Aside from the Bohol Countryside Tour, another popular trip is the Panglao Island Hopping Tour which takes you out onto the water for a day of dolphin watching, snorkeling on Balicasag Island, and finally to The Virgin Island. You can easily book this tour through your hotel or find someone selling these tours along Alona Beach. Be sure to negotiate a price beforehand; expect to pay 1,200 – 1,800 PHP depending on how many people are in your group, time of year, and how good your haggling skills are. If you’ve gone on other island hopping tours in South East Asia before (like the surreal island hopping in El Nido), this tour will likely be incomparable, and, at least for us, was not at all what we had expected.
This is the third island hopping tour I went on during this trip to Thailand and it was by far the best. The first island hopping tour I went on was in Aonang/Krabi and it was far too touristy. The next was in Koh Phi Phi, which was much better, but still not as great as it could have been. Thankfully, the best was saved for last, as the Koh Lanta 4 Island Tour was not only absolutely breathtaking and with far less tourists on the islands we stopped at, but it was a much higher quality tour than the previous ones we went on. This was largely due to the fact that we paid extra for us to go on a speedboat, but it was totally worth it.
As I mentioned in my previous post, there’s a lot more to Koh Phi Phi than sleeping on the beach all day and partying all night. One of the day activities you should do, besides climbing up to the viewpoint, is to go on a Phi Phi Island hopping tour. There are a variety of tours that are offered throughout the island, however the most popular tour takes you cliff jumping, snorkeling (both during the day and at night to see plankton), to Monkey Bay (watch out for those sneaky monkeys!) and Maya Bay (where Leonardo DiCaprio filmed The Beach), and then you end the tour with an incredible view of the sun setting. Overall, there were some really great highlights of the day-long tour, but there were also some drawbacks that had me wishing we booked a private tour.
If you find yourself in Krabi/Aonang, it’s likely that you’re en route to a different island and are just taking a break from your tedious journey from point A to point B to explore the small town for a day or two. It’s also likely that you’ll want to get away from the town, which is surprisingly crowded and has a less-than-stellar beach, and go on a tour of the outlying islands. One of the most popular tours on offer is the 4 Island Tour in Aonang. As the name blatantly suggests, you’ll be heading on a full day tour to see -you guessed it- 4 islands that are only a short boat ride away from shore. I’m usually a huge fan of island tours, since they’re a great way to explore a range of nearby islands (like the incredible ones I went on when I was in El Nido, Philippines), however I really would not recommend this tour to anyone. Here’s why..
El Nido island hopping tours are one of the main attractions in this charming town. When you head there, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is which tour to go on. Fortunately, I was able to go on two incredible tours: Tour A and Tour C. If you’ve read up on island hopping in El Nido, you’ll probably know that Tour A is highly recommended if you can only do one during your stay. If possible, you should try to get around to going on both tours.
As I mentioned in my last post, El Nido is a must-visit destination with its incomparable beauty and small town charm. When you visit, you will undoubtedly go on an island hopping tour, as it is one of the main things to do here. There are four tours you can choose from, cleverly named Tour A, Tour B, Tour C, and Tour D. These tours are a great way to explore the islands of El Nido and take in all of its rare visual appeal. Tour A and C are the most popular tours, which I was lucky enough to have been able to do both. However, if you can only squeeze one tour in during your stay, I would recommend doing Tour A.