It’s been around 2 months since I came back from my Coron trip and though my tan has faded, the memories of our wonderful adventure still resonate fondly in my head. Today in this post, I’ll try my best to be a decent blogger and give ya’ll the lowdown of everything you need to know about getting to Coron, what to do while you’re there and my personal takes on everything. ENJOY! (AND SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE BEFORE I GET DEMONITIZED!)
How To Get There:
Let’s be honest, we’re all about that promo fair life. Having said that, we probably booked our December flight somewhere between July- September giving us enough time to plot our leaves, save, research & book our accommodations and packages. Back and forth tickets at the time cost a good P3,627.00. If you’re flying from Cebu like us, we took a propeller Philippine Airlines plane to Busuanga which is an 1 hour and 7 minutes away from the Coron town proper. Our transportation was done via our hotel accommodations, which I’ll talk about in a little bit, where we had to pay P150.00/ person without any extra charges for luggage, etc.
Busuanga to Coron map
WHERE TO STAY:
I’m going to be honest with you- I didn’t love our hotel of choice but I got it at a decent price at P 9,000.00 for 4 nights for 2 people making it around P 2,250.00/ night (including taxes). I bet you’re wondering why I don’t speak so highly of it (Kawayanan Heights Inn) and I’ll tell you why.
Other than the fact that it was a walking distance from the town proper, it was on top on a hill (literally seconds away from Mt. Tapyas) which made it a tad difficult to get tricycle drivers to agree to dropping us off during the evenings which left us having to walk uphill on most nights. Aside from this, because of its close proximity to Mt. Tapyas, a popular tourist destination, our pick up area was always jam packed which left us getting dropped off ahead because of the congestion. This is so fucking annoying especially after having spent the entire day walking and swimming and you just want to get from point A to B.
Other than this, the hotel promises of internet but since our Standard Room was located in the basement floor and without a router in sight, internet was a moot point. This frustrated me because 1. I paid for internet and 2. I need internet to work.
Lastly, there was always some sort of wildlife lurking around our room. Mosquito’s were constant, some weird bug, lizards and cockroaches as well. So honestly, if I could go back in time, I would not book there again.
But you know, if you’re on a budget and you don’t mind the sleepless nights from their staff who were by the way, celebrating their Christmas party ’til 5 in the morning and constantly screaming in the hallways, slamming doors and screaming drunk in the halls then go ahead.
To paint you a picture, Coron is a small town by the tip of Palawan that is surrounded by lots of beautiful islands, lagoons, mountains and etc. In order to get to these islands you can either travel by bangka or speedboats which are offered by a dime a dozen traveling agencies around the island. After much research on our end, we settled with JY Travel & Tours as they seemed to offer the best packages and rates which I am sharing with you below.
Here was our itinerary and some points from my end:
Day 1 (ARRIVAL)
Travel from Busuanga to Coron – Lunch at Kawayanan Grill – Coron Town Proper Tour – Climbed Mt. Tapyas – Dinner at Island Boy Grill
Our first day was more on settling in, stocking up on supplies and basically getting friendly with the locals. We explored most of the town by foot and took quick stops inside convenience stores, coffee and ice cream shops whilst taking notes of places and restaurants we would want to visit while we were there.
During the mid afternoon, we decided to tick climbing Mt. Tapyas off our list and took and afternoon hike which last about 2- 3 hours for us to climb. It probably takes less than that considering it’s only 700+ steps but we were so out of shape and it was so painful to climb. But believe me, if you catch the sunset, it is soo worth the climb!
Day 2 (CALAUIT SAFARI TOUR)
Calauit Island is a 3,700 hectare island game reserve and wildlife sanctuary that is home to mainly giraffes, mice deer, zebras and other animals who are mostly free range. It’s roughly a 2 hour road trip from Coron town proper plus a 15 minute boat ride from the dock to the island and though it sounds long, if you’re into animals and you especially appreciate that they’re free range AND you get the pet and feed them then a long road trip really feels like nothing.
There aren’t a lot of food options along the area, other than what is provided by your tour group, so I suggest to pack up on water and light snacks if you want to survive this trip. And also, insect repellent.
The Calauit Island Safari tour is 2-3 hours long which is followed by lunch and some island hopping, waterfalls chasing and visiting of local churches. As fate would have it, we were only able to visit Ocam- Ocam island, Concepcion Falls and Malbato church instead of Pamalican island and the Busuanga town proper.
