Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Coron: Exploring the Town

Coron is a municipality located in an island north of Palawan. I first heard of it when I was working for (would you believe it) the town's congressman who was based in Manila. I didn't know much about it then. I just knew it was a popular tourist spot, mostly to foreigners, which to me meant big bucks for you to get there. I was wrong.

Coron Church

From the airport at Busuanga, an adjacent municipality, we took a van transfer to get there. It's a 40-minute ride through unfinished roads from the airport to the town, costing 100 to 150 PHP, depending on how good you bargain. There are many vans waiting for tourists right outside the small airport. If you've arranged to be picked up by your resort/hotel/lodge/tour agency, however, then this won't be a problem.


Upon arriving, we went on to exploring the town by ourselves (which is free, by the way). The most fascinating thing about the town is that while you will see many tourists, most of whom are foreigners, the town still retains its provincial quality. None of the touristy-tacky hallmarks you see in places like Bohol or Puerto Galera. Case and point, we were not able to find the one souvenir shop in town.

Parking in Coron

It's quite peaceful there. Maybe we're just so used to big-city noise that poblasyon-noise just pales in comparison. I am not sure. You have to take note, though, that the town has a bay, not a beach. No, the beaches are located elsewhere (which is why arranging for island hopping is necessary, but more on that in my next posts).

Sea Dive Resto

We had lunch at Sea Dive Resto and Lodge. The food was okay (just okay, not great). The view at the restaurant, though, is definitely more than okay, a million-fold okay. The restaurant sits on the bay itself. It was constructed on stilts. So, from the restaurant, you have a 180-degree view of the bay and the surrounding islands. Breathtaking, I must say.

Coron Pier

Sea Dive Resto and Lodge is located near the town market. To get there, you have to walk this long pathway, this long foot bridge. The entrance to this pathway is by the main road, the same road that passes through the town market. It's easy to find. Just look for the resto's signs.

Footbridge at Sea Dive Resort

After lunch, we had some rest before deciding to go up Mt. Tapyas. It's the highest peak in the town. The stairs leading to the peak would not be that hard to find. Mt. Tapyas is a popular spot. So, there are many signs on how to get there. If all else fails, ask the locals.

Stairs to Mount Tapyas

Brace yourself for the climb. We got tired of counting the steps to get to the peak. We probably lost count. Anyway, there are benches along the way where people can catch their breath and enjoy the sights. It's a pretty exhausting and leg-shaking climb. Catching the sunset there, however, is definitely worth every drop of sweat you will make.

Sunset at Mount Tapyas

For other Coron-related posts and photos, please see:
Coron: Sights and Sunsets at Kayangan
Coron: Boulders at Banol
Coron: Waddling around CYC Beach
Coron: Lusong at Sangat

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