" Philippines "
One of the countries that most people never think to travel to.
A country that most people aware of its dangerous of thief and storm.
"So, why I would like to travel to this place?"
This trip, it starts as at first I intend to go trekking at ABC during lately Songkran festival, yet as I could not take day off for long, hence, I could not go traveling as I have planned.
Well, since I was allowed to take a leave only 7 days in total, I need to change my plan to somewhere else which I think in summer time like this, traveling to the sea would be perfect. Additionally, I also would like to travel abroad by myself to see how much of my capability of surviving in a different exotic country and to experience new things in life. All in all, I decide to travel to this country.
I think this country is kind of new to me, and they also has over 7000 islands, thus, there definitely are fascinating beautiful islands among them. I then straightly search for the information on internet, and the answer that I have found is
Wow!!, there is an island that is used to be voted as Wold's best island which is called "Palawan" island.
It tempts me to go experience with my own eyes and feel it with my heart how this place could be World's best island, is it beautiful than the sea in our country?.
Well, let's pack the bag and get ready to go on the journey together, I will take you guys to go exploring
" World's Best Islands 2013 "
No.1 Palawan Philippines
How beautiful, majestic and wonderful of this island is to be voted as 2013 World's best islands?
And how the story of my solo trip this time is going to be?
Well, I could say that this is the best trip ever in my life since I start traveling.
Let's come together and see the beautiful scenery and fun moment I have experienced in this trip. Let's go! Yeah!
First of all, let's know a bit about Palawan island.
Palawan is a province in Philippines.
The Island would include of 3 renowned cities which are
1. Puerto princesa city which has a grotto that was regarded to be World Natural Heritage in 1999. However, I did not travel to this place as I have learned from some travel reviews that it looks similar to a grotto in our country, thus, I rather skip it and go to the sea.
2. El nido city, I would say that this city is a Wow for me, it is the highlight of palawan island.
3. Coron city is the highlight of my trip that made me decide to travel here. Even Philippines people would say it is the best place to travel to, so I definitely won't miss it.
All three cities are shown in the map
This trip I choose to travel to 2 cities which are Coron and El nido.
El nido is the main attraction city of Palawan that most people who come here would have to visit. As for Coron, it is one of the islands of Palawan that still don't have a lot of tourists, yet I have asked my Philippines's friend and he says that it is also the best place to visit. Moreover, I have searched on the internet and found a photo of Kayangan lake's view, it's perfectly amazing to me that I would like to visit this place right away. For Coron island, I have reviewed it in detail, you could follow this link and read it at: https://pantip.com/topic/3635384
The reason I separate it from this review is that this island is still new and there is a little travel review of it, not like El nido which has some amount of people traveling to and there are adequate number of travel reviews about it. However, I would tell a bit about El nido in this review as well.
Next, I will sketchily tell about my trip plan, this plan I spend totally 7 days and travel according following plan:
Start from Bangkok --> Connect flight at Manila --> Fly to Coron island and stay 2 days here --> Take ferry to El nido and spend time here 3 days --> Travel to Puerto princesa city to take a flight --> Get back to Manila to connect a flight --> Fly back to Bangkok.
If you guys do not have a lot of time, you could choose one city to travel to whether it be Coron or El nido would be perfect for only 3 days or 4 days trip.
Now that we all know sketchily about the information and trip plan, it is time to go on journey. Yeah!
Well, I would skip the domestic traveling part from our country as I think you guys already know about it.
Let's start at our first destination, Coron island.
There are 2 ways getting to Coron city (Busuanga) which are 1. plane 2. boat
1. By plane: we must go to Manila city first, then fly directly from Manila to Coron's airport (Busuanga)
2. By boat: firstly fly to Puerto Prencesa city on Palawan island, then take a bus to El nido city and take a boat from El nido to go there.
Well, it is upon on each person's preference and amount of time they have, for me I choose to fly directly from Manila. I would like to go to Coron city first as my trip's highlight is Kayangan lake which is located on Coron island.
1st Day in Philippines 11/04/2017
We will go explore the important places in Coron according to the below picture:
Like I have mentioned, I have already reviewed a Coron city in detail, thus, I will skip this part and let's go to see the beautiful scenery of this place.
The pier of Conron city, the view looks stunning.
A spectacular view on the scenic point at Mount Tapyas View Deck.
Another breathtaking view.
Walking back and the view is just stunning.
The sunset scenery on Mount Tapyas View Deck.
On the first day that I have been here, I could only travel to one place which is Mount Tapyas View Deck.
2nd Day in Philippines (12/04/2017)
On second day, I buy an ultimate tour package that includes all the remarkable spots and it costs 1,500 php which is around 1,200 baht. Now, let's go and watch a beautiful sea of Coron island together.
This is a pier at kayangan lake, Wow! the sea water at the pier is pretty clear and nice.
Another corner at the pier.
The ascending way up to Kayangan View Deck and Kanyangan Lake
Climb up for a while, there would be an intersection to go watching a view at Kayangan View Deck or go swimming in Kayangan Lake.
And this is the highlight of this trip,
" KAYANGAN VIEW DECK "
I need to wait in queue for a while for taking this beautiful picture, unless it will be like below picture, a view with branches of trees.
I stand there admiring and immersed myself in an exceptional beautiful view like this until I feel content, then I continue heading to next spot which is Kayangan Lake. Walking down for a while, then you will find this breathtaking view, Wow!
Its beautiful is not less than the view at the above scenic point, the blue sea water is pretty clear and really nice.
Don't forget to take a life vest with you as tourists need to wear life vest all the time, unless they are not allowed to swim in the sea. I haven't listen what the guide told me, thus, I'm not allowed to go swimming.
From Kayangan lake, we continue to next 2islands.
This is a Beach 91 where we stop by for lunch, the blue sea water is pretty captivating.
CYC beach with the crystal clear sea water.
Our last stop is Twin Lagoons, tourists need to swim or padding a kayak boat there, the sea level is rather deep, thus, you should wear life vest with you when traveling inside.
