Monday, May 03, 2010

Day 2: El Nido town

I always thought El Nido was too far, too inaccessible and far too expensive for us. But I was wrong. El Nido can be affordable if you do your research. One of the most important tips I got from the net is that you can go to El Nido town by bus(P300 per person) or aircon van(P600 per person ) via the Fort Wally terminal. Get a trike to take you there (P150 for maximum 5 passengers)

Tip: Reserve your seats on the van early so you can ask to be seated in front or behind the driver, so you'll have lots of leg room. You can reserve via text at 09172762875 or 09209815702. Van leaves at 7am and 9am. It's not usually allowed but you can ask to be picked up from your pension house or hotel. Just add P200 to your total bill. Do not bring overly large bags which cannot fit under the seat of the van or your bag will be placed over the van. While it will be covered, your bag will be covered in dust by the end of the trip.

Total travel time is around 6 hours, including stopovers for food and restroom breaks.

We left at 7am and most of the way was well-paved but after the Roxas stopover there were dirt roads and some construction. The scuttlebutt is that millions of taxpayers' money has been poured into connecting puerto princesa to el nido but the powers-that-be kept diverting the funds. Fortunately, this person did not win in the elections this year.

Lunch stopover in Roxas at around 10am.
Tip: eat even if you're not hungry. There will not be any other resto or carinderia for many hours.

After a mostly smooth 6- hour van ride we arrive in El Nido town at 1pm and are greeted by this spectacular view.

Note that there is no electricity in the whole town from 6am to 2 pm! Again dirty politics is said to be the culprit. So we just checked in and lazed by the beach. While the water looked inviting, closer inspection showed that the water had brown, icky algae which probably was from all the boats and houses by the sea. A better option would have been to rent a trike to Corong-corong beach where the water is clear though shallow. You also have unobstructed views of the sunset there.

Or you can head over to El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe for a drink or do some window-shopping but you must read their tourist brochure for the candid and sometimes funny information on all the things you can see and do in El Nido.

Our beachfront villa at Marina Garden.Contact number: +63-917-624-7722 or +63-908-884-3711. Please note that only Globe and Smart cellular work here. Sun cellphone won't work here. For rates click here

But if you plan to save some money, do not arrange an island hopping tour with them. Look around town for cheaper deals. Tip: I recommend that you go to Skyline Grill further inside the town, near the church. Look for Aling Pacing (cell number 09216862329 or 09279821440). She'll personally arrange the group tour and find other tourists to go with you so it'll be cheaper but you'll get lots of food!

Also, try their food. We ordered the lomi (P120) which was supposed to be good for 2 but it fed all 5 of us.


renee rose said...

hi there. we are also planning to go to El Nido. i hope you could give me some tips and pieces of advise on where to stay and go for island hopping. you got nice pictures here on your blog. keep it up. =)))

mojacko said...

hi, ok, will write more soon! thanks for visiting!

fritzie said...

hello...i'm going to el nido on june 11-15...and i'm glad that you have this blog about el nido, thanks for sharing because its a big help to me...

mojacko said...

You're welcome fritzie! hope you have a great time in El Nido! Wait for my next post on where to eat in El Nido, coming soon!

happysole said...

Palawan has indeed kept up with progress. Last time I was in Palawan (2008), there were no passenger vans yet. You have no option but to take the bus from PP to El Nido. The vans were available only for charter. And Marina Resort only had native cottages for rent.

mojacko said...

Thanks for visiting, happysole! I guess we're lucky they have vans now. I heard horror stories of how the buses broke down a lot!Marina still has native cottages but you share the bathroom with others.

happysole said...

We were one of the lucky ones who experienced the real journey to the last frontier via the broken down buses. hehehe happy travellin'!


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