This put up was written by Ashley Yap, BMTM’s Director of Brand Relations.
“I lost my left pinky due to an accident when I was a kid and was bullied throughout my childhood because of it. I grew up to be a shy and quiet person. One day, my friend Bob (the boat captain) introduced me to Big Dream Boat Man, and I was hired as a crew. Everyone on the boat treated each other like family and welcomed me like one. Since then, I watched Bob speaking with the crew and customers in fluent English every day, and decided that I’d one day become a boat captain and show people around the world my beautiful country, too. Today, I am able to chat with you guys, I am a confident person and I think someday I will make boat captain.”
Showing us his 9 fingers, Lin, one of many boat crew, shared his story as a part of our dinner ritual. It was the primary night time of our 3D3N Coron island hopping tour with Big Dream Boat Man, an eco-friendly expedition firm based by an English man and a Coron native in 2016. We had spent the entire day exploring hidden islands and snorkeling with colourful fishes and turtles, devouring contemporary and scrumptious seafood and sharing laughter with everybody onboard, and have been now having drinks after dinner on a secluded island with no person else round, buying and selling our tales with one another.
After spending two weeks becoming a member of a number of island hopping group excursions with 20+ different individuals every time, this off-the-beaten-path journey was a lot, a lot appreciated. Below is my trustworthy assessment on the Big Dream Boat Man Coron Island Life expedition and why, in case you are solely doing one tour on Coron, this needs to be it:
Fuss-free reserving expertise
On Big Dream Boat Man’s web site, reserving the tour was a fuss-free expertise. Simply choose the dates that give you the results you want, make a 1/3 deposit fee, and wait to your expedition preparation doc by way of e mail on issues to notice and convey (I’ve a packing record for you beneath!).
You might want to buy your personal journey insurance coverage for this journey, and I like to recommend that you just do, not just for this explicit expedition however for each time you journey. Accidents occur, and also you need to have entry to healthcare and be compensated for any unlucky occasions when overseas.
You are additionally required to finish your fee upon arrival in money. If you’ve gotten any particular requests, i.e, dietary necessities, you might accomplish that by way of e mail previous to your expedition. I had some questions, and the crew responded inside 24 hours.
There’s no scarcity of day excursions that may take you on an island-hopping journey on Coron. I personally took two of them, the Coron Super Ultimate Day Tour and the Coron Island Escapade Day Tour (you possibly can learn my assessment on these day excursions right here). While they have been additionally plenty of enjoyable, I needed to share them with different vacationers in life jackets. Several instances, we headed in direction of spots that have been raining as a result of the routes of those group excursions will not be versatile in any respect. The largest benefit of the BDBM expedition is that, since it’s a personal, multi-day journey, we acquired to keep away from peak hours at in style websites and enterprise out to islands that aren’t on the radar.
Note: BDBM doesn’t supply a set itinerary. Depending on climate circumstances, the boat might take you to different spots or change the sequence of stops. I personally appreciated that!
Day 1: Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, Banana Island
We met up at Luis Bay Restaurant at 11am, and took a brief stroll to the pier to board. Refreshing chilly drinks have been served as we left the port, and the crew launched themselves. Shortly after, we arrived at our first cease, the famed Kayangan Lake, because the group excursions have been leaving. We didn’t must queue to get to the midway viewpoint and had the lake all to ourselves for a very good half an hour earlier than two different individuals arrived on a non-public boat journey. After an hour of swimming and stress-free within the crystal clear freshwater, we made our manner again to the boat, the place lunch awaits. Talk about lunch with a view!
Next cease was Twin Lagoon, one other in style spot we loved with out many different individuals. Once you swam previous a tiny hole, towering cliffs welcome you into a mixture of salty and contemporary water swimming space. Some spots have been a bit too chilly for consolation, however swimming in was such a magical expertise. We spent about 45 minutes right here, and freshly fried banana fritters welcomed us again on the boat.
As we made our technique to Banana Island, our base camp for the night time, I can’t assist however smile at how nice the primary day had been. Our first night time was spent at an outdated concrete guesthouse. One can’t ask for extra with a standing fan, an enormous mattress, and a non-public toilet. For the bathe, water drawn from the properly on the island was supplied in an enormous container, and also you do it by pouring water over your self with a water scoop.