A view of Coron city during the evening time at the pier.
And this is the reason why Philippines is good at playing basketball, as I have seen there are basketball hoops all around, and they even play it on the hard ground like this! it surprises me somehow.
Finally, the trip in Coron is already finished, we will continue our journey to El nido city tomorrow,
3rd Day in Philippines ( 13/04/2017 )
Let's continue on our journey. After I check out from the hotel, it is time to get going to next stop. Oh! just forget to tell you guys, if you haven't reserve a ferry ticket in advance, you could ask the hotel to reserve it for you, but you might get a VIP seat like me, I will show you how does the VIP seat look like in a while.
To reserve a ferry ticket in Coron city, there are a lot of travel companies to choose from, the price is around 1,760 php which will take approximately 4-5 hours to destination. Yet, there is another kind of boat which is an ordinary bus boat, it will take approximately 6-7 hours but the price will be cheaper at around 1,400php, hence, you could choose as you like.
From the accommodation, we need to take Philippines style Taxi or tricycles which is pretty popular in Philippines and it looks like below pictures.
Just tell the driver "to Ferry station", a hire price for one person is 50 php which is not expensive at all (just around 34 baht)
It takes only a while, and now we reach at Ferry pier. Then, walk along the direction sign showing in the picture.
When you walk inside, you will be asked to show the ticket which looks like this.
Then, we will need to pay for terminal fee which costs 20 php.
Walk further to wait for the ferry in the building and when the time reaches, they will call you to board the ferry.
Just follow them to go board the ferry.
And the situation that I don't expect happens again. Since I have my hotel to reserve a ferry ticket for me, they did reserve the ticket yesterday and travel today, hence, there is no available seat left.
Therefore instead of sitting in the air-conditioning room, I have got a VIP seat here and below is the VIP seat I have talked about.
And the waste bin is just next to my seat!
Anyway, another advantage sitting here is that I could watch the view along the way, feeling chill actually.
Only change view point aspect and the thought, anything is good in its way. Sit back and relax for 5 hours.
Now, 5 hours have passed, we finally reach at El Nido city. Yeah!
" El Nido "
El Nido is located in the northern part of the Palawan Island, it is regarded as a tourist attraction city of Palawan Island.
Traveling to El Nido also has 2 ways which are:
1. By plane: We have to get off at Puerto Princesa city first which is a big city of Palawan Island, then take a bus or van to El Nino.
2. By ferry: It could be reached by ferry from Coron Island which takes approximately 5 hours and the ferry costs 1,760 php (approximately 1,200 baht)
This trip, I start traveling at Coron city first, then take a ferry to El Nino city.
El Nido city is much alike Koh Lipe Island in our country, only that it is not pretty developed, there are only some zones that have an electricity for use. The electricity does not cover all the city, as some resorts have to have their own electric generator. Therefore, if you plan to go to this city, you should check with your accommodation whether they have 24hrs. electricity for service or not.
Below picture showing the city of El nido and its important places.
I feel a bit surprised why the Coron Island which has to take a boat pretty far has an electricity for use all night, but El nido city which should be the tourist main attraction city doesn't have a large power plant.
However, It's alright, if you stay in the city, I think they all would have an electricity for service. Moreover, all the resorts would also have their own electric generator, thus, don't be worried about this matter.
Now, after introducing El nido city for a bit, let's continue to our trip then.
When we reach at the pier, just keep walking straight. I plan to walk to hotel as from the map, it is only 1 kilometers away from here, Save budget and walk!
Actually, at first I will not reserve room in advance as I plan to search the room here and walk-in, yet as I think over that the boat must arrive here in late evening, thus I reserve room only for my first night here from Agoda. And if the room is not good, I could change to other places tomorrow.
Now, it is only 1.8kilometers to my accommodation, so let's just walk!
Well, it is just half of the way and I give in,Lol. I would rather ride on tricycles which it costs a standard price at 50php.
And this is our first night accommodation which costs only 356baht. It is my first time staying in hostel and it is interesting to me.
Everything is alright to me, there are only 2 disadvantages which are:
1. Toilet: Uh! at first I think the bathroom is broken as there is no seat on flush toilet, but I misunderstand as most of the toilets in suburban areas of Philippines has no toilet seat. I was thinking and could not imagine how could they use the toilet in this circumstance.
2. Electricity: Why do I have to choose air-con room as the electricity here will be cut after midnight? after midnight, the weather is just scorching, I feel lucky that I reserve only one night here, I will think over again to find a new place tomorrow.
After I finish showering, I go drinking beer at downstairs. The hotel staff here is pretty friendly, he comes joining and chatting with me, though we some time could not understand what the other says but it is quiet fun to me.
Well, I have found 2 new Philippines' friends here, they are staying in the same room with me and there are 3 people in their group which are 2 women and one ladyboy, I think.
The hotel staff introduces us to each other, I introduce myself that I come from Thailand, they are a bit surprised as I think they might not think there would be a Thai tourist traveling here.
As the hotel staff also tells me that I might be the first Thai tourist who stay here. I feel a bit ashamed as I'm the first Thai people they have met and I could not speak English well. Most Philippines people speak English fluently whether it be a child to older people.
I sit back and drink beer with my 2 new friends as another person, he go to sleep first so I don't have a chance to meet hime. I get a lot of advices for new attraction places in Philippines from them as well.
We chats until around 10pm, then we go to bed together. I have a pleasant sleep with a cool air-con weather that makes me get into sleep easily.
I wake up again when the air-con is closed, like I said, when it is midnight, the electricity will be promptly cut. Yet, there is still the light from a light bulb, but I don't know why the air-con is just stopped working, left only a ceiling fan which I sleep on the upper bunk and I could not get a wind from it, how unlucky I am!
