Everything You Need To Know About El Nido

El Nido has long been known to be a haven for beach-bound tourists. For many, it’s a top-class destination that’s better suited to celebrities and businessmen. But that’s not true! Despite being tucked away in a little corner of Palawan, El Nido can be — and should be — enjoyed by everyone. This little guide will tell you all you need to know about this bliss-filled place. 

el nido palawan

How to Get There

Palawan can be easily reached from Manila via any of the local airlines. The nearest airport to El Nido is at Puerto Princesa, a travel time of around an hour and 15 minutes from the nation’s capital.

Once in Puerto Princesa airport, you can ride a tricycle or a multicab to Robinson’s Mall. Here, there are shuttle vans you can charter for the trip to El Nido. These vans depart every hour from 5AM to 6PM. Bring a lot of patience, as the ride takes up to 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take the vans that wait from the airport’s arrival area, which will ferry you directly to your destination. The fares cost around Php 550-600.

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2012 Year in Travel: Of New Destinations and Familiar Places

In just a few days we’ll be saying goodbye to 2012, so here’s a roundup of my year in travel plus snippets of my un-blogged trips; four trips with two destinations each (you gotta maximize the travel tax and/or terminal fee, you know) with different travel buddies.  



The year started with a trip to the Philippines’ last frontier: Palawan. Together with my college BFF, we explored ‘hidden’ and ‘secret’ beaches (don’t ask what’s the difference), and visited the newly-proclaimed New 7 Wonders of Nature: Puerto Princesa Underground River

Aside from a missed van trip back to Puerto Princesa and some boo-boos along the way, I’d like to believe that the whole trip went well. :p El Nido remains at the top of the most beautiful places I’ve been to.

  


Second quarter of this year, another close friend and I explored Malaysia for a week. We started our journey in Kuala Lumpur, went north to the island of Penang, then headed south to Melaka before crossing the border to Singapore.

Our goal? To eat, pray, and shop our way through Malaysia (and Singapore) and boy did we do some damage. lol We sampled Penang’s dishes, visited temples/places of worship, and shopped ’til our bodies ache. No stall was spared in Berjaya Times Square as well as Jonker Street in Melaka. I swear, my bags were multiplying like gremlins. Mind you, I was able to sneak everything as ‘hand carry’ *evil laugh*


But if there’s one thing that will be forever etched on my mind about this trip, it’s got to be when we got bumped off the bus twice: from KL to Penang then from Penang to Melaka! Good thing the border crossing was uneventful.

Iloilo – Boracay 


Together with my cousin, three of my colleagues, and a fellow Girl Talker and her hubby, we went to Islas de Gigantes in Iloilo two days after my birthday.

We visited different islands, a sand bar, a saltwater lagoon — which could pass as a doppelganger of one of Palawan’s several lagoons/lakes — and did some climbing. And even though we had a traumatic caving experience, I know everyone still had a lot of fun.


But what I find amusing with this trip was that we took different flights (heck, my cousin and I weren’t even seated together on the plane), just met at the port the following day for island hopping, then went to different destinations on the third day. lol Two of my colleagues went to their respective homes in Iloilo, and my other colleague and the couple went to Bacolod. 


Me and my cousin? Well, we were actually torn whether we should stay and explore Iloilo, do a day trip to Guimaras, go to Bacolod for Masskara Festival, or just beach bum in Boracay. We eventually decided we’d go with the latter because our bodies were still aching from hiking and spelunking that we just wanted to lay on the beach and do nothing. Well, it took us three van rides (Iloilo to Roxas; Roxas to Kalibo; and Kalibo to Caticlan), a boat ride, and a tricycle ride (a total of 6 hours) to get there. So much for relaxation, huh?  

Singapore with LEGOLAND side trip 



And just this month, my mom and I, and — wait for it — our neighbors went to Singapore. Blame it on seat sales. So yes, within a span of four months, I was back in Singapore — and unexpectedly — in Malaysia too since we went on a side trip to LEGOLAND (which by the way was not part of the original plan).

Even though I wasn’t able to make as many trips as I wanted this year, I’m still thankful I got the chance to visit new destinations and familiar places. Always go for quality over quantity, right? 


So here’s hoping I’d be able to tick off more destinations on my (ever-growing) bucket list for 2013. Oh yes Laos and Myanmar, I have my eyes on you!



K


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This is my contribution to Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival’s yearender:

2012 Year in Travel  


Blog compilations will be co-hosted by:

Complete compilation of previous Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival here.

It’s More Fun in Palawan: GoHotels Puerto Princesa (Review)

For our accommodation, I was very lucky to snag GoHotel Puerto Princesa’s introductory rate of Php88.00 per room per night – well Php98.56 if you include the tax but it’s still friggin’ less than a hundred pesos per night! 😀 I’ve stayed in their Cybergate branch twice so I already have expectations and this one did not disappoint.

 Beautifully lit facade 
 Front Desk
 I’m not really a fan of green and yellow but they made it work.

It gives this common area a cool and soothing vibe.

THE ROOM 

Other room amenities include LCD TV with cable and electronic safe. I also like that they have a wall-mounted coat rack (as seen from the mirror).

Bringing of food and drinks inside the room is prohibited though. You can only eat in the common area.

Bathroom is also pretty much the same as the one in Cybergate except for the ceiling-mounted rain shower (that’s aside from the one pictured above).

Overall, I can definitely say we got waaaay more than what we paid for. 😉

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On another note, since this was our last night in Palawan, we headed to Kinabuch’s for dinner after freshening up.
 
THE DINNER
 Crocodile meat – Adobado style
Fresh tamilok (wood worm)
Just for experience :p
I know it’s not my most flattering picture, but you have to give me props for trying. Yes I slurped the whole thing. They say it tastes like oyster. I wouldn’t know because I don’t eat oysters. :p It was okay, though, it does have this distinct aftertaste. 
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Gah! Four days was such a short time to experience everything that Palawan has to offer. If time and money is not an issue, this is definitely the province I will keep going back to. 🙂


K