Enjoying the beauty of Honda Bay…

hondabay

 

Liburan gue di musim panas ini ialah ke Pulau Pawalan Filipina. Woohhhoooo! Selain pengen liat Underground River (salah satu keajaiban dunia versi alam) dan El Nido yang juga sangat terkenal, gue juga mau menikmati HONDA BAY, jajaran pulau-pulau kecil yang jadi tujuan wisata untuk snorkeling di Palawan.

Palawan Island was our destination holiday this summer! Our main goal visiting Palawan Island in the Philippines was to witness one of the 7 world wonders of nature voted last year which was the underground river! But just like the old Indonesian saying ‘sekali mendayung dua tiga pulau terlampaui’. Lots of things to see in Palawan, so better see them all. Anyway, on our first day in Palawan (our plane landed in Puerto Princesa – Palawan’s capital city), we thought ‘hey, let’s just enjoy the beaches first!’. Palawan is well known for “Honda Bay”, a group of islets with white sands, clear water and definitely a vision of the underwater world! Woohooo can’t wait!

hondabay

We fetched a tricycle that’s willing to bring us to the port in the morning and back to the city in the afternoon for 500 Pesos. (Apparently later we found out that it was very over priced and it should have been cheaper). It took us around 30 minutes to get to the port. On the way, we stopped at a small snorkeling store to rent some snorkeling gears for 150 Pesos each.

Dari hotel, gue naik angkutan semacam bajaj selama setengah jam lebih ke sebuah pelabuhan dimana kapal-kapal berangkat ke Honda Bay. Harga si bajaj ialah Rp.115.000 untuk antar jemput plus nunggu di pelabuhan selama kita keliling pulau-pulau. Belakangan ada bilang kalo harganya sebenarnya bisa jauh lebih murahh. Tapi kalau dipikir-pikir ya gapapalah ya, jauh dan lama juga soalnya. Rejeki si abang bajaj-lah. Peralatan snorkeling sendiri gue sewa di toko yang kita lewatin dalam perjalanan ke pelabuhan seharga Rp.35.000.

Arriving at the port, we had to fill some registration papers before we could rent our private boat to take us to any island we wanted, for 1400 Pesos. Here we go! Since we got the boat to ourselves, we were free to determine where to go. Couldn’t wait to be in the water, we decided our first stop to be the Pambato Reef! It’s a marine sanctuary that was accidentally discovered by a fisherman whose net got tangled to the reef. Our boatman showed us the interesting areas around the reef, which we could snorkel. Beautiful corals from above were delightful, though I couldn’t help but notice that the corals looked almost dying. I saw a man also snorkeled with us, dove to the corals and touched them all over. I believe that naughty men like him were the ones causing serious damages to the corals.

hondabay

Sebelum berangkat, kita harus ngisi surat-surat resgistrasi sebelum menyewa kapal untuk keliling pulau. Harga sewa satu kapal untuk dipakai sendiri (nggak sama orang lain) dipatok Rp.320.000. Enaknya ialah kita nggak tergantung siapa-siapa. Bebas mau kemana aja dan berapa lama. Gue langsung ke sebuah tempat snorkeling utama di Honda Bay bernama Pambato Reef. Tempatnya sudah ditandain, jadi kita tau harus snorkel kearah mana aja. Tempat ini sebanarnya keren, tapi tanda-tanda kematian koral-nya sudah jelas keliatan. Belum lagi pas gue lagi di dalam air, gue ngeliat ada seorang turis nggak bertanggung jawab berenang ke dasar dan memegang-megang koral-koral yang ada seenaknya. Wah, harus masuk penjara tuh orang.

From there we went to Starfish Island. I liked it a lot! It was empty when we got there, so I could take a lot of photos. The clouds were beautiful; the color of the water was soo pretty and the blue colored mountains as the backdrop made such a perfect sight. I think this place was perfect to have a lunch picnic. Unfortunately we didn’t bring any lunch. People said that this island have tons of starfish everywhere…but I did not see any! Maybe I was not looking for it intentionally or maybe my focus was on something else – which was soaking the beauty of the island and taking more photos. I spent a few hours here, enjoying the paradise without some strangers spoiling it. AWESOME!

