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Palawan, Philippines
Asia's Must See Destination
Is Palawan

By Carmela Kim Alvarez

Meet Our Guest Writer

Carmela Kim Alvarez is an editor of Let's Palawan. She's a 20-something bubbly and adventurous female who loves to take selfies. Her aim is to share her travel experience and inspire fellow travelers.

or someone who loves to take a trip to different places, I can attest that traveling gives an incomparable feeling of satisfaction. The excitement of exploring a different place is simply unparalleled.

Sometimes, though, going through the usual turns in our travels can be a bit of a burnout. There is no sense of excitement anymore when we get what we expected to see and go through the customary course of the trip.

However, if you think that there is no place left for you to explore that have not become overexposed, think again. You clearly haven't heard of Palawan yet. This island destination, found west of the Philippine archipelago, will make you believe in Paradise. To showcase this rare travel gem, here are photos to prove that Asia's must see destination is Palawan.

1. Breathtaking diving sites all over the island

entrance to Kayangan Laake, Coron, Palawan

Palawan is famed for its incredible diving sites. Divers from all over the world travel to this island to explore its underwater haven. The Barracuda Lake in Coron is one of Palawan's popular diving sites. The lake features unique layers of water: a mixture of fresh, salt and brackish water that changes temperature every now and then.

2. Uninterrupted sunbathing break on amazing coastlines

Corong-Corong Beach in El Nido, Palawan

With the island's plethora of stunning beaches, you'll have all the time to bask in the sun. The beach scene in Palawan never sleeps and the fun never stops. Whether it's the secluded atmosphere or lively beach adventures you're after, Palawan has every beach of your dream. These pristine coastlines are the island's most prized possessions.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

3. A showcase of world-class grandeur

Giving worldwide recognition on Palawan's natural beauty is the famous Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.

This underground river in Palawan is included in the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It is said to be the longest navigable underground river in the world, housing over 1000 species of both plants and animals, especially those endemic to Palawan.

4. Mystical lakes and lagoons

massive limestone rock formations at the Twin Lagoon, Coron

Other than the stunning beach scenes that you can marvel at, Palawan also boasts its captivating lakes and lagoons.

These island destinations are ideal spots to unwind in and do some kayaking adventures. The tranquility that surrounds these places makes it more fascinating to explore. Massive limestone rocks serve as barriers to these secluded areas in the island.

the zipline to Depeldet Island, El Nido

5. Exhilarating rush of adrenaline

The thing that makes Palawan the perfect destination for any holiday trip is the fact that it never fails to entertain you. There are just so much to do in the island and countless island activities for you to try.

The exhilarating Zipline adventures will surely pump you up during your Palawan trip. Get held up on cable wires and glide high above the air in pure excitement! Other than the rush of adrenaline, it is also a perfect way for you to enjoy the aerial vistas of Palawan.

the Twin Beaches of Nacpan and Calitang in El Nido

6. Phenomenal island scenes to revel in

Truth is whichever part of Palawan you choose to settle in, there is always something beautiful to see.

The island is filled with unique landscapes that create these astonishing views. The Twin Beaches of Nacpan and Calitang in El Nido, Palawan, for instance, exhibits an exceptional panorama of two lovely beaches linked together by one shoreline. The viewpoint overlooking the Twin Beaches is nothing short of spectacular.

7. Towering peaks and summits to conquer

view of El Nido town and Bacuit Bay from Taraw Cliff

If you wish to see the best of the island's panorama, all you have to do is climb! The peaks and mountain summits of Palawan are the perfect way to do it.

Other than its pristine waters, the island also takes pride of its peaks. Palawan is a climber's dream destination. The journey to reach the top might be challenging, but all the sweat and effort will totally be paid off once you get to see the breathtaking view of Palawan.

Taraw Cliff in El Nido is the highest peak in town and offers the most magnificent site of El Nido, Palawan.

What makes Palawan a dream destination? It's the fact that it always has something to amaze you. Traveling to Palawan means getting more than what you expect.

There are more reasons why this island destination in the Philippines is considered the best destination in Asia. Truly, Palawan provides a different kind of travel experience – incomparable and unique.

Related Articles:
A Survivor's Paradise: Caramoan, Philippines; Born of Fire: Camiguin Island; Ha Long Bay in Vietnam; Eight-Circuit Thailand; Corregidor Island

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I enjoy your newsletters -and particularly Patti Nickell's article about the 'Pudding Club' in the Cotswold's. An old friend of mine is taking a holiday there this year and plans to try their Jam Roly Poly and Spotted Dick - amongst many!

--- John & Maggie - UK


The way I read this article, you stayed at the "Breeze and Waves". Do you have any pictures of the cottages, and would you recommend to some first time visitors to Caramoan?

--- Richard Simons, Stockton, CA

Hi Richard,

Breeze and Waves was still under construction when I stayed there in Feb. 2010. It should be finished by now. You can see pictures of the resort on this page. We got to stay in one of the small cottages in the picture. I'll recommend it to budget travelers but you might want to look at other options. We chose it because of its location right by the beach. You can try other resorts in the Caramoan town proper (you have to get a ride to get to the beach and the jump-off point to go island-hopping but it's a relatively short distance). There are also two higher end resorts located on a cove and very near the islands: Gota Village Resort (unfortunately there is something wrong with their website right now) and its twin resort Hunongan Cove. Caramoan is a relatively new tourism development so resorts are just now being built.

You can go to this site for a good list of choices for accommodations in Caramoan.

