As much as I loved exploring the Puerto Princesa Underground River, to do so required me to do a lot of waiting around, which is fine, but it meant that by the next morning I was eager to spend the day up and moving!
The other main appeal of Puerto Princesa is the Honda Bay area – a collection of small tropical islands easily accessible from Puerto Princesa City Proper. You can hire a boat, but unless you already have a decent sized group ready and raring to go, it will be more cost effective to take a day tour. Costing around 1400 pesos ($39) with lunch included, it certainly isn’t an expensive day out!
The first stop on the three island day tour was by far my favourite. Named Starfish Island – it doesn’t take long to figure out how this particular island got its name!
There are so many Starfish littering the shallow waters surrounding this tiny island! Some Starfish preferred to hang out in the water itself, whilst others seemed to prefer hanging out on the sand.
I had heard that picking up Starfish can cause damage to them, but after doing a fair bit of research found that there is no scientific reason to avoid touching these amazing creatures. Obviously I made sure to handle them with care, but it was good to know that holding my new starfish friends would not hurt them.
It sounds strange, but despite how hard these creatures are – you can feel how alive they are too. They have small tentacle-like things inside each of their 5 limbs, which they can pick things up with!
See the lines in the limbs of the Starfish in the above picture? These are where their tentacle things (hello scientific terminology) can emerge and retract from!
I could have spent all day playing with these little guys! I don’t know why, but Starfish just make me happy!
After a while I began to get hot and decided it was time to jump into the water and see if Starfish Island was just as amazing from under the sea as it was from above.
Short answer: Of course it was!
I donned my snorkel and was off exploring more of this quirky little island.
The variety of wildlife was not as varied as it had been in El Nido, but I still enjoyed the snorkel just as much! I was especially happy to see more rainbow parrot fish.
Though there was less fish than in El Nido, there was also no jellyfish (a big plus for those afraid of stings) and the fish that were swimming around the place seemed much more chilled out when faced with humans in weird masks.
Starfish Island had already been amazing and there was still two more islands to explore! I was loving Honda Bay already. Stay tuned next post for more Filipino island adventures!
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting to Puerto Princesa: From Manila – book a direct flight with Cebu Pacific, from El Nido – catch a ‘van’ from the bus station
Starfish Island: Day trips around Honda Bay can be organised through Sheebang hostel and cost 1400 pesos ($39)
Sheebang Hostel: The most popular hostel in Puerto Princesa, this place could improve its cleanliness but is a great place to meet people
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with 12-40mm M.Zuiko Pro Lens and Nikon Coolpix S31
Threads: I am wearing a bikini by Tigerlily Swimwear
Remember: Sunscreen and a few extra pesos for snorkel gear hire