They call it the Philippines’ last frontier, a secret tropical paradise few have ever heard of, and even fewer have ever visited. An exotic tropical south-east Asian island that continues to be relatively untouched by the modern world.
Sadly, I think the secret got out a long time ago. For there were a lot of people like Amelia and I here, all hoping to “discover” a place in paradise.
Palawan is no hidden, unknown paradise anymore. But what it is?
It’s still extremely undeveloped. Which is actually a little annoying, for a lot of people do in fact visit, every day. We were certainly no Robinson Crusoe!
We don’t mind going back to basics if we’re pretty much the only foreigners in a small little fishing village, but if you’re in a major tourist town – in which the local economy is entirely dependent on tourism, and has been for a number of years – you’d like to think local authorities could at least have sorted out twenty-four hour electricity, a safe water supply (a ridiculous number of people were getting sick, including me), and finished off the one main road that traverses up and down the island. But no, they haven’t, yet. And yes, I was told it was pretty much due to the incompetence and corruption of the local government officials.
But then no-where’s perfect…
And Palawan was pretty flippin’ gorgeous.
What did we do here?
Not a lot.
We ate, we hired a motorbike, we ate some more, we read our books, then we ate some more, we went on a boat trip, then we ate, then I got sick, then we read our books, and then I ate again. And that was pretty much the story of our trip to Palawan.
Note – I didn’t wear my red England shirt for the whole two weeks, honest!
We actually felt a little bit guilty, for we have never spent two weeks on a beach doing pretty much nothing.
We stayed in San Vicente – a small, remote town, with a virgin 14km sand beach. It wasn’t bad at all. Just watch out for the sand flies.
Then we stayed in El Nido. Much busier, but still very nice. Magnificent scenery, and a great place to do, well, not a lot. And snorkeling and scuba diving, if you’re into that kind of thing.
We did a minimal amount of snorkeling. As a land mammal, I like looking out to sea, but I have to say, I don’t like being on the sea all that much. The way I see it, humans are not amphibious, so leave the sea to crocodiles, penguins and what-ever, just leave me to admire the views safely from dry land.
So generally speaking, we did. We sat in a hammock, read to our hearts content, and chatted away, in some pretty nice surroundings. And that was exciting as it got.