Where is Club Paradise? Is it in Thailand? No…it is in Palawan the last frontier in the Philippines.
A tropical Paradise nestled upon a coral
jewel set amidst Palawan’s sparkling turquoise waters. This
island resort is a perfect hideaway for those who seek relaxation
and like to get away from the hassle and bustle of the
Cities. Club Paradise is on Dimakya
Coron Island and part of the Calamian Group of Islands, situated at the Northern tip of Palawan,
the Philippine’s last frontier.
The Philippines best kept secret & where nature... is real Nature! The Island is also a protected Marine sanctuary where you can watch Turtle hatchlings returning to the sea.
© Gunther Deichmann - Dive the Wreck
of Coron Bay, Palawan, Philippines
The perfect place for all your diving
activities, as a matter of fact it is the only place in the
Philippines where you can swim or snorkel with Dugongs. But there is so much more for our scuba
divers, take for e.g. the House reef with it’s amazing and
plentiful marine life right in front of your cottage, and if you
into wreck diving…well look no further. Coron Bay is littered with Japanese warships from
the World War II, a
whole Japanese fleet was sunk here by the American forces during
the War. The Dugong Dive Center on the Island can take care of all your
requirements, including trips to the world famous
So, there you have it…
now you know where YOUR Paradise is
The Palau Adventure of Jem Kemp continous, part two of Jem's visit to Palau Micronesia
Part 2: a trip to Palau by Jem Kemp
from Blue Horizons
a partner of the Philippine Micronesia Alliance...
Palau Day 2:
It’s an early start with a full day ahead of us. We are staying at the Palasia Hotel located in the centre of Koror. The room I am in has views across the tree-tops out to the sea, other rooms have town views. The Palasia is one of Palau’s better hotels and has approximately 165 rooms configured around a central open atrium. The hotel is especially popular with Asian tourists (mainly from Taiwan, Japan and Korea) although there were also a number of European divers staying there as well.
Aerial View © Gunther Deichmann - I wonder if Jem had the chance to visit the three Cococnut Island on his recent trip, I guess not... otherwise he might not have returned to Manila. Lets see what he has to report on his next and 3rd day.
Breakfast (and indeed Dinner) was on a buffet basis and although there do appear to be ‘a la carte’ options many of the hotels provide buffets for their meals. Interestingly the dining room was very busy between 07.00am and 08.00am and thereafter pretty much empty. Primarily this is because many people visiting Palau are taking part in daily tour activities such as diving, island tours, kayaking etc. Operators like Sam’s Tours (see more later) collect their guests from the hotels and then assist them back later that day. Very few of the hotels actually have their own dive operator or tour centre in-house and instead the typical model is for the hotels to concentrate on accommodation and for the tours and trips to be provided by external operators. Similarly, very few of the Dive Centres appear have their own accommodation or resorts.
Just a word on tourism in Palau; it’s proximity to the rest of mainland Asia means that it is a popular destination for Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean visitors. There are also a number of arrivals from China. However, diving is the main draw and it is rightly considered to be one of the best diving destinations in the world – this means that there are also steadily increasing numbers of European. Australian, SE Asian and US divers coming to experience the underwater world.
Breakfast at the Palasia was similar to many others – a combination of Western and Asian flavours. We were then met by our guide and Marketing Representative from the PVA – the excellent Mr Kadoi Ruluked – who was to be with us for our trip. Kadoi was a fountain of knowledge and an obvious love of all things Palau related. Our plan today was to see as many of the hotels, resorts and operators as possible during the course of the day. First stop was West Plaza by the Sea.
The West Plaza group own 5 hotels throughout the Koror area and they are very popular with visiting divers. Indeed Sam’s Tours provide some excellent value Diving / Touring packages using West Plaza as the accommodation. West Plaza hotels have basic but clean and efficient rooms, with television, a.c, tea and coffee making facilities etc and are ideal for those on a budget who wish to concentrate their resources on diving and touring. Blue Horizons will provide you with more details of flights, accommodation and diving packages for these hotels.
Next stop was Palau Plantation Resort which has more traditional buildings set in tropical gardens on the side of a small cultivated valley. Definitely popular with the Japanese market the rooms range from simple to high end.
