I woke up around 7AM to find an uninvited roommate – a gecko wandered into the room! It was a mix of fear and amazement as I stood there, staring intently at it. I grew up hearing a gecko’s mating call but I have never seen an actual gecko so seeing one up close was amazing. It looked different to how I imagined it. I heard stories of how a gecko’s grip is so strong that it would probably tear off your flesh once it attach itself to your arm so I expected it to have sharp claws. Ridiculous, I know.
Jodie and her sister will be arriving at Busuanga airport after lunch so I pretty much have the entire morning to myself. Exploring time! Here’s an early morning shot at a open park-like area by the public market.
My initial plan was to find a bike rental shop and explore the island but it wasn’t as easy as I thought. All the tricycle drivers I talked to weren’t aware of a bike rental shop and kept on recommending that I rent a motorcycle instead. Luckily, I managed to get hold of Payong Bike‘s contact number and was able to track them down. The owner told me their shop was damaged by the typhoon so they had to move all their bikes home. Whole day (8 hrs) rental of a mountain bike is 500 pesos. This includes a mountain bike, a helmet, a bike pump, and a toolkit.
Three hours of continuous biking drained my energy and I found myself enticed by this cute coffee shop along the road. How can I resist that sweet invitation of Coffee Kong‘s air-conditioned space and caffeine fix? This Korean-owned coffee shop carries a variety of hot and cold beverages as well as freshly baked cookies and muffins. And hey, free WiFi!
The old guy from GLC Lodging got us in touch with a local tricycle driver who would take us to tour the city. First stop is Mt. Tapyas, the second highest mountain at Coron town. There used to be a gigantic metal cross built atop its summit, beautifully illuminated at nighttime but Typhoon Yolanda toppled it down.
As we go higher, we could were greeted by the typhoon’s aftermath – toppled trees, broken paths, and splintered railings.
Despite the damage, the breathtaking view of Coron unfolds as well with each ascending step.
The 700+ step hike was a challenge to our stamina. Here is Jodie, requesting for a break after making it halfway.
Some panorama shots from my phone:
After enjoying a good view of Coron’s sunset at Mt. Tapyas, we headed to our next stop – the Maquinit Hot Springs. It was highly recommended to visit the hot springs after the 40-minute mountain hike to soothe your sore muscles so we hopped on to the tricycle and took the long, dark, and bumpy road to Maquinit. The Maquinit Hot Springs is one of the few saltwater hot springs in the world, surrounded by mangroves, trees, and little cottages. The water is not just warm – it was scalding! It took us quite a few dips before we were able to completely submerge ourselves into the water. Once our bodies have adjusted to the temperature, the heat eventually became relaxing.
Here’s a special shoutout to this LA-based family who asked us to take their photo since they forgot to pick up a memory card for their camera.
We stayed at Maquinit for a good 90 minutes, enjoying the relaxing water and exchanging stories with other visitors before heading back to town for dinner.
- Read the first part here: CORON – The birthday getaway: Day 0
- You can contact Payong Bike via +63 935 958 8167. Rental fee is 500php for whole day, 300php for half-day, and 80php per hour.
- Maquinit Hot Springs has an entrance fee of 150php. They are open from 8am to 8pm.
- We paid the tricycle driver 300php for the Mt. Tapyas and Maquinit tour, and treated the driver to dinner.