And so we took a trip to lovely El Nido, the journey there was not simple. Prior to arriving in peaceful El Nido and being amongst the lovely locals, we had to transfer at Manila. Bear with my elaborate entry, I'll try to summarize our experiences.
PLEASE, insist they use a meter. For we were conned and they will use their nice smiles and kind words of 'dont worry mdm' when you ask whats the price between the airports, and charge you up to ten times thereafter. horrid experience, we'll just tk it as if we donated money.
Upon arriving in El; Nido, we stayed at Entalula (review much later below).
Please purchase OFF lotion and use it whereever you go, once you step onto the beaches. El Nido is a lovely place, the waters are so clear you can see the corals underneath, the fish swimming around. You'd imagine you were in a large swimming pool because the water ripples and is aquamarine.
Food: Best food we tried was at Bhing's (near the pharmacy). Her hygiene practices are admirable, and only mineral water is used to wash your food. Try the fish curry, the adobo and loads more on the menu. I would think try any of her curries, you cannot find anything like that in El Nido. The fish was so fresh, the veggies crisp and the aroma mouth watering. also liked the fact they have mosquito coils around so you dont become a meal while having your meal.
next best food: Sea Slugs- their shakes and grilled squid.
We booked our combi tour A and C with Tao. We were not told that the discounted price of 2000pesos meant that it did not cover all the places in tour A and C.
Instead, at the end of our trip, we discovered that it covered certain highlighted areas. Not to complain, they did bring us to 7 or 8 places out of the usual ten places. What we were peeved about was they omitted simizu island. when asked, the boatman advised us that Simizu is part of tour B and C. The lady incharge then told us he omitted it due to time constraints, fair enough.
On the second day, we went back there and asked to visit Simizu and Pangulasian Islands (these two were the ones we really wanted to snorkel at). She didnt have a boat, so she hooked us up with Peter from Island Tours.
Given a choice, I would have booked the tours with Peter right from the start. he's awesome, friendly and he engages you in the trip. We fed an oyster to the schools of fishes.
His banca may be small, but bless the winds and the currents, your trip would still be smooth.
Simizu Island cannot be missed, we found it the best snorkelling site.
Due to the fog in July, we could not do the sunset tour. So we opted for a fishing tour with a local fisherman. Best experience ever! Deep ocean fishing with a simple line, he mentioned i was the first to catch 5 different types of fish. haha!
Massages: do try, It's called Hilot i think, put me right to sleep.
Entalula: Nice clean place, Cabana D right on the sands, a few steps into the beach. The room was small, barely room to move around, no TV etc, lest you choose to watch it in the common living room. Perks are that it has a nice wood finishing, a lone cottage by itself, a common kitchen (should you wish to cook), no mosquitos encountered. Sheets and pillows are comfortable and were changed during our stay.
However, the toilet looks like everything is going to fall off, no soaps etc provided( you can easily buy travel packs from the stalls around).
Entalula's girls are not exactly helpful. On our last day, we were told by them at our point of checkout (3pm), that ITI had phoned them two hours before, to tell them that our flight had been moved from 5pm to 3pm. When we asked them for a phone, they said they didnt have one. Question is then, how did ITI phone them?
Art Cafe: disappointed with their food, and their lack of initiative in trying to contact us.