Tag Archives: honda bay

Pandan Island, Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa: Simply Breathtaking!

Breathtaking— the only term that I can use to describe this island. It has aquamarine/apatite colored waters amidst the cobalt blue sky, it also has the whitest fine sand I have ever seen (whiter than the one in Boracay). It is simply a paradise!

What makes this island special?? There are no buildings made of concrete, just cottages made of wood.. This is the place where you can really savor the beauty of nature.

The lone tree.. beautiful isn’t it? This is my own cozy spot, no crowd, just me and nature
white sand beach and blue waters… ooohh.. looking at this makes me want to jump to swim!! I miss this place!!

It is amazingly picturesque! There are also a lot of coconut trees which makes it your dream tropical island.

While looking at this island, I imagine as if I’m a survivor of a shipwreck, and this is the island I choose to be stuck.

Towering Coconut trees

I’ll definitely choose this place to relax and chill….

According to our tour guide/boatman, this island has the whitest and finest sand throughout Honda Bay, thus,  it is more popular for the visitors than the other islands. Most people choose to stay here to eat their lunch, so during lunch time there are a lot of people…. and it kinda become messier/noisier.

The downside of its popularity is that it is a lot more crowded or noisier than the others.

I might say that I prefer the Starfish Island over this island… because more people spend all their time here, but I don’t blame them since this is the most beautiful amongst the islands… However, I hate the seaweeds that lives in its shallow waters… I just don’t like swimming with those amoeba-like (in terms of movement) weeds :)… anyway, the waters here are shallow, just like in Boracay… in order to reach the deeper part you need to walk at least 3-5 meters, this is good for those who have children, since it is safer for the kids…

Amidst all the cons, I can still say that it’s a relaxing place, since it is a big island, you can find a good and silent spot and CHA DA!  You have your little paradise without anyone spoiling it…. you can have your cozy, private space where you can meditate, reminisce or just be emo (emotional) 🙂

My cozy spot

The best thing here is the sand! it is indeed white and fine….Actually, the sand here is comparable to Boracay, and I may say that it is whiter! I’ve taken some sand with me by putting it in a bottle of mineral water, and compared to what I got in Boracay, It seems whiter… But, you would only see the difference if you’ll look at it closely….

There are various business establishments in the area– No, not like those in Boracay, concrete stores/hotels etc…– Only small stores that offer foods, drinks, and even massage! This island is more commercialized than the others since it is the top choice of tourists who visits Honda Bay…

The Registration area With the prices.
One of the “paluto” restaurants in the island.

There are a lot of cottages for rent, but we weren’t able to get one…all were occupied. However, we found a table with chairs and fortunately for us, they didn’t charge us for that tiny little space beneath a coconut tree…

Cottages lining up near the shore

There are three (3) “paluto” restaurants in the island–As far as I’m aware of. they will cook for you and serve you the freshest seafood available– Which is indeed not only tantalizing to the eyes but also delectable to the taste-buds! I promise you that the food is great!

Fish 🙂 Yum!
Yum!
Shrimps!

unfortunately for us, the other restaurants doesn’t want to take our orders anymore since they are already super busy…. poor me, I’m already hungry during that time 😦

Luckily, our boatman found this small store on the end most part of the island, the store is selling crabs. I bought all those crabs for P1500, including rice and the service fee for cooking. Me, my colleague, the boatman and his assistant all dined together…

FROM THIS:

THE CRABS ARE STILL ALIVE…

TO THIS:

TO THIS…. Now they are cooked!
I pity the crabs… I just saw them breathing and the next time I saw them, they’re cooked.. but, oh well, that’s life! 😦

Aside from the restaurants, there’s a shower place where you can wash your body and change your clothes after hours of swimming and rolling in the sand. It is made of native materials, so it blends well to the tropical island theme… 🙂

Shower Area

After we spent 3 hours here, we went back to the port. By the way, there is an entrance fee of P100.00 per person in this island.

Here are the other pictures I took. I experimented using my DSLR, so, here you go, some are good while some are not (overexposed, not good blending!) I’m an amateur you know! :p

HAPPY WANDERING!

To SEE other posts about Puerto Princesa, CLICK HERE!, (ITINERARY, REVIEWS, BUDGETS, ACCOMMODATIONS, ETC).

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Starfish Island, Honda Bay, Palawan: SERENITY at its finest!

THE STARFISH ISLAND

starfish we found in starfish island.

