Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our Amazing Palawan Vacation - A Recap

Our Coron escapade was our longest vacation yet. We had an amazing time - save for the one day I had to stay in bed due to cramps (can't stop the biological clock from ticking!). Anyway, here are my thoughts on Coron and our amazing vacation:
  • Majika is a lovely resort, but I definitely won't come back until they've installed airconditioning. Even with huge windows, the cottages feel like an oven in summer.

  • Coron is beautiful. Cayangan Lake. Twin Lagoons. The wrecks. The snorkeling places. But it's becoming too crowded. I'm scared of what it will become in a few years.

  • I wish the locals will take care of the Coron town proper and keep it clean.

  • I wish there are better eating places in Coron. La Sirenetta isn't so bad.

  • I wish I can eat fresh seafoods in Coron. Not just the squid, but really good prawns, crabs and lobsters.

  • I don't know why Maquinit Hot Spring is so popular. I don't think it's great. The moss on the cement is icky. Maybe it's just me. I never liked Camiguin's famed hot springs either. Icky.

  • Coron's Mangrove channel (near Sangat Island and the Bintuan Marine Sanctuary) is awesome and should be part of every tourist's itinerary. Did you know that 2/3 of the Philippines' mangrove forests are in Palawan? When you go snorkeling, you are most likely going to have the same experience over and over again. So why hop from one snorkeling spot to another? Go to the mangrove forest for a different experience. You can kayak to the mangrove forest from Majika.

  • Culion is worth a visit. It's a beautiful island and is very rich in history. I wish our government will exert more effort in preserving historical sites like Culion. And the museum can be improved. It obviously needs more funding. And granted that not a lot of people will see it, and will therefore not generate revenue, it's still worth saving. It's musty and mouldy, and dark, and smelled of gas from the floorwax. But it has a rich history. It tells a great story. People worked hard to make it one of the best leprosariums in the world during the early 20th century. And you can spend the morning there and still have time to snorkel and go to the more popular sites. So go!

  • Calauit is amazing. I've heard rumors that it will close down soon. I pray it's not true. It's one of its kind. I know it's a bit out of the way and it's expensive to go there (because it's far!), but it's worth it. Over 3,000 hectares of land where giraffes, zebras, deers, antelopes and other animals run freely. It is also a birdwatcher's paradise with birds of all shapes, sizes and colors fly from tree to tree. It's beautiful.

  • I can't make up my mind on which resort is better - El Nido or Club Paradise. Club Paradise wins in terms of facilities/amenities. But El Nido has better food and a more breathtaking location.

  • If you want to explore Coron, stay in the nearby islands (like Majika or Sangat) or if you don't mind the crowd and noise, stay in the city. But if you want a relaxing vacation in Coron, Club Paradise is the place to be. It offers enough adventures, but nothing too taxing. It has its own reef for a great snorkeling experience and you have a good chance of spotting turtles and a dugong. The peak of the island is a short and easy trek that even the most unexperienced hiker can easily conquer. Or you can choose to relax by the long stretch of white sand beach, or by the pool. It's in my list of places to return to (on top of that list is El Nido).

  • Watching thousands of fruit bats fly out into the night at Club Paradise is another noteworthy experience. On our first day, we spent a long time looking up the sky and just watching them fly away.

  • We didn't do any kayaking during this trip. I regret that we didn't go to the mangrove channel at night during our stay in Majika and we didn't get to see the sea fireflies (planktons that light up at night). It's one reason to go back to Majika - when they already have airconditioning.

  • I'm glad we decided not to go to far off islands (Banana, Calomboyan, Malcapuya) and instead opted to visit Culion and Calauit. How different can one island be from another? Our Culion and Calauit tours offered a much more unique experience.

  • Mt. Tapyas gives you bragging rights - climbing up 762 steps isn't easy - but if the schedule is tight, you're probably better off skipping this.
Here are some videos that Ariel took while we were in Coron. Pardon the quality. I'm new at this. :)
1. 360 degree view at the peak of the hill behind the cottages of Majika Resort.
2. 360 degree view of Dimakya Island - taken at the highest point of the island.
3. Snorkeling around Dimakya Island, with a footage of our encounter with a Dugong.
4. Encounter with wildlife at the Calauit Reserve.

And here are the links to my previous blog posts - a detailed account of our Coron Escapade.
Part 1 - Arriving in Coron, first day in Majika island Resort
Part 2 - Days 2 and 3 in Majika: Tour of Coron Island which includes the Twin Lagoons, Cayangan Lake, Banol Beach and CYC Beach
Part 3 - Days 4 and 5: Transfer to Coron Village Lodge at the town proper, our climb up Mt. Tapyas, a short visit to Maquinit Hot Springs, tour of Cullion Island, snorkeling at the Bintuan Marine Sanctuary (Coral Garden, Caldave Marine Park) and Sangat Gunboat
Part 4 - Day 6: Transfer to Club Paradise at Dimakya Island
Part 5 - Day 7: Going up the hiking trail at Club Paradise and our Calauit Reserve tour
Past 6 - Days 8 and 9: The final installment - Exploring the waters around Dimakya Island, and our encounter with a Dugong

I think this is the first time I was able to edit ALL photos and blogged about a trip within just a month. I still haven't gotten around to finishing our photos and blogging about our Cambodia, Vietnam, Dumaguete and Singapore trips last year! I'll finish them someday. :)

Some people appreciate that I go through all the details of our vacation. Some probably don't have the patience. I love reading through my blog and I love all the details. They help me remember.

And before I move on to other posts, I leave you with my favorite photo from this trip.
Sunset Stroll

Happy reading!

2 comments:

cagayan de oro resorts said...

Great article, pretty much sums up on what to expect. And there is no such thing is the perfect, if there is such a thing.

jonaks said...

that is really a gorgeous photo. you know my vote - El nido resorts. bias kasi?