I'm trying to close my eyes to sleep but I just couldn't, thus I go downstairs to drink some beers a bit for a nice sleep. Well, there is a group of 4 drunk hotel staffs at downstairs, so I order beer and drink by my own. Later, they invites me to join them, at first I am afraid that we could not understand each other but anyway we have alcohols as the connector so nothing to be afraid of, Lol.
Hence, I join their group, drinking beers and having a chat with them and what I am worried is nothing, it is pretty much fun to me joining them!
Everyone has a well standard of English language which is better than me, they try to communicate with me until I understand. Most of the communication methods is typing words in mobile phone and Google translate it which could help a lot.
I would accept that I feel pretty fun that night, the language is not a big problem at all for making friend, no matter which nations we come from, we still could make friend to each other. Lol. We sing a song, play guitar and get drunk together, it is the moment that I never expect that I would experience here. It is definitely a charm of traveling that money could not buy, you must go out to experience by yourself. Anyway, they say that Philippines people always have music in their heart, I think it is pretty true.
That night, I teach them a lot of Thai words as well, one word among them is "Cheers" . Lol.
I think it is one of the main reasons that most of travelers fall in love with traveling. it is just not only the destination that we would like to travel to, but another charm of traveling definitely is friendship. No matter you are from which countries or speak which languages, or which nations you are, there is no separation or no boundary in friendship, it is in everyone's mind, just try to open up your heart, be brave and go on traveling, you will find it and it will make you feel that happiness is not far at all.
We drink until we all get drunk and around 1am I excuse myself and go to bed, it is still pretty hot that I still get into sleep anyway, Lol.
Well, I solve the problem by bedding my mattress on the room's floor, it is much better here that I could sleep finally.
Apart of the big problems of electricity and toilet, I would recommend this place to you guys as I love their service and the staff is pretty friendly. Hence, if you guys are looking for a reasonable cheap price accommodation which located not far from the city and don't mind about the toilet and electricity, Tres Verdes Resort & Resto-Bar would be a great place to stay. and you could make a reservation through Agoda directly.
From yesterday, I arrive at the accommodation quite early so I get back to downtown again to look for One day trip tour package for tomorrow, there are 4 main tour packages which are:
1. Tour A costs 1,200php, which costs approximately only 830baht
2. Tour B costs 1,300php, approximately 899baht
3. Tour C costs 1,400php, approximately 969baht
4. Tour D costs 1,200php, approximately 830baht
Tour package prices that every tour companies offer are not much differ, thus you could choose to buy as you like. Well, there is also a Combo set of tour package that I miss out as well which are:1. Combo Tour A & B costs 1,900 php, around 1,315 baht
2. Combo Tour A & C costs 2,000 php, around 1,384 baht
3. Combo Tour C & D costs 1,800 php, around 1,245 baht
These kinds of tour will be offered in some tour agents, thus, you need to walk and search for it. Nonetheless, my friend who is a Philippines people and stay in the same room with me suggests that I should rather choose an unmixed A,B,C,D tour, as the more places the tour program offers, the lesser time in each place you could spend.
Anyway, it depends on each person preference, I have time in El Nido for 3 days and my plan will be like this, first day travel in Tour A, second day travel in Tour C and third day will be a free time day.
Well, it is time to go exploring why Palawan island has been voted as World's best island in 2013. Let's go then.
4th Day in Philippines ( 14/04/2017 )
They will drive Tricycles to pick us up at the hotel in the morning. Just tell them which hotel you are staying and they will pick you up, don't worry.
This is the morning atmosphere at the beach in El Nido city, most of tour companies would take traveler to board the boat here.
During the night time, the beach here would look similar to beaches in our country, there are full of restaurants, pub and bar for you to freely choose as you like.
Now, it's time to go board the boat, all the member in the boat is foreigner with 4 Philippines people, don't ask about Thai people as since all 4 days I have been here, I haven't see Thai people at all.
The first island for Tour A today is 7 Commando Beach.
You will find these 7 soldiers lining on the island.
It is a breathtaking corner of this island, there is also a resort on island as well but it seems pretty expensive.
Next stop is Small Lagoon which is another highlight of El Nido. It is absolutely beautiful. The boat will stop at the front area, we would have to rent a kayak boat and paddling or swimming to go inside.
I would recommend you guys to rent a kayak boat as it is quiet far. Anyway, I see someone choose to swim which makes me feel amazed.
Renting Kayak boat costs 300php, around 207baht per boat, which is not expensive and it could accommodate up to 3 persons.
Sadly, I ride by myself as I don't know who I will invite to ride with me.
The spot that there are a lot of boats stop is the entrance to inside area. quiet small actually.
It is pretty small that we could only ride one by one inside.
Yet, when we get inside, we just feel Wow as it is pretty spectacular.
Inside area, the water is emerald green which is really wonderful.
We stay here for a while and we need to continue our journey again. Next, we will stop by for a lunch at Secret Lagoon.
Walk to the right hand side in the picture, it will lead you to the entrance to Secret Lagoon.
The entrance is where the arrow spots.
When walking inside you will find a small pond surrounding by mountains but the water is not that nice, hence, I walk back to eat lunch.
Lunch that they prepare for us would be something like this, every tour companies would prepare same menu every day.
After I finish lunch and take a bit rest, it is time to go snorkeling. Let's see the underwater world scenery here.
Well, I don't know much about corals, what I know is the sea water here is pretty clear, there are colorful corals which are in a perfect condition in some spots. We also could see a lot of kinds of colorful fish, I think it is pretty worth for snorkeling here.
After snorkeling, we continue to our today's last destination which is Big Lagoon. Once a boat stops at the entrance, I feel stunned, the sea water is pretty clear.
This is the entrance to Big Lagoon.
At the entrance area, the sea water is very clear, we also could walk in this area. Yet, when go to the lagoon inside, the area will be wide and the water is pretty deep. Hence, we should rent a Kayak boat again which costs 300php. Well, as I travel alone so I need to pay on my own.
