Arrival El Nido Airport
The Philippines were gorgeous. We can never forget the amazing colours of the ocean or the sweet people, but something else pops into our heads as soon as someone mentions El Nido, Philippines. The lovely welcome and the not-so-lovely departure from El Nido Airport. We’ve mentioned this in earlier posts (Getting To The Best Island In The World), but we also want to share our videos of arrival and departure with you so you can truly feel a connection to these experiences, and just so you know what to expect if you go to El Nido.
Upon landing, a professionally decorated and colourful old bus drove up along side the plane, then transported passengers to the tiny airport. One usually expects the boring process of going through Customs and Immigration, waiting to collect your luggage, and finding transport to your hotel. Not so.
The El Nido Welcome
How surprising it was as we stepped down from the bus to hear and see this:
Departure To and From El Nido Airport
We had a great time in El Nido, and some once-in-a-lifetime experiences that we will never forget (5 Jaw-Droppingly Stunning Islands of Palawan, Philippines) and (Pompous Roosters, Leaping Geckos and a Heartbreaking Story, but the departure was as unforgettable as the arrival. Be ready if you fly into, or out of, El Nido airport. In fact, you may want to carry along a small pillow for your butt. Please forgive the blurry plastic window of the tricycle taxi, but you can still feel the full impact of the long rough ride.
How was the ride? Did you “feel” it? Is your head spinning and your brain jostled like ours? It was not only a brain jiggle but a rigorous body massage as well as significant muscle exercise as you braced yourself when bouncing from one side of the tricycle to the other, or forward and backward. Our butts felt bruised and battered; our arms were numb from holding ourselves from falling out. Once we nearly tipped completely over. We were completely stunned when we got off the tricycle, and overwhelmed with gratitude to feel solid ground again. We were just happy to be off that tricycle.
Truthfully, it was not the tricycle taxi that was the problem, but the pot-hole filled roads. They were atrocious. When we complain about pot-holes on Canadian roads, we cannot even come close to this disastrous road to the airport. Our worst roads are as smooth as glass in comparison.
The seats of the tricycle could definitely use a little more padding too, so bring along a little pillow when you travel. It will not only be useful for the flight, but in many other situations too.
El Nido Airport Baggage Check
The El Nido airport is an open-air building with a simple check-in counter and luggage drop, but the airport staff take their jobs seriously amid the bustle and tumult of passengers jostling in a group in front of the counter.
It was their baggage area and transport that was the most fascinating though. The baggage area was just a log shelf covered with a palapa roof. Then baggage was loaded on to a canvas-covered cart pushed by several baggage handlers and steered by hand lever. A simple system that worked just fine.
From going above and beyond in welcoming guests to their country, to the cruel and unusual tricycle taxi to and from the airport, El Nido, Philippines gave us a fantastic array of unusual and amazing experiences. The fantastic islands and their lagoons that surround El Nido have to be some of the most gorgeous in the world.