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Difference between revisions of "Sabang (Mindoro)"

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Most visitors to Sabang are attracted by the excellent [[scuba diving|SCUBA diving]] provided by the protected marine sanctuary. There are a number of dive shops in the area (estimated at around 35) that provide access to a macro (i.e. small life) heaven. The dive sites that feature a large variety of small sea life with the occasional shark or turtle. Several sites are drift dives and often turn into (strong) current dives with the best diving (for coral and small life) being at 20m or 60 feet. Almost all of the dive sites are within a 10 minute boat ride of Sabang which allows you to spend your surface interval on the shore and it also allows most shops to offer as many as four dive trips (single tank) each day. Prices for a single dive are around $30-35 for a single tank dive, including equipment rental, boat and dive guide, with discounts for more dives and if you have your own equipment.
 
Most visitors to Sabang are attracted by the excellent [[scuba diving|SCUBA diving]] provided by the protected marine sanctuary. There are a number of dive shops in the area (estimated at around 35) that provide access to a macro (i.e. small life) heaven. The dive sites that feature a large variety of small sea life with the occasional shark or turtle. Several sites are drift dives and often turn into (strong) current dives with the best diving (for coral and small life) being at 20m or 60 feet. Almost all of the dive sites are within a 10 minute boat ride of Sabang which allows you to spend your surface interval on the shore and it also allows most shops to offer as many as four dive trips (single tank) each day. Prices for a single dive are around $30-35 for a single tank dive, including equipment rental, boat and dive guide, with discounts for more dives and if you have your own equipment.
 
It is a joy to go to Sabang after living or even staying in Manila. In a few hours, you go from a densely populated urban environment where the air is very dirty, to a beautiful country environment where the air and the water are pure and clear. The trip form Manila, however you make it, is very easy and you can be diving at Sabang within 5 hours of leaving Manila. Our favorite dive shop is Frontier Divers. The owner, Rich, and the staff are very friendly and helpful. His grandson Kem will entertain you. You can stay at the Terraces, a group of cottages up the hillside from Frontier. Each cottage has a balcony overlooking the bay. They also have a restaurant "Terraces" a small distance up the hill. Air-con rooms are available for $12.00 US or were when we were there. The diving is some of the best in the world. I am told that 60-70% of the species of corral in the world are present in this area.  Nudibranchs are plentiful, as are turkey fish and eels. Don't miss Blue Corner on Verde Island. This is a day trip but well worth it.
 
 
  
 
* '''Asia Divers''' [http://asiadivers.com/asiadivers/] is a reputable dive shop that has been around Sabang for over ten years. The divemasters, hailing from Britain, Germany, and Canada, are friendly and dive in smaller groups (usually four divers and one divemaster). They typically run four dives each day, including one night dive, and put together some nice hotel/dive packages with their sister resort, The El Galleon, located adjacent to their dive shop.
 
* '''Asia Divers''' [http://asiadivers.com/asiadivers/] is a reputable dive shop that has been around Sabang for over ten years. The divemasters, hailing from Britain, Germany, and Canada, are friendly and dive in smaller groups (usually four divers and one divemaster). They typically run four dives each day, including one night dive, and put together some nice hotel/dive packages with their sister resort, The El Galleon, located adjacent to their dive shop.
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* '''Big Apple Divers''' [http://www.dive-bigapple.com/] is attached to the Big Apple Dive Resort, restaurant and cottages.
 
* '''Big Apple Divers''' [http://www.dive-bigapple.com/] is attached to the Big Apple Dive Resort, restaurant and cottages.
 
* '''Philippine Adventures''' [http://www.philippineadventures.com] provides tailor-made packages for international tourists wishing to experience world class diving.
 
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==

Revision as of 05:27, 27 July 2007

Sabang is small town located on the northeastern coast of Mindoro Island, Philippines.

Sabang Bay from La Laguna viewpoint.

Contents

Understand

Sabang is one of the barangays (small towns) in the municipality of Puerto Galera. Sabang is at the northern terminus of the road from the municipality proper of Puerto Galera, which is a ten minute jeepney drive away. Sabang also consists of the following beaches:

  • Sabang Beach
  • Big La Laguna Beach
  • Small La Laguna Beach

Walking between the three you might not even notice the difference but each has a separate feel and activity level, Sabang Beach being the liveliest.

Get In

By plane

The closest airport to Sabang is in Manila on the neighbouring island of Luzon. From the Manila airport, you'll have to travel by road to get to the port at Batangas.

By boat

A large banca used for transport between islands.

Most tourists arrive on pre-arranged transportation - via a banca arranged by their dive shop/hotel. You also have the option of arriving via ferry (from Batangas or a number of other islands) and then taking a jeepney to Sabang. The ferry service is regular, departing every two hours (with reduced service during the monsoon season) from Sabang. The trip between Mindoro Island and Luzon will take you around 80 minutes.

