Money Saving Travel Tips The Philippines Vietnam

El Nido and Coron, Palawan in the Philippines, a better place than Maldives

The world's famous and affordable islands are very reachable from Vietnam.
Coron town, Palawan
The view of Coron, Palawan from the mountain view deck.

Come and visit these islands where you can definitely enjoy white sand beaches, corals, rocky mountains, fresh food and great accommodation without emptying your wallet.

Coron is an island in Palawan, in the west of the Philippines – the neighboring country of Vietnam. Palawan has two islands on world’s best islands, Coron and El Nido. Coron has known for its pristine lakes and nature is much more majestic while El Nido has unspoiled white sand beaches.

It was April when I arrived in Coron, the weather is always great in this season. Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Manila are served by Philippine Airlines and the low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air. There are plenty of flights to Coron to choose from. We booked Cebu Pacific as they have the best schedule for our itinerary and it’s affordable. We even managed to go around BGC and Makati during our 6-hour layover at the airport where you can deposit your luggage for a minimal fee.

Related: How we spent our transit time in Manila

Coron’s community airport is 22 kilometers or 40 minutes by car to the town area. After we disembark and get out of the airport, porters and locals were offering a ride to our hotel. The excitements are rushing as we drove along the chocolate hills overseeing the blue sky and ocean in our way to the town.

Coron Backpackers Guest House - Cheap Accommodation
A guest house in Coron for only 200k VND per night for 3 people.

We spend our night in a guest house for only VND 200k per night for 3 people. At night, you can hear and smell the sea waves just a few walk steps from the placed we stayed.

Things you must not miss when you’re in Coron:

1. Snorkel or free dive in Coron’s shallow corals

The Philippines is home to many marine species and Coron is one of the best places to do snorkeling and see different types of ocean fish and colorful corals. You may choose to scuba dive in deeper areas. Most of the corals are in the shallow waters of these inhabited little islets and shoals so be careful on sea urchins as they won’t allow you to step on this protected corals or suffer the pain from their stings.

2. Watch the sunset from Tapyas Hill View Deck

One of the bonus places here is the Tapyas Hill where you can witness the very majestic sunset and sunrise overseeing the little town of Coron. It’s around 2 kilometers walk from the town where pathways and steps were built for tourists. Reaching its view deck is surprisingly rewarding.

3. Experience the nature at Kayangan Lake

Lake Kayangan is an unforgettable place in Coron, a lush green lake nestled between four limestone mountains. The boat will park outside and you will have to climb a steep slope to get to the lake. From above, you will have a breathtaking view of Coron. (See photos)

In the lake, you can sail on a locally made bamboo rafts and take a walk on the free wooden corridors. Here, you will also hear the legendary giant octopus with scary tentacles that makes people feel paranoid from swimming. Some adventurous tourists climb the rocks to jump down, I personally find this game very dangerous because the rocks are sharp, enough to break your legs and suffer serious injuries and calling 911 from this remote islands would require an air ambulance and can be very expensive if you don’t have travel insurance.

4. Enjoy the beauty of the Coron Sea with Filipino signature winged sailboat

Coron’s cool and fresh wind plus blue water gives you the feeling of forgetting all worries in the city. Forget about the anxiety and get yourself away from political work stress, Coron is indeed a mental pill that will make you feel relaxed, amazed and satisfied in life.

5. Immerse yourself in the warm waters of the Maquinit Hot Spring

Manquinit hot springs are natural hot spring in Coron. Evening is the best time to visit there and to avoid hot sun rays. You can ride a tricycle to Maquinit for 20 pesos. Maintenance and an environmental fee is 200 pesos per pax. Don’t forget to bring your own towels and toiletries.

Check us back soon for El Nido.

About Author

Phạm Hoàn Khải

Phạm Hoàn Khải

He is a PR - Marketing by profession and travel enthusiasts as the same time. Khai likes exploring and is working hard to pursue it. Like many other travelers, he'd like to share some experiences about where he went through and what he discover along the way.

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