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  1. #1
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    Pretty Good in Puerto Galera (Sept 2016)

    Hi all, the previous weeks were very hectic and stressful, but the good thing was that I had a few days off after. So I decided to check out Puerto Galera in the neighboring island of Mindoro, since I've never been there. In the spirit of promoting tourism, I'll put up a few pics and some of my impressions of the place. I'll try to do this thread while the memories are fresh, I'm not too swamped with work, and my internet cooperates!

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Puerto Galera is a neighboring island a few km south of Luzon. To get there, one has to go to Batangas City Pier, then take a banca (boat). The boat ride takes 1hr to 1hr 30 min, depending on the port chosen.

    To get to the Batangas pier, if coming from the airport you can take a taxi (you'll have to pre-negotiate the fare, as it's not really in their route) or you could take a bus (for the backpackers). There are many buses going to the Batangas pier.

    Mindoro island is divided into two provinces, Mindoro Oriental and Mindoro Occidental. Puerto Galera is located in the former. Here's a map for reference.



    Mindoro island has two large ports: Calapan which is in the northern part, and Bulalacao (means wishing star) in the southern part. From both ports, one can ride ferries to get to Caticlan port, which is near Boracay island, if one wishes to do island-hopping.

    I did the Caticlan->Bulalacao->Calapan->Batangas route last January, when I was getting back to Luzon from the island of Panay - traveled by land and ferries. We call the ferries RORO - Roll On, Roll Off. There's a story for that trip, but that's for another thread (if I am able to make it!).

  3. #3
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    As with my previous threads, I'll post some pics of the journey to the place, because I believe that traveling is also about the journey, and not just the destination!

    The last time I was in Batangas pier was in early January. The place was a "chokas" (to quote our Antipodean friends) because people, including myself, were all coming back from the xmas holidays.

    This time, the place was much more sedate. This is a truck carrying motorbikes to the ferries, cos ppl in the islands need motorbikes too!



    These cars were also going to the ferries. The ferries have a large hold below, where the buses, cars and trucks fit in. The people get off their vehicles and stay on deck. These pics were taken from the bus; I had the window seat.


  4. #4
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    Puerto Galera is good for a quick island getaway if one is from Luzon. Batangas port is easy to reach. No flight is needed, so it's cheaper to reach than Boracay island (which needs a flight from Clark or Manila, or an O/N ship from Batangas).

    Alighting from the bus - here's the bus station at the port. The building in the distance is the pier.


    The Customs building is nearby - people have to pay duties (and tea money, heh).

  5. #5
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    You'll know you're in a port when you see ships; it's not rocket science. lol


    Montenegro shipping lines is a big local company - they transport buses, trucks, people, etc throughout the islands. Saw a lot of Montenegro ships during my trip to the Visayas last December/January.

    No naked lights - so the lights have to be clothed?! lol

  6. #6
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    This is Terminal 2, for the ships headed to Caticlan port and Boracay.


    I needed to go to Terminal 3, for the boats to Puerto Galera.

  7. #7
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    Some reminders for the port employees


    At Terminal 3, you'll come across some adverts from the shipping lines.





  8. #8
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    Came across some kpop ppl also about to go on holiday


    Bought my ticket from here - Minolo shipping lines


    There are other lines


    Make sure you know which port you're going to, as there are three (Sabang, Muelle and White Beach) - so know the address of your resort if you have pre-booked.

  9. #9
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    Ticket offices for those going to Calapan


    You need to go through that door

  10. #10
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    At this point, I needed to go to the loo. I was pleasantly surprised to find it clean and well-maintained. (It's good that my taxes and terminal fees are put into good use!)


    It was a bit early when I got to the port, so the place was nearly deserted. It got filled up quickly after.

  11. #11
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    In case you get a bit peckish, there's Mister Donut & Greenwich Pizza.


    Saw these adverts for Chinese tour groups

  12. #12
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    Some k-pop ppl again


    These port employees were going gaga over this baby.


    There will be hidden gems in this thread, so watch out.
    Betty, in case you're reading this, there are sexy goats for you too!

  13. #13
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    Time to board the boat!


    I boarded the boat early, so I was seated in the front-facing seat. There are side-facing seats too.


    It was the Sunday of a three-day weekend, so there were many weekenders, both local and foreign (mostly young backpackers).

  14. #14
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    My destination was Muelle Pier and it took 1hr 15 min to get there. If going to White Beach, prolly add 15 min to the journey. The boat ride was uneventful and I was asleep through half of it. Here's approaching the island... I was struck by how very green it looked..


