Coron – The Travel Guide

Things to knowCoron is located in the North of Palawan, just above El Nido on the map.

Coron, simular to El Nido, can get very busy very quickly. Book your accommodation as far in advance as possible. We had to change hotels three times just to be able to stay here for a week. My cousin also had issues with accommodation and had to move around a lot. 

There isn’t much to do on land, everything involves boat trips. There isn’t a sun bathing worthy beach on land either.

There are 2 ATMs 🙂

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Getting to Coron

The fast ferry from El Nido is the best way to get to Coron if you are travelling north from Puerto Princesa. The Phimal Ferry takes 5 hours and costs around 1700 peso each. You can buy tickets from the Art Cafe in El Nido town. This boat isn’t huge so I would recommend booking a few days before you intend on leaving. The first boat is at 8am, so make sure you get to the port with enough time to sign in, pay terminal fee 15 peso and get your bags on the boat.

Coron also has an airport which you can fly into. I am not sure how frequent these are as I did not fly in or out of Coron.

 

Accomodation - Bondi the Travel Guide

Backpacker- Hop hostel –  A really nice place to stay, imagine Santorini colours!

Hop Hostel, Coron, Palalwan

 

BudgetDivine Castle Travellers Inn It was a nice hotel with breakfast included. They will also help you with trips and pick ups.

Divine Castle Travellers Inn, Coron Palawan

 

Luxury-  Asia Grand View hotel. This hotel was incredible! The rooms were huge, clean and very peaceful. With a pool and restaurant there isn’t too much of a reason to leave the grounds. 1000 Peso to use the pool if you are not a guest.

Asia Grand View hotel, Coron, Palawan

 

 

Places to Eat

Unfortunately I caught food poisoning here so I didn’t actually eat many places, Olly on the other hand did.

Breakfast and Coffee

Coffee Kong 

Buzz Express – Great coffee and western food. This place takes card!!

Dinner & Drinks

Altrove This place is insanely good! Italian restaurant which is the same owner as Altrove in El Nido. It has the best pizzas and pastas in town! We would recommend the pizza though, the dough was extremely fresh!

La Sirenetta – This place is right over the water, beautiful setting but slightly hard to find. Just look up for this photo (Mermaid photo below) and you will find it at the bottom of the alley way off the Main Street.

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Hangover Bar seems to be the bar open till the latest in the whole town.

Places to visit

Boat trips 

We did one trip as a group with 20 other people which cost 1500. 

Super Ultimate tour is the most popular one to do as you see the most amount places. This normally costs 1500 peso per person, this was the cheapest we found at a shop called Timothy Travel and Tours. All you need is your self, a camera and maybe some cash to buy some beer when you stop for lunch.

Private Boats 

The next day we hired a private boat for 2700 for 4 of us, plus the entrance fees to each location and we went to a market and picked all of our own lunch. 

Kayangan Lake – This is the most popular spot so get here around 8am to beat the crowds. There is a a moderate amount of steps up to the look out and then a walk down to the other side to access the lake. As it is fresh water, you have to wear a life jacket and there is a marshal on guard who will not let you pass without one. The water is crystal clear and worth the hike. Swim around the sides to see the hidden caves!

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Kayangan Lake

Coral Garden & Siete Pecados – Grab a snorkel and go enjoy this incredible reef.

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Coral Garden 

 

Twin Lagoon – Life jackets must be warn here too. Short swim around as the boats do not enter, to some stairs which shows you the other side. You can also swim under the stairs but it is crowded.

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Twin Lagoon

 

Skeleton Wreck  – WW2 Japanese ships are in an abundance in Coron. Most of the wrecks here are only visible from scuba diving, but there is one which you can see from the surface.

Barracuda Lake – Another Life jacket destination. Fresh water lake is the clearest water I have ever seen. You can see straight down to the bottom as it is 70% fresh water, 30% salt. If you are lucky you will spot the famous instagram rock which is very popular for photos!

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Barracuda Lake

Beach/Reef & Wreck tour – If you want to check out a few beaches and snorkel some ship wrecks then this trip is the one for you. 

 

On Land 

Mt Tapyas – Hike to the Coron Sign! Imagine the ‘Hollywood’ sign..but a Filipino version. Lots of stairs for a beautiful look out over the whole island.