It is named as such because of the existence of various starfish in the island. It has a fine white sand(though, It looks color flesh in the photos).  Warning however, is that in the shore there are bits and pieces of shells that may wound you if you’re not careful, so I advise that you walk with your slippers on. Amidst those shells lie a fine sand that it so good to touch! It is like polvoron or powder… I just love rubbing it in my feet… It feels like walking in a carpet 🙂

Another starfish, also, look at the sand, there are bits of shells with it 🙂

I think, the best thing in this island is the fish feeding area where you can feed the fishes with the bread while you are doing your snorkeling—so basically, you are swimming while feeding them 🙂 There are various kinds of fish swimming and awaiting for you to throw them a piece of bread, so doing this activity is really a great experience, especially for the kids and kids-at-heart (like me! Lol!)  It is so cool. Anyway, I don’t have pics with the fishes because I’m busy feeding them :)_

fish..fish..fish… so colorful!

My experience with the fish feeding is that at first, I was really scared, it seems that I feel threatened because of the various kind of fishes swimming towards me every time I give them bread, I’m so scared that they will eat me or bite me… so I stayed in the floater until the assistant boatman (he is actually a kid) showed me that they are harmful and won’t bite 🙂  (thanks for the movies Piranha and Jaws, which made me think that I can be eaten alive of this cutesy little friends).

Anyway, the island itself is somehow less crowded than the more well-known Pandan Island, since when we docked here, there are not much people roaming or swimming, so basically we had the island for ourselves. By the way, upon entering this island, you need to pay P20.00 or P40.00 as entrance fee (sorry forgot the exact amount, it’s been too long after I wrote in my blog), You can also eat here if you brought with you food and snacks. It is better to eat here if you have a packed-lunch because the other island—Pandan Island— is totally crowded! Moreover, there are a lot more vacant cottages here than in pandan Island!

Cottages in the Starfish Island. Not much people here
Ruins of an Old restaurant which once stood here. I somehow feel lonely looking at this pic… ruins of man made structure amid a nature-made wonder

Another photo of the ruins:

My colleague and I, together with the boatman and his assistant, walked towards the seemingly disappearing piece of land because of the tide change. It is almost high tide, and we can see that the path we walked through is now covered by shallow water.

there is a picture wooden frame there suggesting that the view is indeed picture perfect! btw, we walked that path and it’s really amazing! see the narrowing way? it is almost high tide!!!
we walked towards that cottage/shelter… looking at this picture melts my heart…. hmmm.. and also, look at how the waters cover some parts of the path… so interesting!
we are now going back…. look at the winding path and the island itself. beautiful isn’t it. the man in orange is our boatman… see, no people?? You can say that this an “almost deserted” paradise!
The path where we walked was already covered by the waters….

One more interesting thing in this island, is the existence of mangroves or in tagalog, bakawan. However, when I imagine places where mangroves are planted, I always fear piranhas or crocodiles swimming towards me! But Nah! that’s only me. Aside from the fears I got from watching too much movies, the awe that my heart felt while savoring the peaceful atmosphere that this island provides, is indeed one of a kind experience, it is really relaxing–it made me forget about my endless hardship in school 🙂 … I feel serene deep in my heart, and somehow made me feel blessed… that I don’t know why… don’t ask me, just experience it yourself 🙂

Mangroves in the other side of the island… so beautiful…
look how calm and serene the place is!

This place is indeed a paradise! A place where you can feel nature at its finest! No noise… no crowds.. just you and nature! 🙂

Things not to forget:

1. Visit this first and eat your lunch here, savor the peaceful vibe of this island, it is really amazing!

2. Don’t forget to bring bread, buy it in the stores in the metro or in the port, a loaf of bread is only P20.00, I suggest you buy 2 packs of bread (2 loaves) because I assure you that you’ll have tons of fun feeding and swimming with the fish

3. Don’t forget to rent snorkeling gears, you will need it to look at the fishes underwater.

How to Get to honda bay: Click here to see my previous post about Information, Tips and How to’s for Honda Bay Palawan
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CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Honda Bay: Tips and Infos

Honda Bay is a cluster of beautiful  islands and islets in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The islands here have fine white sand beaches, and cobalt blue waters.

I really recommend that anyone going to Puerto Princesa to visit this place at least once.  This is a serene and photogenic place! 🙂

PARADISE in Honda Bay, Palawan

To explore the islets/islands of this bay, one should rent a boat (which is usually provided by the city tourism office) for a price of 1500.00 (depends on the boat size)  So basically, this trip is an island hopping adventure 🙂

There are 3 main islands/islets in this bay, namely  Pandan Island, Starfish Island and the Snake Island. Although there are more islands in this bay, only the 3 mentioned is open to public. They are named as such because of the existence of Pandan and Starfish in those islands while the snake island is named that way because of it’s  long and winding characteristic similar to a snake.

