Monday, August 8, 2011

Walking Around in El Nido

All about Town of El Nido
by lakwatserong tatay

El ikaw ay marating ko.......actually it was really one remarkable experience. Having the chance to set on foot in one of the top tourist destination of our country today......Many travelers like us dreamed to set also their feets on these prime spot of our country. Were just lucky to have really prepared it and planned it very well....hehehehe...Seeing El Nido is one of my fulfilled dreams that i did not really expect to happen, as i remember i just only have the chance to see it in Discovery Channels, Nat Geo, and some other travel shows. So having chance to travel to this beautiful destination, i did not think twice but really go for it...hehehe..(paalam lang ako ky misis...). It was 4days and 3 night of purely adventures, upon arriving to our resort, we straightly go forward to trek to Nagkalit-kalit Falls. And added to that is our 2 days of island hopping experience is the highlight of our trip. Seeing those bluewish and greenish seawaters, limestone cliffs, colorful fishes and lastly the different island stops was really such a experience.
Limestone Cliffs of El Nido
So here's a brief information about El Nido:

from wiki....El Nido is a municipality located at the Northwestern tip of the province of Palawan in the Philippines. It is about 430 kms Southwest of Manila, and about 238 kms Northwest of Puerto Princesa, Palawan's capital. El Nido is bordered by the Linapacan Strait in the north, the Sulu Sea in the east, and the South China Sea in the west. It's municipality is composed of 18 barangays with total land area of 50,000 hectares. It's population of 27,000 people, mix of native Palawe├▒os, with a heavy presence of migrants from other parts of the Philippines. El Nido is named after the edible nests of Swiflets (Collocalia Fuciphaga) found in the crevices of its limestone cliffs. These nests. "Nido" in Spanish, are the main ingredient for the gourmet nido soup. El Nido is considered as a showcase of Palawan's geology and diverse wildlife. Its majestic limestone clifss stand guard over clear waters, with hundred of species of tropical fishes and corals, and three species of endangered sea turles. El Nido's forests are host to more than 100 species of birds, a large number of which are endemic to Palawan. The most striking feature of El Nido is its scenic landscape of massive limestone islands of varying shapes and sizes scattered around Bacuit Bay. Like the rest of the Palawan, El Nido is part of the Eurasian Plate, an entirely separate plate from the Philippine Mobile Belt to which the rest of the country belongs. A proof of this fact is the Palawan has no active volcanoes, unlike the rest of the Philippine Archipelago. Another is that limestone cliffs similar to those in Palawan can be found in Ha Long Bay in Vietnam and Guilin in China, cuntries which are part of the Eurasian Plate. There's a believed that Palawan was detached from mainland China some 40 million years ago. Palawan drifted southward and linked up with the rest of the Philippines around 15 millions years ago.
Cadlao Island's Peak View from El Nido's shore
We just had fun and most of the time where on trip, island hopping and strolling around in the town of El Nido. In fact together with Carlo and Chris, we did a photowalk, while roaming around El Nido's town proper. And did also night shots while staying on the beachfront of Marina. Below are some of my shots around El Nido. 
Night shots @ El Nido's Shoreline
It was a bit sunny day, when we stayed at El Nido, and while some are only staying on Marina, together with Carlo and Chris, we walked around the El Nido town proper, took some photo souvenirs from each of one establishments, one of the famous street in El Nido, and also we did not forgot to order and taste the ever famous "EL NIDO SOUP", although this soup is really not affordable, it short "hindi pangmasa, kaso lang nasa El Nido, so we give it a try...hehehehe".
One busy street in El Nido
The tourism street of El Nido (all of tour packages)
While were taking shots around the Municipal Hall of El Nido, this kids are requesting for a photo souvenir...hope they could see this...^_^.
Local kids of El Nido
A one unique view of Municipal Hall of El Nido, because of the limestone rock cliffs on its background it really fascinating and a picturestique view.
El Nido's City Hall
A very homey type of DENR office in El Nido. It was just only the front view and we did not have the chance to go inside because it was quite early when we did this photowalk shots.
DENR Office in El Nido
When your in El Nido don't ever miss to visit Skyline Grill and Restaurant, because this is the only restaurant that serves the famous bird's nest soup in town, "The El Nido Soup", in short, "Nido Soup", and where you could buy also the actual nest, that is made by the male balinsasayaw's saliva, the main ingredient for the gourmet nido soup. Came from the bird specie called Swiflet or with a native language called, Balinsasayaw.
Skyline Grill & Restaurant
Near from Marina Garden Beach Resort are three of the Government Offices of El Nido, The RTC of El Nido, El Nido's Poce Station and Post Office.
RTC at El Nido
El Nido's Police Station
El Nido's Post Office
When your in El Nido, every tourist are required to pay (Php200) for an Eco-Tourism Development Fee(ETDF) that is good for 10 days staying on their town and have the grant access to all tourism sites within El Nido. This will go to the municipality's environmental protection program. In response of growing concerns to protects its ecosystem, rehabilitate its natural resources and develop its full tourism potentials. Not only tourist pays for this ETDF ordinance, Palawan residents pays Php100 and students, Php50.

