Sunday, October 20, 2013


When we started planning our golden week holiday, I told Chris I wanted a trip to the beach where I could comfortably do nothing and not get bored.  Dos Palmas Island in the Philippines is that place!

Located about a one-hour boat ride from Puerto Princessa, Dos Palmas Island is home to the naturally breathtaking Dos Palmas resort.   If you are looking for a rocking party, Dos Palmas is not the place for you.  The beach villas do not have TVs or Internet, so make sure to bring a good book or three.  (Luckily there was wireless Internet access around the front desk area so I was not completely cut off from the world.) There is only one restaurant on the island, so you will be eating off the same menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for your entire stay.  Fortunately, the menu had a wide variety of both Western and Asian food so it was possible to stay for 5 days and not eat the same meal twice. 

We had lots of good meals in the island restaurant.  Every time the staff took our picture, they would say, "Uno, dos, palmas!"
If you enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, cycling, billiards, darts, and spa treatments Dos Palmas is the place for you! 

Our friend, Uwe, greets us in a kayak.

When we arrived, a very warm, attentive staff led us to our beach villa. 

We stayed in a clean, no frills room for the week.  FYI, there are no TVs or radios in the Beach Villas. 
The island had thousands of beautiful flowers.
These boats were the preferred method of transportation for the week.
After our 24 hour trip to the island, I was ready to settle in, grab lunch, and do nothing in the sun.  I am proud to say that is what I did, except I wasn’t completely idle.

Much of our time was spent in the pool that overlooked the sea.  

Chris and I spent a couple of mornings snorkeling.  Dos Palmas is located near a beautiful reef.  A complimentary snorkel guide showed us the underwater beauty.

Our guide also helped us play with starfish.

The underwater sights were breathtaking.
If you plan to snorkel, I highly recommend purchasing an underwater camera before the trip.   
I have some fun with a starfish.

We fed the fish a few pieces of bread.  At times, I felt like I was swimming in an aquarium. 

Vivian had a great time snorkeling too!

While on the island, I met a new friend James who also happens to be a Boilermaker too!  It really is a small world!

Sunset on the beach was gorgeous.  Chris sends out an unnecessary SOS.

Vivian relaxes in the Kayak.

We clowned around during sunset. 
On Friday we decided to explore Palawan, so we took an excursion to the Puerto Princesa Underground River.

On the way to the underground river, we stopped at Ligong Rock Adventures for a little caving and zip line fun.

The last time I had been in a cave was in the 5th grade at The College School.  After a crazy overnight campout in a cave, I never thought I would go caving again.

The rocks were slippery, which made for a difficult climb.

Some of the passages were quite snug.  I have the bruises on my leg to prove it.
The climb was worth the effort, however.  When we reached the top of the mountain, we zip-lined down!  I felt like I was flying through the jungle.
Uwe prepares for his flight down the zip line.

After zip lining, we arrived at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.  They had monkeys who welcomed us!

We piled in a boat to float through another cave!

As we approached the cave, we could see little bird like creatures flying in circles. 

The stalagmites and stalactites were awesome, but I spent the entire boat ride wondering if a bat was going to buzz my head.  The little brown things hanging upside down were bats.
We had a great time relaxing with our Bosch crew!  After six days in the sun, it was time to head back to Shanghai.  

I will never forget Dos Palmas!

About one week after we left the Philippines, the central Philippine Islands were struck by Typhoon Nari and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.  At least 144 lives were lost and many homes, churches, and businesses were completely destroyed.  I cannot imagine how so many people who already lived in extreme poverty will be able to resume their normal lives. This post is dedicated to the many victims who are rebuilding their lives. To learn more about the Red Cross' effort to aid quake victims, please click here.