Puas snorkeling disitu, kita pindah ke Starfish Island alias Pulau Bintang Laut. Tempatnya kosong dan bagus banget pasir, air maupun pemandangan sekitarnya. Tapi gue kurang beruntung karena nggak ketemu sama satu bintang laut-pun, padahal kata orang biasanya bintang lautnya ada dimana-mana. Ini tempat PAS buat makan siang sebenernya, tapi kita nggak bawa bekal, jadi cuma bisa gigit jari sambil foto-foto doang. Hehehe. Mungkin 2 jam gue habisin disini karena betah.

hondabay

From the Starfish Island, I really wanted to go to Snake Island, but I couldn’t! Since May 2012 it was closed for public. Bummer! I was 2 months too late. I heard that the snake shaped like island, features a beautiful sandbar that stretches out to the sea, was closed because it was considered fragile and too small to accommodate visitors. So it only opens for scientific and research purposes now. Hiks! Very very disappointed.

Selanjutnya semestinya kita ke Island Snake tapi nggak bisa karena sudah 2 bulan terakhir (sejak Mei 2012) TUTUP!!! Huaaaaaaa!!! Katanya si pulau yang bentuknya kayak ular ini di tutup ama pemiliknya karena dianggap sudah terlalu banyak pengunjung. Jadi sekarang hanya boleh dikunjungi untuk tujuan penelitian lingkungan.

Anyway, we were hungry, so we went to Pandan Island. There was a long row of cottages where we could eat and also a snack bar that served cold drinks. We chose a cottage and ordered some food. The chicken bbq and rice was normal. The young coconut was also okay. Then we were tempted to try this ‘grilled oysters’. We waited for maybe 20 minutes for it. When it showed up, it looked really not convincing…and when we ate it, it was by far the worst oyster in our culinary history. It tasted like charcoal mixed with sand and raw fish. Chewy and disguisting. Haha! We swallowed maybe four out of 24 pieces served, and regretted it. It was bad!! I think the oysters died in vain that day. 😀 Anyway, we took some time to snorkel afterwards before finally returned to the port. Our expensive tricycle waited, and we hurried to the city, to buy some fresh mangoes to rinse the oyster taste off our mouths. 😀

Karena perut lapar, kita minta diantar ke sebuah pulau yang terkenal dengan pondok-pondok bambu-nya. Namanya Pulau Pandan. Disini turis bisa duduk di salah satu pondok sambil memesan makanan dan menikmati air kelapa muda. Gue memesan beberapa jenis makanan disini, salah satunya ialah “oyster panggang” yang kedengarannya enak. Apakah rasanya seenak namanya? OMG, stelah dicoba, mungkin ini menempati posisi ke 2 makanan paling nggak enak dalam sejarah perkulineran gue. HA! Oyster tidak segar tanpa bumbu yang langsung dilempat diatas bara. Jadi kayak makan batu bara tapi amis. Nyaris nggak bisa dideskripsikan. Oyster Pulau Pandan ini akan selalu dikenang selamanyaaaa….

Overall, Hondy Bay was a really really nice experience. I would love to return, especially when the Snake Island re opens one day. Penasaran soalnya! Next adventure, the Underground River! Yeay!

Sehabis makan, gue ambil waktu untuk snorkeling disekitar pulau sebelum akhirnya naik kapal kembali ke pelabuhan awal karena sudah sore dan kasian juga kalau si bapak bajaj nunggu kelamaan. Secara keseluruhan, Honda Bay adalah pengalaman yang sangat menarik. Warna airnya bagus, warna langitnya bagus dan warna gunungnya bagus. Mungkin satu hari nanti balik lagi untuk ngecek apakah Snake Island sudah buka lagi untuk umum apa nggak. Penasaran soalnya! Sehabis ini, siap-siap untuk petualangan berikutnya, ke Underground River!

click here to read my travel to the underground river, /baca pengalaman gue ke the underground river, klik disini

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we all need a nice holiday to see life from a different angle -olivelatuputty.com -@shiningliv

 

 

 

 

 

 

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