During our December holidays, after visiting Hong Kong and Malaysia, we continued to the Philippines. We considered a few options, but decided to stick to the islands of Palawan in the South-West; mostly persuaded by the option to do some wreck diving and having read that it has some of the best island hopping in the country.
After two short flights with an overnight stay at an airport, we landed on Coron at 6.30 AM. Less than 3 hours later we were already on a boat for a day of island hopping. The combination of salty, warm water, boating, snorkeling, swimming, and hiking made for a stunning first day.
The second day, we started our advanced open water diving course at Reggae Dive Center. I’m not gonna lie, it’s not the most comforting name for a dive center that should make you feel well trained, but we had read great reviews and weren’t disappointed. Our dive instructor, Tom, was meticulous and well-prepared, and we loved his thoroughness. That day we did our navigation training and dove to two wrecks, sunken during W.W. II.
Unfortunately, Kim got quite badly sick after that so I did the second day of diving by myself. The coolest dive on that day was definitely the one into Baracuda Lake, with its 10m layer of fresh water at about 28º and below it the salty water of close to 40º. A great spot to practice buoyancy and also getting to 30m depth for the first time.
Kim’s health got worse, so we were forced to change our island hopping to some hospital and pharmacy hopping.
Read our experiences in El Nido below the pictures
After Coron, we took the ferry to El Nido. We had to delay that for a few days because there was a storm raging nearby and it wasn’t safe to cross. The boat ride – even after the storm had calmed down – was rocky to say the least and we were happy to set foot ashore again.
We took a nighttime motorcycle ride to Nacpan Beach, an absolutely stunning place and spent the night at the beautiful and very affordable Sunset Hue Resort. We relaxed a lot in Nacpan and did a great sailing trip there.
In Corong Corong, right below El Nido, we spent our final beach nights and enjoyed some kayaking before taking a shuttle to Puerto Princesa and fly back to Kuala Lumpur for our last few days in the region.
Every evening in the Philippines, we were treated with breathtaking sunsets. Even though Kim got sick, we would go back there any time for some more relaxing.