The morning after our island hopping adventures out of El Nido, we were up bright and early to catch the boat to Coron. You can buy tickets to Coron almost anywhere in El Nido, and I’d done a little reading about the trip, and it sounded pretty horrible.
The only information I could find online from people taking this boat said that their boats sank and they had to swim to shore, or their captains were drunk, etc, so it was a little disheartening, but we weren’t not going to go. I feel like that happens a lot though, either we are the luckiest people in the world, or most people have absolutely no problems, but it’s only the few who do that post anything about their experience.
Our boat left from the El Nido harbour, it’s pretty easy to get to, but once we were there, things were a little confusing. Nobody seemed very sure where we were supposed to go, and there was another boat leaving at the same time, so we didn’t want to end up taking the wrong one.
We eventually got on the boat, and it was actually really wonderful. There were two decks, and not that many people, so everyone had tons of room. Once we were on our way, everyone kind of dispersed about the ship and carved out a little spot for themselves. I made a bed out of lifejackets and cuddled in with my laptop. I had rented a few movies for the boat ride since it was 8 hours, but I only ended up watching one of them, because the view outside was so amazing.
The water colour is so beautiful, and there are all these little islands and outcroppings, we saw one with the most adorable little house on it, my dream home for sure. Also, there were these amazing little flying fish, they would jump out of the water and fly across the surface for a really long ways, and their fins would leave trails across the water. I watched them for hours, and must have taken about 4,000 pictures trying to get a decent one, but you never knew where they were going to come up from, so it was a bit tricksy.
I completely forgot we were on a ferry from point A to point B, it was pretty much like a really beautiful booze cruise, although I forgot to bring any booze. The boat even had wi-fi. I was pretty impressed by the whole experience, but if I had to give anybody tips it would be, be sure to bring lots of water, it gets hot and there isn’t any on the boat, and bring snacks if you want some. They served us lunch, it was rice with veggies and chicken in sauce, but I wasn’t eating meat by then so I just stuck with my sleeve of Oreos, obviously the healthier choice.
I would like to take this moment to point out a very important thing, in case you are thinking of taking this boat to Coron. Just because you take one boat there, does not mean you will be taking the same boat, or even a similar boat back. If the ride there was amazing, and it was, I wish I would have known how spoiled we were, because then I would have enjoyed it even more.
When we took the boat back to El Nido two days later, we were on a tiny, one deck little fishing boat. There were about 40 people on it, we were literally sitting side by side on a wooden plank for 8 hours. Because the boat was so small, one side was always fully in the sun, so whoever was sitting there had to put up makeshift tents made from sarongs and towels.
D ended up chatting with one of the deck hands, and he told us we could go up on top of the boat topper, so we did, which was nice because we actually had some room, but it was realllly hot up there. The ride back really wasn’t that bad, it was nothing like the horror stories I’d read about online, but it was a lot less comfortable than the ride there. Both boats go back and forth several times a week, so if you have any flexibility in your dates, try to take the good boat both ways, I promise you will thank me for it.
Coron itself wasn’t really what I was expecting. It’s a small island, but it’s very busy because of all of the divers, so walking down the street was kind of like taking your life into your hands, there were tricycles racing back and forth all over the place.
We stayed at a nice little hostel we had found online, it ended up being a great place to stay, but as we were walking down from the road across wooden beams over a muddy pit to check in, I wasn’t sure what we were going to find. The people next door actually had a few little pigs, and you could hear them and see them from the shower.
We were’t in Coron very long, just one full day that was spent diving (more about that in my next post) but we met some nice people while we were there. They also had a vegetarian restaurant in town. You had to order the hummus 24 hours in advance, but I was having such bad withdrawals after being in Bali for two months that I decided to go for it, and we came back to eat it the next night, after our day of diving. It was definitely worth the wait.