Coron, Palawan, Philippines
Bright and early flight with Philippine Airlines to Coron, Busuanga (1hr) with a transfer via Manila and it was pretty empty. Our second flight (1hr) from Manila is where we met Bev’s cousin Keely (Ketti’s twin) & her husband JP who were joining us for some island fun.
The ride from the airport to Coron was about 40mins. We stayed at Corto del Mar. After dropping off our stuff at the hotel and trying a bunch of different snacks, we decided to go for lunch. For lunch we went to Lobster King Coron. Everything we got was delicious. San Miguel is the beer of the Philippines and we tried the Apple flavour – tastes like a cider.
We ended up walking around the streets looking through the shops for a bit.
Went back to the hotel where they brought up the 10 coconuts we asked for earlier ready to poke and drink from.
We changed our clothes and footwear to prep for our next stop where we would get in a few steps. 725 steps to be more precise at Mount Tapyas. It is free entrance. We definitely worked up a sweat making our way to the top but it was worth it. You get beautiful views overlooking the town, there’s a giant cross & a sign for Coron like the big Hollywood sign in LA.
Make sure to bring your own water because the kids selling it up top are selling for almost 1-2USD each which is expensive in the Philippines. It’s also a great spot to watch the sun set which we did. My brother Andrew and Gayaanan met up with up there. They have been travelling/living around Asia since October 2022. It was nice that we were able to schedule it so we would be in the same country for a bit. The sunset was magical.
We booked it down once the sun hit the top of the mountain so we could make our way to Maquinit Hot Springs. It is the only hot salt water pool in the Philippines. If you are travelling by the bicycles, you will get real dusty as the path up is dirt at points. Really refreshing to be in the hot salt water pool and even better to stand up and let the little wind hit you to cool you down. The temperatures are around 38 – 40°C.
We decided to eat at Corto del Mar restaurant and the food was absolutely delicious and we did family style sharing. We had Halo Halo 4 days in a row and I wasn’t complaining. This time, we put our Halo Halo into the Coconut shells that we drank from earlier and cut it open.
Coron, Palawan, Philippines
Bev’s half way point
Scuba & snorkel day. We rented a private boat having Tim & Beer as the Dive Master’s.
The 3 dive sites we visited were Coral island, Twin Peaks Reef – Dimanglet island & Siete Pecados.
JP, Keely, Bev & Gayaanan all did 3 dives each while Elein did 2 discovery dives. Andrew and myself did not dive but snorkelled each spot and also kayaked around Twin Peaks where we also kayaked over to the entrance of Barracuda lake and surrounding area.
We also had lunch on the boat – Grilled egg coated eggplant, snapper fish & chicken curry.
A good day on the waters.
When we arrived back from our day on the waters, we showered and walked to dinner. While we were walking to dinner, we passed by Coron Town Plaza where there are basketball courts, tennis and saw volleyball happening. Keely is the one who approached them to ask if we could play and they yelled back sure! Bev & myself hopped in to play a set in sandals. Rusty but fun.
For dinner, we went to Real St and ate at this food hall that has multiple restaurants under the same roof with live music. We ordered a whole bunch of things to share like schnitzel, spring rolls, pansit but the the best was the sisig pizza.
Coron, Palawan, Philippines
We started off the morning going to the local market to grab fish and other ingredients to cook on the boat. Some of the pretty fishes we saw the day before were now going to be on our plate – unicorn and parrot fish.
We rented a boat to go island hopping. The goal was hit up 4 spots but unfortunately we ended up only going to 3. We also rented SUP boards but that also delayed us as it was harder to locate them.
Our first stop was Ditaytayan Island with a sandbar. It takes awhile to get there but it was really nice. We pulled out the SUP boards and luckily the one side wasn’t too wavy or windy. We also ate lunch there.
Our second stop was at Malcapuya Island with a lovely white sand beach where we took a dip into the warm waters. We also got turon here! – Turon is basically banana lumpia with caramel.
Our third stop was Twin Lagoon where there is a rock formation that looks like a rhinoceros. There is also a tunnel you can pass through at low tide. When it’s high tide, you can still go through the tunnel or you can opt to climb the stairs to go over and into. Walls of sheer cliffs of karst surround you in the two bodies of water.
Our fourth spot which would’ve put the icing on the cake was Kayangan Lake. It’s said to be the cleanest lake in the Philippines and has crystal-clear freshwater. It has 360 steps to get to the top where you should get picturesque views. SADLY, we missed the last admittance at 420PM as the sun was slowly going down. Just FYI, life jackets are compulsory due to 2 Czech travellers who died from free diving at the lake previously.
Although we couldn’t go to the 4th location, we ordered halo halo the moment we got back to the hotel since we couldn’t get any ice bars at the 4th location. We also made it back in time for Bev and myself to go back to the courts and get in a set or 2 of volleyball with the locals in proper footwear this time.
After playing volleyball, sweating and chatting with some new friends (Melisa, Chester, Luv & Dominic), we went back to Corto Del Mar restaurant for dinner. We shared the half/half meat lover/Hawaiian pizza, pork sisig, cream lemon fish penne, lechon sinigang.
Bev, Elein and myself all woke up feeling a little off. I guess our stomachs are weak to have clams and oysters in the Philippines. Food poisoning but also not quite. We were all definitely off but the rest were fine.
We parted ways from JP, Keely, Andrew & Gayaanan while we went back to Cebu.
We flew with Cebu Pacific. They checked everyone’s bags including carry-on. These 3 European girls held up the line. On the plane, it was very hot as they don’t turn on the fans until they are just about to leave thus the cheaper flight tickets. My seat padding was almost non-existent but I managed to somewhat nap.
When we landed, Elein went for a massage while Bev and myself went to a late lunch/early dinner with her cousin Friedrich at Abaca. I ordered the spam and hijiki fried rice but I really should’ve just ordered congee. It was super flavourful but way to much umami my stomach couldn’t quite handle after the previous day.
We were very lethargic in unpacking and packing for the next day’s adventure.