Palawan · Philippines · Travel Tales

Honda Bay

I’m typing this in a private van that has been traveling for six hours from El Nido to Puerto Princesa. My companions are all asleep. I, on the other hand, had been knocked out for around 12 hours after a long island hopping tour. So here I am, just typing on my phone and looking out once in a while outside the windows. There are verdant rolling hills in a backdrop of mountains to the right, and the sea to the other. Palawan really is lovely.

Let me tell you about our third day here. We went island hopping in Honda Bay, which is less than an hour by van from the city center of Puerto Princesa. To save on fees, we opted to go only to Starfish Island and Pandan Island, though we did get to see Luli (short for “lulubog, lilitaw”) Island and the Pambato Reef from afar.

Star Island
Starfish Island


We were able to get a discount on Starfish Island since there were 15 of us. Not far from the shore, we found what looked like chocolate-chip-studded starfish:

Starfish on Star Island
Starfish on, duh, Starfish Island

Corals and different fishes can be found near the shore as well. You can just imagine our very childlike delight when we saw Nemo and Dory, among others.

Obligatory jump shot.
Obligatory jump shot.

Next stop was Pandan Island, where we spent most of the day. We stayed in a cottage (rental: P600) and played a couple of rounds of volleyball as seafood vendors cooked our food.

Pandan Island
Pandan Island

DSC_8075

Some three-on-three beginner's volleyball was in order.
Some three-on-three beginner’s volleyball was in order.

Lunch was sinigang, crabs, and squid. Afterwards, we went swimming and snorkeling. The sand here is by far the finest I’ve seen in Palawan, so it was really quite ideal for beach bumming. And there was this albino dog that liked us apparently so much that it kept on pawing at us for more scratches on the head.

Drinking water here is pretty expensive, though, so I had three fresh coconuts instead to compensate. Delicious.

Some tips for your Honda Bay island hopping trip

Aqua shoes might be a must (it was the case for me) but if you’re renting them, rent from one of the stalls near the port itself, not anywhere else that rents them for P150. You should be able to rent them for only P100.

Bring plates with you if you’re having food cooked in Pandan Island. We had to pay for our paper plates.

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