El Nido – Sibaltan

From Puerto Princesa we took the mini van to the north of Palawan, to El Nido. To be exactly to the east coast near a small village called Sibaltan. It took us about 5 hours up to El Nido town and another hour to Tapik Beach Park Guesthouse in Sibaltan. When we arrived there in the early afternoon we were welcomed by the staff and got a beautiful bungalow with a balcony, a spacious room with double bed and an own bathroom with shower. There was no WiFi in the hole area and electricity is available from 6pm to 6am. No air conditioning in the rooms but there is a ventilator to put next to the bed and it works during the times of electricity. So it gets hot after 6am when also the morning sun shines straight to your eyes.

There was low tide starting in the early afternoon and at 5pm there is no more water, only the reef looking out. We started to walk down the beach the first early evening to explore the neighborhood and found out the beach was full of “stranded” jellyfish and thousands of small crabs looking like spiders.

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After coming back we had our first meal in the new place and I ordered chicken adobo. It tastes similar to deviled chicken from Sri Lanka but it’s not spicy. After dinner we went to sleep as it was a long day and there is not much to do. Before doing so we signed up for he island hopping he next morning.

The island hopping started the next morning at 9 o’clock just in front of our guesthouse. The sea wasn’t as calm as the day before and here were waves. Not too much but it wasn’t the same visibility. There was an older man from South Africa with a Philippine girl and also a Canadian girl on board with us. The Canadian girl, her name was Krista, did he island camping experience for two days and didn’t return with us in the evening. She stayed there for two nights in a tent and went fishing to get some food. She also told us hat the island was supposed to be the original one from the book “The Beach” and where the Movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio plays in Thailand. But the writer of the book lived in the Philippines for some years and it’s said the story is located on this island. It’s an amazing island!

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But before arriving here we went snorkeling. It wasn’t too good and there were too many jellyfish all around. After 45 minutes snorkeling we continued and arrived our island. We had time to swim and explore while he guys from the boat prepared lunch for us. While swimming we had to be careful as they said that there are many sting rays around! But the island had one of the most beautiful white beaches I’ve ever seen and the water was incredible clear and blue.

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After lunch we went for another snorkeling. It was much better and the water was clear. The visibility was amazing and we spotted 4 black tip reef sharks and many other fishes and beautiful corals. After that we went back to the guesthouse and didn’t do much more this day then having dinner.

The next day we just relaxed. Had breakfast, went to sleep again and had a beer in the afternoon at a bar called Ursula’s just next door. They had also WiFi and we were able to do some research about scuba diving in El Nido town. I wanted to do it here but there is no dive center around. We stayed at Ursula’s for dinner and got a really good fish and chicken curry what was recommended to us from a couple from San Francisco. We had a bad stomach during the next night but it tasted amazing!

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And they prepared everything lovely for dinner on the beach!

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The next morning Krista came back from the island campaign experience and we talked a little and walked in direction of the mangroves forest, which we didn’t reach but found some nice palms, until she left with the van to El Nido town.

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Before leaving she introduced us Akash who staid with her the second night on the island. A very interesting young man and we met later to have a drink on the beach after dinner. We still had a bottle of the Emperador Brandy and drank this while watching the amazing night sky! There is no light pollution as there is nothing around and we asked the staff to turn off the lights at the restaurant. The sky was so clear and we could see all the Milky Way, Mars and Jupiter rising and many many shouting stars.

The next day was already our last day. We met Akash again, talked a little bit and then rented a kayak and tried to find the mangrove forest. It was already 4pm what means that the sun isn’t not burning too much but also that the low tide has arrived and there is not much more water left near the beach. We tried our best and almost arrived at the mangroves but were stopped by a sandbank. But it was good to have some activities after the time of relaxing!

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The next morning we were picked up by the van at 7:30am to bring us to El Nido town. Price per person was 200 pesos (4€).


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