After sailing the South China Sea for more than fourteen hours, our ferry arrived in Coron. The town itself is not a beauty, but one does not come here seeking museums and castles. Its treasures are to be found in the sea: secret islands, wrecks, pirate tales and rum (loads of it).
Waking up in a dream
Coron is one of the gateways to Palawan, an archipelago stretching from eastern Philippines to Borneo, and our playground for the next week. And when the first bay looks like this, you know it is going to be a good week.
To get to that bay, people usually join one of the tours which depart from Coron early in the morning. Since that was not an option, courtesy of a delay of eight hours on our ferry from Manila, we had to find another way. Luckily, it was one of those problems that can easily be fixed with a few extra pesos and, four hours late, we finally arrived at Kayangan Lake.
But being late is not necessarily a bad thing and, once again, we found out that avoiding the rush hour had its perks – we had the place to ourselves!
With spectacular underwater rock formations and crystal clear waters, the lake is a real treat and one of those places where you can let your imagination go.
It is not rich in marine life, but the thermoclines caused by the presence of both fresh and salt water make up for it. At the point where they meet, just a few meters below the surface, the temperature drops dramatically and light gets reflected in a weird way which makes it all blurry – and a bit spooky too:
Where is the boat
The waters near Coron hide yet another gem, or should I say, eleven of them. During WWII, eleven Japanese boats were sunk here in battle. Having been resting in the sea bed for more than seventy years, they have given the corals plenty of time to move in, together with all sorts of marine creatures, making Coron one of the top diving destinations in the world for wreck diving.
Going inside the boats, exploring engine rooms and corridors with a torch was daunting and exciting at the same time. But you can’t be down there for ever. Let’s take a deep breath and get ready to dream with Neverland.
That place called Neverland
I can’t remember when we heard about Tao Philippines for the first time. They promised a five day expedition to islands where no other boats go, to places so remote that you won’t need your phone – there is no signal and no place to charge it. They promised untouched beaches, good food, cold beer and a real, authentic experience. We were in. And I could not help feeling a bit like Leo Di Caprio in “The Beach” – without the blue eyes and a bit more facial hair that is.
People craved online about their boats, saying their design could be dated back for more than a thousand years.
There were tales about their captain, a true sailor with a bag full of good stories, and the crew, also known as the “Lost Boys”.
Like Neverland they said it was – and it got to the point where we just did not want to hear another word about it. Finally, after months of waiting, it was time to find out. The rum was ready and so were we.
Find out more about Tao – and start booking your trip to Palawan, or should I say Neverland?