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Friday, December 26, 2014

Honda Bay Island Hopping Puerto Princesa Palawan Philippines

After stopping by Ken's Snorkeling Gear Rental, we proceeded to the Ticketing Office.

honda bay island hopping puerto princesa palawan
*all photos credited to Travel Tripster Kurt
We already knew this would be expensive (on top of our trike rental of 850 php).  But, we were out of luck because all the small boats were already hired so we had to hire bigger boat with 4 cylinder engine all for ourselves since fellow Travel Tripster Kurt is not comfortable riding with others.

honda bay island hopping puerto princesa palawan
So we spent 1,500 php for our big boat.  Then, we had to pay 40 php environmental fee each and entrance fee to the islands we are visiting as follows:
  • Pambato Reef - 50 php/person
  • Lulli Island - 50 php/person 
  • Pandan Island - 100 php/person
  • Cowrie Island - 75 php/person
honda bay island hopping puerto princesa palawan
Since you're going to be exposed to the sun for long hours.  You definitely have to have a bottle of water.  We bought a gallon and yet it wasn't enough for the both of us.

Upon seeing the gear rentals there, we felt lucky that we rented our girls at  Ken's Snorkeling Gear Rental.  The booties were torn and some where even with holes and the masks didn't look dried and hygenic.  But, rental fees were around 20 php cheaper.

honda bay island hopping puerto princesa palawan
After applying ourselves with a LOT of sunscreen, we boarded our boat.  Do apply some sunscreen!  Travel Tripster Kurt was hesitant at first and trying to be manly.  Yet, once we were done, he was complaining of sunburn pains.  LOL!  You can buy sunblock there by the way.  But, do note the high mark up!

First Stop: Pambato Reef
pambato reef
Our first and favorite stop is Pambato Reef.  It's just a wooden structure in the middle of Honda Bay.  There we were required to wear our Life Jackets, Mask and Snorkel.  There was a picture gallery of different fishes there.  We were also oriented as to safety.  

pambato reef
We were required to hold on the rope as our boatman (acting as our guide) dived and showed us the beauty under the water.  We couldn't go deep enough and stay there long since they were these little water creatures that bite and make small red bumps on our skin. 

pambato reef
Our guide volunteered to dive deeper and take some wonderful shots for us.  (Yes!  The underwater case for our camera rented from Ken's worked wonderfully!)

pambato reef
Our guide doesn't seem to mind getting those little itchy red bumps though as his whole arms and legs were covered with it.  Looking back, I can't help but feel lucky my easily allergic skin back then was quite cooperative.

pambato reef
Next, snorkeling trip though, I'm going to wear a long-sleeved rashguard rather than short.

pambato reef
We tried to dive, swim and take shots by ourselves too.  I think we didn't go as deep or far as our guide though.

pambato reef
It also drained our energy and made us thirsty, hungry and tired.

pambato reef
But, we were pretty much amazed that we didn't realize that until we reached back to our boat.

Second Stop: Isla Pandan
Isla pandan
Isla Pandan is like a resort.  It's got a huge crowd (Too crowded that you can hardly occupy a spot) and music.

Isla pandan
They are lots of activities you can do for a fee.  We were so tempted to go for massage but opted to spend for food instead.

Isla pandan
Despite the high price of food, we ate here a LOT (we were so hungry LOL).  I'd advise to bring your own packed lunch to save.

Isla pandan
After our lunch, we took our time to swim, feed, lure and take photos of the fishes.

Isla pandan
We used up all the bread we bought but managed to take only a few photos because these fishes really swim fast when they fight for food.

Isla pandan
There are some territorial fishes that bit our legs too.  The bite are so tiny so you can't see it but you can feel them striking you when they do.

Third Stop: Cowrie Island
cowrie island
We were supposed to go to Lulli Island as we already paid for the entrance fee. But, our boatmen were in a hurry for another batch and told us that Cowrie Island will be our last stop since there's nothing to see in Lulli Island anyway.  I told them I wanted to take photos of starfishes.  They said we can find a lot at Cowrie Island so we agreed.

cowrie island
There were indeed lots of starfishes there and our boatmen even took some funny shots which we are a bit embarrassed to share here. =p

After Cowrie Island, we headed back.  Our trike driver Jeremy was waiting for us and we headed over at Ken's to return our gears.

Overall, we Travel Tripsters had a fun day!  It was honestly quite costly cause we're a small group of two.  But, we're glad with the experience.

Honda Bay Island Hopping
Address Honda Bay (Mid-Eastern Coast)  
Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
Budget Per Person 600-1,500 Honda Bay Island Hopping Map
Payment Options Cash

Operating Hours Monday to Sunday:
(even holidays)
Reservation Required No

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