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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sunset at the World’s Most Beautiful Beach: Nacpan, El Nido, Philippines

by Regin Reyno 

After our El NIdo Tour C Island Hopping, at about 4:30pm, we hopped into a van. A huge Toyota Grandia, provided for us by our tour agency, Northern Hope Tours. It was just the 5 of us in that huge, comfortable van. We were going to the world’s most beautiful beach, according to famous travel vlogger, LeBlanc.
going to Jack's Place
photo credit: Rajeshwarikumari 

Nacpan Beach in El Nido, Palawan is considered by many travelers to be one of the most beautiful in the world. It is, in fact, no. 10 in CNN’s World’s Best Beaches.

We were excited to see for ourselves what this beach has to offer. Is it really beautiful, is it worth the 45-minute drive from town proper?   

We rushed going there after our island hopping, hoping to catch some daylight upon arriving and watch the sun set. Along the way, the scenery is gorgeous. Paved road, rice paddies, forest, coconut trees, mountains, public schools-a typical scene in rural provinces in the Philippines. But this is more beautiful. It is not crowded. There are no houses along the road-unlike some places in the Philippines. We instantly loved the journey. 

We met some tourists along the way, going back to the town proper on their motorbikes, and for some, tricycles. Most tourist just do a day trip to Nacpan, as there only a few choices for accommodations there. But us, we opted to spend the night there. We’ve booked a bungalow/cottage at Jack’s Place. It is a typical Filipino nipa hut called bahay kubo with basic amenities.

After 30 minutes, we entered a dirt road; the way going to the village where Nacpan beach is located. It has lots of potholes, rain puddles, and is quite muddy. The road to paradise is not smooth. But it’s all good. The scenery became more beautiful so we didn’t mind. We witnessed the lives in small villages, traditional rural Filipino houses, kids walking from school, water buffalos (carabaos), and different fruit trees. We were experiencing an authentic Philippine travel.

Then finally, lo and behold, we witnessed the beach. A long, whitish-yellowish fine sand beach, with calm, blue waters. There were few tourists, and they are all preparing to go back to El Nido town proper. As the van drives along, our eyes were just glued to the beach. Amazed by how a long, beautiful beach be this laid-back. Even locals are a handful. No houses-at least in the area we were headed.



Finally, the van stopped and the driver said he can’t take us all the way to Jack’s Place because of the narrow road. He said we need to walk for about 3-5 minutes. So we did. As we were walking, the silence was deafening. It was 5:15pm in the afternoon and it was literally just us on that beach. It kinda felt weird, especially if you’re used to a lot of people-living in Beijing for years. 

Upon arriving at Jack’s Place, we just threw our things in our cottage and headed to the beach to watch the sunset. Apart from the sporadic passing by of locals on motorcycles, it was just literally the 5 of us on that long beach. That was insane! I haven’t experienced a beautiful, secluded beach for a long time. The last time was back in 2002 when my family went to the then unknown Dinadiawan Beach in Aurora province, Philippines.




Each of us went find our comfort zone to watch the sunset and just enjoy the sound of the waves and the relaxing view. I found a beach chair, while my friends found hammocks, all from Jack’s Place. 




After taking a few snapshots, we just shutdown, didn’t talk to each other. We just behold the sun setting, being in the moment, just absorbing everything. It was a moment of zen. 

The silence sometimes is broken by the sound of playing dogs (sometimes fighting). 

One of my friends headed back to our bungalow to have a shower, but most of us stayed on the beach until that last glimpse of sun was gone. It was a relaxing, peaceful moment. A nice break from Beijing living, a movie-worthy vacation.




I went to a nearby store to buy some beverage, probably to wake me up, to make sure that I’m not dreaming. 

Travel Tips
  1. Hire a van if you’re a group. I recommend www.NorthernHopeTours.com. Tricycles are too cramped and the road is rough.
  2. Bring and apply lots of insect repellant. There are sand fleas on the beach during late afternoon. 
  3. Stay at Jack’s Place. This “resort” is simply the best. Day trip is not enough to experience this paradise.
  4. Prepare for an internet-free experience. Inform your loved ones that you won’t have internet when you’re there. Who needs internet in this paradise, anyway?
  5. Bring a flashfight just in case there’s power outage.
  6. Don’t be so busy taking pictures. Experience the place through your five senses. Absorb everything. Be in the moment. You don’t know when you’re going to have this experience again. 


How about you? Where was your best beach sunset experience? I want to know. 


  







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