I ever needed anything, I should not hesitate to go to her mom. Also, I’ve read from other bloggers that they had a guide with them. But it looks like we have more of the come-what-may attitude so off we went. Plan: just ask the people around for directions. Very organized huh? ;)

We're going up there! But where is "there"?! :D

We walked past the main part of town. Led us to a dead end. hehe We had to backtrack and ask for directions. One lady told us that to get to the top we have to follow the trail and to always make a right turn (or was it left?), our landmark was supposed to be this very big tree (they’re all huge for me). Needless to say, we lost our trail after around, maybe, 20minutes of going uphill. The trail was lost and it led to this fork in the road and we’re not certain on which one to choose. Really should have asked for a guide to go with us! Being the troopers that we were, it was no big deal. We were (or was it only me?) getting tired and it was hot!

Charlie led the way :)

Would have been awesome if we made it up there!

Lost? Uh oh!

We’re now on Plan B. Have lunch and just hang out. Good enough for me! (I’m so easy to please sometimes ^_^). We met Emilien (our French mate) on the way back and we all had lunch at the eatery beneath the place where the boys are staying at. Where to hang out? At Emilien’s place! He’s staying at this nice place just beside Entalula. He has a big room that he got for 1200php a night. It has a spacious balcony with some chairs where we can lounge at. And that’s what we did. Sit back. Admire the view before us. Drink refreshing fruit shakes. Hang out with friends. :)

Beautiful!

A couple of hours after, we walked around town again. It was nice to stretch our legs. We spotted a stand that was selling some halo-halo and the thought of eating one was so tempting, I gave in! They followed my lead. :D

School with a view :)

A glass of halo-halo to beat the afternoon heat!

We decided afterwards to catch the sunset since we have guys with us who just love to take pictures. To be able to photograph it though, we have to go to another beach since the mountains will block  our view. Corong-corong beach is several minutes walk from El Nido town. But we each went to our place to freshen up first so we didn’t have much time ’til the sun sets. We took the tricycle where we paid 50php for the 5 of us. The beach itself is nicer than the one in town but compared to the other, this is somewhat isolated. If you’re looking for a more laid back atmosphere, guess this is the one for you then. When we got there, my companions were almost half running to get to their spot for their shot. It was fun watching them while they were at it. Their enthusiasm was plain contagious! :D

My 3rd El Nido sunset :)

Mission accomplished, we went back to town for some good food. We’re back at Blue Azul Cafe and later met up with other friends by the beach. :)

It was a good day. :)

Related posts:

Getting to El Nido

1st Day of Island Hopping

2nd Day of Island Hopping

El Nido Escapade (day2)

February 23, 2011

A lot of friends have said that the beauty of El Nido would be best appreciated if you go island hopping. We heeded their advice so that’s what we did!

The view from El Nido town

We checked out of Marikit so that we can stay in Entalula, they had 2 vacant rooms that morning. We (my cousin and I) really like the place and the fact that we’re being treated as family members helped sway us! Our fan room costs 1200php, if you’ll opt to use the air-conditioning unit, be ready to shell out another 600php. The boys were more practical. They decided to stay inland and shared a 700php room at El Nido Inn and Restaurant which included a breakfast  for two, not sure if they have wifi though as the 2 guys weren’t keen on it, good deal! However, do take note that there are a lot more options, just be patient and you’ll find one that will suit your taste.  After our breakfast, we quickly headed back to the beach to join other people for tour A. We booked with Entalula since theirs is 100php cheaper than the rest. It was supposed to start at 9am but they were waiting for us. It was already past 9, oops!

Tapsilog for breakfast at El Nido Inn & Restaurant

There are 2 options when doing island hoping. First is to join a tour, fixed price, then you’ll get to meet people and make new friends (hopefully) plus you won’t have to worry about anything like food, where to go, etc because they’ll take care of it but you might not like the people you end up traveling with and you’ll have to adjust to them. They have tours A, B, C and D, a mix of caves, hidden beaches, snorkel sites, etc. OR you can hire your own private boat then you’ll be your own boss, you go wherever you want, you won’t have to adjust to anyone but you have to haggle (boat rental prices start at 3500php)/ make lots of decisions, worry about food. It could be cheaper though if you know what you’re doing. Also, there’s an eco-tourism development fee (ETDF) of 200php that everyone has to pay. The money the municipality collected is meant to  maintain and protect the environment. You only have to pay it once and it’s valid for 10days. Local residents are exempted from it though. ;)

Cruisin' the whole day :)

I ‘m not exactly in a chatty mood during boat rides because 1. it’s too loud to start a conversation and 2. since I’m really interested at the sights, 3. I just want to absorb it all in. After a while though, it doesn’t matter that it’s loud so I start talking. Can’t keep quiet for so long. hehe

...and we're off for the islands!

