As amazingly wonderful as the town of El Nido is, it’s missing one thing. Because of the looming limestone cliffs to the west of the town, you are unable to see the sunset. This also means it gets dark much earlier in the day than you would probably like. Thankfully, we ended up finding a solution to our lack-of-a-beautiful-sunset problem.
Island hopping tours in El Nido are one of the main attractions in this charming town. When you head there, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is which tour to go on. Fortunately, I was able to go on two incredible tours: Tour A and Tour C. If you’ve read up on island hopping in El Nido, you’ll probably know that Tour A is highly recommended if you can only do one during your stay. If possible, you should try to get around to going on both tours.
As I mentioned in my last post, El Nido is a must-visit destination with its incomparable beauty and small town charm. When you visit, you will undoubtedly go on an island hopping tour, as it is one of the main things to do here. There are four tours you can choose from, cleverly named Tour A, Tour B, Tour C, and Tour D. These tours are a great way to explore the islands of El Nido and take in all of its rare visual appeal. Tour A and C are the most popular tours, which I was lucky enough to have been able to do both. However, if you can only squeeze one tour in during your stay, I would recommend doing Tour A.
The small town of El Nido exudes this quaint, friendly, and charming vibe throughout. El Nido is not as developed as many other popular South East Asian destinations (though it might very well become just that in the near future), which I really liked about it, so don’t expect a street filled with bars and drunken tourists, or any chain restaurants or shops.
After we had been in Puerto Princesa for two nights, we made our way via van to the -almost- northern most part of Palawan; El Nido. The ride there was pretty painful; it took about 6 or so hours with multiple stops picking up and dropping off passengers (both tourists and locals) along the way in the towns of Roxas, Taytay, and who knows where else. However, I was in for a real treat on the ride back to Puerto Princesa when we were stuck in a much smaller van with the same amount of people, and had a pregnant lady moaning as if she were having contractions and an older woman who was horking into a baggy that she tied around the back of a seat… But, I digress.
Like I mentioned in my previous post on stopping over in Puerto Princesa, there isn’t that much to do in the city center. If you have a day to spend wandering about the city, there are a handful of tourist attractions you can visit during the day and some great restaurants and bars to check out at night. They are all within walking distance, unless you’re incredibly lazy or are on the verge of heatstroke and can’t bear to walk another step. If that’s the unfortunate case, there are plenty of tricycles haphazardly about the streets that will take you to any of the locations below for a nominal fee.
We spent our final two days of our Bali holiday in Jimbaran; just 15 minutes south of the airport. I had heard good reviews from coworkers about Jimbaran and wanted to try to see as much of Bali as possible during our short trip. Unfortunately, Jimbaran did not come close to our expectations and was the least enjoyable part of our trip. Allow me to explain..
Regardless of how cliche it now is, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to visit Padang Padang Beach; where the filming for Eat Pray Love’s beach scene took place. We were looking forward to seeing whether this beach lived up to how it was portrayed in the movie.
To begin with, it’s definitely not an easy beach to get to. In fact, nothing is that easy to get to if you’re staying in Jimbaran. So, we rented motorbikes for the day (though I highly recommend you don’t due to an awful experience we had) and set off to find this beach. We were on the road for at least half an hour before we found it – you’ll know you’re there when you see cars and motorbikes lined up on the side of the road right before a bridge. And lots of tourists, of course.
I have quickly learned that preparing your travel itinerary ahead of time can save you a lot of unnecessary stress and money on Advil for those sure-to-happen headaches. Finding and booking a place to stay is one of the things I make sure to do ahead of time when going on a shorter trip.
Depending on the time of your visit to the Gili Islands, I would highly recommend booking ahead of time during their high season. We figured that most accommodation would be sold out, however, we were surprised to have multiple locals approach us when getting off the boat asking if we needed a room. We didn’t look into details regarding the price, area, or set-up since we already had something booked. However, I suppose it is good to know that you can head over there without any real plan (though doing this during high season would not be the wisest decision, unless you enjoy sleeping on the beach).
Gili Trawangan is a great island getaway from Bali without being completely cut-off from the world. Gili T is actually a lot more developed than I had initially thought – there are numerous funky cafes selling rather expensive coffee, unique clothing shops, boutique hotels that charge you to spend a day on their beach, and a fast-developing party scene. If you’re looking for a more quiet, relaxed, and rustic island trip, you should consider going to one of the other two Gili Islands: Gili Meno or Gili Air.