Palawan

Make Palawan your next holiday fling

Here’s a telltale sign that a town’s main industry is tourism: they charge visitors five to ten times more than the local rate for a pedicab ride.

Being a Filipino living in the Philippines, I know for a fact that a pedicab ride costs at most ten bucks. So when my friends and I went to the seaside town of Coron, Palawan some years ago, we were quite startled when the driver demanded we pay him P100 to take us to the Maquinit Hot Springs on our first afternoon there.

“But that’s insane…we’re Filipinos!,” my friend exclaimed. The driver told us it didn’t matter—we were still tourists.

Because this was the height of our cheapskate days, another friend made a really lame, half-hearted attempt at convincing the driver that we actually lived there. But being a small town where everybody knows everybody, you can’t really fake your way to getting a cheaper pedicab ride in Coron. The driver just smirked at us, the three idiots. Needless to say, we ended up not going that afternoon. Haha.

Palawan 2009

If I were to go to Coron now, I would gladly pay for that hundred bucks. And it’s not because I have more money (read: still happily struggling!), but because I know that the revenue they get out of tourism is money that’s well-spent to preserve Coron’s rich wonders. Unlike overdeveloped Boracay where they keep on building one resort after another without regard for the consequences to the environment, the Palawan community goes to great lengths to respect it. In fact, if I had to recommend only one place in the Philippines that travelers must visit, I say, make it Palawan. Boracay may have all the parties and the amenities, but if you want a real getaway, Palawan is pure, unadulterated bliss.

You can choose between three of its most popular destinations: Puerto Princesa (your jump-off point to the famed Underground River), Coron (where sunken Japanese gunboats rest) and El Nido (home to the country’s best luxury resorts—and where they filmed the final scene of Bourne Legacy).

Here are some snaps that will hopefully convince you to make Palawan your next holiday destination:

Palawan 2009

Siete Pecados: Where we found Nemo…

Palawan 2009

Where sea meets sky..

Palawan 2009

Best place to space out: Kayangan Lake..

Palawan 2009

Palawan 2009

Palawan 2009

Gorgeous limestone cliffs on our way to the Twin Lagoon:

Palawan 2009

Entrance to the Twin Lagoon during low tide. The small opening joins fresh and sea water, which creates a bizarre hot-cold effect that you have to experience :D

Palawan 2009

Virgin beaches are a dime a dozen in Palawan. We even parked in one for a while

Palawan 2009

Palawan 2009

Palawan 2009

Snorkeling by this sunken Japanese gun boat will make anyone want to get a diving license.

Palawan 2009

We made it to the Maquinit Hot Springs…

Palawan 2009

…right before this gorgeous sunset:

Palawan 2009

Okay, I think I just convinced myself to go back there. Haha.

Up next: El Nido!

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11 comments

    1. Palawan is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to :D Boracay is also nice, especially in the more “secluded” area of Station 1…the island has everything you need—plenty of food and hotel options, an outdoor shopping mall, clubs, massage places…and the sunsets there are amazing. I guess it depends on what you’re after in your vacation. If you want to really get away from it all, Palawan is your best bet. Look into El Nido Resorts ;)

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    1. Please don’t make me answer that very difficult question. Haha.

      I just wrote an entry about El Nido and I’m inclined to say that I like it better, but I also have a soft spot for Coron because it made me fall in love with Palawan. It also made me see that there are a lot of beautiful places waiting to be discovered in the Philippines, and it was that particular Coron trip that got me started traveling around the country. Both places are equally beautiful. What I’d love to see, though, are the islands between Coron and El Nido. Heard there was a five-day boat expedition that will take you from one point to another. Definitely adding that to my bucket list :D

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      1. Yep, that’s the one! Have you tried it?

        Where’d you stay in El Nido? Been dying to go back, but looking for a more budget-friendly place to stay :)

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  1. Gusto ko sana, kaso mahal eh! :D

    We stayed at the Entalula. It’s not as fancy as the island resorts in El Nido, but the place is perfect for budget travellers. It’s right in front of the beach and sits along the town proper.

    I’m sure you’ll find it very much affordable, rich kid. :D

    Like

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