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Things You Should Know About El Nido, Palawan

Living in a city for how many years have made me emotionally and physically frail that when I went to El Nido, Palawan I almost did not want to leave.  The breakfast in front of the beach watching the waves hitting the shore and boats floating from different directions,  locals and tourists interacting in different ways and most of all the remoteness of the place all made me forgot everything that worries me back home.  I feel like my life paused in a few days that I was not doing my office work and I am not squeezing in between those passengers trying to get in inside the metro train. 

I loved that morning when I was walking in the shore with my camera I saw this teenage boy dragging this wooden boat to the sea. As I prepare click the button to take a photo of him all set to sail, my jaw dropped because the wooden boat apparently is smaller than his body size  and looks like a toy to me.   I felt worried! As I click the button I saw him paddling his way graciously and in a few minutes he was there floating and finding his way surrounded by bigger boats. 

For El Nido, Palawan Tour Package inquiries, please email or thru mobile 0998 989 3921

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That’s the time when I took a deep breath.. whew! Lesson learned: never underestimate anyone without knowing the capability. El Nido in Palawan is a place known worldwide for its white sand beaches and limestone cliffs. It has garnered a lot of international titles like CNNGo says it is the Best Beach and Island destination in the Philippines. Its name El Nido, are Spanish words meaning “the nest” derived from the edible nests of swiftlets (collocalia fuciphaga) found in the crevices of limestone cliffs and the main ingredient for the gourmet nido soup sold in thousands of dollars per kilogram.

How to go there?

From Puerto Princesa,  the capital of Palawan where the Puerto Princesa International Airport is located, El Nido is about 7 hours via bus or 6 hours via van. From the airport you only need to take a jeepney with a sign that says San Jose Terminal for an P11 or P13 fair. Rorobus is the only bus franchise company that currently takes passengers to El Nido. Their aircon bus fair going there costs close to P500 and their regular bus costs less than P400. For vans the cost is not that far from the previous amounts I mentioned.

What to bring before going there?
There is only one atm machine that operates daytime with a relatively high transaction charge and credit cards are also not accepted so much so better bring cash with you.  The internet café also charges P50 per hour and Internet connection is slower so you should bring your laptops or tablets for comfortable online connection.

What things I should check out?
Accommodation for backpackers
Hostel La Banane is the most favorite and even recommended by Lonely Planet for backpackers. This structure has a modern look and costs only P350 a day in their dorm-type accommodation. You will need to book months in advance as they are always fully occupied. It is situated right in front of the beach so the location geographically speaking is almost perfect!
If you prefer a native ambiance of bamboo and nipa, you may check Spider Guest House, it is also a dorm – type accommodation located in front of the beach. Same with the first one, you will need to book in advance.

Restaurant with music

La Chupetta, Waterhole, Carabao, Art Café, Spider and La Saranggane these are the food places that looks like a fine dining style combined with music. These places are frequented mostly by expats over locals. Breakfast at Purple Fountain Courtyard Inn. Eat your breakfast at the beachfront which consists of fresh fruits, hot coffee, few slices of bread with a jam and butter choices in front of the beach for only P120!  They only serve breakfast until 10AM.

Island – hopping Adventure

NEVER, as in ever leave El Nido without going to the beach! I am mesmerized by the beauty of those lagoons and hidden beaches that are totally very, very clear that i saw fishes and jelly fishes (my first time to see such) even on knee – deep water! I admired the bravery and talents of the boatmen who brought us to different islands. It is not a serious thing having this job because it requires a lot of physical strength ensuring that the passengers are safe. One thing very unforgettable for me is when we had lunch at this island. We ate freshly grilled fish and pork and eggplant all prepared while we are there. I was surprised that they know how to prepare dishes visually attractive. I asked if they were trained to do it they said it is only through experience that they learned all these stuff! Really, nothing beats experience as the number one reason for learning.

I asked our tour guide slash boatman "Were you a chef before or were you trained to be? You prepare dishes with finesse."
He replied : "Nope. I learn all from experience"

I admired the bravery and talents of the boatmen who brought us to different islands. 

There's a lot more to do in El, Nido Palawan. If you have that extra physical strength and wanted to commune with nature and beach big time you may try:

4x4 In-land tour: a 4x4 excursion to waterfalls, view rice fields, drive thru forests and see secluded beaches. You can also do snorkeling and skim board or do wall climbing  and beach volleyball. Yup lunch and drinks are included!

Combo tour:
After 4x4 In-land tour and overnight stay, enjoy the following day with an island - hopping tour. Overnight stay includes large stand-up tent, full bathrooms, two manned local  paddle boats, snorkel gear and rock climbing wall, skim boards and meals. Your prize that is waiting is you get to see sunset, feel a cool breeze and experience a quiet experience!

Guided inland tour:
Sit easy inside an aircon ride cowboy in the back of a 4 x 4 car. You get to visit a hotspring, trek to Nagkalit-kalit water falls (ok fine this is optional), cross a hanging bridge and head to a beach.

an absolute of of a kind afternoon away from a crowd. Kick back in a hammock, snorkel, toss a frisbee or play volleyball. Revivie your strength back by drining straight from a coconut shell of the trees nearby!

If you are going to El Nido, Palawan let me know if you need help in accommodation and island - hopping. Just send me a message.

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