Here is the equal distribution of this ETDF ticket:
1. 50% - Will go to Environmental Protection, Resource Rehabilitation, Solid Waste Management and Tourism Development.
2. 10% - Will be used for Protected Area Office.
3. 10% - For Barangay Coastal Resource Management and Watershed Projects.
4. 20% - For Administrative Costs and Information Materials
5. 10% - For Municipal's General Fund.
Eco- Tourism Development Fee Ticket
Like what i have said, don't miss the chance to eat the famous bird's nest soup called as Nido Soup of El Nido. Here's my chance to eat this pricey Nido Soup, this bowl cost Php200....^_^.
The Famous El Nido Soup @ Skyline Grill & Restaurant
Here is one of our photo souvenir while celebrating the birthday of my Pareng Rowel at Marina Garden Beach Resort. All of the trippers where they're except for Carlo.....thank Carlo for this shot...^_^.
Trippers @ Marina Garden Beach Resort
One of the famous resto bar in El Nido, is Squidos, although this restaurant is also quite pricey maybe because most of the guests are foreigners....^_^.
Squidos @ El Nido
Transportation Guide and Options going to El Nido:

From Manila:

Option 1: Direct Flight to El Nido, Palawan

Direct flight to El Nido Airport via charter plane on Island Transvoyager, Inc. (ITI) and now back in route is Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR). Upon arriving in El Nido's Airport, tricycles will be waiting to take you straight to El Nido's town proper or where your accomodation is in El Nido. (Estimated budget for Trike Ride: Php 150-200 per trip).

Place of Departure:     Manila Airport (Depends on Airline)
Place of Arrival:          El Nido Airport (El Nido, Palawan)
Flight Schedule:           Daily
Length of Flight:          Approx. 1 hr.
Type of Plane:             Dornier planes, 19-30 seaters
Estimated Budget:       Php7,000 one way via ITI and SEAIR
Contact info:               SEAIR / Island Transvoyager

Option 2: Direct Flight to Puerto Princesa, then to El Nido by Land or Sea transfer

There are several flights daily from Manila to Puerto Princesa, Palawan via Philippine Airlines(PAL), Cebu Pacific Air, Air Philippines(Airphil) and Zest Air.

Place of Departure:   Manila Airport (Depends on Airline)
Place of Arrival:        Puerto Princesa International Airport (PP, Palawan)
Flight Schedule:        Daily
Length of Flight:        Approx. 1 hour
Type of Plane:          Airbus (PAL, Cebu Pac, Airphil and Zest Air)
Estimated Budget:     Php2000 - Php5000 (one way) / (depending on airline promo fares)

From Puerto Princesa:

Option A: Local Bus Ride

Be prepared for a bumpy, sticky journey through the countryside on the local, windows-down bus lines. Filled to maximum capacity with local residents seated, standing, and riding literally on the roof, there is little breathing room or leg space. One important thing, travellers like us should be keep on eye on your own belongings.