 

Leaving Coron

 Go2Travel Ferry to Manila – 2500 Peso Each (Non Aircon)

This is the only company which has a ferry to Manila, this also sells out very quickly. There is 2 boats a week, Thursdays and Sundays and I suggest booking this as early as possible. Air con accommodation sells out and we had to book the open air accommodation which was hell, it was boiling! There is about 200 of you on one floor (see photo below) You do get linen with your ticket which is worth collecting from the first class section. Bring snacks and water as there isn’t much on board. This ferry leaves at 4pm and gets to Manila around 7am.

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Flights were sold out for 2 weeks in advance leaving Coron to Manila. If you are planning ahead, make sure there is an affordable flight if you would rather fly out of here.

Click below for the Manila Guide!

Manila Guide

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Siquijor- The Travel Guide

Siquijor is an island at the bottom of Cebu, the best way to get there is a ferry from Dumaguete port. We got a Ceres bus from Moalboal to the Liloan port which takes you to Sibulan port, get a tricycle for 100 peso to the other port. This picture makes it a lot easier to visualise

Once you are at Dumaguete the you will need to get a ferry over to Siquijor. The fastest and most popular ferry is the Ocean Jet. There is another ferry called Montenegro which takes 2 hours and takes you to a different port in Siquijor which is slightly further away from the main town but it’s not the end of the world, we got this ferry as Ocean Jet had all sold out. Aleson boats also run during the week but these are much smaller and I wouldn’t chance it. There is also a small terminal fee which is 15 peso.

  • Ocean Jet Ferry- quickest and most popular. Holds 300 people, arrives at Siquijor main port.
  • Montenegro Ferry170 peso, 2 hours, holds 300 people, arrives at Lorena Port and Siqujior, so check which one you have booked.
  • Aleson Ferry– only during the week, unsafe, holds around 20 people.

 

Get there as early as you can as when we arrived at 12 there was only 1 ferry left with limited tickets!!! This took us 4 hours to get a ticket, with an hour wait then. 2 hour ferry ride. Give your self enough time to travel. You may be able to buy tickets online but with the limited WiFi in the Philippines I wouldn’t have a clue.

Failing that, there is a Ocean Jet office around the corner which we did not realise until we spoke to someone else who had a lot less stress than we did.

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The left red dot is the hidden Ocean Jet Office 

Rent a moped from the port as it will be easy to return it once you leave the island as you will leave from the same port. Mopeds are around 350 peso for the day and if you are not confident then make sure you get an automatic bike. A full tank of petrol is around 150 peso, the petrol stations are small shacks with huge coke glasses filled with red or green liquid. This is the petrol, get the person there to check if you need red or green.

Accommodation

Tori’s paradise and Toris paradise backpackers are two separate places.

Toris Paradise, Siquior

I stayed at Tori’s paradise which has its own beach and pool and with dorms from £6 you can’t go wrong. With the island being very chilled and relaxed, what better place to chill by the spool or in the sea than here. The backpackers are more wooden shacks on the beach.

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If you are looking for a bit more luxury then Coco Grove Resort is the place for you! It can be argeued that this is the best hotel on the resort and its easy to see why in the picture below.

Coco Grove Resort, Siquior

 

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With all the waterfalls there will be a parking fee of anything between 10-50 peso. The ‘volunteers’ will also insist you have a guide but most places you don’t need one as they will ask for a tip at the end, just say you have been there before and they will leave you alone. At one of the waterfalls they were kids and it felt so fake and forced we didn’t feel comfortable being there. We don’t mind paying a volunteer tip if they are worth it..we are backpackers after all.

The famous Cambugahay Falls! Each rope swing is at different levels and cost 50 peso for each one with unlimited jumps as well as a bamboo raft you can pay to use. You can find a good spot and go for a swim but this place gets super super busy so make it one of the first places you go if you’re setting off early to get the Instagram shot. This places also has about 200 steps to get down to the waterfall so buy water for the hike back up.

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Cambugahay Falls 

 

Lugnason Falls – This was by far the best waterfall as it was completely empty when we got here early. This place has a huge free rope swing into the pool underneath.We didn’t have a guide but it does actually help to have on here as they show you where is safe to jump and help you climb up the waterfall to jump off the top. They also become your biggest fan if you’re scared about jumping and It’s also kinda cool to watch them all do the most incredible backflips here .

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Lugnason Falls

Lagaan Falls 50 peso to enter, 20peso parking there is a smaller swing here with places to slide off and climb up. Not as exciting as the others & most expensive to access.

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Lagaan Falls

 

Mt Malabahoc- it’s a beautiful drive of you’re confident on a moped. Just stick it in maps and drive up there. We did manage to find a look out up here too.

