Whenever I encounter the transparent emerald sea, I am enchanted because I've grown up watching muddy sea.
Korean west sea is thick owing to mud flats.
So I was thrilled when I first snorkeled in Ko Phi Phi, Thailand. There was a totally new world to me.
I decided to spend two or three days here after hearing that the sea of Mindoro Island, Puerto Galera, is quite nice and not far from Manila.
While I planned our travel, I thought it would be better to go to White Beach than to Sabang Beach, where there are relatively many people and entertainment culture.
We made a reservation to the Tribal Hills Mountain Resort, which is a little way off from White Beach but has a good score in Agoda and also has good reputations from guests,
After booking one night, I emailed the staffs through its homepage for inquiries about activities that we can enjoy there and the conditions for extending our stay for two or three more nights. They replied friendly and provided details. It gave me a good first impression.
Because we arrived in Manila late last night, the next day we started our day leisurely. Having our brunch, we headed for Batangas, a port city where we could take a boat to Mindoro Island.
We took a taxi to the JAM Liner Terminal in Buendia, Pasay City, Manila, as shown on the map above.
As soon as we got off the taxi, I asked a bus company staff how I could buy bus tickets to Batangas Port.
He pointed out a bus by the roadside and let us get on the bus.
There is no need to buy a ticket from the terminal here. Just take the right bus and pay on the bus.
In Korea, we also had a guide in a bus or a train about 40 years ago. Here, the guide carries a punch to make holes in the bus tickets according to their destinations. Passengers just tell him where they're going to, and pay the fare.
Bus fare from the Busan terminal to Batangas was 167 pesos, and the journey seems to take less than two hours.
We stopped at the Batangas terminal once before going to the port of Batangas, and stopped for a while when there was someone who wanted to get off in the middle....
If you're not sure when you get off, just ask the guide or other passengers, or just get off at the last terminal.
Arriving at the port of Batangas, we got off the bus and went from Passenger Terminal 2 to Passenger Terminal 3.
There were several shipping companies to White Beach, I bought a Banka Boat ticket to White Beach for 275 each(actually the fare is cheaper for children) at 'Father & Son Lines'. Additionally, we had to pay 30 pesos as a termial fee when you got into the terminal to take our Banka Boat.
[Above the photo, you can see the Bank Boat moored in the port, termial 3.]
The boat is not so big, so if the sea is not calm, there is an ups and downs.
If you are a seasick person ... It is good to eat the sickness medicine in advance.
When the boat sailed around 1 hour and 30 minutes, it reached at Sabang Beach on Mindoro Island.
White Beach was the next destination, so we stayed on the boat and looked around.
I saw nice buildings far away and took a picture.
After dropping passengers at Sabang Beach, the boat sailed again to White Beach.
After twenty minutes, we finally arrived at White Beach.
There's no pier at White Beach. Our boat was anchored directly on the coast. A tent was standing there and all passengers were guided to the tent to pay an environmental charge of 50 pesos each.
You can find a sign near there. It is a sign that you take a commemorative photo once. Yellow letter and red heart shape match well.
Geo and Gowoon were starving because they did not have any meal or snack until they arrived here from Manila.
According to my googling, An Italian restaurant on the outskirts of White Beach provides delicious food. So, we walked 3-400 meters there with heavy luggages.
There were two Italian restaurants on the left side of White Beach.
[Waiting for food in the Italian restaurant ...]
I decided to go to either of the two restaurants and chose the first restaurant with a picture of a Western chef who seemed Italian.
We had light brunch at a fast food restaurant called Chowking and it was the first meal to be cooked properly in the Philippines. Furthermore those reviews on the internet had told it's very nice, so we waited the food with expectations.
It was after lunch time, so, there were no other customers in the restaurant. We ordered one pizza and two pastas ... and after about 30 minutes our food came out.
Finally, one bite ...
But all out efforts to coming here with heavy luggages and the hours of waiting for food... and our expectations have been destroyed.
The taste was too salty, and it was not worthy of the cost. (What I got through this .... 'I will never come to this restaurant again in my life time.' ...)
For reference, most of the food we ate at the local restaurants in the Philippines for the rest of our trip was salty in our appetite.
The view of the sea from the restaurant was not that transparent or clean.
It seemed to be influenced by the weather and not as many people seen on the beach as you can see the picture.
After all, we went back 300 to 400 meters to go to Tribal Hills Mountain Resort.
On our way, we took a look at other accommodations, because if Tribal Hills Mountain Resort was not good, we might move here. Fortunately, Tribal Hills Mountain Resort was much better than our expectation, so I extended two more nights later.
The disadvantage of Tribal Hills Mountain Resort is that it is not accessible.
Because it is about 5 minutes by car from White Beach. Moreover, as the name suggests, it is on a hill (which is hard to climb unless it is a SUV), the tricycle can not climb the hill so it can only go to the beginning of the hill.
However, the resort provides transportation service to White Beach free of charge at any time until 10 pm (it is advertised as having a shuttle service time on the website, but it actually provides you with a car whenever you want) Accessibility is not a big problem as it provides free transportation to the marina.
I took a picture while taking a walk around in the morning, but I do not know whether the steepness of the ramp of the resort appears properly.
Every time I got on this road, I felt like riding on the roller coaster at the amusement park.
It is surrounded by mountains, so it has good air and is free from artificial noises.
It is one of the best places to relax and chill out in the natural environment.
This is owned by a foreigner(I didn't ask his nationality), but the owner, who looks around 60's and virtuous, lives in a building next to the resort.
The employees are all friendly and willing to help if you have any inquiries.
The employee said the boss does not like to call himself Boss, but instead to call him 'Utility Boy'.
He also worked in the construction industry, and his children are engaged in related projects such as architectural design, so they resorted to the design and construction of their own families. Even landscape ...
In the photo above, the management office is behind the four-wheeled bike parking lot and the second floor is the restaurant.
The people are friendly and good, and we usually had our meals here.
Personally, I recommend the Pork Sinigang on the menu. If you like Tom Yam in Thailand and Laksa in Malaysia, you can enjoy Sinigang.
[Pork Kaldereta] [Pork Sinigang] [Vegetable Omelette]
I can also recommed Adobo out of Filipino foods. For children, Geo and Gowoon enjoyed a Chicken Sandwich.
We also ate pizza here, it was much tastier than that of White Beach. However, it took about 45 minutes to make pizza when you placed an order, so you need to order beforehand according to your meal time.
What I can not forget about staying here is that.... it is very personal ...
I got a beetle there. I have never caught a beetle once in my childhood.
Of course, my children liked it, so we had them a few years ago. And even we hatched and raised beetles, but catching it in the nature is another story.
I woke up early in the first morning and I found a beetle in front of my eyes while I took a walk around.
It was one of the small pleasures to greet this guy every morning while staying at this resort.
When we stayed there, the swimming pool was occupied by Geo and Gowoon because it was not high season.
They always managed the water quality, and it was good for kids to enjoy the water. They played calm pop songs in the bar next to the pool even if there was no guest.
The depth of the pool is between 50cm to over 2m, so adults do not have any inconvenience to swim.
As you can see in the video below, diving is also possible. However, there is no separate security guard ... If children can not swim, adults should always stay together.
These photos took the same place with different weather conditions.
Tribal Hills Mountain Resort is a place to remember after a long time and is a place we want to visit again later.