    Weekenders alighting from the boat

  15. #15
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    Some scenes from the vicinity of Muelle pier


    The sun was bright, the seas and skies were blue. Good times ahead!

  16. #16
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    These were peeps waiting to board the boat to go back to Batangas


    From the pier, you'll pass by some small restos

  17. #17
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    You'll pass by the requisite souvenir shops too


    Beer o' clock for these guys

    I saw that one gave me the evil eye. Maybe he's a fluke look-alike. Heh...

  18. #18
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    This is where I stayed - Badladz Dive Resort. It's a 3-minute walk from the Muelle Pier, so easy-peasy, didn't need to take a trike (tricycle) to get there. I booked it via Agoda and since it was low season, rates were 40% off. Great!


    These exterior shots were taken in the late afternoon; it was cloudy by that time.
    The (discounted) rate that I got was ~20 usd/night, regular & walk-in rate is ~29 usd.
    I'm converting at 1 USD = 47.5 Php.
    Last edited by katie23; 17-09-2016 at 06:32 AM. Reason: did the math

  19. #19
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    Pics of the gaff (thanks to Terry for that word).



    The room was clean and comfortable, very nice.
    It's ~ 5x3.5m, so not exactly a shoe box. I've had smaller rooms.
    My only complaint was that the water pressure wasn't too strong on the 2nd floor, so the shower is a bit slow, but other than that, good location, good views, good vibes.

  20. #20
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    Top stuff Katie.

    Looks a bit easier to get to than Boracay and I hear the diving is supposed to be better as well.

    My youngest brother is supposed to be going to stay in Sabang in December. I will show him your thread.

  21. #21
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    This was my view for my holiday. Very scenic and peaceful. Heard the tweet of birds too.
    (The real tweet, not social media tweets on Twitter.)

    View of Muelle Pier


    View of the harbor/harbour


    I write and speak in Merkin English, since the Phils was a US colony (but before that, it was a Spanish colony).
    For the UK spelling nazis, you can go stuff it.
    Last edited by katie23; 17-09-2016 at 07:01 AM. Reason: edited my grammar, heh

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Very nice place, katie. Are you a diver?

  23. #23
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    @croc - Cheers! Have you been to PG? I don't dive, so I can't comment on that, but I did see some farang/kano with diving gear on the boat ride back to Batangas. Pics of that later.

    For diving, people usually stay at Sabang beach, but the beach there is grotty & short - not a good place if you want a beach with nice views. There are many resorts, bars & clubs in Sabang - it's the party place. If you want a large beach, then I would recommend White Beach, as it's similar to White Beach in Boracay (but on a smaller scale). Plenty of small restos, watering holes and resorts, similar to Station 2 of Boracay, but with a more provincial & laid-back vibe.

    The place I stayed at was in between Sabang & White Beach, which was nice too, as it was central, near the pier, and I got to explore both places. Actually, my adventurous feet led me to many places in just 3 days!

    Badladz dive resort organizes dives too, if that's your purpose.

    Badladz Dive Resort has sister resorts, Badladz beach resort & Badladz apartments. If you want a really beach side resort, I would recommend the Badladz beach resort. It has a small pool, resto & beach access. If staying long term, then I'd recommend Badladz apartments, since it has a ref (fridge) & cooking area. Pics of those later. The beach resort & apartments are a bit isolated, though, from other restos, bars or attractions. But then it's easy to hire trikes, so no problemo.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Very nice place, katie. Are you a diver?
    Hi misskit! No, I'm not a diver, I just went to PG to chill. I'm a hiker, though, and I'm happy to say that I did a short trek/hike on this trip, to see a small waterfalls! That capped my vacay very nicely.

    I chose this resort because it had good reviews, the pics were nice online, and reasonably priced! I also wanted somewhere a bit quiet, not too touristy, so this fit the bill. Baas Babelas, another member here who asked me for travel tips, also stayed at this place earlier this year and he had good comments about the place too.

    More pics later of the waterfalls (I went to two!) and of the touristy areas. Cheers!
    Last edited by katie23; 17-09-2016 at 07:05 AM. Reason: added info

  25. #25
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    More pics of the gaff.

    My room was on the 2nd floor (again, US reference). My first floor = ground floor. I've always thought it weird that in UK/European parlance, 1/F is my 2nd floor. Heh.

    If you're staying here, ask for a 2nd floor room as the views are better.



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