Honda Bay in Palawan, just 30 minutes away from the city center of Puerto Princesa, is one of the best diving destinations in the Philippines. It offers three fascinating activities for vacationing tourists: island hopping, snorkeling and fish-feeding.
1. Book your trip locally
You’ll find that there are many travel agents and tour guides offering their services once you get to Puerto Princesa, so there’s no need to hurry and book everything from air tickets to lodgings and trips right on the spot. If you’re looking to save on money and still make sure you get the convenience you want, you can even ask your hotel for their group tour packages with Honda Bay island-hopping on the itinerary. The good thing about booking your trip with a local travel agent is that you don’t have to worry about surcharges and you know that you’re being quoted a fair and standard price regardless of who or what travel agency you’re talking to. This is because they all have to follow the tour directives coming from the local department of tourism.
2. It’s best to book for a private tour
If you aren’t traveling alone, that is. If there are two or more in your group, going on a private trip will turn out cheaper. Honda Bay is a stretch of over ten islands in the Eastern shore of Palawan Island. Some of the islands are privately owned while some not. If you go on an island hopping visit, you pay for the rental of the motor boat and not per head or the number of occupants of the boat, the price of which is about the same price you’ll pay for one head in a private tour [one boat can load 6-12 persons]. And because there are many islands to go to, you can choose what islands you want to explore. You can opt for a deserted beach for more privacy and stay there for as long as you want, too. It’s a flexibility that you won’t get if you go on a group tour. Just inquire at your hotel for a free shuttle going to the St. Lourdes pier or contract a cab, and then just hire a motorboat driver with his boat. You don’t have to haggle for the best price either, because the local government has already set the standard price.
3. Bring your own snacks and food
Or be prepared to eat barbecued seafood, which isn’t bad at all, to be honest. But not all islands have vendors who will approach and offer you cooked food for lunch, and you might not be the sort of person who enjoys seafood even if there are vendors available. So, instead of waiting to get to the mainland for food, why not bring your own food so you can go to as many islands as you want and really stretch that flexibility to your advantage. Bring some bread for the fish too!
4. Don’t forget to bring a change of clothes
Even if you don’t plan to swim and get wet in every island you visit, you will still get wet from the ride in the motorboat. So unless you’re willing to head back to your hotel looking drenched to the skin, bring a change of clothes.
5. Pack all your gear
But don’t worry if you have forgotten them, because masks, fins and complete snorkeling equipment are available for rent at the pier. Remember to ask for a guide too if you’re no expert.
Lastly, the motorboat drivers know every island on the bay and you can ask them for islands good for fish-feeding, for secluded swimming, snorkeling and whatever else you plan to do in Honda Bay.
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