In anticipation of my beach escapade next week, I’d like to feature some photos of our family trip to Coron, Palawan. It was a first time for all of us, which made the New Year’s treat all the more memorable.
Coron is one of the municipalities of Palawan, Philippines. It refers to the biggest town on Busuanga Island, and is also the name of a smaller island nearby. That island is very aptly differentiated as Coron Island, but the town and the island are part of the same municipality. Confusing, isn’t it? In general, though, when people go to Coron, they end up going to both — the town, because most of the accommodations and shops are located there, and the island, because it is home to beautiful beaches, lakes and popular diving sites.
There’s much to see and do in Coron, but for now, I want to focus on one of the most unforgettable places we visited during our stay there: Kayangan Lake.
One of the jewels of Coron Island, Kayangan Lake is a spot not to be missed. The journey there was lovely on its own. Aboard our trusty little boat, we marveled as our capable tour guide/boatman steered us past foliage-peppered mountains into a section where other boats were docked near the stingy shore. To get to the lake, we first had to trek up a number of steps. If memory serves, it couldn’t have been more than fifty steps, but in case you get tired, there’s a makeshift bench midway. At the top, we found this small, unremarkable cave that provided for a quick photo op. The real money shot, though, was the view of Coron Cove. That view right there is the one most associated with Coron, and earned Kayangan Lake a place on my runner up Epic Ups list.
The lake itself is actually a flight of steps down from that spot. As we descended down, we took in the gorgeous turquoise bath of freshwater framed by towering limestone cliffs. There’s a reason why Kayangan is said to be the cleanest lake in the Philippines. It really is pristine. We lucked out in our timing as we encountered only a few other visitors there. It was like our own little chunk of paradise.
From the foot of the steps, there’s a narrow bamboo/wood platform running along the walls of the cliffs, upon which we left our things (and our parents, who just wanted to sit on the bench and enjoy the view). The water’s supposed to be quite deep, so most people, aside from those excellent swimmers, are advised to wear life vests. Since none of us are excellent swimmers (or in my case, a swimmer, period), we decided to go with the life vests.
Our tour guide brought us to this nearly hidden gap in the limestone formations, which leads to a surprisingly roomy cave. The only sources of light were the entrance and this opening at the top, which gave the chamber an eerie and solemn atmosphere. I have to admit to being paranoid that something might suddenly brush past my limbs, so we didn’t stay there for too long.
We lazily floated along the expanse of shimmering water and for those minutes, it seemed like the reality of telephone calls and demanding clients was a world away. That, right there, was a real holiday escape.