Famous for some of the greatest shipwrecks from WWII, I had to tie the knot on this 6 month travel excursion through Asia with some world class wreck diving in Coron, Philippines.
Coron is in the province of Palawan, on the Island of Busuanga and is listed by many magazines and travel agents as one of the top dive spots in the world. But you don’t need to know that, what you want to know is why this place is awesome right.
Well the reason it is so famous and yes awesome, is because back in 1944 a fleet of Japanese WWII ships were attacked and sunk by the US navy. Meaning many well preserved ship wrecks surrounded by beautiful coral reef make for absolutely incredible diving. If you are a diver, I highly recommending making your way here to experience why this place is world renowned.
But before I could even put my dive gear on I had to get there, and this was half the battle. I had to make the journey from El Nido, via ferry, which is somewhat known to be of the riskiest ferry rides in the Philippines and this is saying something. The ferries in which take this route are known to not make the journey every so often. Hence why I was highly advised by most to look for other alternatives other than the ferry.
But you know me, I take risks and love adventure so this boat trip I was somewhat destined for. So I booked my ticket the previous night, arrived to the port about 3 hours too early the next morning and when It came time to catch the ferry I couldn’t see one in sight at all! I thought oh ok, another delay that’s fine, quite standard in the Philippines really. But what amazed me most was the Philippino guy guiding me on to a small fishing boat. I thought, no way . . . this can’t be my ride for 8 hours battling the sea. To much of my dismay, it was.
After an 8 hour stint up and down and over wave after wave, time flew by (thankfully) as I got chatting and making new friends with a group of travellers who had also met along the way. They were a group of backpackers who had become friends whilst travelling through the Philippines and hoarding like minded and fun people. So I jumped onto the team as we were all in the same boat (pardon the pun), heading over to Coron for the world class diving.
We hustled together and found a place to stay, bargained them down with our leverage of numbers and also did the same with the dive shop, for cheap dive deals.
Here is a big tip for you to remember, travelling in numbers is great way to score deals, although it can be a pain to organize them, it’s a bit of a catch 22. What I tend to do, which I did here, is make friends each place I go and not only share the cost, but also the experience of the adventure, which makes for some of the greatest memories ever.
Anyways fast forwarding to the diving and activities. Our first day we went out and dived the Olympida Maru wreck, Atikikushima wreck and our last dive was at 7 islands reef. This really was a fun dive to end the day off as our Philippino Divemaster and guide allowed us to go solo on this one as I have my Divemaster licence and used to work in Egypt.
So among our group I was confident with everyone’s ability under the water, to which I took us out and had a super fun 45 minute dive all to ourselves. This was the perfect way to end the day of 3 dives ,which included the boat and a buffet lunch. Most dive centers will incorporate 2-3 dives and lunch, I suggest hunting around for not just a good deal for dives, but divers who are good and know what they are doing.
On our second day we decided to celebrate a team members birthday with an Island hopping tour around Coron. We took our mask and snorkels with us for I taught some free diving techniques. We also played with the local kids on holiday and had a spectacular day cruising around the picturesque islands in the Philippines. With water that clear and coral reefs that colorful, how could you go wrong?
Unfortunately Coron was my last destination in the Philippines and although it was sad to leave this place, it really left a mark. With not only it’s world class diving and the amazing friends I made but the sunsets each evening you can view from a top the hill that overlooks the whole bay of islands. What a magnificent place Coron is and what a tremendous country the Philippines is, a place a I will always hold close to me and visit again without fail.