Pandan Island

Trip Start Apr 26, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Philippines  ,
Friday, May 20, 2005

Pandan Island (Occidental Mindora)

At last we left Coco Beach. A 2 hr boat journey, a small tussle with 20 builders on a pier (they all wanted to carry my bag for tips - we only have 2 bags), then a 3 hr cross country drive and finally another boat we made it to Pandan Island. And it was worth every minute - a real island paradise.

Pandan Island has a long beach, a dozen bamboo huts, sand paths, trees, a bar and a diving school. It is run by a slightly eccentric French man called Denis and his happy crew of Locals.

We made friends with the staff and the other guests in the first few hours and discovered real Filipino food.

Our time was mainly spent snorkelling. directly in front of our hut was a great reef with, thousands of fish, hard and soft corals and all manor of sea life. We saw lion fish, sea snakes, giant clams and schools of fish. Phil's favourite's are the little orange and white ones that live in anaenomes (having watched "Finding Nemo" a bit too often).

At the top end of the island is a sea grass bed, where we snorkelled with sea turtles. To our surprise sea turtles are actually 5 foot long! Huge but elegant beasts who gently graze the sea weed while we swam around them.

we were also able to take a boat out to an atol reef, Apo Reef, about 2 hours away. one of the top dive sites of the world.

Pandan is also a true party place, I think the pictures tell it better. Kosta, the very fit and very good looking dive instructor, had a leaving do. It involved dancing on the bar (Dee fell off), lots of local rum and drunken village boys flashing. A truly great night and one to remember.

Phil had a run in with the four Filipino business men in the hut next door.  They had hired a bunch of dubious ladies and were parting big time. But despite several polite attempts to get them to quieten down at 3 am Phil lost it and went in yelling. a little trouble in paradise.

Pandan island is definitely worth a visit.
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