Coco Beach

Trip Start Apr 26, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Philippines  ,
Monday, May 16, 2005

We arrived at Coco Beach (Oriental Mindoro) mid- morning and were initially very happy to see the beautiful thatched bamboo cottages set up the hillside. However despite billing themselves as a relaxed beach resort Coco Beach actually should be described as the Filipino equivalent of Club Med with many different activities occurring all day, if you needed something to do. But it was continuous noise, very family orientated and lots of concrete. The menu is very American.

The best thing about Coco beach are the service families. The original inhabitants of this bay have divided up the huts between them and look after the guests in those huts. It is a very ethical way of keeping the community involved. People with kids take note, you can hire a "Ya-ya" lady to take care of the kids for the day for the princely sum of 200 pesos per day (2 GBP!).

Dee had planned to learn to dive there & the first 2 days she tried to go for her Padi Open Water qualification. Unfortunately she did not take to it again (after her bad experience in the Maldives) and so sadly still does not dive despite being in one of the best countries in the world for diving. Phil's luck was not any better as the dive doctor could not sign hear off for diving as they did not knew how his medication would work under pressure. Anyway this was not too much of a problem as the snorkelling was incredible too, just off the beach or taking a boat taxi to other beaches.

We visited the local town Puerta Galera, which turned out to be 3 streets filled with circling motorbike taxis trying to get your custom. You can walk the whole town in 20 minutes but they still insist on trying to drive you.

Having been living on Thai food, we were getting desperate for some decent food, Coco beach food is poor - American/bland Filipino and Puerta G. seemed to get their menus from a German beer festival. During the day we eat at a small stand at Coco B. meant for staff and on our final night we got a water taxi to a local village called Sabang in search of a decent meal. We found a french restaurant, advertising Tuna steak - great - but when it arrived it had been deep fried. At that point we nearly got on a flight back to Thailand! After dinner we headed into the back streets and found a row of dodgy "go-go'' bars & discos, Internet cafes & Videoke (karaoke) bars where Dee tried to embrace the local obsession -singing by trying to sing a ballad herself. This was a massive failure as she broke the microphone & we slunk out of the bar in hysterics. Dee thought a dance would be a good plan but when she pulled back the curtain of one club she saw a lot of girls with very few items of clothing, dancing on a high podium. Maybe not tonight then.
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