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Sunday, December 16, 2007

PARADISE ON EARTH: El Nido Island






We were taken by surprise when we landed here a few days ago. The island is so splendid we wanted to enjoy it to ourselves and also take the chance to have a little break from blogging.

El Nido is absoloutely the Philippines’ answer to the best islands in our region. THIS IS IT! – We found another paradise and no other island in this country (highly hoolaballooed or over-hyped) cannot compared to El Nido. *But I’m reserving a slot for Siargao, of course*

Think Phuket without the speedo-clad tourists walkin’ about. Think Halong Bay with white sand beaches, warm weather and crystal clear waters. Think Langkawi without the sterilized resorts – That’s El Nido. It is the one place in the Philippines that could ever come close to Bali. *violent appeals would be swiftly retaliated*

“I am so happy you chose to visit my hometown.” These are the first words of a total stranger. And these words, which we seldom hear from Southeast Asia’s prime island destinations, hit the nail. We knew instantly we found another paradise.

El Nido is an island in the Palawan group. The showcase of what the Philippines has to offer. Scuba diving, snorkeling, lots of water sports, hopping on its 45 islands and islets, meeting the locals are just the tip of the ice berg. If you’re into quiet and secluded existence, this is the place for you. Hiring a kayak to find hidden lagoons is the best thing we ever did.

We came in a cool month. Hot temperatures are in May and April but still, December is warm and sunny. No rains to spoil the day. Electricity goes off at 1am and won’t be back after 12 hours. Bring your plastic cards and traveler’s cheques, no ATMs here. Internet connections? Dream on! El Nido is so breath taking; you won’t have time for net surfing.

El Nido is 1hr10mins flight from Manila. The only direct flight from Manila to the island is served by only 2 local airlines – ITI (+632.8515674) and Southeast Asian Airlines (http://flyseair.com), both have daily flights. If you want a hassle-free transfer, then book through resorts here (high end) and here (budget).



We'll limit our description of El Nido here -- because we all want you to find time to visit this paradise. This island is about discovery. It's about detaching yourself from the rest of the world enjoying at your own pace, in your own sweet time. Everything here is waiting to be discovered.

****

18 Comments:

Quentin X said...

Not sure if Siargao will ever come close to El Nido. The photos looks stunning. Mind you, I lived there for most of my childhood but I never really explored the whole Island. Two particular sites that most people say is quite beautiful is Magpupungko rock formation and Suhuton cave. I have also heard good feedback about the high-end resort of Pansukian. Having seen the photos, I think I rather go to El Nido when I travel back to the Philippines.

John Halcyon von Rothschild said...

Shhhhhhhhh! This is suppose to be a secret place!

Jake Tornado said...

El Nido is a secret no more. Last night, a vacation trip to El Nido just fetched HK$95,000 at a charity auction just as when the auctioneer cried that El Nido "...is the greatest place on the planet!" Amanpulo may yet be the next best thing.

Xanderj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xanderj said...

i've always wanted to go to Palawan, spend some time alone in one of those wonderful islands and just forget the world outside, it's one of those places (like Batanes) where i really want to go but i can't right now because of financial reasons, but sooner or later i will!

a little trivia: Palawan and neighboring group of islands are the oldest regions of the Philippines, geologically speaking

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

Yeah John, we were a little reluctant to make a full feature of El Nido. It's so splendid we wanna keep it among us SEA citizens ONLY! LOL.

Thanks guys for all the inputs! Again: "El Nido is heaven on Earth."

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

Yeah John, we were a little reluctant to make a full feature of El Nido. It's so splendid we wanna keep it among us SEA citizens ONLY! LOL.

Thanks guys for all the inputs! Again: "El Nido is heaven on Earth."

Jake Tornado said...

@Xanderj...That is so true dude. Palawan is sometimes referred to as a "micro-continent". The term not so much refers to the size but the fact that Palawan, together with Borneo, "has always been there" and way before the other island groups of the P.I. emerged from the sea. Hundreds of species of flora and fauna are endemic to Palawan. I have done an extensive survey of the place when I volunteered for an environmental group based there years ago. And, my god, I thought I was somewhere in the Amazon. :)

Steve said...

Man that place looks spectacular. I'd heard good things about the Palawan region but haven't really seen any pictures... I gotta get there some day.

expressmen said...

beautiful el nido...i wanna go there :-)

chase said...

one beautiful place...
i'll visit that resort one of these days. heheheh
boracay is out.. el nido is in.

Brent a.k.a. yourkidatheart said...

Huhuhuhuh... There goes another hidden paradise now out in the open... Watch out Amanpulo...

Anyway! Great for you guys to be able to go to El Nido!

@ Jake Tornado: You may already know then that there are Peach Blossoms, a.k.a Sakura, in Palawan! Cool huh?!

Anonymous said...

@ Xander.. I totally agree with you man, both batanes and palawan are like 'heaven'. i often say to myself, "i must visit batanes and palawan before i die" lol.

antonio said...

I've been to BORACAY but never in El Nido, but my friends really say it's amazing---"far better than BORA" as one of my Korean friend remarked"...

.....I will go there one of these days, after all I'm Filipino, I don't want to be a stranger in my own land.......................

Voldemort said...

El Nido...A place that would let you suffer in a second (breathtaking) but will definitely leave a smile on your face...lol

danyhael said...

Alright Eurasians, next time you go to Palawan try asking for Amanpulo. It's an exclusive island usually saved for hollywood celebrities or other international celebs.

^_^

Anonymous said...

Honey since you talked about palawan... I recommend that you also visit Amanpulo also situated in the Philippines, particularly in Palawan... The place is like heaven where you can't find anywhere in the planet... Several hollywood stars stayed there... mariah carey to name a few... It's like a gem that has been kept hidden for so many years as not to spoil its natural beauty... THERE'S ONE SLIGHT PROBLEM THOUGH...one night will costs you a fortune.. but what the heck you have the entire island to yourself plus the amenities and costumer services are incomparable to any 5 star beaches and resorts I've been to all over the world... see it for yourself and you'll find out what I mean...

Cheers...

P.S.

when you get there please do some documentary about the place... some updated pictures perhaps :)

BTW great blog... 5 stars :)

AJ said...

hi! u got a great site here..

i agree. el nido if not, is one the best island in the world.

ive been there and stayed for weeks, and ugh!..i cant believe what my eyes saw. ITS PARADISE.

try to visit elm street cafe in the mid of the town..thats my friend ED owned. :)

it would complement your experience!

rgds,

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