El Nido allures travelers with its stunning island hopping tours, diving, and serene beauty. After you have scratched these off your to-do list and are looking for something a bit more adventurous to do, you should look into climbing up one of the mammoth limestone cliffs that surround El Nido town proper. Before travelling to El Nido I had read about others who had hiked up Mt. Taraw and saw how breathtaking the views were. Afterwards, I knew this was something I had to do while I was here.
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.
This is a great hike if you live east on the island or Kowloon, as it is one stop across the harbour from Quarry Bay on the purple line. It’s also ideal if you’re looking for a quick hike; you want to get up a mountain, get some exercise in, see some great views of both the island and Kowloon skyline, and then get out. I mean, your schedule is booked solid from now until your last days in this city that never sleeps, so you need to squeeze in as much as possible every single waking moment of your time here. Am I right, or what?
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.
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.
You just can’t leave Gili T without having seen the sunset and enjoyed some hearty, local grub at the night market.
The majority of accommodations and activities are found on the eastern part of the island. For those of you who remember your grade 6 social studies lessons, you’ll know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. If you’re keen to wake up at an ungodly hour in the morning (which isn’t hard since the morning prayers are blared on loudspeakers at 4am each day) you can catch the sunrise just minutes from your place if you’re by the beach.
Spending some time bumming out on the beach on Gili T is a great escape from the fast-paced lifestyle of Bali, but if you’re like me, laying around every single day can become a bit boring. Thankfully, you can rent bikes on the island for next to nothing – we paid about $3 CDN to have our bikes for the entire day and there are bike racks in front of most shops on the main strip to park your bike for a few hours while you enjoy a refreshing beverage. Or two.
The Gili Islands are comprised of three small islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air – just west of Lombok in Indonesia. They have become a popular destination for tourists who are looking for a relaxing, remote island vacation.
Gili Trawangan is the largest of the islands and is by far the busiest and most developed – has more choice in shops, accommodations, restaurants, and has a bit of a night scene. This island is a good place to go if you want an island experience, but still have a selection of luxuries available to you.
Gili Meno is the middle of the three islands and is the smallest and least busy. This island is great for people who really want to get away from civilization and are looking for simplicity. Since there isn’t much to do on the island, you should come here if all you plan on doing is planting yourself on the beach with a book in hand.
Gili Air is closest to mainland Lombok and is a bit of a mix between Gili T and Gili Meno. This island is a popular destination for couples as it still is quiet and relaxing, but also has a few more options than Gili Meno. You should come here if you are looking for seclusion with satisfactory services.