The Ride of a Lifetime: Pt. 6
I’ll never forget the very surreal experience of how I arrived at Qi Palawan Resort. I was on a mission to ride a motorcycle and photograph my way around the stunning island of Palawan, in the
Philippines. I had just left Duli and Dialpila Beaches, and the weather had turned on me along the way. Having a laptop, hard drive, and a few cameras with me, I
was worried about being exposed on the road in heavy rain.
I had been riding for quite a while, but eventually pulled over and had a nice chat with a local man who was kind enough to give me refuge from the storm.
I had a plastic bag that could cover my large backpack, but the problem was that I wouldn’t be wear it with the plastic concealing the shoulder straps. Instead, this kind man helped me cover the backpack and fasten it to the back of the bike with some packing ties.
This gave me some added confidence as I rode carefully through the pouring rain. The road was on the verge of being washed out at points, with a torrent of water flowing across it quite often. There was so much water flooded everywhere, I really had no idea what lay below the surface…could be large rocks, branches, who knows. I just stayed focused and did the best I could to avoid losing control of the bike.
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Eventually I found the turn off for the resort, which made things even more challenging because it was a dirt road for 1 or 2 kilometers. By now there were large pools of water everywhere, and you can just imagine how slippery and muddy it was. I was on a road bike, which I chose, so I asked for it.
I was freezing cold and mentally exhausted from this very technical ride. To make matters worse, my bag kept sliding off to the side, coming dangerously close to the street and throwing my balance off as I rode.
Somehow I managed to make it all the way there with no accidents, and in the pouring rain. This was the surreal part: Suddenly I found myself walking a beautiful path through what seemed like a dense jungle, to the open-air lobby of this incredible resort. I must have been a sight for sore eyes, being soaking wet and mentally and physically destroyed like that.
However, I was greeted right away by a very helpful staff member who was kind enough to forego my check in procedures and get me to a hot shower as soon as possible. I have never looked forward to a shower as much as I did in that instant. When he took me down the lush green path to my bungalow and swung open the door, I was in disbelief.
Check Qi Palawan rates HERE
It was my own beautiful and private refuge from the world. When he took me through the room to the washroom outside the back door, my jaw literally dropped.
It was a private outdoor shower with a covered ceiling that extended halfway, with the other half exposed…looking directly up to the jungle canopy above.
Showering in private, under the shade of coconut trees, was an island dream come true–and a totally surreal experience for this poor weary traveler.
I really enjoyed the native-inspired bamboo and nipa design throughout my cottage. The villas have the same styling, but are just larger (they are better for groups). In case you're wondering, the sink is just behind me as I took this picture...
After rejuvenating, I came back into my room and found a Bose sound system waiting for me to plug my iPod into. You might think I wouldn’t want to hear my everyday playlist form back home while I’m on the other side of the world on vacation, but in fact it was exactly what I needed.
Hearing my comfort songs with that big, room-filling sound was the finishing touch to make this cozy island paradise “home”. I looked over at my massive bed with down pillows and comforter, and I couldn’t help but smile to myself. I earned this.
Later I found out that the resort will provide you with a massive “flash drive library” of movies to choose from on request. You just “check out” a USB stick, watch it on the flat screen TV in your room, and return it when you are finished. Great idea. Did I mention that Internet download speed is surprisingly good for being such a far-flung island paradise?
Don’t worry, with usual weather conditions, the journey to Qi Palawan is as pleasant as can be, and the place is really cool. The chef / owner is from Barcelona, Spain, and this adds some interesting flavor to the property. While there, he presented a few dishes to me, all of which were immaculately prepared. I tried chicken curry and rice, as well a spicy Filipino dish known as Bicol Express.
To finish things off, I tried a decadent chocolate mousse. It’s also quite surreal to be in such a secluded island location and have world-class cuisine prepared for you.
The weather improved the next day, and I was able to tour some of the other rooms, as well as the pool, the yoga deck, and the beach. Qi Palawan is totally off the grid, running on generator until the massive solar panel unit is up and running. How great it must be to have your own little self-sufficient piece of paradise!
In photos: 1. Cottage bungalows built with native materials 2. Garden at the back
3. Pathway through the resort 4. Solar panels which will soon power the property 5. Swimming pool with logo & sea view
The owner is also an avid diver, and you can arrange island hopping / diving tours at Qi Palawan as well.
Overall, it will cost you, but for those who are looking for a luxurious island experience far from the crowds, this is the place for you. It would make an absolutely unforgettable honeymoon or family vacation. I would like to thank the resort for allowing me to share the experience with my readers. More unbiased reviews and info can be found below...
Check Qi Palawan rates HERE
Wondering how to get to the Philippines? Check out the awesome flight scanner I use HERE.
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