Why is it that when I look at this picture, I feel lonely… 😦 hmmm…

In my visit last April, I was not able to visit the Snake island because it is undergoing beautification However, this would not hamper me in giving and presenting to you the other two beautiful islands of Honda Bay, but first let me tell you the process on how the entire trip came about.

WHEN TO GO HERE?

The Philippines is a sunny place throughout the year however, due to climate change, strong typhoons or heavy rains visits the country a lot more often… The Philippines has only 2 seasons, wet and dry. Dry or summer months starts from March to June or July while wet season starts by August til December. The wet season is where a lot of  low pressure areas are formed, However, I can say that it is a game of luck, or a gamble if you want to visit the Philippines during the wet season, since just because it’s called wet season it would rain the whole time… there are only days that it would rain while the rest is sunny…
However, for foreigners who will visit the Philippines (especially for those in the far most corner of earth) I think you need to plan your visit during the summer months, so you will be sure that no rain would ruin your vacation.

HOW TO GET HERE:

Honda Bay is about 20-45 minutes drive from the city center. The mode of transportation from the city center towards Honda Bay Port is by land, you can rent either a tricycle or a van. I opted to rent a tricycle for P500.00 or $11USD. The road is well paved/cemented, so going here by tricycle isn’t a problem. If you decided to rent a van, it will cost at around P1,500-2000.00 (this is the price that was given to us by the van driver we hired going to the underground river). We left the city center at round 6:45 am and arrived in the port at around 7:15.

HOW TO GET A PERMIT:

Upon arriving in the port, you will notice that people are lining up, that line is where you will pay for the boat rental, environmental fee, and where you can get your permit. Unlike the underground river, there is no need to get a prior permit before heading there, so it easier to tour than the latter.

There are 4 simple steps in getting your permit and paying for the fees and these are:

First, you need to line up for the lane stating no.1 and where you will fill up a form and state how many passengers or tourists that are coming with you, you also need to put up their names, you should also know if what type of boat you are going to use, whether it is a 6passenger boat (which is the smallest) which costs P1200.00 while there are 10-12 passenger capacity boats which costs at around P1400-1800.00…

the 2nd step is where you will get your permit and pay for the boat rental fee and in exchange, you will receive the name and number of your boat.

The 3rd step is again filling up a particular form and paying for the environmental fee. The 4th step is waiting for your name to be called and VOILA, you are good to go.

The boat we used for our island hopping adventure

OTHER TIPS:

However! before you go anywhere else, you need to buy water, food or rent a snorkeling gear. Food and Water is expensive on the island itself, and it is advisable if you bring them with you at the start of the journey, so if anytime you feel thirsty you have a water/drink with you. But, I suggest that you go grocery shopping while you are still in the metro, since it is cheaper there than buying in the port itself.

Snorkeling gears and swimming shoes

As for the snorkeling gear, Part of your itinerary is to visit a snorkeling site with lots of fishes and various corals! Moreover in Pandan and Starfish island, you can snorkel and feed the fishes which is quite interesting because the fishes swarm around you if you give bits and pieces of tasty bread.

The fish and coral sanctuary

Click here to see my other posts for puerto princesa, palawan.

HAPPY WANDERING! 🙂

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: ITINERARY, BUDGET and TIPS

My itinerary for my Puerto Princesa, Palawan trip last April 18-21, 2012

ITINERARY

Click the links to see my posts/reviews about it! 🙂 

1ST DAY– CITY TOUR

10:05 am– flight going to Puerto Princesa

12:00 nn — arrive Puerto Princesa, go to Hotel, eat lunch

2:00 pm — start city tour (go to Crocodile farm, Mitra Ranch, Baker’s Hill)

2:30 pm– 4:00 pm — Crocodile Farm

4:30pm— 5:15pm —  Mitra Ranch

5:15 pm — 6:15 pm — Baker’s Hill

2ND DAY– UNDERGROUND RIVER TOUR

6:00 AM– Go to Puerto Princesa Underground River (but this will depend on the time written on your permit)

8:00 AM- arrive to Sabang Port (underground river jump off point), register with the desk office (make sure you have an environmental entry permit or else you cannot enter, they are very strict with this, we were told to go back by 2pm since our permit states 2pm 😦

8:00 AM- 1:00 PM — Sabang beach escapade. I just love the fine sand and the melon shake in Sheridan beach resort

2:00 pm — lined up and register for underground river tour

3:00 pm — started underground river tour until 6:00 pm. Waiting time is very long! 😦

6:00 pm — go back to hotel (very sleepy and tired)

3rd day- HONDA BAY TOUR

7:00 am– went to Honda Bay port

8:00 am– arrive Honda Bay port

9:00 am- started Honda Bay tour

9:30 am- 10:00 am — Pambato Reef snorkeling

10:00 am- 11:30 am — stay in Starfish Island for fish feeding

11:30 am- 1:30 pm — stay in Pandan Island

1:30 pm – 2:15pm – travel back to the port

2:30-3:00 pm — travel back to the hotel

3:00 pm -6:00pm — rest in the hotel

6:00- 7:00pm – dinner/socials

7:00pm – 8:00 pm — Baywalk in Puerto Princesa

8:30– inside the hotel already

4TH DAY (BACK TO MANILA)— just go to the airport and wait for flight.

