“Don’t let them put you in the back seat.” These were the last words we heard from our ride to the bus station. We’d hired an air-con 10 seater van to take us the half day ride on poorly- or un-paved roads from El Nido to Sabang. Spoiler: they put us in the back seat, which propelled us into the air or knocked us together at every turn, rock or dip in the road. Another spoiler: the air conditioning didn’t work. Third spoiler: we were three very hungover gals. (Drinking rum from a coconut will do that to you.) Our trip to Sabang was a luxurious and stress-free answer to one very long, very uncomfortable drive. It was also one of the highlights of the trip. Today’s Friday Five features five views from this leg of our journey. (It’s okay to be jealous.)
1. Daluyan Beach and Mountain Resort.
This is the view that welcomed us when we arrived at our resort – complete with real walls and floors, air conditioning and a bed that wasn’t made of foam, we were thrilled. Daluyan was the nicest — and, at $150 a night (or $50 each), the most expensive — place we stayed in the Philippines. It didn’t take long for us to decide to make this a two-night stay. We deserved it.
Every tourist in Palawan makes it to the underground river, a five-mile subterranean river that was once in the running for the new wonders of the world. It’s a bit crowded, and participants are likely to be covered with bat droppings, but I imagine I’d visit the cave again, if I were ever to return to Palawan.
We had two choices for travel to and from the Underground River: take a bangka (boat) or walk through the Monkey Trail, a 5 kilometer trek through the woods. We chose both, but one was wildly more interesting than the other. Characteristics of the trail include steep climbs, caverns, shoreside views, and, of course, monkeys.
4. The Pool at Daluyan.
Okay. So a pool is a pool, but this wasn’t just any pool. It was a horizon pool with a cabana and a waitstaff that would bring us ceviche whenever we’d ask. Enough said.
5. Another Beautiful Filipino Beach.
Sabang’s beach (right in front of our resort) wasn’t swimmable when we were there, due to some sort of jellyfish invasion. Didn’t matter, though. With a view like this, I’d take a daily jellyfish invasion. (Besides, the pool is for swimming.)