Day 2: Ditaytayan Island, Culion Island, Lusong Gunboat, Lusong Coral Garden
We kickstarted the day with breakfast on Banana Island earlier than venturing out to Ditaytayan Island, recognized for its stunning white sandbar. We have been the primary boat to reach and had the sandbar all to ourselves for a very good 20 minutes! The tender sand was dreamy to put on as we acquired our tan in. It was such a ravishing begin to the day.
Next, we took a break from water actions and explored Culion Island. Our boat captain and one other crew took us to the Culion Church, which is made from coral. We additionally walked as much as a viewpoint and loved the glistening water from above. The remainder of the crew took the time to restock on groceries on the island and put together our lunch. I actually loved this cease because it was additionally a possibility to expertise a extra native island.
After lunch, we made our technique to Lusong Gunboat and Lusong Coral Garden, the place we free dived round a shipwreck from WWII. It was a lot enjoyable trying out the gunboat as our boat crew showcase their free diving expertise by getting by way of the ship panels. When we have been completed exploring the shipwreck, we continued the journey by snorkeling round a few of Coron’s most ample coral gardens. We have been even fortunate sufficient to identify three turtles!
As our boat made our technique to the second base camp on Pass Island, we had snacks, performed board video games, and took energy naps on the multihull nets. We didn’t anticipate how stunning the golden hour could be on Pass Island. It was my favourite base camp out of the expedition! More on the sleep situation beneath.
Day 3: More snorkeling + shipwreck adventures, South Cay, Black Island, Unknown Campsite
The third day began with extra snorkeling and shipwreck adventures. The shipwreck was energetic with colourful corals and fish, and was a ton of enjoyable to discover. We then made our technique to my favourite cease of the complete journey, the South Cay. It was merely magical – there was completely nobody else in sight, the water was unbelievably blue and calm, and the cay itself was stunning white sand with a mini jungle on high. I had the most effective SUP expertise right here. Yes, there was a kayak and a stand-up paddle board onboard, and we totally utilized them.
After an enormous lunch, we made our technique to Black Island. On this secluded island, few day excursions go to as a result of its location, and we noticed monitor lizards, a legendary cock (I’ll go away the story out so the crew can let you know), and two mystical caves which might be used for religious rituals. The caves have been completely beautiful, and the water in two swimming pools was deep sufficient for cliff leaping. We then spent an hour chilling on the seashore earlier than making our technique to the bottom camp of the day – I can’t bear in mind the title of the island, however I assume it doesn’t matter!
The crew arrange a bonfire on the seashore, and I used to be already lacking this epic journey. We slept in a straw hut, and the subsequent morning, after watching the dawn on the island, we made our manner again to Coron’s foremost island and mentioned goodbye to everybody.
Unique in a single day expertise
Expect bare-bone lodging on this expedition, however I feel it makes the expertise much more distinctive and memorable. They are related to a number of base camps, a few of which include primary seashore huts with separate bathe and bathroom services, whereas others could also be campsites or guesthouses. You wouldn’t know for positive the place you might be sleeping that night time till noon, and I feel that provides only a bit extra pleasure to issues.
I’ve to confess that I used to be somewhat bit postpone by the water scent on the first base camp, but it surely made me understand how a lot I take entry to wash water as a right. It was additionally a possibility to place myself outdoors of my consolation zone, and I positively admire that. That mentioned, I adored our second base camp with the lovable seashore huts and unbelievable location that was excellent for sundown. We didn’t do tent tenting, however it may be the case for some. Towels and primary toiletries are supplied although it’d be far more eco-friendly if you happen to introduced your personal. Electricity was out there through the night time and was ample to cost our batteries. Some base camps even had reception if you have to be on-line. I personally was on airplane mode, and it was a much-needed digital detox.
If you might be used to tenting, the sleeping and loo scenario is not going to be an issue for you in any respect. If you usually keep in resorts in your journey, take it as a possibility to expertise one thing totally different!
