A good thing about living in Hong Kong is that you get to travel to South-East Asia within a few hours’ flight time for a weekend beach holiday. The choices are numerous. Transfer is not complicated and it doesn’t cost you a fortune.
We decided to take a 4-day trip to Palawan, Philippines. The region is made of a series of islands lying between South China Sea and Sulu Sea.
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The travel from Hong Kong is really simple. You can take a flight from Hong Kong to Manila (1.5 hours). Once you arrive in Manila, transfer to the domestic airport Terminal 4 and take the 50-seater Air Swift flight to El Nido (1 hour). Be sure to have enough buffer time of at least 3 to 4 hours in between the flights. Try to book the flight early as Air Swift is the only airline that flies between Manila and El Nido directly.
Once we arrived at the El Nido, don’t be surprised by the rather simple and earthy design of the airport – or it looks more like a farm house than an airport (and nothing wrong with that, I loved it). The airport bus that takes you from the arrival spot to the airport arrival hall resembles a rock n’ roll tour bus with colourful sea life paintings inside.
There were local ladies singing welcome songs for us as we reached the airport arrival hall! Staff from the resort – Pangulasian Island Resort – was already waiting for us, which took us to a speed boat to Pangulasian Island within 30 minutes.
We received a warm welcome at the Pangulasian Island Resort and the beach villa we had was beautiful, with direct access to the beach.
There aren’t much you can do at the Island, which is exactly what a beach holiday should be like, isn’t it?
You chill, relax, grab a drink, eat some mangoes, watch the waves, look at sunsets, take three naps a day. Every day, you receive what the nature gives you – sunshine, drizzles or winds. That quality of tranquillity is invaluable and almost magical. You have time to step back, think, feel and live your life – unlike living in Hong Kong where you’re always chasing after something endlessly without really knowing what you’re doing.
Seafood is abundant in the region so you get to enjoy fresh fishes and shrimps every day. The Filipino cuisine there is similar to the Spanish one, maybe just a little more spicy.
To my surprise, the weather was perfect. It was between 22°C to 28°C and not too humid. I was really happy we picked the right time to visit.
When we left, the staff sang a song for us (amazed by the musical genes of the locals) as we headed to the speed boat going back to El Nido airport.
It was fantastic time.