Tag Archives: Coron

Island Hopping in Coron!

Yep, you better believe it!  Blogging for 3 days in a row, woot!  I hope I got my mojo back!

Yesterday I alluded to some beautiful pictures from Coron, see it for yourself!  Even with bad weather the place is gorgeous!  And even though the weather was raining on and off, Tracy and I still managed to get majorly sunburned on our back thanks to snorkeling all day.

I wish I could remember the name of all the sights, but if you’re there and want to hit the same spots we did, ask for “Trip A” – we did add a Coral Gardens stop to our itinerary for another 200 pesos for the “park fee.”

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Our first stop was Kayangan Lake, which is the most famous spot in Coron.  You climb this huge hill to get there.  On the way, you get to take your own picture of the infamous view…

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Then after sweating your butt off going up, you climb back down and reach the lake (yep, this whole thing is a lake!).

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There are some hidden caves…

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And just beautiful things to look at above water!

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Our guide, Nono (I gave his info on yesterday’s post if you’re interested in hiring him!), was a master free diver!

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Then it was time to go to our next stop, just as the crowds were coming in…

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And we snorkeled!

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And off we went again…

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Yep, that water is for real!

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Oh, we’re having lunch here?  YES!

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Lunch.  This was delicious!  And that fish was so moist and filling!  Plus pork, shrimp, salad, rice…

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And off we go again…

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Next stop:  a shipwreck we can snorkel to!

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And then the coral garden!

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And then we got caught under heavy rain again…

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But nope, that didn’t stop us…

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We couldn’t stop laughing at how ridiculous the whole thing was!

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Then off we went to our last stop of the day…

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Twin Lagoon!

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Turns out Tracy is not much of a water person (while I can be in the water all day, every day, and not get tired of it), and she was back reading in the boat.

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For some weird reason, I look like I have a flat stomach on the picture below, so of course, it must be posted!

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Back to town…

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If you’re ever in the Philippines, I can’t recommend Coron enough!  Tiny town, relaxed, but if you like water, you’ll love the island hopping trips!  Coron was a blast – hope it’s not my last time!

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Coron!

Tracy visited me what feels like ages ago, but it was actually just a little over a month ago, and in between shopping in Manila, we took a quick trip to Coron, in Palawan. 

Coron is known for having one of the highest numbers of wrecks in the world, because its many many islands provided the perfect spot for the Japanese ships to hide during the war – they were all found in one day, bombed, and now people visit Coron to dive the wrecks (in case you’re not a diver, there are no bodies in the wrecks, all of those have been removed).

I had already been diving in Coron with Karl last year, and Tracy doesn’t dive, so our goal was to do the other thing Coron is famous for:  island hopping!

On a short tangent, we HATED the place we stayed last year:  Majika Tour and Resort.  I would NOT recommend to anyone, specially since they do a “pinoy” price and a “foreigner” price (as we found out when talking to Filipino guests who literally paid half of what we paid – it was a per-person price), so we got screwed with the foreigner price and grossly overpaid for what we got, specially since all meals, including breakfast were for Filipinos, nothing we like to eat at breakfast (Filipinos eat rice and fish for breakfast, and by fish I mean whole fish with head, scales, bones, and they pick through it.  I am not ready to eat fish, specially having to pick through anything, at 7 o’clock in the morning EVER). 

The place was not well maintained, falling apart, the “beach” they advertised was a mangrove, and we were in the middle of nowhere with no other options of food (yep, more fish and rice) or a nice place to hang out. It truly was a horrible experience (so much so, that I never even shared my pictures from that trip aside from a quick “I’m back” post because I didn’t want to relive our bad accommodations).  And yes, people here use the term “resort” very liberally.

This time?  We stayed at the Asian Grand View hotel, and I can’t recommend it enough!  It was a little on the expensive side for Coron Town (we paid about $80/night for a room with 2 beds), but still much much much cheaper than Majika, and totally worth it.  The place was brand new, in great condition with awesome pools, an amazing view, good breakfast (included!), good restaurant, free wifi, toiletries, AC, hot water (yep, we had none of that at the other place), amazing friendly staff and only a 5 minute, 15 peso tricycle ride to Coron Town!

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I would stay there again in a heartbeat!  Plus, the other advantage of staying in town is that you don’t end up paying a fortune for your island hopping trip (the island resorts overcharge for this like crazy).  Ours was P850/person (about $20) for all day island hopping, including lunch!

