Backpacking in the Philippines has definitely improved since the madness of getting to Dumaguete. Total relaxation on Siquihor island at JJ’s backpackers (best beach) and then onto the paradise of Palawan has been pretty much perfect and I’ve met some lovely people on the way – finally some sort of travelling scene!
The highlight of all this so far has to be the not so well known Port Barton in between Puerto Princesa and El Nido in Palawan. This sleepy village is still full of local vibes with just a sprinkling of tourists.
My experience was made even more special by staying at the rustic Orange House Homestay which is just a ten minute walk from the centre in a tiny fisherman’s village. The wonderful owner Leizel made me feel completely at home in her basic but authentic local style cottage. Perfect for those on the tightest of budgets at only 175 pesos (£2.50) a night.
I had a great time hanging out and chatting with Leizel who comes from Manila and has set up home in Port Barton to escape the city and live the good life. She’s only lived there for five months so it’s early days for the guest house but I can see a really bright future for Leizel and her project.
Port Barton is a very quiet town but there are a few places to visit nearby. We went on a trek through the jungle with fellow guest Javi to a waterfall and then onto a deserted white sand beach. It was such a treat to be completely by ourselves in these stunning places.
Leizel also recommended a walk to White Beach on the otherside of Port Barton where I spent a while on yet another breathtaking Philippino beach. It was just me and the cute dog that guided me there from the village.
Port Barton is easily one of my favourite places out of my whole travels in South East Asia. I love that you can be surrounded by beautiful nature and peaceful locals and spend next to nothing. Surely this is the best of travelling? Of course the ultimate question is will Port Barton stay like this forever? The local government call it an eco-tourism site and seem to be making some small efforts to monitor the number of tourists and conserve the area. I’d love to see what happens to this special place over the next few years as tourism continues to grow in The Philippines.