I recently went on a 17-day solo backpacking trip in Palawan and it’s seriously one of the best things I’ve ever done in my entire existence (so far). Considered as a home to some of the best islands not only in the Philippines, but also in the world. Palawan indeed has a lot to offer which can effortlessly make everyone fall in love with it.
I have heard of and seen people who have shared their backpacking trips and stories from various towns in this province. Given a long break from my job and in the best season of the year, I thought of doing a long backpacking trip, too. Good thing, because planning and traveling became a whole lot easier when I discovered Bookaway.
Traveling with Bookaway
One of the most convenient ways to transfer to and from any point in Palawan, that I have learned of, is through booking with Bookaway. Though there were ticket outlets near the ports and terminals, I have found it even more convenient to book online as I didn’t need to go anywhere myself.
From Coron Port to El Nido
The first leg of my backpacking excursion was an island hopping trip, starting in Coron. I may have planned well, but I also chose to take my time to explore the best of its islands so I didn’t dare book anything prior to my trip. When I thought that I had seen the best of it, that’s when I would instantly book a transfer from Coron to another paradise, El Nido.
Coron is just three hours away from El Nido via fast craft. Bookaway gave me two options: The Phimal fast craft at 8:30 AM and a Montenegro at 12:00 PM. I chose the latter to avoid the morning rush and hassle. I was told by the front desk employee of my hotel accommodation that I should be ready by 6:00 AM or 6:30 AM at the latest if I would be taking the first trip which is at 8:20 AM.
I had a tiring week during the first leg so I decided to take my time to relax rather than to hustle; thus, the last day was dedicated for some good slumber. Also worth noting: Phimal usually gets fully booked faster. I was lucky enough that there were still several slots for the next trip even though I booked only a day before my departure. Anyway, it only took me five minutes to book.
An hour prior to my scheduled trip, I was asked by the staff at the port to exchange my voucher sent by Bookaway to my email for a ticket from Montenegro Lines’ ticket outlet just outside. After that, I paid the Php 20.00 ($0.29) terminal fee, then waited for the transfer. According to the staff, trips often get fully booked and it was better that I had reserved a ticket online.
Since the ship departed later than its was scheduled to leave, we arrived at El Nido port at 4:00 PM instead of the expected time of arrival which was at 3:00 PM.
Aside from the sea travel, Bookaway also offers air travel from Coron to El Nido. Of course, the other is way cheaper. I also consider the ferry the better option as I get to have a lovely view and a last glance of the stunning islands of Coron as we pass by them and get the feeling of being warmly welcomed by the islands of El Nido as we approach the port.
Bookaway is an online booking platform that lets you arrange your sea, air and land transfers anywhere in the world. It is hassle and stress-free as you can do it anytime and anywhere as long as you have an internet connection and a debit/credit card. What I liked about it is that there are no hidden charges on their rates and the voucher or e-ticket is just sent to my email upon the booking confirmation.