Following my trip to Taiwan, here’s the part that I cannot wait: en-route to Philippines baby!
The juggle between work in Singapore and family in KL sucked me dry. An ultimate retreat was much desired.
Here’s the highlight of 2013 for me. An amazing trip over the course of 2 weeks.
Kuala Lumpur ✈ Taiwan ✈ Manila ✈ Puerto Princesa ✈ El Nido ✈ Manila ✈ Kuala Lumpur
The two destinations in my itinerary was certainly not the easiest of places to get to. Planning in advance was crucial, getting the timings right as well as arranging for the best mode of transport. The first destination was Daluyon Resort. Flown in from Taipei, we had a 5 hour stop-over at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila before boarding another plane to Puerto Princesa. The one-way ticket from Taipei to Puerto Princesa via Cebu Pacific costed around £200 per person. This was my first time experiencing the poor traveler syndrome – sleeping on airport grounds. The NAI airport wasn’t sleeper-friendly at all considering I boarded a midnight flight and was so exhausted that comfort wasn’t necessary to fall fast asleep. I initially spent an hour balancing on a stretch of arced benches. I gave up in pain and went for the primitive way of sleeping, hitting the ground. Never again.
Hello land of the primitives!
Touch down in Puerto Princesa International Airport after a draining stop-over at Manila. I would have
gone down on my knees and kissed the grounds but the journey doesn’t stop here. From the airport, we
hired a Philippine’s version of tuk-tuk to a nearby spot where we then boarded a van that took us to
Sabang beach, which costs 400 Peso per person per trip (equivalent of £5). Pretty cheap for a 1.5 hour ride.
The infamous RoRo bus
Drop off point next to the Sabang Boat Terminal
From the Sabang Boat Terminal, this is the path towards Daluyon Resort, a good 5 minutes walk.
If your arrival falls on a rainy day, I’m afraid you’ll have to wheel your fancy luggages through the muds.
After 2 connecting flights, 5 hours sleeping on airport grounds, a rickshaw ride and a van through
the hilly coasts of Sabang, we’re finally here!
What they call the Superior Room; and what I call the Mushroom
You get the entire floor to yourself with a spacious balcony overlooking the sea
£160 pounds in total for 2 nights
A beach-facing hut, literally just seconds away from the sea!
Daluyon’s in-house restaurant
An evening stroll one can’t resist
How did we end up picking Sabang as our retreat destination again? The mister wanted somewhere exotic and more discreet, none of that Krabi or Bali or Phi Phi sort. He looked up on Google Map and set his fingers on a secluded island that has no name on it until you zoom in. And that was how he made it all happen from there, with his finger ;)
Was Daluyon resort the right choice? The comfort and convenience paired with the price wasn’t just right, it was fantastic. £80 per night for a private beach-facing hut hidden away on its own with the facilities of nearly a 5-star hotel, it makes your stay in a cramped B&B in Paris for the same price looks trash-able. Hotel food wasn’t great, but customer service makes up for it completely. The vibe this resort gives out was nothing but positive, friendly, warm and extremely cosy. I’ve never felt more at home in a holiday resort. What’s more is that Daluyon provides a direct booking service for the exclusive underground river tour that everyone comes to Sabang for. Non-resort guests will have to book with third party booking agents and that just clearly screams inconvenience to me. Daluyon also has a guided private tour to the Sabang mangrove forrest and zipline activity, all for an extremely affordable price. Already planned to go back again in the next few years, that’s how good it is.
Next up: The Mysterious Sabang Underground River Tour.