From Puerto Princesa Airport, ride a tricycle (around Php50) and proceed to San Jose Terminal. There two different bus lines (Eulen Joy Bus Line and Sweety Bus Line), with 3 buses departing from each daily. Seats are first-come, first served. No reservations necessary. Upon arriving at El Nido, ride a tricycle to reach your desired choice of accomodation.

Place of Departure:      San Jose Bus Terminal, Puerto Princesa
Place of Arrival:           El Nido's Bus Terminal (Depends on Bus Line)
Bus Schedules:             5:00am, 7:00am and 9:00 am daily
Length of Ride:            8-10 hrs, depends on condition of the bus and weather
Estimated Budget:        Approx. Php 350/person 

Option B: Public Shuttle Van

If you're hoping to save bucks where you can but aren't too excited about the local bus, you can travel in comfort and still keep your budget by riding a public shuttle van. Since most flights into Puerto Princesa arrive after the shuttles' normal departure times, you may want to call Fort Wally in advance since they are known to hold shuttles for passengers with reservations.

If you'll be walking in without reservations (not recommended), be prepared to wait until your shuttle fills with passengers, it may take a while depending on how many travelers show up to the terminal. If the other passengers riding with you aren't going all the way to El Nido, the driver may ask you for a little more to cover the extra journey of the trip.

Place of Departure:   Fort Wally Shed, San Jose Bus Terminal, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Place of Arrival:        Depends on Shuttle Driver & Nos. of Walk-in Passengers
Schedule:                  7:00am and 11:00am (daily)
Estimated Budget:     Php600/person (one-way) / Php700 (hotel or airport pickup)

Option C: Private Van-for-Hire

The more convenient means of travelling going to El Nido from Puerto Princesa, but this is also the most expensive. This option is best for a large group that can pitch in and split the rental fee. Trippers can enjoy the comfort of privacy and air-conditioning, as well as freedom to choose where and when to stop along the way. Enjoy its scenery or take a long nap while your hired driver traverses Palawan's countryside.

It is advisable to leave Puerto Princesa earlier or before lunch in order to avoid  being on the road at night. Be advised: you will not find a public toilets along the way. You could choose stop anywhere, or you could to experience dining in Vietnamese Eateries "Hoa  Kieu Vietnamese Restaurant", one of the authentic restaurant that established by refugees in the 1970's or a stopover in the City of Taytay, where you could visit the "Fuerze de San Isabel" or easily called as "Fort Santa Isabel".

Place of Pickup:        Depends on the arrangement made
Place of Arrival:        Depends on your accomodation in El Nido
Length of Ride:          5 hrs not including the stopovers
No. of Seats:            Approx. 8 pax, depending on Van
Estimated Budget:     Php10,000 (one way)/ Php 14,000 (roundtrip)

Option D: Public Boats and Private Boats-for-Hire

For more information on inter-Palawan travel by boat, see El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe's.

It's me at Municipal Town Hall of El Nido.
El Nido's Town is been X-plored...^_^
Wow, i thought i could never finish my stories about El Nido, but i already did it. This is the last part of my stories about El Nido, and i'll proceed back again to my stories of Puerto Princesa Experience (part2)...and of course the farewell story of Palawan. There's one thing i would really like to say, that i could have again the chance to go back and visit the town of El Nido and also to explore all of the places that i've missed out on this Valentine Trip together with the Chase Trippers.
Next stop is back to Puerto Princesa and here are some of my stories i'll be sharing to you...., The Blue Church of Puerto Princesa, A Glimpse of Palawan Museum, A Visit to Plaza Cuartel, and the Parting time of Palawan.....

This story is part of : Five Days of Trip at Palawan

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