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Published: December 19th 2010
We have been a bit lazy recently.
After a relaxing week in El Nido
, we headed North towards the Calamian Group of Islands in northern Palawan.
The journey there was easy enough to arrange. Boats leave El Nido for Coron everyday but the journey was slow. Nearly nine hours after it departed, The Princess Welia, chugged it’s way into Coron Town on Busuanga Island. Ironically, The Princess Welia is supposedly the ‘quick boat’ but the seas were choppy the day we travelled. Thankfully the boat was stable in the water and handled the swells without anyone being sick over the edge.
Our first night was spent in Coron Town which was pretty uneventful. Coron Town wasn’t exactly an inspiring place, it’s no tropical paradise – we couldn’t wait to leave!
Thankfully we had decided to spoil ourselves a little bit and book into a dive resort for five days. We don’t usually stay in resorts – we are backpackers! But our trip is drawing to an end and we decided to treat ourselves. Sangat Island Resort
turned out to be a great option. There were only about 20 guests there and our beach front cabin even came
Sangat Island Resort
with lounge chairs and a hammock that got some serious use from us!
Coron Island is one of the biggest attractions in the area. It’s a limestone wonderland surrounded by hidden lagoons. We took a day trip from the resort and explored the Twin Lagoons.
Like El Nido, the lagoon is entered by swimming underneath a rock archway. What makes some of the lagoons unique, is the mix of fresh and salt water that makes the water cooler than the sea. The mix of waters also creates a strange syrup effect that is bizarre to swim through.
Coron Island is also home to lots of different lakes. The swimming in Kayangan Lake was fantastic. The visibility was crystal clear and the rock formations made it feel like swimming in a flooded cave. Sadly we didn’t make it to the famous Barracuda Lake – the water here is a mix of fresh and salt and the top layer is actually hot!
The snorkeling in a marine sanctuary near Coron Town was some of best we have had in the Philippines – the coral was in a much better shape than any we saw in El Nido and
the banner fish were the biggest we’ve ever seen!
Chris did three dives out to the sunken war ships that lay in the waters close to Sangat Island and was impressed with the amount of life around the wrecks. While he was out diving, I could have been kayaking around the nearby beaches but I wasn’t – I was quite happy laying in my hammock, staring out to sea and doing not a lot at all really!
When the time came for us to leave Sangat Island, it felt a little like being evicted from a tropical reality television show. We really didn’t want to get back to Coron Town and could have had a lot longer doing island hopping around the Calamian Group of islands. It really is an area that could be explored for longer. The thought of spending our last night in Coron Town was a bit rubbish. The consolation was that after more than four months, we were heading one step closer to home and familiar faces.
Not home yet though... next stop: Western Australia!
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