Our final stop prior to lunch was to call into the Palau International Coral Reef Center. The PICRC is located on the water on the south west tip of Koror. It is an autonomous government project and non-profit organisation designed to highlight Palau’s marine bio-diversity and to act as an educational / tourist tool. Of course nothing beats seeing the marine world in its natural habitat but this is an interesting place to visit for an hour or so. There are a number of themed aquariums and a great deal of visitor information is available.
Lunch was spent at the impressive Elilai Restaurant. Elilai is a set on a side of the hill of Ngerkebesang and has stunning views across the sea to the neighbouring islands. It is just 5 – 10 minutes drive from downtown Koror. Owner Takuya Mizokami and his team have prepared an interesting fusion menu and a modern dining space that is open and breezy. This is well worth visiting during a visit to Palau. The highlight of lunch for many was a perfectly fresh piece of tuna lightly fried and served ‘fish and chip style’!
Our afternoon continued with a visit to the Cliffside Hotel. Previously this was a very popular choice with Diving guests but has undergone a number of management changes over the past couple of years and some feedback has been a little negative. Rooms are big and spacious and it is to be hoped that the current management can restore the Hotel’s reputation.
Our final stop of the day was at Sam’s Tours where I met old friends and some new ones (hello Adela and Russelle) for the first time. Sam’s Tours are fellow Philippine-Micronesia Alliance partners and are widely considered to be one of the Best Dive Operators in the Pacific and probably the world. No space here to do them justice so a full report on Sam’s to follow tomorrow.
At day end we returned back to Palasia for a tour of the hotel and facilities (include fitness centre, pool area, bar, restaurant etc) and a very pleasant meal where we joined by Janine Wong (General Manager) and Janice Aguon (Asst Manager - Sales and Marketing).
Finally, after wrestling with the vagaries of wi-fi access, it was time to head off to the room. The next day was a Rock Islands tour day and one which everyone was very much looking forward too….
Flight time is just 2hrs and 15 minutes with Continental Airlines to Palau, Micronesia, a first hand report...
trip to Palau Micronesia...
Kemp from Alliance partners Blue
Horizons Travel and Tours visited Palau last week on a trip organised
for Philippines based Travel Industry members. He writes about his
experiences and these will appear here over the next few days. His
journey started on the auspicious date of Friday 13th
© Gunther Deichmann - aerial over the 70 Islands Palau
Flight CO892 (Continental Airlines) departs from Manila to Koror on Wednesdays and Fridays every week at 22.10pm. Koror is the capital of Palau and the gateway to some of the most stunning above and underwater attractions in the Pacific.
Despite the worries of Friday evening rush hour traffic the road journey from Makati in the centre of Manila just took 30 minutes – aided by a taxi driver who seemed determined to replicate some of the best scenes from Bullitt and other movie car chase greats! Regular travellers will know that Manila International Airport (NAIA) can be a busy affair BUT the airport is quiet at this time as there are not so many evening flights and the check-in was covered in double quick time with no queuing. This left more than two hours to sample the delights of the airport…
Sitting in the (very chilly – bring a sweater) departure lounge gives you ample time to check out fellow passengers and it is an interesting cross selection of international travellers heading to Palau. There were of course the 15 of us on the Familiarization trip organised by Continental Airlines and the Palau Visitors Authority plus a good sprinkling of Western tourists who, judging by their dry cases and Suunto Stingers are heading for the great diving in Palau and perhaps onwards and elsewhere to Micronesia and the Pacific. Then there are lots of Filipinos heading off or returning to Palau for contract work. There are large numbers of people from the Philippines working on the islands in everything from Medicine to Hospitality and Construction. Sometimes it is easy to believe that much of Asia would collapse without the enormous work force of the Philippines deployed throughout the region. Then there are a number of Palauans who have presumably been in Manila for business, shopping or holiday time.
The flight time is just 2hrs and 15 minutes making it a very short hop from Manila out to these still relatively little known islands. The flight leaves on time which is a good thing for those travelling with us from Continental! The pleasant surprise during the flight was that we were served with a hot meal and drinks. By the time we had caught some of the in-flight movie, finished off the food and had a quick doze the flight was beginning its descent.
