Friday, August 17, 2012

Palawan Adventure: Honda Bay Tour

Palawan is known for its beautiful islands and rich marine life. Aside from the Underground River, Honda Bay is probably the second most visited tourist spot in Puerto Princesa City.

Tourists must proceed to Sta. Lourdes Wharf, located about thirty minutes North of the city proper where they will hop on their rented pump boats for a tour of the famous Honda Bay. The tour usually takes 6 hours which starts at 8am. If I remember correctly, we paid Php1500 per person for the Honda Bay tour including the van and boat transfers, lunch, tour guide and entrance fees at the islands. You may contact Sanctuary Tours at +639175911234, the owner is so easy to talk to and who knows, he might give you a discount like we did.

Pandan Island

Each island in the breathtaking Honda Bay offers different thrills and experiences. Pandan Island is great for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and just chilling by the beach.

Tip: Lather up on sunscreen if you don't want to get a tan. For some reasons, the sun is so much hotter this side of the country.

The sand is fine and powdery white. I just hope they will maintain the cleanliness of the beach area and the whole island.

Our guide immediately proceeded to the tourist center to pay the entrance fee and book a cottage for the group. While she was busy preparing for our lunch, we headed to the beach and went snorkeling. I was disappointed though since there's not much fishes here and the corals are already dead.

By noontime, we were called in to have a salo-salo lunch by the beach. Everything smelled so yummy!

After washing my hands, we were handed our plates and lined up for a hearty lunch buffet. I got to taste everything on the table and they're all good especially the liempo and the grilled eggplant with bagoong! We ate with our bare hands and it was a wonderful experience.

You can also opt to buy some fresh seashells and mussel in the makeshift restaurant which they can cook for you whatever way you desire.

Starfish Island

Next stop of the island hopping tour is the Starfish Island. According to our boatman, this is the best place to see and swim with the fishes. And so, with our snorkeling gears on hand, we went to the beach area and lo and behold, you don't have to go to the deep parts of the water to see schools of colorful fishes because they will come and play with you. It was such an amazing sight!

Too bad I forgot to bring my underwater goggles/camera so I won't be able to share some photos with you. Nonetheless, I think these photos of the island is enough to make you want to go here right now.

There are mangroves everywhere!

I asked our boatman/guide why I wasn't able to see even a single starfish in the water and according to him, we were swimming in the wrong side of the beach! Oh, well..

Luli Island

or short for Lulubog-Lilitaw, a very apt description of the island (it only surfaces during low tide).

I was quite tired at this point so I decided to just walk around and see what this island has to offer. And there isn't much! Just a bare beach with no cottage or nipa huts except for the caretakers home pictured above.

I've seen more starfish here than in Starfish Island but the fishes are nowhere to be found! We even throw some bread on the water and still no response from Nemo or his friends.

The group especially the boys had a great time jumping off the diving board which I think is about 20 feet high! I am afraid of heights so I just settled on watching them jump with their funny tricks.

Our boatman gave us this love bird made up from coconut leaf as a souvenir while others got a bird, a grasshopper (my favorite) and a fish.

I definitely enjoyed our Honda Bay tour -- the lunch was delicious, the islands are fascinating, the marine life is breathtakingly beautiful and most of all, the people are extraordinarily helpful, accommodating and hospitable and they will make sure you have the greatest time in your trip.

Oh Palawan, you made me fall in love with you again!

1 comment:

  1. can i have the contact details of your travel agent?


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