Our time in the Philippines was not very long, but it was nothing short of amazing. I learned a few things during our travels that I wish I’d known before, so definitely wanted to pass those tips along. You can also check out my tips for traveling Australia, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia.
Night Bus: We flew from Manila to Puerto Princesa on a late evening flight, and we had two choices. We could either spend a night in Puerto Princesa, and give up a full day of our travels to a bus ride, or we could suck it up, and take the night bus. We’d been told by a few people that the night buses were dangerous, not so much for the roads or the driving, but because of muggings and violence. I felt like the information we had gotten wasn’t very accurate, and was mostly driven by fear, as we didn’t really hear any specific stories of things that had happened, so we decided to go for it. Our experience was completely fine, we had no problems at all, and we were able to see a lot more in a short time because we didn’t waste our days on the bus.
ATM: One of the things that is definitely good to know, is that there is no ATM in El Nido. If you are traveling there, make sure to bring enough cash to last you for the whole trip, because running out of money there would not be good.
Boat to Coron: As I mentioned in this post, we took the boat from El Nido to Coron. The boat on the way there was amazing, nice and big, two levels, lots of room, with Wi-Fi. On the way back we had a tiny, one level boat, and we were squished in there for the whole 8 hours.It was $1500 pesos per person, each way. There was definitely no W-Fi. We left on a Wednesday from El Nido, and returned on a Friday. Make sure to check out the different options for boats, and take the good one both ways if you can.
Diving Coron: Diving the shipwrecks in Coron is completely amazing, but there are a few things to be aware of. The wrecks are are very deep, starting at 30FT. The visibility isn’t great, it can be very dark down there, and you go deep inside the ships. Make sure you are a wreck certified diver and are very comfortable before you decide to go.
Terminal fees: One other small thing to keep in mind is that there are terminal fees to fly out of airports in the Philippines. To fly domestic out of Manila, it was 20 pesos, domestic out of Puerto Princesa was 150 pesos, and to fly international out of Manila it was 550 pesos. Make sure you hold on to enough pesos to pay the fees at the airport when you’re flying out.
I can not wait to get back to the Philippines, there are so many other amazing places I’d like to visit.
While we were on our island hopping trip, one of our fellow travelers told us about a place near Cloud 9 Beach where you can swim in a lake filled with stinger-less jellyfish. STINGER-LESS JELLYFISH. It would be every Finding Nemo fantasy you’ve ever had come to life. I shall call you squishy, and you shall be my squishy.