The flight lands at 01.50am in Koror which is admittedly an unfriendly hour but customs and immigration checks were speedily conducted (note that visas are made available upon arrival in Palau) and we were then met at the Arrivals Hall by representatives of the Palau Visitors Authority (PVA) who were to be our guides and hosts for the next five days. Actually, arrival in Koror is pretty much the same for everybody – it is very small airport and easy to access. Upon exiting customs passengers walk into a small arrivals hall and are greeted by representatives of the various Hotels, Dive Centres and Resorts. Our friends from Sam’s Tours were meeting six new European arrivals who had travelled on the same flight as us.
Once gathered together 15 fairly sleepy people jumped on to a bus and headed of to the Palasia Hotel in downtown Koror which was to be our base for the next two nights.
The airport is located on Babeldaob (Big Island) which is linked to Koror Island by a road bridge. The road journey from the airport takes no more than 15 – 20 minutes and would probably be very attractive during the day but the night time means that we only see brief flashes of lights from homes along the route until we reach Koror.
We walk into the hotel where PVA have kindly pre-arranged check in and wander off to our rooms. No real time to take stock of our surroundings and it is nearly 03.00am! Sleep is welcome but short – we are up again in four hours to start a busy day... more from Jem soon on this Blog.
Breaking News direct from the Duesseldorf Boot Show in Germany, China Air FRANKFURT - TAIPEI - KOROR Roundtrip only EU 1,076
SUPER NEWS!!!!!!!!!!! China Air just released the following information: FRANKFURT - TAIPEI - KOROR Roundtrip only EU 1,076 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OUTBOUND: Monday: Depart Frankfurt 11:20 CI062 Tuesday: Arrive Taipei 06:05 Non-stop Depart Taipei 07:00 CI7908 Arrive Koror 12:05 Non-Stop (noon)
RETURN:Tuesday Depart Koror 13:05 CI7907 Arrive Taipei 15:55 Non-stop Depart Taipei 23:55 CI061 Wednesday: Arrive Frankfurt 06:40 Non-stop GENEROUS BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE: Economy: 2 x 23kg each Business: 2 x 32kg each Non overnights. Baggage checked all the way thru. Includes Trainfare to Frankfurt More info: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 069-297-0580 www.china-airlines.de RESTRICTIONS: Cannot be booked on-line at China Air (yet..not in system) Must call China Air or book through Travel Agent. Must originate in Frankfurt
GREAT NEWS! NEW EXCLUSIVE AIRLINE RATES with Continental Airlines a special from our Alliance Partner Blue Horizons and Travel
Philippine-Micronesia Alliance Press
NEW Exclusive Continental Airlines rates from
Blue Horizons Travel and Tours
have just been provided exclusive promotional rates by
Continental Airlines for Palau, Truk and Yap that are valid
through to March 31 2010!
This refelects CO's commitment to encouraging growth on this sector and an understanding that by delivering long term rates it makes it easier for those considering flying to Micronesia to do their planning.
Rates are subject to change and availability and we advise early booking wherever possible but suggest that anyone interested in securing these seats contact us at any time during the next 12 months to check on schedules, rates and seat availability.
For more information please click on this LINK Blue Horizons Travel LINK below for direct email access.
If you are traveling from Europe, Middle East, Australasia and
SE Asia then flying via Manila is the fastest and most economical
way to reach Micronesian destinations. Journey time from Manila to
Palau is just over 2.5 hours although it does take a little longer
to reach Truk.
Our travel partners Blue Horizons provide full ticketing services for these flights and are very happy to assist you with Manila hotels and transfers if you require stopover time in Manila and the Philippines. Better still, combine time at either El Galleon Beach Resort or Club Paradise with your trip to Palau or Truk!
Rates are exceptionally good value:
Manila - Koror (Palau) - Manila return from $555-00 USD inc all taxes
Manila - Truk - Manila return from $579-00 USD inc all taxes
If you wish to visit both Palau and Truk on the same itinerary then that is no problem and promotional fares are valid when combining these two destinations
Manila - Palau - Truk - Manila or vice versa: from $686-00 USD inc all taxes
For more details on the above please contact Blue Horizons at:
New Philippine-Micronesia TRAVEL, DIVE Packages & ADVENTURE TOURS now online... The Divers Choice!
But that’s not all... we also working very hard to give the Alliance Website a total overhaul, this is done in the background and we anticipate to implement this within in the next four weeks.
Some very cool changes are taken place including the announcement of the International Environmental Organisation, you just have to stay tuned for all the up coming NEWS and updates.