Blogs from Palawan, Philippines, Asia

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Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido December 16th 2015

I had a really laid back day in Manila relaxing by the pool and sleeping in an incredibly comfortable bed. I had a very early morning flight to Puerto Princessa in Palawan then caught a bus straight to El Nido as soon as I got off the plane. It was a nice ride across a beautiful island. I arrived in El Nido mid afternoon and settled in. There were a few Finnish guys staying at the same place that I checked in to so we hung out at our beachfront cottages having some beers and watching the sun set. We met a Croatian couple who joined us for a really nice seafood dinner and then had more beers at the beach bar. We also found a local gambling establishment with some really fun games. I came ... read more
Local gambling and beers with the Fins and Croatians
Enjoying some serious beach time
Palawan sunset

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido November 14th 2015

From my experience, people in the Philippines cannot make a good cup of coffee. To be honest, their food really isn't that great either. Despite those two big negatives, I still love the Philippines. But it's a good thing I'm headed to Bali tomorrow where the coffee and food are both supposed to be excellent. We had a long drive back to Puerto Princessa. The roads from northern to central Palawan are really good. The one thing that's a bit different from their roads to home is that farmers dry their rice alongside the roads, and in some cases in the road. Drivers just drive around them without disturbing the rice. It's amazing how many basketball hoops I saw on the drive. Most in very rural areas with just a bald spot of dirt below the ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido November 13th 2015

Today I wanted to go back to Nacpan Beach but the friends I've made in my group wanted to charter a boat to snorkel and visit some other small islands so I decided to stay with the group and explore some new places. We stopped at helicopter island (named as such because the island is shaped as a helicopter) and snorkeled, kayaked and had some chickens and goats come up to us while laying on the beach. Our boat captain brought his son who was helping on the boat as well. We all assumed the son was about 8 years old. He was at times driving the boat and once we got to the island he jumped in the water to help pull our boat to the shore. We felt bad that a child was manually ... read more
El Nido bird
El Nido sunset
Eating balut: duck embryo egg

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido November 12th 2015

Today sealed the Philippines as my new favorite country. A 45-minute drive from El Nido brought us to a beach called Nacpan, which is the most unreal beach I've ever seen. My description here is going to pale in comparison to its beauty and charm. Deserted with only a tiny hut selling drinks and snacks and a few hammocks, it's a quiet paradise with clear water. No tourist hotels, no shops, and no restaurants others than the tiny snack shop. There were a few huts where locals live set back a little ways from the beach. Hymai was the young man running the snack bar (who also plans weddings and is a pageant consultant) and he became fast friends with all of us. He even invited us back tomorrow for an 18th birthday party of a ... read more
Nacpan Beach
Main Street, El Nido

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido November 11th 2015

Island hopping is the thing to do in El Nido. Every little shack along the main street offers these excursions to the countless islands that surround northern Palawan. The first stop on our island hopping trip today put us on a tiny strip of beach where the snorkeling was excellent. They have the nemo fish here from the movie so that's cool to see in person. Our guides grilled up some fish the beach and that was lunch. We also explored the 'secret beach' which you have to swim though a small passage to get to and then it's encircled by the limestone cliffs. It wasn't much of a secret as many tourists were checking it out. Same with the secret lagoon we visited. We weren't the only ones to find out about the secret. We ... read more
New friend
Lunch with a view
Tricycles - the main form of transportation here

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido November 10th 2015

Last night I ordered chicken feet for dinner and went to bed hungry. Not for me. We woke early to take a canoe ride through a mangrove protected area and saw a few snakes, including a baby python, monitor lizards, and tropical birds. We then settled in for a 5-hour van ride to the beach town of El Nido where we'll be spending the next four nights. I always enjoy long rides in foreign countries because I get to see how people live as I'm passing by them at 60 miles per hour. The Philippines, or at least the island of Palawan, is lush, green, and mountainous. Coconut trees are abundant and you pass a lot of rice fields when in a van for 5 hours. Men (and possibly women- it's hard to tell from ... read more
Chicken feet

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Sabang November 9th 2015

One thing you may or may not know about me is that I love caves. For some reason they fascinate me. This morning my group took a quick boat ride on the South China Sea and ended up under a mountain in a massive cave with a 5 mile long river running through it. A man in a boat paddled us around in this limestone cave (called the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River) for 45 minutes. The cave was filled with hundreds of thousands of bats flying all around and hanging around sleeping. We had to wear helmets, one for safety, and two to avoid bat droppings on our heads. I'm sure Ryan will be jealous because I got to see a giant monitor lizard outside the cave. Tamilok is a wood worm that some people eat ... read more
Four wheeler foot
Tamilok
Paradise

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Puerto Princesa November 8th 2015

I flew into Manila, Philippines yesterday. An early morning flight this morning brought me to the island of Palawan in the Philippines. Palawan was just named for the second year in a row as the best island in the world by Conde Nast so my expectations are high. My Gadventures group and I walked through a local market where locals were selling all sorts of fruit, vegetables and raw meat including chicken, pork and loads of fresh fish. We went to the Iwahig Penal Colony where the prisoners have a lot of freedom to wander outside of the prison grounds, farm the land, and have jobs. They had minimum to maximum security prisoners housed there. On the way there our guide said 'you cannot take pictures of the inmates but you can take pictures of the ... read more
Dancing inmates
Sabang

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido September 23rd 2015

The Philippines is a strange country in that there are over 7000 islands that make up the Philippines as a whole. Each Island tries to boast of something different for the tourist market going from mountains, hiking, beaches, diving and yet they all seem to have that one common denominator which is that the people are poor. It is heartbreaking when you are walking down a street whichever Island that you are on and you see a young child in rags with arms stretched out asking for money. However there are some small towns that this is not affected by this and it seems to be places that the community gets together and helps each other. Anyways my next stop on the amazing world adventure was Palawan. Along the way through Philippines, many people had mentioned ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido August 1st 2015

Palawan Our next venture was to swim with whale sharks off the coast of Puerto Princessa, Palawan. Out to sea the fisherman act as watchman to spot schools of fish feeding on plankton at the water's surface. This, along with seagulls circling overhead are the areas where you are most likely to find wild whale sharks, also feeding on the cryll and plankton. We left the Puerto Princessa port in search of these spots with the hope of catching a sighting of a wild whale shark. After a few failed attempts, the crew instructed us to quickly jump into the water with our snorkels. As I nervously looked down, approximately two metres below my feet I could see the distinctive spotted pattern of a 9ft whale shark gracefully gliding through the water. Unfortunately, this rare and ... read more
Small Lagoon
Small Lagoon
Duli Beach




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