I’m just going to be very real with you- I did not care for the falls and I was asleep for the church visit but Ocam- Ocam beach was pretty but you wouldn’t want to stay too long as there’s no food available in the area.
Day 3 (ISLAND ESCAPADE TOUR C2)
As mentioned on the vlog, day 3 was the official start of bikini day as we headed to Malcapuya island, Banana island and Bulong Dos. These islands are great for snorkeling and relaxing but since they take about an hour to get to, you’re not really allowed on the island for too long which eventually leaves you feeling a little cut short. Ultimately, you’re just jumping from island to island (it is an island hopping trip, after all) and taking whiffs of the sand before having to jump to the next stop.
Could I have had things my way, I would’ve wanted to stay at Banana island and/ or Bulong Dos a lot longer.
During the evening, we took a quick trip via tricycle (P100.00- P150.00 back and forth) to Maiquinit Hot Springs to relax in the naturally warm and soothing waters whilst being surrounded by lots of locals and tourists. Entrance was P200.00 and there are lots of cottages for you to leave your belongings at.
Day 4 (CORON ISLAND ULTIMATE TOUR)
Our last day of island hopping ended with a bang. We went to 7 different tourist spots and lemme tell you, they did not disappoint. To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed with our previous tour as honestly, after a while, islands are just islands and no matter where the boat takes you, you ultimately end up in the same water. Our ultimate Island tour saved my island hopping experience as it didn’t take too long to get to these destinations and each one was such an amazing adventure.
Disclaimer: I might have mixed up some islands but I’m trying to remember as much as possible. Our guide did not follow the islands in order so now I have to rely on memory and research.
Siete Picados or the 7 sins is a cluster of limestone islets which you basically just pass through. It’s really beautiful to look at is great for drone shots and is hard AF to shoot. lol
Kayangan lake was our last stop for the tour and required lots of climbing. Just when we thought that we were done climbing for the trip (Mt. Tapyas), we simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to swim in a lake and get a great aerial view of the Siete Picados. Fun fact: Professional free divers died in the area. Ok, it’s not a fun fact but it teaches you na di lagi mag pinamay.
The Twin Lagoons were definitely my favorites because 1. getting there is like entering a whole new world, 2. you go under rock formations to get there and 3. it was just so freaking pretty to look at. It was a completely different experience as compared to the beaches we were almost getting used to.
You have to wear life vests at all times though and try to keep afloat but I’m telling you, it’s completely worth it!
In case you didn’t know, Coron is also popularly known for their presence of WWII Japanese ships wrecks scattered around the area. Although it’s a lot better experience through scuba diving, we were able to catch a glimpse of 1 wreck at the Skeleton Wreck. It’s a lot different when you’re looking at it from above but it was fun trying to free dive as far as you could to get a better glimpse of whatever was down there.
Las Islas de Coral & Sunset Beach
If you’re into snorkeling, you will really enjoy swimming from one point to another at Sunset beach. They have such a rich sea life with lots of thriving corals and underwater life. You can choose to swim from point a to b or have your guide drag you. If you enjoy just floating around and taking your time, I suggest jumping in the water and going at your own pace.
Las Islas de Coral was mostly just sand and sea with rocks you can climb on and a this branch I attempted to walk on. More of a filler island if you ask me.
During the evening on our last day, we decided to go Firefly & Plankton Watching which was offered to us by the same tour group for P900.00, including dinner. This activity allows you to witness fireflies residing in mangroves and to paddle in open seas in complete darkness to enjoy the plankton. I loved it so much and though I don’t have any photos or videos of it as proof, there is some comfort i knowing that I got to experience is completely technology free. It’s truly something you need to experience on your own. P.s. The food was not enough for us. -_(0_0)_-
Day 5 (Pasalubong shopping)
Dropped by L. ESCARDA’S Coron Harvest Brittle Cashewto check out their famed cashews and a local tourist shop for shirts and trinkets before heading home. Transportation was provided by our hotel, as well.
PLACES TO EAT/ DRINK IN CORON:
Since most tours and packages already include breakfast and lunch, dinners were always such an adventure for us. Although we weren’t really able to go to each one, here is a quick list of places you might want to check while you’re there. I’ve marked the names of the restos in red for the ones we were actually able to go to. Yer welcome.
Famous among tricycle drivers and since I am still pissed at K Heights, I believe each tricycle driver who sends over people gets a cut. But having said that, the food was not bad.