Nick taking beautiful pictures :)

There were 9 of us (not counting our guides):  2 Pinoys, me & Charlie, 1 American, 1 British, 1 French, 1 Brazilian and 3 Estonian. They were all so nice!

us :)

Note: No pictures were taken when in “hidden/secret” beaches/ lagoons since my camera isn’t waterproof and I have no intention of getting it wet. ;)

Tour A, according to the tour operators, is the most popular choice. The small and big lagoons are a favorite amongst many visitors. I have several postcards of those places and it’s just so beautiful!

1st stop- Secret beach. :)

2nd stop- Shimizu Island. Very good for snorkeling. It’s just that the waves were a bit strong when we were there so I had a really hard time swimming, seriously thought I was going to drown and no one would have noticed it since they were all busy (sleeping by the beach, swimming, snorkeling, etc). I should have gotten a pair of fins and wore a life jacket! It would have helped a lot since I’m not exactly a good swimmer. Decided to stay on land after this. :)) Got busy taking pictures of the place and of my companions. Lunch was served here. :)

Our camera-shy Frenchie at Shimizu Island

Enjoying the island

Sleeping under the shade

Lunch was prepared by our guides

With my dear cousin :)

3rd stop- Small and big lagoon, Miniloc Island. Wanted to kayak (800php for a day’s rent) here with my cousin. But then we forgot to tell THAT to our guide so we missed our chance! Ugh! We were just too busy admiring the place and taking shots/videos. :D Even bought a rash guard so I won’t get any darker but then couldn’t find it when I was packing my stuff!

Everyone got taken in by the view at the big lagoon ;)

I couldn't capture the beauty of this place

Pic courtesy of Nick :)

4th stop- Secret lagoon. Had to get off the boat and swim to get inside the secret lagoon. After several minutes, I was just about to follow the others, when Charlie swam back and told me that he thought he saw a sea snake so the coward me didn’t follow the rest. :( Tried to enjoy swimming at the water before the secret lagoon but ended up scraping my foot. It wasn’t just me though. Another also got a wound, on his leg this time, when he was swimming back to the boat. Stones were sharp, be careful!

Sweet couple before the Secret Lagoon

:)

5th stop- Seven commando. Our last stop for the day. The rest enjoyed their buko juice while relaxing by the beach. My cousin and I kayaked ourselves all over. We had to do it somewhere, we’re paying for the kayak! :D

Next stop: Seven commando beach

We let the guys borrow our kayak in exchange for their buko drinks hehe

It felt that it ended all too soon. We’re back in town. Went our separate ways to freshen up and planned to meet by our place after to grab some food and hang out. As we’re walking about town, we (Leandro and I) spotted a fruit shake stand so we zeroed in on it! We’re thirsty and we wanted to drink something refreshing. As we were waiting for our drinks, other visitors passed us by. One of them, Ricardo,  started talking to us. He’s so friendly! He was happy to have met Leandro since he now has someone to talk Portuguese with (he’s  a Peruvian exchange student in Singapore). He got our numbers and he’d join us later.

Fruit shake stand

We can’t get enough of the water and it’s what we went there for so we hung out by the shore. Relaxation time after swimming all day. Watching the sun set wasn’t bad either. We then had dinner at Blue Azul. It’s located inland, they serve delicious foods plus they have wifi! haha My cousin and I were looking for wifi most of the time. The chicken we ordered was very good, yum! Afterwhich, we went back by the beach and hang out with the (tons of) people we met that day til it was time to go to bed. Good day. :)

El Nido buddies :)

El Nido Tour Package Infos (Standard rate):

  • Tour A/ Lagoon Tour: Lagoons, Beaches, Snorkeling – 700php/pax
  • Tour B/ Cave Tour: Snake Island, Caves, Snorkeling – 800php/pax
  • Tour C/ Secret Beach: Matinloc Island, Snorkeling – 900php/pax

*Tours usually start around 9-10am and lasts the whole day. Lunch are included in tours. Do bring plenty of water especially if you get thirsty easily. Besides, you don’t want to get dehydrated.  You have to bring your own mask, snorkel and fins, others are rented out for 100php a piece (snorkel set and fins) but try to bargain for 100php for the two. Don’t forget your sunblock and shades.

*There’s no need to book tours way in advance. You can do it once you’re in town so you can compare. We booked with Entalula coz theirs is 100php cheaper than the others. :)

Related posts:

Getting to El Nido

Lazy day in El Nido

2nd day of Island Hopping

Lagoon Tour

El Nido Escapade (day1)

February 22, 2011

My cousin and I can’t wait to get to El Nido coz we’re just psyched to go to the sea, chill and relax in a beautiful place and El Nido is IT. :)

Flying over Palawan

We’re going to travel with Charlie. Met up with him at the boarding gate. I’ve sort of planned for this trip but that morning, when I sent another sms to confirm my reservation with Marina Garden, they told me that they thought I made a reservation for the month of March and not February! They canceled my reservation which was really bad of them since it was done by me a month prior the trip and we’re now suddenly “homeless.” No worries though because friends came to the rescue. They gave me so many contact numbers and so many recommendations.