Inside Big Lagoon looks similar to Small Lagoon, only that it is much larger space here. The sea water is emerald green as well. It is beautiful in different ways, let's see the pictures then.
The sea water is really nice with emerald green color and it is crystal clear that I could see the ground below.
You could see how the crystal clear of sea water is from this picture.
And this is today's last spot and I'm very impressed with Tour A of El Nido, especially, Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon that I like the most which it is a Wow for me.
With a clear sea water and its color of emerald green and blue in some spots, add up with the strange shape of mountains make Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon considerably spectacular, I suggest that you guys should not miss out to visit these places.
When we finish the trip, the boat will send us back to the same place. In the morning, I decided that I will not stay in the same hotel (I could not accept the toilet condition as I could not use it Lol), thus, I check-out and leave the bag at hotel. I plan that when I come back from the tour, I will walk around to search for new accommodation. Therefore, when the boat send me off, I begin to search for the hotel, but I am unlucky that all the cheap price hotel is fully booked, the other cost around 1500php up (around 1035baht per night), but I set up budget for the accommodation only 500-600baht per night, so I need to keep walking and search for the room.
I keep searching but still don't find any hotel, finally I use the same method that is searching an accommodation on Agoda Lol. I have found that there is still a cheap price room left, it is a single room with fan and toilet inside, and the hotel is located near to my previous hotel. Well! let's try staying here tonight, see how's it going to be!
Hence, I make a reservation right away, nonetheless, my credit card could not use here, thus, I ask my friend in Thailand to reserve the room for me and I will transfer the money to him later. Finally, I have got a room to stay for tonight, it kinds of a backpacker way, yet it is rather fun actually as we could not know in advance what will be happened so we need to get ready all the times for solving unexpected situation.
Now that I have new accommodation, I walk back to grab my bag at the hotel. The room at new hotel costs around 600baht per night and it is not far from the previous hotel, just only 300meters. However, the entrance from the main street to the hotel is considerably rough, it is a narrow way along the locals' houses. Is it dangerous? I think not at all as luckily most of people think that I am a Phillipines.
Thai people and Philippines people look alike Lol. Since the first day I have been here, most people think that I am a Phillipines, they even talk with me in local language Lol.
The room in new hotel is rather new and clean with a flush toilet and bidet spay, yet the new problem has arose, the water here has a smell of soil, I think they are pumping groundwater for use but it's still muddy, the water is brown color. How unlucky I am! it 's like jump out of the frying pan into the fire Hahaha.
Nonetheless, the situation might be solved in the future, thus, for those who are interested, you could try to make a reservation from Agoda. This hotel is Aleston Secret Apartment with Breakfast include, it costs around 600baht per night.
Now, I don't have other choices left, I need to take a shower and sleep here anyway. Well, at least there are fan and electricity available for the whole night, just only I need to stand with the strange smell from my body, it's just like I am taking a shower in the canal. Hahaha
Oh, I forget to tell that when I go to grab my bag, I have the hotel staff from the previous hotel reserve tomorrow tour for me which I choose Tour C as most of friends and hotel staffs that I knew yesterday recommended that this tour is pretty beautiful and I should go. Hence, I make an appointment with the hotel staff that I will wait for the tour at the hotel tomorrow.
I sleep pleasantly today, better than previous night as I have got my own fan, feel much better.
Well, let's continue the journey in Philippines tomorrow.
5th day morning in Philippines (15/04/2017)
As I have mentioned earlier that today I will travel with Tour C that was reserved by the previous hotel, the tour costs 1600php. The price is a bit expensive than most of the tour that I have searched which costs only 1400php as today we will travel by a big boat.
Since the first day that I bought one day trip tour, they all will travel by a small boat that could accommodate 9-15people, but today the boat that I travel with could accommodate around 30 people. Wow, it must be a fun trip!
Let's go exploring together, see what I am going to experience today.
Today we don't board the boat at the front of the beach but right at the hotel zone along the beach.
Walk from the hotel to the beach, you will reach at this spot (in the picture).
Then they will ride on the kayak boat to pick us up to board a big boat, the view looks pretty spectacular during the morning time.
Well, today I have got one new friend, he is Spanish, he stays in the same hotel where I stayed in the first night here, thus, a hotel staff introduces us to each other as we reserve the tour from same hotel. Now, today it seems like we are buddy in a group tour. I feel kind of good as in my life I have never expected before that I would have a foreign friend.
And this is my new Spanish friend, luckily we like the same football team which is Real Madrid. Hahaha
Some of the members of today's trip, more than 20 people are Western foreigner.
Including captain and his family who I think might live in this boat, today all the member will be approximately 30 people.
The advantage thing of a big boat today is that they are opening music. Awesome!
Now, it's time to set off! Let's go.
The first spot today is Secret Beach. The boat will park at this area, we need to swim into the narrow way. All the Western members in the boat, they don't wear life vest and they also put off their shirts, then jump off and swim. Well, I will not give in as when I was young, I am also a swimming champion, thus, I will swim without life vest and take off my shirt as well. Let's go!
It is considerably dangerous at the entrance area as the water level is rather deep, I need to swim and hold the wall in a heavy wave. We need to go one by one to enter inside and you need to beware your head as well as the wave will hit us to crash with the entrance wall.
The scenery inside will be like this.
Is it beautiful? For me, I think it's just ordinary but the rock here looks strange with a fine sharp shape, it looks beautiful actually.
We spend time swimming for some times as there are many people in the group, thus, they would give us some times here. Hence, I spend time and stick with my buddy, Spanish guy.
For my opinion, traveling by a big boat that has a lot of people isn't a good idea, it's like everybody separates and travels within their groups, not like a small boat, everyone knows and talk to each other, looks much more friendly. Hence, if you can choose, I suggest you choose a small boat with not much people in the group, it would be better, anyway it depends on your preference.
We spend time here for some time, then we continue to our next destination. In Tour C itinerary, each island will be farther than Tour A itinerary, I think it's in a different travel zone.