ISLAND BOY GRILL
Island Boy Grill was one of the most worth it meals we had on our trip. A stick of barbecue only cost P 70.00 and it was more than enough. The seafood was fresh, the prices were good and the ambiance was very island-y.
Altrove’s was a must go to on our itinerary as everyone who we asked and watch on the online world insisted that we went there. Popular for their selection of Italian food, expect a waiting list but 5:00 and 9:00 pm are great times to go to if you want to skip the lines.
SKY RESTAURANT (Japanese food)
Hang Over Bar & Grill
So that’s basically all I’ve got for this post. Is there anything you can add to this?
Please show me some love, I spent my entire Monday writing this. lol.
My favorite red tags are back and are making a long term appearance ’til the end of the month! Yes fellow shopaholics, shopping this entire month will be a little less guilt free with the awesome sales that Metro Gaisano has to offer- this post specifically highlighting their bag and shoe sale!
For the entire month of November, indulge in various sales all over the Metro stores ranging from their shoes, bags, make up, home items and everything else in between!
Travel bugs out there will be pleased to discover that Metro is specifically holding a Travel Gear sale from October 27- November 26, 2017 with various travel gear items up for grabs from suit cases, carry on bags, travel gear items and more! Scroll down for a little sneak peek:
Hi everyone! Recently, I’ve been telling you a little bit more about our travel adventures through blogs & vlogs– just to level your expectations, the blogs are meant to provide you with full details while the vlogs are meant to be more entertaining, visual and informational at the same time. I like to believe that both are supplemental to the other so if you’re reading this blog, please make sure to also check out my vlog. Also, liking, subscribing and commenting would also be highly appreciated!
Before I start, I think it’s important to share some tips and things I did in preparation for our trip. These are:
1. Book your tickets (duh)
We booked our tickets via a seat sale at Cebu Pacific Airlines for about P3,500.00. This wasn’t a sponsored trip but if you guys wanna sponsor us, be my guest! HAHA
2. Pack your things (after fixing your itinerary!).
Good that you’re here, cuz I’m sharing how I packed and where to go/ what to do all in 1 post.
I’m a little too organized when it comes to traveling and it might work to your advantage so indulge!
3. Prepare all the necessary documents
By the time we were off to Taipei, Filipino’s entry was not yet Visa free. I had to apply for my Visaonlinewhich I think has been a point of interest for many Filipinos who have shown interest in going there. Here is what I had to do.
3.1. Log into ROC-Taiwan, fill in the forms and a few minutes later, you’ll receive an email with another set of information to fill up. I was required to 1. fill up a form, 2. scan/ send a photo of my visa and 3. scanned ID’s of the credit card holder of whom I was using. I don’t own my own credit card so I had to use my grandmother’s but it was super easy for me to comply with.
After complying, I received my e-visa after a day and all I had to was print out my own copies.
“E- Visa online application will no longer apply to Filipinos upon the implementation of the visa-free treatment as from November 1, 2017″ Good for you!
Aside from the e-visa which you will no longer be needing, I also made sure to make copies of:
our tickets & passports. Just in case.
4. Download some useful apps: Our weapons of choice were: Google Translate, Google Mapsand Foursquare. Note: – GOOGLE TRANSLATE (make sure to download the language you will use, in this case, CHINESE (TRADITIONAL), so you can use it offline
– GOOGLE MAPS (make sure to download the map offline)
DAY 1: ARRIVAL
Things To Do:
– Have money exchanged
** We were not able to have money exchanged in Cebu because the money changers we went to did not carry NTD. However, there are money exchangers at the airport (before & after immigration) and ATM machines.
– Pick up wifi/ sim card (cancelled)
We had read about portable wifiswhich we wanted to avail of. Unfortunately, since the pick up booth is only open with the times 5:30am-1:00am, we were unable to avail of this service. Our other options were Chunghwa, Taiwan Mobile or FarEastone sim cards (requirements: 2 ID’s) which we later realized that we did not really need and we spent the entirety of the trip without LTE and relied on free wifi.
– Buy an EASY CARD
EASY CARDs are basically prepaid cards (imagine, TIMEZONE cards) that allow you to pay for public transportation and for certain things at stores/ restaurants. We bought our cards for NTD$100 with NTD$100 in it and we loaded up NTD$300 before heading out to our would be home for the next 6 days.