The firm boasts its crew service, and so they have each proper to take action. From the second we have been onboard, we have been handled like household. Whilst most boat excursions throw in a short introduction to the crew, and there’s at all times a transparent separation between them and the visitors, the BDBM crew genuinely wished to attach, and the curiosity about one another’s tradition led to many significant conversations. I felt like I actually acquired to know them – their childhood reminiscences, private targets, and favourite components of their job. They even handmade bracelets and anklets for us as souvenirs! It is obvious that they love what they do and are happy with it. Their spirit and enthusiasm made the journey.
Delicious meals day-after-day!
Most of us agreed that the meals we had on this expedition was among the greatest meals we had in Coron. Our chef labored at high-end eating places, and we have been completely impressed, particularly given the restrictions of a cell kitchen. There was at all times one thing totally different served at every meal, at all times extra meals than we will end, and at all times scrumptious.
For breakfast, it’s a mix of typical Filipino + western gadgets, together with rice, sausages, eggs, pancakes, and toast. For lunch and dinner, our chef spoiled us every day with scrumptious seafood (we had all of it on this journey – fish, prawns, squid, and even crab), wholesome greens, well-cooked meat, and contemporary fruits, and we had at the least six dishes to work on every meal! Drinks are served every time we wished – have I discussed that alcohol is free?! Nothing like a refreshing beer after an hour of snorkeling in salty seawater. In between meals, we acquired to strive native snacks, together with banana fritters and ginataan. I imply it once I mentioned it was difficult to get hungry on this expedition.
If you’ve gotten any particular dietary restrictions or allergic reactions, talk this with the crew beforehand, and they’re going to regulate accordingly.
It’s an expedition for everybody.
On our boat, there have been 8 of us: a pair of their 20s, two superior Aussie women of their 60s (and completely rocking it), a solo feminine traveler, a solo male traveler, and a pair of siblings. So, actually, it’s an expedition fitted to all sorts of vacationers, although there’s a minimal age restrict of 14 years outdated. Sorry, children!
You will meet like-minded people who find themselves in for a novel journey and have an excellent appreciation for genuine native tradition – you realize, identical to your self. The 8 of us acquired alongside very well, although anytime somebody wanted a while alone, there was loads of house on the boat to take a fast nap or learn a guide on. We have been so well-fed all through our journey that there was no alternative to be hungry! You have to be bodily wholesome although there weren’t any notably demanding actions. I discovered that the move of the every day itinerary was well-designed, and we had ample time to relaxation between stops. The sleep and bathe scenario was fairly primary, however nobody had any main complaints.
Fine, I went for a 2-hour full physique therapeutic massage the day we returned. With that mentioned, I’d advocate this expedition to everybody with an open thoughts and an adventurous spirit.
Is it well worth the cash?
Given that an island hopping day tour in Coron usually prices about $30 is the Big Dream Boat Man tour well worth the seemingly steep $450 price ticket?
For the entire causes I’ve included above, but additionally the inclusion of the tour itself: 3 days of island hopping, all meals and drinks (together with alcohol), towels, masks & snorkel, and lodging. All of this for a mean of $150 a day is definitely price it. I’d even advocate this as the one factor you do in Coron.
What to pack to your BDBM island-hopping expedition
Now that you’re satisfied to affix the expedition, let’s discuss what to deliver on board. You are allowed to deliver your entire baggage on board, however the greater baggage will probably be saved underneath the boat and are solely accessible at night time (if you really want one thing from them). Your day baggage are saved within the captain’s room with straightforward accessibility. I like to recommend having a day bag and a dry bag with every part you want and leaving every part else in your massive baggage underneath the boat.
Here’s a packing record with the entire requirements you have to all through the three days:
In your dry bag:
In your day bag:
During the day, I used to be principally in my bikini and water sneakers. I additionally had my very own snorkeling gear, however you’ll be able to borrow these without cost onboard.
I’ve been on many multi-day expeditions round Southeast Asia, and that is simply one in all my high favorites. Expectations have been excessive as a result of raving evaluations, but it surely’s protected to say that BDBM knocked it out of the park with an epic itinerary, superior service, and a real understanding of adventurous spirit. If you might be planning a visit to Coron quickly, I hope you’ll deal with your self to this epic journey.
*This put up was dropped at you in partnership with Big Dream Boat Man. All opinions on the superb expedition and superior crew are my very own, as at all times.