*Always bring your toilet paper. Remove the inside box of the toilet paper and flatten it. Squeeze it in your purse. Most of the bathrooms in Palawan don't have toilet paper.
Unique Suggestions: *Always buy a toilet paper at the grocery store before you leave your hotel. Or, choose a bathroom at a nice restaurant or a nice store.
We (British/Swiss couple living in the Philippines) wanted to show our visiting parents Palawan. El Nido seemed nice but has mainly exclusive (and very expensive) resorts, or low end. We booked at Dolarog Beach Resort, one of the few middle price range resorts. It’s run by an Italian manager and his Filipina wife. It turned out to be a most disappointing, in fact quite disgraceful, holiday experience. The main points:
- Resort is already expensive compared to Philippine price level (US130 per night/fan-cottage incl. 2 meals and daily boat trip. Comparison: usually you would pay in the Philippines between US20 (normal areas) and US60 (touristy) per night/aircon-room incl. breakfast).
- Upon arrival, cottages we had confirmed reservations for were not available, and we were given a very crappy alternative. We tried to discuss the issue with the manager who promptly told us that if we didn’t like the place we should leave. With no other options, we agreed. The manager’s wife then accused us of having falsified the deposit confirmation we had received from their agent. At this point, discussions dissolved and the manager went as far as threatening us physically.
- None of the resort cottages (excl. those for the manager’s family) have mosquito nets (Palawan is one of the Malaria-high risk areas of the Philippines).
- Food was not what one should expect for the price level.
- Even though town power runs from 3pm to 2am, the resort provided electricity only between 6pm and midnight. Especially annoying if you have booked the more expensive AC cottages (US 150-170 night/cottage).
Conclusion: This resort is a rip off. All the customers we met were Europeans/Americans straight off the plane. They had booked an all-inclusive trip and never got the chance to get a feel for the real value of their money. Even worse, they also never got to know the typical Filipino friendliness, hospitality and care that you will find in abundance elsewhere in the country.
Fun Alternatives: Instead of going to El Nido, book Coron Island which is equally nice and has generally a better price-quality ratio. There are at least two resorts we can warmly recommend that offer very good services and great hospitality for a lower price than Dolarog Beach Resort (www.dolarog.com): check www.sangat.com.ph or www.busuangaislandparadise.com. Additionally flights from Manila to Coron (US140) are much cheaper than to El Nido (US240)!
Lake Kayangan is inside Coron Island. An island located at the tip of north Palawan, Philippines. The place is famous for its lagoon, inland lakes and ship wrecks.
This place is administered by the local aborigines inhabiting the island named as the Tagbanwa Cultural Center Organization. (An admission fee of 200 pesos is charged per person).
Admission system here is very crude since there are no permanent marks like bands or tickets. Only ink marks that will be stamp on your hand as you enter and will surely disappear as you swim the lakes. As you navigate the entire island , a park attendant will be asking for your fee.)
Unique Suggestions: As you navigate the entire island , a roaming park attendant will surely randomly ask for your ink mark to verify if you have paid the entrance fee.)
All you have to do is just simply tell the attendant that you have already paid at the entrance.(just be honest!)
Fun Alternatives: You have to pay again! Make sure you pay where you enter the place.
Palawan has the sweetest mangoes I've ever tasted. And of course it is very tempting to buy some to bring home to Manila. However, my dad informed me that these mangoes, though very cheap, may never leave palawan by any means.
Unique Suggestions: Buy just as much as you can in the island and don't attempt to buy more than what you can consume.
Fun Alternatives: Get some Guimaras or zambales mangoes in Manila. These varieties are of excellent quality too.
when you try to buy pearls from a vendor by the roadside, chances are that you'd end up having several of them in front of you without leaving you room to choose. They'd coerce you to buy 1 set from each of them. So just to have your space again, you'll probably end up buying from each one.
Unique Suggestions: politely tell them that you will only deal with the first one that you talked to.
Fun Alternatives: buy only from a store. If by chance you find a set sold by a roadside vendor that suits your fancy, invite him/her inside the hotel where the rest cannot go in.
package tours can make your trip hassle-free, i won't argue with that................... but if you're like me who is into backpacking and adventure you might as well do it yourself.....................
Unique Suggestions: haggle!
Fun Alternatives: do it yourself..........
850-900/pax - package tour fee for honda bay island hopping (all in)
430/pax - do it yourself honda bay island hopping (all in)
450/pax - city tour package
245/pax - do it yourself (hire a van and divide among yourselves the van's rate or hire a trike for 500 for the whole day city tour trip, again just divide 500 among yourselves)
this is the most deceitful stay ever.
first, the hotel is far away from everything.
then, in spite of beautiful setting, rooms are not clean (expect cockroaches everywhere), price is unreasonably high (60 USD per head), food is tasteless and not fresh.
THE TENANT HAS BEEN THREATENING US WITH A KITCHEN KNIFE AND BROKE MY CREDIT CARD, juste because she could not read properly the expiration date on it.
When you arrive there, you will feel trapped, and cannot get away by any mean.
Finally, hotel is occupied by old dirty white guys with pretty young filipinas. You can get a "happy ending" to the P500 massage for P1000 !!! disgusting...
Please don't go there and spread the word to anyone going to Palawan, near El Nido.
Unique Suggestions: Arrive early in the afternoon for check-in. If you do not "feel" the place, then hurry the tenant to get you back to El Nido (otherwise it is a 1h30 hour walk). In any case don't make them go mad (though it's easy), YOU RISK YOUR LIFE !!
Fun Alternatives: find a room/cottage in El Nido, where the fuzz is, and avoid this secluded place.
The people at the El nido Art cafe are very nice and helpful.
if you look for more quiet palce you should look something not in center .. You should try to get...more
Mangenguey Island, Philippines
Good for: Solo
Pamalican Island, PO Box 456, Palawan, 0000, Philippines
Good for: Business