GETTING TO YOUR PLACE:
IMPORTANT NOTE: Apparently, MRT’s close. Opening times: 6:00 AM – 12:00 MN. If you arrive any time after this, a bus is your cheapest option. Otherwise, you can consider private taxis or take an Uber.
With the use of Google Maps, I would pre-plan all our trips so I could list down the directions and not have to rely on the internet. Once we were out, we would then use our Google Maps to lead the way. It sounds simple, which it is, but it does take some getting used to.
WHERE WE STAYED:
Booked this room via AIR BNB, here’s the link to the exact room Our place was in the Ximending area (Ximending is basically the fun, hip district of Taipei). Our room had wifi, a washing machine, good ventilation, lots of closet space, sitting space, trash bags, a heater and even umbrellas since Taipei’s weather can be weird sometimes. It was all really good and our host was really accommodating and helpful!
DAY 2: Taipei Zoo, Ximending Night Market
Entrance: NT$ 60
Zoo Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (no entry after 4:00 p.m.)
Air BnB -> Walk (700 m) -> Ximen -> Bannan Line MRT Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Station -> Zhongxiao Fuxing -> Wenchu Line MRT Taipei Zoo Station
Time: 43 minutes
Ximending Night Market
ATT 4 Fun -> Walk (1.0 km) -> Taipei City Hall Station: 212 Night Xicang Rd. -> Ximen Station -> Walk (140 m) -> Ximending Night Station
Time: 26 minutes
Ximending Night Market -> Head north on 漢中街 toward 峨眉街6巷 -> Turn left onto 武昌街二段
Ok, I’m just going to be honest with you, I wouldn’t go back to Taipei Zoo nor would I recommend it. To be honest, we did not hear nor read anything compelling enough about the zoo but since I love animals (and yet I don’t mind seeing them suffering? It’s a bit ironic, sorry.), we decided to go anyways. You can check out the vlog for more information but if I had to give my most honest thoughts (at the stake of you hating me), the zoo is too big, with nothing really going on there. It seems to be on the brink of closing but with the entrance fee being NTD$60.00- I don’t really know what we were expecting.
XIMENDING NIGHT MARKET
As I said earlier, Ximending is the young people’s district of Taipei. They have their own night market which is also surrounded by good food and great shopping places that are mid range in price. We decided that our first night market would be here since we were butt beat tired from our zoo trip and we wanted to get it out of the way as soon as possible. Here were our favorite food stalls:
Drop by Joe Fu’s caricature stop for NTD$300/ person.
DAY 3: National Palace Museum, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, ATT 4 Fun, Shilin Night Market
Air BNB -> Walk (900 m) -> Boai Rd -> Nei Hu Main Line: Zhongsan St. Entrance -> Dazhi Station -> BR13 Da Lun Wei Shan -> National Palace Museum
Time: 1: 32
Sun Yat Sen
Hours: 08:30 am -5:00 pm
Time: 7 minutes
ATT 4 FUN
Taipei Zoo -> Walk (190 m) -> Taipei Zoo Station -> Wenchu Line MRT Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Station ->
Daan ->Tamsui- Xinyi LineXiangshan Station -> Taipei 101/World Trade Center -> Walk (600 m) ->
ATT 4 FUN
Time: 39 minutes
Raohe Night Market
ATT 4 FUN -> Song Shou Rd Intersection -> 611 Songshan Station (bus) -> Songshan Station -> Walk -> Raohe Strret Night Market
Time: 18 minutes
NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
Our visit to the NPM was definitely interesting! You can find more about it on my vlog entry!
SUN YAT SEN MEMORIAL HALL
Based on our research, SYSMH was the better memorial halls to check out as compared to Chang Kei Shek Memorial.Sure, I’m 1 stop short of a comparison but the interactive displays and everything else were pretty fun and I really did enjoy the experience.
ATT 4 FUN
We took a little shopping trip to ATT 4 FUN which also gave us a nice view of the Taipei 101 building. If you’re wondering why we didn’t drop by one of the world’s tallest buildings, it was because we didn’t want to line up and pay the entrance fee. It just didn’t seem like something we wanted to do but if you want to find out more about it, you can click here.
If you’re wondering why we chose this mall, it’s because they had UNIQLO’s sister brand, GU, which is slightly cheapers and us girls couldn’t pass off the opportunity to shop there! There are also a lot of cute shops to dine in and other international retail brands.
