Coron, Palawan is a very unique tourist location. It's a destination most popular for divers. Dozens of islands surround this village and the food and beer is the cheapest we found in all of the Philippines. It’s a tiny town that doesn’t take many days to cover, unless you intend to spend a bulk of time diving. The town itself consists of only two main streets. We got to Coron via ferry from Manila. The ferry was an overnight ferry intended to take approximately sixteen hours. Our ferry, however, was delayed (thirteen hours) due to a typhoon north of the South China Sea. We did not learn of this delay until the moment we exited our cab at the pier – and the cab driver was already out of the dock.
We met two female backpackers who were taking the same route to Coron. After them putting up a fight due to the lack of communication regarding the delay they were upgraded to the VIP waiting area. Kindly, they waved us over to tag along on their VIP win. A VIP win that was more comparable to a holding cell in a stuffy back room. But it was private, and they offered us free food and water. We graciously accepted. In this “VIP” holding cell we also met a Chilean couple, another female traveler from Argentina, and a male from Spain. All of whom we continuously traveled along with or ran into during our entire Palawan trek.
Upon arrival into Coron, dozens of tricycles sit waiting to carry tourists along to their next destination. A tricycle is a motorcycle attached to a tin seating box for passengers to sit in. They look like they are designed to fit two people and their luggage. But we were quickly enlightened on that. These trikes can fit as many as eight or more. Really, however many people are willing to share an inch – these tricycles can fit. As with any new destination, be wary of the amount you are told a ride will be as soon as you land in town. The price is immediately increased by nearly 100% for any foreigner, especially one fresh off the dock.
We stayed at Seahorse Guesthouse in Coron. It was clean, rooms air-con'd, and provided breakfast. There is no wifi outside of the reception area. Coron is an incredibly inexpensive location. Beers are found for 35 Php, which is less than a dollar. Our meals on average didn’t break $10 USD. Combined. With alcohol.
There are hardly any real vehicles in Coron. The entire village is ran by motorbike and tricycles. Island traffic in Coron is cluttered with honking trike horns, stray dogs, and motorbikes with families of five on them. Yes, families of FIVE. On one motorbike! We spent much of our time in Coron enjoying the island traffic and observing the lifestyle of these people. People watching is great here. It is very different from Manila.
When we arrived in Coron I was shocked at the amount of trash that cluttered the streets and bay area. It was disappointing to see the amount of locals who threw their styrofoam and trash overboard off the boats and into their beautiful oceans. Coron does not have a beach front. It has dozens of beautiful islands nearby, but the only way to get to these islands is by a government regulated tour guide. This was a big downside for me. I am an adventurer. My favorite moments are discovering private views without the direction of a tour guide. That is where I get my thrill. Outside of that, the islands surrounding Coron are magnificant.
My favorite part of Coron was the hike to Kayangan Lake. An absolute must do if you ever venture to this island village.
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