Charlie! My travel buddy! :D

We didn’t fly directly to El Nido because that would be really expensive. Upon arrival in Puerto Princesa, I still haven’t made up my mind on whether to stay in the capital, head to Sabang, or catch a shuttle to El Nido on the same day. We took a tricycle (50php) to head downtown to check for a room in Casa Linda Inn. I’ve stayed there before and it was really nice and relatively cheap. Unfortunately, they were fully booked. Someone also told me that it was already late to do the underground river tour (it was 10am) since we’d have to get permits first etc. That being the case, staying in Puerto Princesa as well as heading off to Sabang was nixed off our options leaving us with the decision to head straight to El Nido. The driver brought us to Fort Wally’s (09172762875)  main office downtown wherein we made reservations. We might have paid for more because from what I’ve read and from what some told us, it’s 600php to El Nido and 500php to PPC. We each shelled out 1300php (700 and 600php respectively). The reason we were given was that, it would have been cheaper if we went to the terminal and rode from there instead of being “picked up” downtown. Bummer. After paying for our seats, we made some last minute shopping for whatever necessities (bought a few snacks, withdrew money from ATMs coz there’s no ATM in EL Nido, bought sarongs and had breakfast).

Time to eat, we're hungry!

As we were about to eat breakfast, Ate Lea spotted a French guy we met in the airport the day before, Quentin. We were in the same flight from Bangkok to Manila. Also, he’s enroute to El Nido. Almost the same travel plans as us so I invited him to join us for a meal. He’s soooo adorable! He was going to head up also that same day but then his friends told him that they’d be arriving in PPC the next day that’s why he decided to wait for them. Soon it was 11am, time to board the shuttle, pick up other passengers and head over to paradise!

With Quentin in Puerto Princesa

The shuttle headed to the terminal to wait for more passengers. We had to wait long for one guy because according to the lady in charge, there were some misunderstanding about the pick up time and point. Took us about 30minutes. It turns out that we knew the guy we had to wait for, Nick! He was another travel mate visiting from Taipei. His original plan was to go to El Nido the next day but he decided to join us coz it’s his main destination anyways. :)

The drive took 5-6 hours which included a 20-30minutes lunch break at a Fort Wally eatery in Roxas, 2hours away from PPC; stopping by San Vicente to pick up some passengers; drop them off at  Taytay; and fix a broken tire. The last 2hours of the trip was kinda bumpy since the road has yet to be paved. It didn’t matter that much to me (and I believe, the others as well) since the view is more than making up for it, karst mountains, the sea, so many trees. Happy!

New tire. Flat tire. :(

Think positively: at least we got to stretch our legs and take pictures! :D

Enroute to El Nido :)

After getting off at El Nido’s terminal, we walked to town. When people say a place is small, it really is small. You can walk all over town in less than 30minutes if you pace yourself. It was around 5pm and that’s when it gets hard to look for a place. It’s easier in the morning because that’s the time that the vans filled with visitors head back to PPC. We found some alright places but it’s either we don’t like the place, found it too expensive or something else. I then decided to ask help from a friend’s mom. She looked a lot like Brenda, her daughter, that I already addressed her as Tita Emy before confirming it. My cousin and I liked her instantly coz she took us in and treated us as her own daughters. She looked like she wanted to scold us for not having planned more. haha Her place is called Entalula but they were fully booked that night with the possibility of having a vacant room or two the following morning. She made her son go to her sister’s place to check if they have room for us. They did! We stayed at Marikit for that night (800php/ room/ 2pax). Having solved the question of where to sleep at, we went out to find some food. :D

First sunset in El Nido

There were a lot of options on where to eat at in El Nido from affordable carinderias to the more heavy on the pocket places. We ate at Curry House. Not that cheap but the sizes of the servings made up for what we paid for. The place is sort of a cross between an art store and a restaurant. Pretty nice ambiance.

A large serving of vegetarian curry

The guys called it a night soon after dinner. We all went into our respective rooms but then my cousin and I can’t believe we’re in our room getting ready for bed when it was just about 10pm (or earlier). With that, we decided to head out again and to pass the time by the beach. We just want to be closer to the water. Went to bed after a couple of hours. :)

Relaxing by the beach :)

A glass of caipirinha to cap the night

Accommodation infos (as shared by friends):

beachfront

  • Rico’s – 09272588456/ 09294671632 (1000php)
  • Gloria’s cottages – 09191677870 (600php/ fan room)
  • The Entalula – www.entalula.com

for a detailed list, visit  this site

Related posts:

1st Day of Island Hopping

Lazy day in El Nido

2nd Day of Island Hopping

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