Thus, we need to ride on a boat a little long time to each island. For example, from the city's shore to first destination takes around 40-50 minutes already.
And now we are arriving our second destination which is the highlight of Tour C.
This place is Matinloc Shrine, upon arriving the boat will park here.
We need to off the boat and walk inside to see an old hall use for performing religious rituals.
Walk pass this point to the left, there is an adjacent to the scenic point which is rather beautiful.
Let's see how wonderful of the view at Matinloc Shrine is?
The rock here is pretty sharp, thus, better take shoes with you. I don't know so I just have to stand the pain and the burning hot feeling on my feet.
This picture I shoot for my new Spanish friend.
Oh, his body looks hot and firm, far better than me Lol.
Let's watch a full view of Matinloc Shrine, it is really spectacular. The sea water divides into 2 colors, I think this place is really a highlight of Tour C,#Matinloc Shrine
Other corners also look beautiful. Walk down from the scenic point, go straight for a while, you will see a small pier. The scenery here is also extraordinary beautiful with a clear sea water. Let's have a look.
We spend time here for some time, then it's time to head to next destination. The view where the boat is parking is also nice.
Next spot, we will have a rest and eat lunch. Yet, I just forget the name of this place, I think it might be called Star Beach, it is a short beach, yet looks wonderful.
There are toilet for service on this island as well. We take a rest on this island for some time as they need to cook food for around 20 people, thus we have time to sit back, lie on the beach or go swimming.
I walk along the beach, the sea water here is pretty clear and clean.
Have lunch and a little bit of beer, Oh! forgot to tell that in each island, there are shops selling soft drink and beer as well.
The price of a can of beer costs 60php which is around 41baht, it is acceptable price for me, not expensive, comparing with the fresh feeling that you could receive from it, Lol.
Let's continue, next destination is Hidden Beach. The entrance looks similar to Big Lagoon that we need to go on foot through the shallow sea water to inside area. And the sea water at the entrance area is pretty clear, as clear as Big lagoon. It is just a shallow sea water, so it's easy to walk through.
This picture I capture during I leave the place, as during I enter the place, the camera's memory card is full. Well, the sea water is pretty clear.
Upon entering inside, you could see a beach like this.
Being friend with foreigner is awesome, but the bad thing is that they rather prefer sunbathing as they will do sunbathing every place we stop. Did you know that Thai people don't like sunbathing? Hahaha.
If I don't sit with him, he might think that why I keep staying away from him as we are buddy now. Anyway, I let him do sunbathing as he likes, I will excuse myself and go find some places to avoid the sun.
Well, he just sleep right there under the sunlight, Umn..I think he must really like sunbathing. For me, I just sit back in the shady area to avoid the sun.
I sit back for some times and then our tour guide calls us to go. At this moment, my Spanish friend is sleeping right under the hot sunlight that I need to wake him up. I think, if he really likes sunbathing, he could come and do sunbathing in my country Hahaha.
However, I did ask him that has he been in Thailand? he said that he has traveled in Thailand before to Krabi and Phuket and he loves it there.
I asked further, how about Thai woman? most of the answers would be yes, they do like Thai woman, like I do. Hahaha
Next spot will be the last spot of today which is Helicopter Island. How does it look? Let's see together.
And here is Helicopter Island, it is pretty beautiful.
Badly, we arrive during evening time as some areas of the sea are blocked by the mountains' shadow which make the sea water looks dim, just only the area with the sunlight that is in blue color.
Upon arrival, people that come together as a group would play game and drink beer together, some groups are doing sunbathing. For me and my friend, as usual, he asks me to do sunbathing with him again.
I could not bare the sunlight now, my back and neck are feeling hurt right now, thus, I ask him whether he likes to go snorkeling or not, he says that he would love to, but he doesn't have a snorkel. Well, it's alright, I will find it for him, then I go back to the boat and borrow 2 snorkels.
I would prefer snorkeling to sunbathing as it's not hot. Therefore, we go snorkeling at this place as for the whole day, there is no diving spot at all.
Hence, if you guys choose Tour C, there is no diving spot included, yet if you would like to, you could go snorkeling by yourselves. I'm not sure maybe the group that I traveled with, they might not like to go diving.
Now, I just found out that Western people are good at swimming as they could swim without life vest for half an hour, how could they do that!. For me, swimming only 10 minutes would make me begin to feel exhausted already or it might be because I am getting old already?
He pretty enjoys snorkeling and thank you me to find a snorkel for him. Well, they would offer snorkel in every tour, you just ask it from the guide. Anyway, I like it this way, it's better than sunbathing. Hahaha.
Hence, the today's tour will be end at this island and it's time to go back, the boat will send us off at the same place where we board the boat. However, this time the boat send us far away from the same spot in the morning, yet it is still in the walking distance, only around 400-500meters away, thus, I will take a walk along the beach to go back.
Therefore, I ask my friend to take a walk with me and it is the right decision of me as the view during evening time at the beach is really spectacular.
Seem like the water is lower than the morning time. Let's watch the view of this beach during twilight time.
Walking for a while, and then I have seen this view, thus, I take photo for you guys.
It's stunningly beautiful, I don't expect to see such a beautiful view like this as I have been here several days already and I just could see this nice view today.
My friend asks me to go have some drink with him, but I told him that I don't have a room right now as I already checked out from the hotel, just could not stand the smell of the water. Why I have not found a good accommodation? Well, this might be a taste of life. Hahaha
Hence, I say goodbye to my Spanish friend and we exchange our Facebook, in case he comes to Thailand again, he could contact me and I will take him to tour around to an unseen attractions.
After that, I walk along the beach searching for a hotel, maybe I'm lucky enough and could find a reasonable price room. Yet, I have make up my mind already, as the room along the beach would cost expensive and fully booked.
Finally, I have found a fan room that costs 1200php per night which is around 800baht. Nonetheless, I won't take it as it is my last night in El Nido already and I would like to stay and hang out in the city.