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Mt Malabahoc

Cantabon Cave

Salagdoong beach which I think you have to pay a small fee to jump from the cliff edge

Paliton beach BEWARE OF JELLYFISH

Kagusuan Beach

Firefly sanctuary- in Hambilica resort ( search it on maps.me) you can pay a small fee and go check them out.

Places to Eat

Monkey Business – $$ I loved this place, it has such a cool vibe and a beautiful interior and In the middle of the main town which is surrounded with local tin shacks is this place that stands out. It gets crazy busy for dinner as there isn’t much in the way of nightlife on Siquijor and shuts at 11:30pm but it has live music and great fruit shakes. Try the spicy spring roll challenge for free beer.

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Monkey Business
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Monkey Business 

Legends $$- craving English coffee or food? Take the short drive here. The English owner is so friendly and has some amazing stories and photos of famous people he has met. Well worth it for the chat

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Legends

 

El Monte $- in Lazi this place is super cheap and had the best WiFi I have come across on the whole island

Twenty 4 Burger $– also in Lazi, it’s trip advisors number 2 place to eat in the whole of Siquijor.

Bahar Bar $– by far the best place to have dinner, sit downstairs and eat by candle light with a beautiful singer. Upstairs has a drinking game where every time you order they put a tick by what nationality you are so you can do your country proud by destroying your liver.

For travel tips on Bohol click here!

Want to read our Journey In Bohol instead? Click here 

Oslob and Moalboal – The Travel Guide

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 19.47.04The island of Cebu is south of Manila and is in the country’s Central Visayas region. It is home to many top tourist attractions such as Kasawan falls and the famous Whale Sharks.

Getting out of the airport

Using the app Rome2Rio we were able to see that from Cebu airport we needed to get to the bus station (south bus terminal ) and there was a Ceres bus for only £2 which is 140 pesos for a 4 hour journey. As soon as we got out of the aiport there were lots of taxi drivers who are trying to take you the whole way to Oslob for 3000 pessos but if you manage to get to the taxi rank (white taxi’s are cheaper and always ask for meter) then you can head to the bus station. On the way to the bus station our driver agreeded to take us to Oslob for 1800 Pesos as we wern’t aware we had arrived on a Holy Day and the traffic was horrendous, the bus would have taken 6 hours.

 

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Accommodation

We stayed at New Village Lodge here which we found on Agoda. The location was great, very close to everything we needed. The rooms are very clean and the wifi is great in the reception area. They can help you plan all your trips you want to do from Oslob and arrange pick ups which is super helpful!

New Village Lodge, Oslob, Cebu

Another great acoomdation is Noordzee Hostel which is located on a beautiful beach and the hostel itself is close to the ports with boats taking you to Bohol or Siquior. 

Noordzee Hostel, Cebu

 

 

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Whale Sharks

Oslob is home to the famous Whale Shark experience. This trip has become extremely popular so I advise to go as early as you can to beat the crowds. We left our hotel at 5:30am and was in the water with the Sharks by 6:15. The whole trip takes roughly an hour depending on crowds but you get 30 minutes in the water. There is also nowhere to leave bags or valuables so if you are doing this without a driver to look after your things, only take your camera and a towel. The fee to swim with them is 1000 pesos per person and our travel to and from the Sharks cost us 300 pesos. Bring your GoPro as it is a huge one ticked off both of our bucket lists! 

This is a hugely controversial subject as many people do not agree with the fishermen feeding them for tourists and think it is changing the feeding habits of these Sharks. Others believe it is keeping this once endangered species alive. Make of is what you will but I would suggest going with an open mind. Both times I have swam with these giants I arrived in Oslob not convinced if I would take part. This time swimming with the whale sharks the locals have a much better structured interaction and seem to be handling the influx of tourists well. I did no witness any sharks being touched or bashing into the boats which I did witness in 2017. 

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Waterfalls

Tumalog Falls and Aguinid Falls, with the furthest of the two being a 40 minute drive away. They both have a 40-60 peso per person fee to enter and the whole journey cost us 500 Peso each. Both waterfalls can get very busy so I advise to go early again to beat the crowds. Tumalog is a pretty and you are able to swim where as Aguinid falls you trek up the waterfall with a guide. I wore wet shoes which saved my life as flipflops slide off the vertical walls you will walk up and I took my wet bag with me too. The guide is free but they expect a tip.