I should add that it might be good to go to Caramoan (and almost anywhere in the Philippines) during the dry season from December to May. June to November are the typhoon months and sometimes typhoons will still come during early December.


* * * * *

Hi, I'm planning to go to Caramoan this coming May. Would you know the number of Breeze and Waves Cottages? Thanks!

--- Ann, Manila, Philippines

Hi Ann,

Breeze and Waves' phone number is 0908-2911072. Look for Freddie. Hope you have a grand time at Caramoan!



For Nature's Playground: The South Island of New Zealand

Hi Wendy,

In winter, Heritage Heights Apts. now offers free shuttle service to and from Queenstown 24/7 to guests without cars. We own a 7-passenger 4-wd Toyota Highlander used specifically to taxi guests up and down the hill during winter months. We also run advance purchase winter promotions which include a 4-wd rental.

If any of your readers head over this direction, I will enjoy extending Heritage Heights hospitality!!


--- Ailey, Owner, Queenstown, NZ

* * * * *

New Zealand text and pix top drawer! Almost as good as making the trip. ( but one still wants to. . . ) Full of useful detail. Only trouble with the website: It's tough figuring out which feedback goes with which article, and the more there are, the tougher it gets!

--- Ken W., Camarillo CA

Thanks Ken..."álmost" is right, you really have to experience the South Island firsthand. Granted this piece is long, but still all I can think about is how much I left out! I agree abut the relevancy factor re the feedback--it can be confusing...sometimes I have a "Wait a minute...what?" moment myself.

Thanks for writing,


* * * * *

Okay Wendy, from now on whenever you book your travel, please reserve space for me. I will carry your luggage, bring you cold drinks, massage your shoulders, and change the film in your camera (oops, I guess you don't have to do that anymore). Wonderful ideas and recommendations. Can you get to New Zealand from Boston in less than a week?

--- Carl A., South Easton, MA

Ha ha ha Carl, you're quite the comedian! But you'd be surprised how short that flight feels. I suspect Qantas isn't the only airline who's figured out that 3 movies, 2 full meals, lots of snacks and a complimentary travel pack (eye mask, warm socks and neck pillow) equals a quiet, well-behaved cabin. It really isn't bad. Just fly direct--pick the shortest flight w/ no lengthy layovers and you'll be fine. Re: signing on as my Super Sherpa...why not? I think you know I seldom travel in anything less than Party mode. There's just that pesky background check...

Thanks for writing,


For Excellence Riviera Cancun:

Wendy, I truly enjoyed your info especially since we leave in a week to celebrate my 50th Birthday. Was it necessary to make reservations at the restaurants? Was there a dress code for the restaurants? What would you recommend not missing while there? Was the spa experience worth it? Did you travel away from the resort while there? Thanks,

--- Kim P. Fuquay, Varina, NC

Hi Kim.

Sorry for the delay in had heavy competition with the holidays. Reservations at Excellence restaurants are not necessary and you will not find a wait. The dress code is basically no bathing suits and flip-flops...with a decided a mix of atmospheres. Mostly the open-air beachside spots are super casual, the rest slightly more formal. Truly, as long as you are clothed, I don't think you'd be turned away anywhere, though most people seemed to enjoy dressing up at night...I suspect more for their own pleasure than any sense of decorum.

The spa experience was worth it, though my favorite part wasn't the actual massage. The precursor was a 45 min. or so rotation from sauna to a series of (kind of wild) water jets which was very different and very cool, not just for women. In its' entirety, and with the serenity of the beach/champagne/strawberries, it was memorable.

We did not travel away from the hotel this trip, but the hotel is very helpful in arranging day excursions to fit your desires and you do not have to book these until you arrive.

Have a great time!

--- Wendy


I enjoyed Nino's contribution, since we all read about the frightening terrorist attack. Having travelled somewhat through India years ago, I am continually impressed with this country and the gentle spiritual aspects of this nation. Some day I look forward to going back. Nino has encouraged me. Thank you!

--- Yoka Y., Westlake Village, CA


Dear Mr.s/counselors Brown and Koro,

Thank you for a very informed and succinct article on motorcycle accidents and the law. It inspired me to think about getting a motorcycle, but not have an accident. But, if I do I am now well informed with the basics of what to do providing I do not perish in the accident. Any tips about that too?

--- Unnamed

Dear Rush and Chuck,

I wish I had read your article before our camping trip the Friday prior to President's Day.

My wife and I were in a car accident on our way to a camp ground. We were "rear-ended" and the impact caused our car to crash into the car in front of us. The contents of the truck that we were riding scattered onto several lanes. It's a miracle our two dogs decided to stay inside the car. My wife and I were shaken up badly but despite the mess, I was still able to walk out of the car. I got the license plate of the driver in front of me but, to my surprise, after reviewing the little damage on his car, he then sped off. I didn't know you could do that! The driver who hit me from behind gave me his information and then he too left the scene without saying good 'bye. When the police arrived all I had to go by was the little information I had jotted down which I hope was truthful. What if it was bogus? What if I had written the plate number incorrectly? How would that affect my insurance? What if we were unconscious, who would have written down all that information?

I do have one suggestion if you are injured in an accident. The police asked if my wife wanted an ambulance to bring her to the hospital but we declined the offer. I remembered when I rode an ambulance years ago that it was not a comfortable ride. I was strapped to the stretcher and there were all sorts of medical equipment dangling noisily above me. As long as you are able, it is a more relaxful ride inside a car. Besides, isn't there a fee for ambulance service?

--- Dave S. of Pasadena, CA

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