Sadly, the weather in Coron was not on our favor, as rainy season was in full swing.  But we braved it out as we only had one full day in town.  So despite the crappy weather, we put on our waterproof jackets and off we went…

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Yes, we’re not in Manila anymore!  Coron is a small little town!

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Getting in the boat in the pouring rain, also meant we got a whole boat for ourselves!  SCORE!

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So while debating our sanity while thinking “am I really taking a banca under monsoon-type rain to isolated islands?” our adventure was about to begin!

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But despite being unlucky with the weather, we also lucked out with our tour and boat guy – they were great!  If you’re in Coron, ask for “Nono” to guide you (www.niceinparadisetours.com / 0999-995-6313 / 0917-811-1828), you won’t regret it!

More tomorrow!  (Spoiler alert:  pictures of some beautiful places coming up!  I love Coron!)

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Back soon…

Don’t give up on my just yet – it’s been super-quiet around these parts, but at this time tomorrow Tracy will be on her flight back to NYC so all the shopping, eating out, non-working out and non-blogging will cease so normal life can resume.  (I don’t even want to weigh myself:  super bloated, clothes are tight, it’s not looking good…)

More pictures and updates from our trip to Kota Kinabalu and from my trip with Tracy to Coron.  Meanwhile, I’ve posted a ton to instagram lately, and this is what you missed…

Drinking red ginseng tea on my way to pick up Tracy at the airport…  (I was running a 101 fever then – not fun.)

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First glimpse at our hotel in Kota Kinabalu (highly recommend the Magellan Sutera – it was wonderful!).

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Enjoying the pool, while facing the (tiny) beach.

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Karl can’t help but pick up (other people’s) trash from the beach.

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Sunday, when my fever was finally gone (without needing to take a fever reducer to function – all gone for real!), we woke up to this (and it was like that ALL DAMN DAY – and it wasn’t just rain, that walkaway flooded soon after):

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Inappropriate much?

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Yes, the postcard was cute…

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Another shot of our lovely hotel!

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If you ever wondered:  yep, Starbucks is the same in any country you go to…

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Philippines Independence day!  HUGE flag in Ayala Park!

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Tracy getting her first foot massage in Asia!

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We made it to Coron!  Now it’s dinnertime!

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My dinner:  kinilaw (Filipino ceviche – it’s amazing!) and garlic squid.  With rice, of course, this is the Philippines after all.

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Tracy’s first halo-halo experience.  Now we keep shouting “halo-halo!” “HALO!” like idiots.  Inside joke, Karl did not get it…

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Surprise, surprise!  The view from our hotel (Asia Grand View) was awesome!  Highly recommend it, by the way, super nice people, quiet, a 5 minute, 15 pesos, tricycle ride to town and you get to look at this during breakfast…

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Waiting for boarding at the Coron Airport.  And yes, this is the whole thing.

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Back in Manila!  Tracy shops at the Mall of Asia!

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And buys a ridiculous amount of SPAM at the hypermarket…

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Remember our friends who adopted the kitten I found?  Soooo…  They pulled a Carla, and on Saturday I went to help them feed this tiny little kitten.  Here’s hoping he makes it.  Like the one I found, this also had no mom to be found, but was in the middle of the street.  He doesn’t even have his eyes open yet, and the umbilical cord is still attached…

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If you have dinner with Tracy, this is what happens:

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Lily getting some loving from Karl…

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All dressed up, nowhere to go!

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Tracy went shopping in Divisoria, and all she got was this huge coffee bun.  Seriously, no purses?  This time, I bought not bags for myself, and was super-proud.  Baby steps.

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Karl showing off his Bangkok purchase from January.  May the froth be with you.

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Greenhills!  Tracy now regrets not buying the necklace she’s holding in the picture.

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Pearls at Greenhills…  Yes, I bought more.  Because you can’t have too many necklaces, right?

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Lots of construction noise going on upstairs.  Lily was very scared (but super cuddly, so it’s a win for me!).

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Off to Coron!

Things have been quiet around these parts this week. Tracy is here this week, and right now we’re at the airport waiting for our flight to Coron, where hopefully the weather will be nice and we can do some island hopping!

Pictures to come! We’ll be back on Friday!

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