When people talk about traveling to Southeast Asia, Thailand is usually the first destination on which they think.
Bali is perhaps the second, and then comes Vietnam and Singapore. Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar also becoming increasingly popular, but the second most populous country in that region, the Philippines, is less the expected choice.
Republic, which consists of fantastic 7,000 islands, of which 2,000 are inhabited, is a place once in life you have to visit.
Although there are literally thousands of islands to choose from, one special archipelago stands out – Palawan. Firstly, its islands are just amazingly beautiful and is not flooded with tourists. By comparison, Palawan beaches, water, and aquatic species most resemble those in the Indian Ocean. Keep in mind: dry season lasts from November to May, and the rainy months from June to October.
In this archipelago is a private Pamalican Island, which is its hidden gem, and every Filipino will tell you to choose a fantastic resort Amanpulo as a place for your holiday.
Amanpulo Resort – the name means ‘peaceful island’, and it’s easy to see why. Some of the most stunning beaches you have ever seen are surrounded by clear turquoise waters teaming with marine life and a coral reef lies only three hundred meters from shore.
The Amanpulo Resort has 40 casitas (little houses) scattered amongst lush tropical forests. Each casita is styled on the traditional Filipino “bahay kubo” home. The spacious bedrooms have a king size bed along with two window day beds and are decorated to provide understated luxury with wooden floors and furniture.
The Cebu marble bathrooms are very generously sized with a raised bathtub, shower and a large dressing area. Each casita has its own wooden sundeck with loungers for you to relax in privacy. When you do manage to leave your casita, most of them just a few steps from the beach, you will be given your own golf cart to explore the beauty of this island at your own pace.
In terms of dining at Amanpulo, the Club House restaurant and bar opens out to spacious terrace with spectacular views over the swimming pool and out to sea. The restaurant offers a la carte dining with a varied menu including Asian and Continental cuisine and specialises in seafood. Less formal alternatives sprinkle the island. The Beach Club and Lagoon Club provide exotic alternatives with stunning views and for a change there is always the Picnic Grove with its Pizza oven or even swim out and lunch at the floating Kawayan Bar! In short, more than enough choice for anyone.
The Amanpulo Resort boasts a beautiful spa, 30-metre pool, tennis courts and all manner of watersports including diving, fishing and sailing. For those wishing to enjoy a slower pace of life there is an open air massage sala and library.
Pamalican Island is a self-declared marine park, a rarity in a country notorious for using dynamite and cyanide to catch fish on its reefs. There are two coasts to dive, the more sheltered western shore, where Amanpulo’s main beach is situated, and the more open eastern one. The prevailing winds shift seasonally so almost regardless of weather there is always at least one shore available for diving.
While the Philippines’ very best diving is further south at the amazing Tubbataha Reefs marine park, this is only accessible by liveaboard. Nonetheless, Pamalican Island comes close. Add in the unimaginably perfect beach, a wonderful resort, superb service and total privacy, and you soon realise that this is as good as it gets.