Benson Kua's Blog

Honda Bay Island Hopping

with 15 comments

“Early morning stillness at the Honda Bay docks”

Last day of the Puerto Princesa trip 😦

Our last day in Palawan was spent island hopping around Honday Bay.  We really only had half a day left because our plane ride back to Manila was at 3:30PM that afternoon, so we had to wake up really early that day so we could maximize our time around the bay and still have enough time to pack and get to the airport.  We got to the Honda Bay docks at around 7AM and it was great because there were barely any people there except for the boatmen that worked the boats.  Since it was very early, the boat rental office wasn’t even open yet so I just roamed around the docks and took pictures until we got a boat that would take us around the bay.  I loved how quiet and calm the dock was, compared to the chaos it was in later in the day.

“It was still very calm around the dock during the early morning”

“A boat passing by as we sailed the waters of Honda Bay”

When we got our boat, we headed out into the open waters and our first stop around the bay was Pambato Reef.  It is a reef right in the middle of the open waters; you wouldn’t have realized that there would be a shallow water reef in that area because it was really right in the middle of the open waters.  According to our tour guide, it was discovered a couple of years ago by a fisherman fishing around the area.  They had built these platforms around the reef in order for people to be able to visit and snorkel around the area.

So this was my first time snorkelling and I have this terrible fear of drowning….. lets just say that it did not go so well with the snorkelling mask; I found it difficult to not be able to breathe through your nose and be forced to breathe through your mouth so I just decided to not use the mouthpiece and just hold my breath for as long as I could and just come back up for air when I needed to.

The reef was gorgeous! There were so many fish but I stayed away from them because I have this deathly fear (again) of things swimming close to my body.  There were also tons of corals and clams.  It was somewhat cloudy that morning so visibility wasn’t optimal but you could still see to the bottom of the reef.  So where are the pictures you ask?  Stupid me forgot to pack it into my camera bag…. Ah well, its only pictures… maybe next time.

“Pambato Reef Platform – I initially headed this way and wondered where the heck I was supposed to go…. (see next picture)”

“Then I realized there was another bridge where they had a platform from where you can get into the water.”

“Marine fish at Pambato Reef – Stupid me forgot to bring my underwater camera so all I have are fish pictures from the surface of the water.”

Our next stop was Snake Island.  Its apparently named such because of the sidewinding shape the island has when viewed from above, which is somewhat similar to a snake’s body.  Thank God it wasn’t named Snake Island because it had snakes (another one of my deathly fears… lol).  We spent about 2 hours on the island just lounging about the beach and snorkelling with the fish (still beating myself for forgetting to bring the underwater camera).  I had walked to the side of the island opposite to the swimming area and there was a field of starfish!  These starfish were as big as a dinner plate… never knew that they could grow that big.

“Arriving at Snake Island”

“Large starfish on Snake Island”

“Patrick the Starfish???”

“Fresh crabs and coconut water – yum!”

Our next stop was Pandan Island (or Isla Pandan).   We pretty much did the same thing…lounge around the beach, swim in the crystal blue waters, snorkelled with the fish (STILL beating myself for forgetting the underwater camera), and ate some more seafood.  We had spent another 2 hours on the island and after that we headed back to the Honda Bay docks and back to our hotel to pack.

“Panorama of the Pandan Island swimming area”

“Nante Boy 2 – Our ride around Honda Bay”

“Goodbye Pandan Island!”

“Major sandal tan after 3 days under the sun”

Our trip to Honda Bay was somewhat short. There are apparently more islands that you could go to and we didn’t really get to enjoy each island to its fullest due to our schedule.  Well, at least we did manage to get a decent experience out of our couple hours there!  I would go back in a heartbeat!


15 Responses

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  1. Great photos! You really capture the beauty of this place and since I do love snorkeling I think this would be a great holiday destination for me 🙂


    April 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    • Thanks! It really is a great place for snorkelling!


      April 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm

  2. sayang walang dalang underwater camera but nonetheless, that school of fish swimming in the surface of the water proves there’s more than meets the eye.

    of course, i like the boat-photos, particularly the one in monochrome.

    this post just made me envious; i want to go to the beach in a heart beat, haha!


    April 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    • Oo nga e! Excited na nga akong gamitin yung underwater camera ko e, tapos hinid pa nadala! Diba marami namang beaches diyan sa Penang?


      April 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm

  3. I really love the “Arriving at Snake Island” & “Pambato Reef Platform” (1st )

    They are amazing.


    April 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm

  4. I think the best photo was the… tan. 🙂 Good job. As usual =)


    April 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm

  5. Didn’t realise Patrick was Filipino =)


    April 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm

  6. How much was the boat rental? Did you arrange for the buffet or does it come with the tours around Honda Bay?

    J Orano (@jjorano)

    March 12, 2013 at 4:49 am

    • We arranged our own tour with our hotel concierge. We opted to rent our own tour because of our cramped schedule. I don’t remember exactly how much it was, it was approximately 2000-3000 pesos for the boat tour for the whole day. We also got to choose on where to go around the bay since it was a private tour.


      July 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm

  7. I’ll have to check out Honda Bay next trip. I blew it off as I was heading up to El Nido anyway…plus, I wasn’t so impressed with PP at the time. But maybe next trip I’ll find some place out of town to stay and just enjoy chilling on the bay! Great photos.


    July 2, 2013 at 10:09 am

    • The Honda Bay tour was really great, you should really give it a try! I liked how there were different things to see on each island or destination around the bay.


      July 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      • I’ll do that for sure. I plan to do El Nido again and I’ll likely do it via PP so I’ll check it out.


        July 7, 2013 at 7:18 am

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