At last, I did not take that room, I then walk back to grab my bag at the hotel and call a tricycle to the city right away, I am now in the condition of traveling in the sea all day and not taking a bath, look so dirty. Hahaha, it's a backpacker way anyway.
After I decide not to stay by the beach, then take my bag and get into the city area with the odor body from the sea breeze and carry a big bag with me, I then keep walking and searching for the room. Badly, most of the hotels are fully booked, there are only rooms that cost 1500php per night which will be around 1035baht but my budget is only 500-600baht per night.
As I am wondering why most of the rooms are fully booked during this time? Thus, I ask them, the answer is that during 13-14 April is the national day of Philippines. See? that's why most of the hotels are fully booked, it's a long holiday here!!. I don't know in advance, if I know, I will book in advance. Well, it's alright, it must have some rooms available.
Therefore, I keep searching for around one hour and finally with my exhausted body, I have found a hostel. The entrance to the hostel is a narrow way, it looks like a house of local people which make 2nd and 3rd floors as the guest rooms. The room price costs 800php which is around 550baht, it is a fan twin bed room with shared bathroom, there are 2 single beds so I think if there is a person to share a room price with me would be much cheaper. Yet, at this moment I will take this room without any consideration. Finally, I could take a shower and wash my clothes.
After I am done doing my business, I then go out to find something to eat by the beach. It is a dinner by the beach with a pleasant atmosphere, yet I could not take a photo as it is too dark.
I would say that Philippines woman has got a good body shape and they are beautiful, even the staffs in the restaurant also look cute.
After dinner, it's not dark enough for a hangout time, thus, I would take a walk around the city first. And finally I came to found out that actually El Nido city doesn't have an accommodation just only the area from the pier to the hotel that I stayed in the first night. But most of the hotels are located in another part of the city.
Let's see the picture along which from the picture I just walk around and search for the hotel only at the right side of the map which is on a blue line but actually most of the accommodations are located in the left side of the map within the circle.
I feel regret why I didn't walk to this area since the first day that I was here.
Well, at least I could share information to you guys. If you guys want to search for the room, you could walk to this zone. There are a lot of accommodation located here, but I don't know the price. Actually, if you come with your friend, one night of air-conditioning room would mostly cost 1500php which is around 1035baht, 2 people sharing, it would cost only 500baht per person. it's not expensive at all, yet I am traveling alone so I need to find a cheap accommodation first.
While I am wandering around, I came across a massage shop which is in Swedish style and I will give it a try. Hahaha. The massage price costs 400-500php per hour which is around 270-350baht, the price would depend to each shop anyway, I guess that an air-conditioning massage shop costs 500php and for the fan massage shop will be cost 400php. Well, I choose an air-conditioning massage shop which costs 500php per hour. How Swedish style massage is? Well, it's like an oil massage in our country.
Nonetheless, I have seen the price of Thai massage here, it costs 800php per hour which is around 550baht. Why does Thai massage cost pretty expensive? Apparently, the massage staffs are Philippines people not Thai so why does it cost very expensive? I will try it in my next trip here. For this time, I will just try the Swedish massage.
After massage, it's 10pm which is a hang out time, let's go.
I walk to the beach, there are a few places that still play fun music. If I go inside straightaway, it would waste the money as a small bottle of beer inside costs 60php which is around 42baht while the shop outside selling at 40php which is just around 28baht per bottle, hence, I will just buy a beer from the shop outside and hang out around the bar.
Hence, I walk to buy some beer and sit beside the bar area, there are many people and the bar also opens fun music.
Everyone is dancing. Wait for me I will dance after I get drunk. Hahaha.
I sit back only a while, there is a situation happens again. There is a Philippines guy asks to sit with me. Well, it's alright as he looks nice and not dangerous, so I agree. He begins to chat with me, say that he comes alone and ask me many things until I drink up 2 cans of beer that I have bought earlier, thus, I would go inside, he says that he will wait for me here. Well, it's alright, do as you wish then.
I then go into the bar, there are a lot of people inside, I order a bottle of beer and spend time watching beautiful ladies for a while. Hahaha.
After that, I walk out to the same place, he is still right there alone waiting for me. Therefore, I sit back, drink beer and chat with him until I drink up my beer again so I decide to go back. Now, the thing is that he walks toward me and ask me "I can stay with you tonight?", I exclaimed "What? No.". I shout back without thinking and quickly walk away from him.
I walk away with frustration, then I decide to go back and sit there once again with 2 cans of beer. When the time that I'm back, he is not there already so I just sit back at the same place, chilling and drinking beer, hope that there will be a beautiful lady come to sit with me. Well, there is no one as most of people are traveling in with their groups or couples so how could I go and make friend with them? At last, I just could sit there alone by myself, Oh! as I can see, there is a Philippines lady sit right there alone so I will go asking to sit with her then. It comes out that she doesn't travel alone, she comes with her little sister who is playing on the beach around there. Hence, I sit there and chat with her for some times, then she need to go back to take her little sister to sleep. We exchange our Facebook to each other, Well, at least I have got another new friend.
Later on, I just have an idea why didn't I walk and send her off? In case after she takes her sister to sleep, I could ask her to go have some drinks with me. Well, I have missed out the chance already. I finally take my drunk body back to the room and get into sleep.
Let's continue the journey tomorrow with the last day in El Nido. I have got 1 free time day left that I plan to travel in the downtown of El Nido.
Let's follow me.
6th day in the morning at Phillipines ( 16/4/2017 )
เช้านี้ตื่นสายเลยครับ เพราะคิดไว้แล้วว่าจะ Free day อยากไปไหนก็ไป วันนี้ 55+
เลยตื่นมาเกือบ 11 โมง อาบน้ำ เก็บของเสร็จ เอาของไปฝากไหนดีละทีนี้
I wake up late this morning as it is my free time day, thus, I will do what I prefer. Therefore, I wake up late almost 11pm, then take a shower, pack my bag, Well, where can I leave my bag? Thus, for that reason today I decide to rent a motorcycle which costs 450php that would be around 310baht as my plan today is wandering in the city to go Conopy Walk and watch the view of El Nido. Moreover, at first I plan to go playing Zipline but I have changed my mind as my Spanish friend suggested that I better go to Necpan beach as it is pretty beautiful there. Hence, I will go as he suggested.
