Crystal clear waters, endless white beaches, an underwater world that will take your breath away, a destination that truly looks like paradise… Yep! Welcome to El Nido, Palawan, Philippines.
What they tell you is that El Nido will be the most beautiful place you’ll ever see. What they don’t tell you is the trek you’ll have to embark on to get there. No one ever said paradise was just around the corner, but damn! It sure was a journey. A 45 minute bus to the Taipei airport, 2 hour flight to Manila from Taipei, an 8 hour layover (sleep on the floor next to a trashcan) in Manila, 1 hour and 20 minute flight from Manila to Puerto Princessa, a “6 hour” van or bus ride from the airport to El Nido, and then a tricycle ride from the bus station to your hotel. Just survive all of that (with a few beers and a Xanax or two) and you can finally say you’ve made it to paradise!!
El Nido takes simplicity to a whole new level. With no stop lights in the town, hardly an ATM in sight, and extremely minimal wifi, you feel like your on Gilligan’s Island, and it could not be a better place to get away and truly enjoy all of mother nature’s gifts. And on top of that, it is BEAUTIFUL. Draw dropping, pinch yourself, is this real life, I must be dreaming, BEAUTIFUL.
Of course, as soon as it was time for a long holiday in Taipei, it meant I was due for another adventure. I could taste the freedom as my school week was coming to an end, and my 4 day weekend was quickly approaching. I was half way out the door with my bags packed, and then BAM! Mother Nature laid a fast one on me. “TYPHOON NEPARTAK TO HIT TAIWAN JUST IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY!”
I was leaving Taiwan so it shouldn’t have been a problem right? Um hello… airplanes. Do airplanes fly well in record breaking/deathly terrifying winds? No, no I don’t think so nor did I want to find out. My plane was scheduled to leave on a Wednesday night, the same exact time the eye of the storm was supposed to be touching land. So luckily by the power invested in me/the airports help/having a really generous boss, I was able to fly out a day early. Now the only thing to worry about was getting to the island and making sure the typhoon stayed clear of my vacation time.
The trip itself turned out to be so nice and relaxing. I was already pressing my luck by going during rainy season, but luckily it only torrentially down poured in the evenings, and a few storms here and there that quickly passed around lunch time. I was very lucky when it came to weather.
The vibes of the island itself are some I will never be able to forget. There is a certain laid-backness to all beach towns, but El Nido is special. Four days of crashing waves as my alarm, towering palm trees in my backyard, sounds of locals and travelers alike roaming the streets of the town, you can’t help but stop and think about how good life is, right?
My day started at about 7am everyday, like it usually does when I travel, because I am so eager to get out and explore. I would wake up, jump out of bed, grab my GoPro and be on my way. As soon as I stepped out the door each morning, I was eager to go see something new. To go out and to do something for the first time.
An island tour will make you appreciate the beauty of this heavenly gem of an island even more. Hopping on a boat and going out to explore was one of my favorite things I did during my stay. I will let the photos below speak for themselves.
Needless to say, paradise was totally worth it, and I loved El Nido. I could rant about how amazing this island is for hours, but you and I both know I am not an experienced writer, and my sarcasm can only last so long in these posts. I wouldn’t want to bore you, and I know a lot of you have better things to do than read my blogs. However, I did try my best to give you a taste of this island with a video. Enjoy the rest of the photos from my trip, and a short video of the adventure!