Commune A7 wasn’t on the list but since we finished early, it was too early to go to our 2nd night market and it was literally across the street from ATT 4 FUN we decided to drop by here anyways. We read somewhere the Commune A7 was a bit underwhelming and is a more high scale, Western inspired food market more than anything else. We agree but we found ourselves there anyways. lol.
RAOHE NIGHT MARKET
Geographically, Shlin would have been the better option for us but since we were already in the shopping mood and read that Raohe was also another great shopping option, we decided to go there. We were definitely not disappointed and Raohe had turned out to be our favorite night market out of the 3 we visited.
DAY 4: VR GO, Shilin Night Market
October 8, 2017
How To Get There
Shilin Night Market
Home -> Bannan Line -> Taipei Main Station -> Red line -> Jiantan Station -> Shilin Night Market
By the 4th day, we were so tired of walking we couldn’t care for any more adventures. So, we decided to spend the day exploring the Ximending area and we ended up droping by a virtual reality store named VR Go so we could experience it.
SHILIN NIGHT MARKET
I wasn’t able to take photos or videos of our trip there because the rain was quite strong that night but Shilin was one of our least liked night market. There are games novelty games (shrimp and fish catching which I hated) all around, a small section to shop & eat and it didn’t really have a defining starting or end point. I’m not telling you not to go, you still should but just don’t get your hopes up too high.
DAY 5: Juifen, Jinguashi Gold Eco- Park, Shifen
October 9, 2017
How To Get There
Jinguashi Gold Eco- Park
Jinguashih(Gold Ecological Park)
788Keelung Station( Ocean Plaza ) -> Rueifang Station
Fuxing / Shuttle4744to Shi Fen ->
Juifen is popular for being the inspiration behind Spirited Away and is a beautiful town in the mountains. It has small streets that have food, stalls along the way and a beautiful view. It is also called the Santorini of Taiwan.
JINGUASHI GOLD ECO PARK
I’m getting tired of writing. Here are photos. Please watch the video <3
Refer to previous sentence
DAY 6: HOME
If you’ve noticed, our itinerary wasn’t fully packed because we didn’t want to tire ourselves out too much. Plus, we had 5 days to fill up anyways. If you’re looking to fill up your itineraries a little bit more, you can also check out Taipei’s hot spring & the geo park.
I hope this is beneficial to you and helps give you an idea of how you would like to spend your trip to Taipei.
Lorraine, Paolo and I traveled to Taipei! If you want the FULL itinerary that you and your friends/ family can follow, I’ll be posting the blog on www.issaplease.com so make sure to check that out!
Let me know what you would want to see in the comments below!
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I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it but I’ve always indulged in summers quite late as compared to the typical April- June summer schedules. Because our family supplies uniforms and merchandise to different companies and schools, summers are spent in preparation for the upcoming school year.
It helps that nothing truly eventful happens during my summers (since I don’t like being a part of crowds anyways) and that most of my family is from the States and they visit me sometime during July- September.
Why am I telling you this? Because it’s my blog and I can write anything I want, duh. ? but besides that- I FINALLY GOT TO TAKE A VACATION!!!
The last month and the upcoming months will be filled with traveling and I am so excited to share them with all of you! Here are some posts that you can expect in the coming posts: 1. Things To Do In The South of Cebu Part II
2. The Most Touristy Things To Do In Bohol
3. Taking A Road Trip To Dumaguete & Bacolod
4. Everything You Need To Know About Lakawun Island
5. Traveling To Taipei (October)
6. Mati, Davao (October)
7. Coron, Palawan (December)
If you enjoy travelling and would like to know about our adventures whether with friends, family or your significant other, I would highly recommend that you bookmark/ subscribe to this blog, subscribe to my youtube channel and follow me on Instagram.
Also, while I haven’t left for my other trips yet, let me know what you would like me to include in my upcoming entries and I’ll try my very bestest to include it for you!
I have discovered the simple joys of daily vlogging!
Some of you may say that Issaplease has slowly become a dump of a lot of things but in my honest opinion, Issaplease is an extension of who I am and I’ve realized that as I grow older, your need to document and remember things are no longer limited to fashion, food, where you travel and who you hang out with but also the little memories like what you ate for breakfast and saying “I love you” to a special someone. I document these things because I want my future children to see them and see what our lives were before them and well, it’s always nice to reminisce the good ol days.