I think some of my most memorable days in Asia have come on the back of a motorbike. There’s something about getting out of the busy towns, going off the beaten track and exploring on a whim that’s really exciting. We always stumble across sites we never knew existed and it’s fascinating to see the locals in a more real life setting away from the tourist traps, . Today was another day to add to the list of bike days, and our first in the Philippines so far.

El Nido is one of the more popular areas on Palawan island, it seems to attract a mix of Filipinos who are on vacation and a youngish crowd of back packers. It’s super busy, tricycles race around the streets 24/7, it’s dusty, under developed and loud.. not really my cup of tea. But, it’s a base for island hopping which is why it’s so popular. After 5 minutes on our new ride we had escaped the bedlam and were enjoying the windy roads that overlooked the gorgeous Filipino seas.

bike-in-el-nido

Our first stop was Merimegmeg beach. It’s about a 15 minute drive south of El Nido and as soon as we walked out onto the deserted beach I knew we’d made a mistake, why didn’t we stay here!? The beach was fairly small with just a handful of beach bungalows lining the shore, a couple of restaurants and hammocks swaying in the breeze that looked very tempting.

Merimegmeg-beach

Next up was Nacpan beach. Wow, this one blew me away, I thought Merimegmeg beach was amazing but this place was pure perfection. It’s easily the nicest beach I’ve ever been to and made everything we’d seen in Thailand seem a bit average. Again, I was gutted when we realised there was a few bungalows here we could have stayed at. What a perfect place to wake up to every morning.

nacpan-beach

There was a nice little beach shack type restaurant towards the end of the beach where decided to spend a few hours. Surprisingly there was nobody around and we had it to ourselves. We got chatting to the owners about the flags they had outside as we wondered why their was a Swiss one. It turns out the week before we were there a guy from Switzerland stayed and he loved the place so much that before he left he bought them a boat and loads of bamboo furniture and sun loungers. It must have cost a few thousand!

swiss-restaurant-nacpan-beach

After finally tearing ourselves away from the beach we headed back with plans to drive out to a sunset tapas bar. This went a bit wrong though when we realised we were low on cash and in typical Philippines style the only ATM in town was broken. Tomorrow we head to Sebang which has no ATM’s so after some research it seemed our only option was a wire transfer to a local bank. Despite being a little apprehensive about this, it was actually really simple and easy to use so if you’re ever stuck try out World Remit.