I rent a motorcycle and then plan to leave my bag at the same hotel as I am intimately being friend with them already. I leave my bag at the hotel and eat some food, after that I will go to Conopy Walk in this afternoon.
Well, forget to tell you guys that, they will take a rest during afternoon for lunch as I was there during that time and they are closed, thus, I need to go out and find something to eat first.
Conopy walk is located in the downtown area, it is a trail that you need to walk up but it is not that high, just only get some sweat. The entrance fee costs 500php which is around 350baht, it is a reasonable price though.
After paying the fee, we would wear like this, with a hat and the string that wraps up your body, like you are playing zipline.
There is a tour guide walking with us, he would lead us a way and help us if it is needed.
The ascending way during the first part is a trekking way up to the mountain. Well, don't forget to bring the water with you as there is nothing sell at the above area.
I walk up for a while, and reach at the metal stairs, then after that is a bridge. I feel excited walk across this bridge as it is quite high and it also keeps swinging.
This picture I take during I walk back, feeling soul-stirring.
Passing the bridge and walk up for a little while around 20-30minutes and you will reach at the top.
And we would see the panorama view of El Nido like this.
" El Nido "
It looks stunning, this is really worth climbing up here. I just feel unlucky that it is cloudy today as if the sea water doesn't have a sunlight shines on, it will not have beautiful green and blue color as in below picture.
If the sky opens, the sea water would be all green and it will look much more beautiful. I will selfie myself with this stunning view. (This picture I captured from the video clip, thus, it looks a bit blur)
It's my 6th day here, and I am already get dark like this. Hahaha
Now, it is time to walk down and continue to our next destination which is Necpan Beach.
From downtown of El Nido, we need to ride on a motorcycle for another 19-20kilometers which would take around 30-40minutes, the route is according to the picture below.
The road is in a good condition, it is an asphalt road alternating with a motor road all the way. Only the last part where we will turn to enter the beach, it is a short 4kilometers road of laterite road.
Before entering into the beach, we will need to pay for an entrance fee which costs 40php per person. Let's have a look how beautiful Necpan Beach is? is it worth for a 20kilometers ride all the way to this beach?
And this is Necpan Beach, look stunningly beautiful.
It is a very long beach, and more than that, it is pretty clean, look so natural.
Let's watch at another side of this beach, the scenery is also spectacular.
Actually, as you could see at the other side of the mountain on the left side in the picture, there is a beach that is also a beautiful scenic spot but I didn't walk there. I feel so regret that I just miss out the beautiful view as the view there is really beautiful which you could watch 2 beaches at the same time.
It's alright though, I will find a chance to come back here as actually at Necpan Beach, there is a floating hut in the sea for tourist to swim there and watch the view of the beach from the middle of the sea.
Nonetheless, at that moment, I have a limit time that I am scared I could not swim to the hut in time, so I decided not to go there.
I then sit back and lie down on the beach. Well, there is a canvas available for service which costs 100php. I take some times there sit back and drink beer around one hour, then I need to go back as I have to fly back home tonight.
In the previous day, I have reserved the bus in advance already, you guys could dial to a bus terminal directly to reserve the seat.
Bus Terminal is located at the spot in the picture.
Inside the bus terminal will look like this, it is just a small bus terminal.
There are 2 bus companies which are Cherry Bus and Roro Bus located at the spots in the picture. The price would be similar at 450php from El Nido to Puerto Princesa. Apart of these two bus companies, there are also a van available for service.
If there are people walk toward you and told that there is No Bus available, don't believe them as I have experienced earlier, I told that I will take a bus, but they insist that there is No Bus No bus. Luckily, I did research some information before and knew that there is a bus available. I plan to take a but that takes a long ride as I could take a sleep on a bus and wake up in the morning at Puerto Princesa to wait for the flight back to Manila.
Then, I ride to return the motorcycle and ride on a tricycles back to the hotel, washing my face, changing clothes and drink some beers to wait for the bus time. I have reserved 9pm bus and would arrive at the destination around 5am, then I will continue take a ride to the airport.
Now, it's about time, I say goodbye to the hotel staffs which I need to thank you for everything that they took really good care of me.
I would say that Philippines people are pretty friendly and have good mind, I am very impressed and will come back again for sure if I have a chance.
When the time reaches, the bus would be parked here which looks like this.
The seat in the bus looks like this, for those who have a small body, you could pleasantly sit back, but for a big body like me, might feel a bit cramped, yet I also could sleep on that seat.
Now, it's time to say goodbye to El Nido. Thank you for everything that I have experienced this time.
I feel really impressed, the sea is spectacular and there are many activities to do. Moreover, this place makes me learn how to live in a foreign country. I learn how to plan, solve problem and know how to react in many situations. I have got new friend and experience a good friendship that I might not be able to find, if I don't travel here by myself.
Thank you for everything again, Good Bye El Nido, we will see each other again. Bye!
7th day in the morning, last day in Phillipines ( 17/04/2017 )
After I leave El Nido, I ride on a bus heading to Puerto Princesa for catching a flight back to Manila and then connect a flight to Thailand.
The problem happens again. Hey! it is my last day here!!!
The thing is the bus arrives pretty early, I think that it will arrive around 4am to 5am, but it arrives around 2am.!!
What! it is not what I have learned from the website. I think the estimated time in the website is during the day time when there is traffic jam and the bus need to take a long time. However, I ride on a night bus and the road is empty which would have only a few cars ride pass in the opposite direction. Well, that's why the bus arrives earlier than I thought.