EXPENSES:

1. Air ticket (roundtrip via Cebu Pacific)                                                 P3664.00

2. Hotel (P1200 per night for 4 persons w/airport transfer)            P    900.00

3. Tours

City Tour (Crocodile Farm, Baker’s Hill, Mitra Ranch)

transpo   for 14 persons (P1400.00/ 14 persons)                                  P   100.00

Crocodile Farm entrance fee                                                                     P     40.00

No entrance fee for Baker’s Hill and Mitra ranch

Underground River tour

Van Rental for 14 persons (P3500/6 pax)                                               P  583.00

Entrance Fee for Underground River including boat in UG                 P 175.00

Environmental fee for Underground River                                              P   40.00

Boat hire to take you from Sabang Port to UG (P700.00/7) only 6 pax  P100

Wharfage dues for Port of Sabang (P18/7) only 6 pax                            P    3.00

Lunch in Sabang Beach                                                                                 P89.00

Melon Shake in Sheridan beach Resort                                                    P160.00

Honda Bay Tour

Tricycle Rental (Hotel to Honda Bay Port)  500 for 4 persons max   P500.00

Boat Rental for Island Hopping  P1300 good for 8 persons              P1300.00

environmental fee                                                                                      P      40.00

Entrance Fee for Pambato Reef                                                               P     50.00

entrance Fee for Starfish Island                                                               P    50.00

entrance fee for Pandan Island                                                                P 100.00

lunch (1 kilo of crabs) 1/2 kilo of rice   (cooked, Pandan Island)     P 450.00

BAYWALK TOUR

Tricycle going to baywalk (P8.00 each)                                                P8.00

Bicycle rental   (25.00 for 1 hour)                                                           P25.00

Tricycle going back to hotel (15.00 each)                                             P15.00

HOTEL TO AIRPORT

Tricycle (50.00 for 4 persons)                                                                P12.50

                                                    TOTAL EXPENSES: P8404.5 /$191USD

SOME TIPS: 🙂

1. travel in group. You will save a lot in transportation costs especially if you want to tour the city or go to underground river and honda bay

2. make sure you have a permit if you wanna go to the Underground River

3. Do it yourself, you will save a lot of money! 🙂

CONTACT DETAILS:

Hotel Accommodation/ Airport Transfers/ Tricycle etc:  09198094745  click here to see my post about the hotel accommodation

Van Hire (for Underground River tour/honda bay transfers) — 09173335340 click here to see my post about the van service

HAPPY WANDERING!CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN

Puerto Princesa: City in a Forest

Puerto Princesa is indeed a place  blessed by God with natural wonders. From the newly awarded (7 wonders of nature) Underground River, to beautiful fine white sand beaches to scenic limestone mountains.

The entrance of the Underground River
Sabang Beach (a fine sand beach near the Underground River)

Everything in Puerto Princesa is beautiful, scenic, indescribable. With a lot of different animals that are rarely seen in other places in the Philippines (like birds that are only seen in Palawan, squirrel–yes, squirrel–not found in Legazpi city nor Manila, monitor lizards, eagles, crocodiles, and other animals.

Crocodile in Crocodile Farm

Puerto Princesa’s tagline being a city in a forest is not a joke nor it is bluff, it is indeed a city within a forest. The city is surrounded with lush greeneries and beautiful landscape. It has also a vast territory, compared to other cities in the Philippines. You won’t be able to tour the city in one day, unlike my hometown, Legazpi City where your 30 minutes of riding the tricycle will be enough, but here a day won’t suffice.

I went to Puerto Princesa last April 18, 2012 to April 21, 2012. I went to the Underground River, Honda Bay, and toured the city itself. It was a wild 4 days in my life, seeing those beautiful landscape made my heart flutter with delight. The only thing I said is “ANG GANDA! (So Beautiful).

I admit that living in Manila (center of the Philippines) made me a city girl where tall buildings, wide roads and night bars are my usual delight, but as I stepped into Palawan (no, as I looked in my window during my flight) I can totally say that Puerto princesa captured my heart.

I want you to join me as I tell you the story how this wonderful city captivated the heart of a city girl like me.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES