Beaches,  El Nido,  First 24 hours in...,  Food,  Philippines

first 24 hours in el nido

no distractions. yes.

what do i like?
-beaches – i’ve never seen white sand this fine

nacpan beach

-food – lots of tourist trappy food in el nido but also tons of locals only shacks.  we stumbled on a killer bbq joint to get some lechon but found something even better…
-r&r – i’m starting to feel pretty run down from the first three months of travel.  we might have had some down days in terms of doing fewer things but we haven’t been able to sleep in, sit in the sun or take advantage of cheap massages.  hoping we can get a couple of those done this week since the next month will be quite hectic.  the last night of decent sleep i got was over a month ago in tokyo and i’m starting to fall apart.

sunrise enroute to el nido from manila at roughly 6am

what do i dislike?
-the discipline to remember to brush my teeth with bottled water.  i’ll be extremely* surprised if i make it through this week without getting diarrhea.
*can also be substituted for ‘pleasantly’

biggest adjustments from the previous stop?
we’ve gone from an efficient metropolis to a beach paradise that functions on island time.  everything is slow here.  it’s hot.  it’s not humid.  things are mucho cheap.

what was our first meal?
-breakfast at our b&b corned beef with eggs and garlic rice

neon corned beef. oh the childhood memories.

overall impressions?
not sure how one could fault a beach vacation unless they ran into bad weather.  although i’m useless in the water, i’d be ok with getting some boat our snorkeling tours in.  on that same note, i’d be ok with sleeping till noon or hanging out on a beach all day too.  this town definitely feels quaint and a little sleepy but you can really tell which restaurants are after the tourist dollars (selling western/european food).  although dusty, the roads are clean and doesn’t feel sketchy in the least unlike manila.  food on the waterfront absolutely sucked (worst chicken adobo i’ve ever had) so we’ll likely be sticking at the more local eateries.  to me, a beach is a beach and as long as i have somewhere to sleep and stay away from a computer, i’m a happy camper.

what do i like?
Landing at airport where the terminal is made up of several large huts and there are water buffalos in the fields around the airport.

Bumpy and dusty tricycle ride from the airport to the hotel.

Only mode of transportation in town

So many cats and dogs roam the streets. I especially like the mother cat and her two kittens at our hotel. They are the cutest things ever.

Our daily breakfast companions

Hotel staff are really nice and sweet. We brought back takeout dinner and they very nicely provided us with plates, utensils and water.

what do i dislike?
The slow and sometimes non-existent wifi at hotel and in town. I have used the down time to read a book instead so it’s a blessing in disguise.
Being sunburnt on the second day, not realizing how strong the sun is. I’m looking forward to peeling.

biggest adjustments from the previous stop?
Sweating at all times of the day, awake or asleep.

what was our first meal?
Stuff squid with rice for me at a beach restaurant. Can’t say it was the best meal I’ve had. Luckily we found a bbq place that has made me a firm believer in Filipino bbq.

overall impressions?
El Nido is the type of laidback beach town which has seen an influx of tourists but without the 5-star all inclusive resorts yet which is a good thing. The islands and beaches are absolutely beautiful, surrounded by amazingly clear blue waters. But I notice the negative impact of tourism on the islands where the beaches are filled with foreigners who leave their garbage behind. I hope more efforts would be made to preserve this natural beauty.


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