Let me backtrack. Coron is advertised as this:
That’s the picture you see front and center on anything written about Coron. It’s actually a picture of the boat dock for Kanyang Lake, a brackish body of water that is exceptionally clear. It’s featured on two of the island hopping tours but the lake itself isn’t photogenic. It’s just a big lake with clear water and a dock around it:
It’s nice to swim in, but before you know it you’re out and being hustled to the next location on the tour. On the same trip they take you to a big lagoon where you swim in and then there’s no real place to rest, you just tread water for a while in this super deep limestone cliff enclosed lagoon and then swim back out. They offer you life jackets, but I have the particular affliction of being completely assured of my mastery at swimming right about until I’m in the water. That’s when I usually remember that I swim slowly and inefficiently and am horrible at treading water.
But when you’re not spending a bunch of money being zipped from beach to beach on the beach tour or spending a bunch of money being zipped from lagoon to lake to series of tiny islands on the Ultimate Tour you’re in the town of Coron which is actually not on Coron Island; they moved the town to Busuanga Island in the 1950s, if our tour guide was accurate. Anyways it looks like this:
That’s a stilt house and some stilts respectively. I didn’t take a picture of the dusty street where most of the guest houses. Picture a boring dusty tan street with a ton of motorcycles and cars and trucks going down it all the time. The bay looks like this:
Which looks alright right? The thing is you can’t see it. That picture was from the top of a fancy hotel we went to for beers. There are blocks and blocks of the stilt houses between you and any ocean. I mean, the water under the stilt houses is technically ocean. Lets get a closer look at that water:
I’m not advocating for any change to the town of Coron. Those stilt houses are not owned by the wealthy and their occupants should keep living there as long as they like. In a perfect world the occupants would get lucrative offers for the land by hotels. Offers that allow them to move 6 hours by fast ferry south to an actual paradise: El Nido.
My complaint is that no one mentions that the town sucks. It is objectively a terrible place to spend any time. All you see are the nice pictures of islands and lagoons that are a 50 minute boat ride away. That’s like advertising Allston with pictures of Somerville. It’s like selling a china shop without mentioning that there’s a bull ranch in the same building. It’s like how Heather and I have figured out that if a guest house has great reviews that mention the service a lot, that’s because the service the only good thing about that place and everyone feels guilty mentioning that the rooms are nightmarish hell holes. None of our research revealed that Coron proper is not on Coron Island it’s on Busuanga Island and Busuanga Island doesn’t have a beach closer than two hours drive away. So if you sleep in before you decide to go exploring? Too bad: you literally missed the boat and now you’re stuck in trashwater village all day.
So if you go to Coron, and I must insist that you don’t and go spend twice as long in El Nido, make sure you book a island hopping tour every day you’re there. Here are some more admittedly pretty things we saw on our island hopping tours:
Looking at them I realized they’re actually all pictures from the same island as the last post with the trees. That place was great, maybe just go there.
Next I’ll probably post about Taiwan. We originally planned to head to Donsol next and ideally hang out with Whale Sharks but knowing that that’s a gamble and Donsol the town is nothing to write on your blog about we decided to bag it and head to Boracay where I promptly got food poisoning and spent two days wishing for better plumbing biologically and infrastructurally. The only thing I’ll say about Boracay is that man I wish I could have gone diving. $30 would get you one dive, they cart you out right from the beach and drop you right back. Easy peasy. Want to go again? $30 more bucks. No day trip, just one dive and back to the beach. Maybe next time.