By bus

There is no regular scheduled bus service to Sabang but jeepneys make frequent trips to nearby Puerto Galera, three kilometers away.

Get around

The road terminates at the waterfront in Sabang and from there everyone is left to walk along the narrow streets or, for longer distances, take a banca.

See

  • La Laguna Viewpoint - Along the sidewalk that leads between Big La Laguna and Small La Laguna you'll find a narrow path. Follow the path for 20 meters up the stairs and onto the top of a rocky out cropping which has an oddly placed cement pad at the top, as if for a house. From the top of the outcrop, you'll be provided with some lovely views of the surrounding beaches and the surrounding islands.
  • White Beach - Bancas can be chartered for the 30-60 minute (depending on sea conditions) trip along the coast to a fine stretch of white sand that is popular with locals. While the sand is not powder fine, it is excellent for swimming and has a number of small restaurants, bars and shops. It makes for a good rest day if you starting to find Sabang a little small in between dives.

Do

Two shell-less snails (Nudibranchs) on the coral, part of the small life beauty.

Most visitors to Sabang are attracted by the excellent SCUBA diving provided by the protected marine sanctuary. There are a number of dive shops in the area (estimated at around 35) that provide access to a macro (i.e. small life) heaven. The dive sites that feature a large variety of small sea life with the occasional shark or turtle. Several sites are drift dives and often turn into (strong) current dives with the best diving (for coral and small life) being at 20m or 60 feet. Almost all of the dive sites are within a 10 minute boat ride of Sabang which allows you to spend your surface interval on the shore and it also allows most shops to offer as many as four dive trips (single tank) each day. Prices for a single dive are around $30-35 for a single tank dive, including equipment rental, boat and dive guide, with discounts for more dives and if you have your own equipment.

  • Asia Divers [1] is a reputable dive shop that has been around Sabang for over ten years. The divemasters, hailing from Britain, Germany, and Canada, are friendly and dive in smaller groups (usually four divers and one divemaster). They typically run four dives each day, including one night dive, and put together some nice hotel/dive packages with their sister resort, The El Galleon, located adjacent to their dive shop.
  • Atlantis Dive Resort [2] is a Five Star PADI Career Development Centers; two of only few dive centers with such a rating in Asia, you will find the highest standard of dive education, first class facilities and world class dive guides.
  • Big Apple Divers [3] is attached to the Big Apple Dive Resort, restaurant and cottages.

Buy

Presently, there are banking services in Sabang (ATM machine at Atlantis Resort). The machine is great when its up and running, but can depend on weather; however, the travel center does exchange money and travelers cheques as well as doing cash advances on credit cards. Credit cards are not widely accepted in Sabang except at some dive shops and hotels.

Eat

The majority of restaurants are clustered in central Sabang. You'll also find restaurants along Big and Small La Laguna attached to the hotels and resorts.

Drink

One of several floating bars in Sabang Bay

There are many bars, cafes and street-side food stalls to ensure that you don't have to search far for something to drink. Cold drinks ranging from fruit milkshakes to soft drinks/soda to alcohol are inexpensive and widely available.

  • Floating bars - Sabang has several floating bars to which you can either swim (divers often end their day by ascending to one of them) or stand on the beach and have the bar's boat ferry you across.
  • The Point Bar - located above the Asia Divers dive shop, has a tropical, open-air design that offers 200 degree views of the Sabang and Big La Laguna Bay. It opens in the early afternoon but does not see much action until after the afternoon divers are done. It also gets quiet fairly early as the diver patrons retire and the seedier elements of the night congregate in Sabang. There are drink specials during Happy Hour which runs from 5:30 to 6:30. Food can be ordered from the El Galleon Resort restaurant menu.

Sleep

  • El Galleon Resort [4] - has a nice waterfront location on the point separating Sabang from Big La Laguna. If you are in Sabang to dive, you could easily spend a week and never venture further from El Galleon and its adjacent dive shop, Asia Divers. There are three types of rooms (budget, poolside and ocean view), all are quiet (no roosters or generators nearby), clean and close to the pool. Nightly rates for double occupancy range from $36 - $60 with discounts available with a dive package. The resort also has a fine restaurant and is one of the few in Sabang that offers waterfront dining.
  • The Big Apple Dive Resort [5] - a budget minded resort right on the beach. of Sabang Bay. The Big Apple has a large outdoor pool, restaurant, and pool tables. Its is also located nearest the action. dive packages are available


  • House Rentals - there are several houses and apartments for rent in and around Sabang including many with beach front locations. Listings for these properties are hard to come by before you arrive; unfortunately, for rent signs and listings are most easily found by walking around.

Get out

The easiest way to get out of Sabang is to travel to Batangas by passenger ferry. Other options include hiring a banca to take you to Abra de Ilog, accessed through the pier at Wawa, if you wanted to visit the remote western side of the island or to travel on a rough road to Roxas, on the south eastern side of Mindoro.



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