Now, how can I do in this situation? I just know that I have to find a car to the airport. Luckily, there are foreigners who will go the airport as well, thus, I try calling and bargaining the price with tricycles, how much do they cost for a ride to the airport?
They tell that the ride to airport costs 200php for one person, OMG!! it costs 140baht. Luckily, I have found 2 foreigners who will go to the airport as well, thus, I ask for the price again which cost 300php per ride, sharing the price is better, as it costs just 100php per person which is only around 70baht.
Therefore, I immediately talk with a couple whether they are interested in sharing the ride with me to the airport? I tell them the price and they agree to go with me.
Now, I have got friends to ride with me to the airport. Let's go! the distance is a bit far between Bus Terminal and the airport which takes around 6kilometers away.
We ride on the tricycles for around 10minutes, then we reach at the airport.
And finally, I have faced with a problem again as Puerto Princesa airport is closed during the night time. Why didn't the driver tell me that the airport is still closed at this time? he says that it will be opened around 4am.
If he told me earlier I would find a room to sleep, I feel so confused now, don't know what to do. Suddenly, a foreigner lady asks the driver to send us to McDonald's instead as it must open 24hours. Well, it is already 3am now, let's go and wait at McDonald's for another one hour and then come back again.
The driver sends us off at McDonald's which an additional price of 100php. I feel like I have been deceived by him, I have been in Philippines for 7days already and no one cheat on me, except my last day here.
Then, I take a seat in McDonald's with those 2 foreigners, but there are people walk in and out all the time and I could not sleep in this circumstance. Therefore, I go out to search for a hotel as my flight time is 12.05pm, so I better find somewhere for a nice sleep and wake up around 10am and head to the airport.
It appears that all the hotel is closed during that time. Why they don't have a hotel that opens at night?
What I could do now is to wait until 4am, then those foreigners walk toward me and ask me whether I want to go to the airport with them.
I ask them whether they are sure with the opening time of the airport as I have asked a staff at McDonald's and the staff told me that the airport will be opened around 6am not 4am. However, they told me that their flight would depart at 7am and if the airport is opened 6am, it will be late for this flight. Well, I think they are right as the flight need time for check-in and loading baggage, thus I will go to airport with them.
As usual, we hire a car to the airport. This time we have a chat along the way and I have learned that they come from London, England. And when I told them that I come from Thailand, they said that they just travelled in Phuket. What a small world! and then we are chatting until we reach at the airport.
Ha, the airport's gate is opened now, yet, the door that opens to the terminal building is still closed Hahaha. Why did they open the gate if the terminal building still closed? as we could not go inside the terminal building anyway.
Well, the security guard tells me that the airport will be opened at 6am. Hahaha.
Now, what could I do? Well, just lay down and sleep for another one hour at the front of the terminal building then.
I wait for some times, and there are people continuously come here which mostly are the foreigners. They also need to sit and wait up here like I do.
Untiil 6am, the door is opened, I think I could go and take a nap inside. However, the space inside is rather small. There is only a few seat for service. Where could I sleep? my flight is at 12pm, well, I end up sitting inside, did not have place to take a nap. Moreover, I could not get into the gate right now as I have to do the check-in first and the check-in counter will be opened at 10am. Therefore, I could do nothing apart from waiting. If only I knew before, I would have find some place to get some sleep.
All in all, for those who will go to Puerto Princesa airport, don't come during the night time as it is closed.
At last, I wait until 10am for the check-in counter to open, after I finish with the check-in process, I then need to pay for the airport fee before going inside to the gate area.
The airport fee will be according to the picture, domestic costs 200php which is around 140baht and international flight costs 700php which is around 480baht.
After pay an airport fee, then you could walk to inside area. Wow! it is pretty spacious inside. Badly, if they open for check-in earlier, I would be able to take a nap inside, but it's alright as I will go back home soon.
And it's flying time now, this flight I would take a window seat and I have got the seat right at the emergency door. The are at my seat has some space for stretching my legs, it's pretty comfy that I take a nap all the way for 1 hour and did not watch any view.
Upon arrival at Manila airport, it's the same process as always, finding for a sign of Terminal Transfer.
Then walk to wait for a bus to change terminal building. Most of outbound flights would depart from here, Ninoy aquino international airport or Terminal 1.
I arrive at the airport at 2pm but they will open for check-in at 5pm. Badly, I could not wait in the gate area and there is only a few seat available outside.
Thus, I go to find something to eat first, and I finally could taste KFC at Philippines, Lol. This is how it looks like, Jollibee fried chicken.
Everything is all in one dish, fried chicken, mashed potato, spaghetti and even a dessert, Umn.. do they taste good together?
Well, let's have a bite, anyway, I think I prefer KFC in our country more.
Then, I wait until 5pm for check-in and get in to the gate area finally and I am going back home. Now, I have left around 200php in my pocket which is around 140baht, thus I will spend it up by buying 3 cans of beer and drink them all. Lol.
It is time to fly back home finally, Seem like it is a longest trip since I have ever started traveling and it is such a worthwhile journey to me.
Every pennies I spent is pretty worth it, the experience that I have during these 7days, I really could not explain properly into words. I just would like to express that
I don't feel regret that I decided to travel alone in this trip.
I don't feel regret that I chose to travel to this country, Philippines.
I don't feel regret that I faced problems and obstacles.
and I don't feel regret at all that I decided to conquer my fear and choose to go on traveling.
What I have received from this trip is a lot, some could not even use money to buy and I think something could not just only teach by words, but by experience. What I have learned it's beyond my expectation, I have got good friendship and new friends. Even though my English is not good, I am not scared of speaking English anymore, I have a courage to speak, learn, try things that I have not done before. Moreover, I am daring to face problems and conquer any obstacles. Most importantly, I'm not scared to travel alone by myself anymore.
Thank you to every moment, to all the thing, all people that come into my life during these 7 days.
I will not forget every situation and every moment that happens here and will always keep it in my memory forever.
" I Love Philippines "
See you next time.