Tumalog Falls
Tumalog Falls
Aguinid Falls
Aguinid Falls

 

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Oslob Heritage Park

 

Getting from Oslob to Moalboal

From the main road in Oslob we caught the Ceres Bus which is 40 peso per person to Bato where you get another bus from Bato to Moalboal which costs 90 peso per person. There are two buses, one with aircon and one without and I would wait for the aircon bus as it takes around 3 hours for this journey. 

 

Moalboal

Pronounced Mo-ahl-bo-ahl

Things to knowThe main town of Moalboal is 90km from Cebu city, on the west side of the island. The part everyone goes to and talks about is actually called Panagsana Beach. In resent years Panagsana Beach has become internationally reowned for the incredible Sardine run just meters offshore. This tiny town is the most touristy part of the island we have come across. There are lots of bars and restaurants and is a great place to meet people. On Panagsana beach (which is tiny) you can hire a snorkel and flippers from a nearby shop and swim out to see millions of sardines.

In Moalboal its self there is an ATM but in Panagsana Beach there is only 1 ATM which doesn’t always work.

Accommodation

We stayed at a lovely lodge called Divers Lodge which was 1500 peso a night for a luxury room..by luxury we mean a working shower and fan but the owner did hook us up with a great moped to rent for the whole time we were there.

Diver Lodge, Moalboal, Cebu

 

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From Panagsana Beach we swam for an hour in the other direction, to the left of the beach, and we saw 4/5 turtles just swimming along. I wouldn’t pay for a trip from the shops if you are looking to save money to see turtles or sardines as they are just off of the beach in this area. There is a small island called Pescador Island you can do a trip to which does have incredible snorkeling but other than that just grab a mask and jump in!

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If you are after a better beach, White Beach is about a 15 minute moped ride away which is mostly locals but it is a nice beach and not busy during the week. There are two goverment tolls on the way which I think were 5 pesos each. 

White Beach

 

Kawasan Falls 

Kawasan Falls

 

Kawasan Falls – I have done the canyoneering before and it is really fun and exciting but it is hard! It takes a moderate level of fitness and swimming and it does take 3 hours to finish. One tip is to save your GoPro battery for the end of the canyoneering as it is the most beautiful part. 

If you don’t want to do the trekking, you can head straight to the bottom where it is 50 peso to park your moped and 75 peso to enter and you can swim around the bottom famously pictured waterfall. It does get very busy so go early as possible and head up to the left of the waterfall just above it to get some different shots to everyone else. Find more info on the perfect Instagram shots at this waterfall here.

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Places to Eat

Pleasure Principles – Slightly more pricey than other places but 100% worth your money. We reccomend the prawns!

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Cockonuts- Great wifi and very cheap food. You can sit right on the water edge and enjoy sunset with a cocktail and spring rolls!

Coconuts

 

The French Coffee Shop – Perfect place for your morning ice coffee!

French

 

Stay tuned for our travel tips for the island of Siqujior! 

Or do you want to read what we got up to in Siquijor? Check out our journey below!

Our Siquijor Journey 

Travelling Take Two

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We flew into Manila which is the capital of the Philippines and only stayed one night as we had our flight booked to Cebu the next day but after a 14 hour direct flight from Heathrow we needed one night to recover.

There isn’t too much to do here, most people only use Manila as a stopping over place but we did book into Lub D Makati. The Lub D hostels are a chain throughout Thailand and some have been voted the best hostels in South East Asia so we thought this was perfect for our first night getting used to being a backpacker again. The rooms are huge, the beds are comfortable and the wi-fi is great. Not to mention the clean bathrooms with hairdryer and straightener on the side for everyone to use. This hostel was great and it is very safe here. The staff are also super friendly and helped us get a ‘Grab’ (Philippines equivalent to Uber).

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As I was only here for one night we went out for one drink in Penthouse, a fancy 1920’s bar that looks out over the most of Manila. The bar is on the 24th floor and the entrance on the ground floor looks residential, so just walked in and ask the guard for the bar. The first thing we see is the ‘no guns’ sign. 

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The first night here I did wake Olly up at 2am thinking we had slept in till the afternoon and started to panic but he told me to shut up and go back to sleep. We managed to sleep until 7am and we were wide awake which was so annoying. Somehow we managed to get back to sleep..and woke up at 1pm! Just in time for lunch! God how I have missed being able to sleep as much as I want. Olly doesn’t share this love and wants to get up and go and explore straight away. Lets see how long this lasts..

Our next post will be about the island of Cebu and everything this amazing place has to offer.