My name is Hanna Reunanen and I’m a travel blogger from the website Reachinghot.com. Welcome to my guide on Pandan Island.
I come from a freezing piece of land called Finland. I grew up in Southern Finland and have lived in Helsinki, as well as nearby cities. I grew up with the travel gene and that is why I’m an eternal dreamer.
My degree is in tourism management and I turned the passion for travel into a profession. The truth is I’ve always been intrigued by travel. When I was little, I used to read travel magazines by tour operators on my holidays.
The real bite of the travel bug got me in 2008 when I visited Thailand for the first time with my family. I decided after visiting this beautiful country that I would live here one day. Four years later and I found myself studying tourism management and shortly after that working in amazing Thailand!
My Journey with Reachinghot.com
I started my blog in 2016 after graduating from university. After working in different fields within tourism, I decided to start sharing my own tips and thoughts to help others make the most of their travel journeys.
The blog would be written in English, instead of my mother tongue Finnish, because I wanted to reach an international audience. I also wanted to practice my English writing skills – so it made sense to make it in English.
On my blog, I share tips for easier travelling based on my insight from working in the industry. I share my thoughts on various hot topics related to travel and tourism that I find important. A big part of the website is just inspiring people to take their own travel adventures around the world.
My focus is primarily on affordable luxury travel which means that I can stay in a bungalow with a fan and occasionally taste the luxury of a 4-star hotel. I’m not the typical backpacker who only stays at hostels but I still try to see the world through the lens of a budget or “money-conscious” traveller.
I blog part-time while studying my masters degree in business. The blog has grown a lot since 2016 and now I have over 15000 followers on my social media. I’m so happy that people find my content interesting!
Why the Philippines is Paradise
I’ve been to the Philippines twice now. I love the country! The first time I was inspired to visit because I saw some beautiful photos and the Philippines seemed like a dream destination. After the first visit, I knew I would be back again. The nature is stunning and the people are friendly.
On my latest trip I visited Coron, Pandan Island, Boracay and Manila. During my first visit in 2019 I just visited El Nido in Palawan and Bohol. The experiences in Coron and El Nido are related to island tours: mesmerising lagoons, beautiful beaches, colourful reefs and abandoned shipwrecks.
I saw the famous Chocolate Hills (brown hills that look like chocolate cakes) and cute tarsiers in a sanctuary in Bohol. In Boracay, I went to see the world famous White Beach. My visit to Pandan Island was all about seeing the amazing reefs and swimming with turtles in the crystal clear waters.
On my latest trip, I also stopped for one night in Manila just to do some shopping before my flight back home. The Philippines is such a diverse and amazing country. I can’t wait for my third visit there! I totally recommend visiting the Philippines if you want to immerse yourself in paradise.
Inspiration to Visit Pandan Island
What inspired me to visit Pandan Island was that I was planning my trip to the Philippines and just wanted to find a good place for snorkelling and diving. Then I came across an article about Pandan Island. I read that the reefs were amazing there and that it’s home to many sea turtles.
In addition, I learnt that Pandan Island is the easiest place from which to get to Apo Reef – the second largest reef in the world. That really was the biggest reason why I was drawn to this island paradise in the Philippines.
Pandan Island is not the type of place you visit spontaneously. The number of rooms and accommodation options are limited. Not to mention that getting there is tricky too. A trip to Pandan Island needs to be planned well in advance. Even though the island is remote, it’s such an amazing place!
Two Nights on Pandan Island
I stayed on Pandan Island for two nights but I wish I could have stayed there for longer. When I arrived it was late evening and dark so at that point I didn’t know what the island looked like. However, when I stepped out of my bungalow in the morning I was simply mesmerised by the view.
The stunning turquoise sea, swaying palm trees and serene calmness of the island made it an absolute paradise. Also the fact that I was able to walk around anywhere on the island barefoot was what I loved most!
Best Things To Do on Pandan Island
Pandan Island is paradise for scuba divers and snorkelers. The main thing to see in Pandan Island is the beautiful reef that surrounds the island. There is also the second biggest reef in the world located two hours away by boat.
The scuba diving company makes day trips to Apo Reef which I highly recommend especially if you have your scuba diving licence. If you love marine life and reefs, Pandan Island is the destination for you. For me, the underwater life was stunning and it was amazing to swim with turtles!
Pandan Island is also the perfect place for total relaxation. On the island there’s only one spot where you can find an Internet connection. So instead of being on social media you will probably spend your days on a hammock.
I loved the peace and calmness of the island! It made me really relaxed and I would go there anytime just to feel that super chilled atmosphere again.
Staying at Pandan Island Resort
Pandan Island is a beautiful island but it’s very small. It’s owned by a French adventurer and there is only one accommodation option called Pandan Island Resort. The resort has 22 bungalows if you want to stay here overnight (which I totally recommend) you have to stay at this place.
There are different bungalows to choose from. Each bungalow offers different facilities but in general they are basic. If you decide to travel to Pandan island, be ready for basic accommodation with no running water.
The showers are sea water showers but they will bring you some regular water everyday so you can do things like brush your teeth. There is only one restaurant and one bar but no shops. The accommodation price includes buffet dinner at the restaurant which was delicious when I stayed.
The best thing was to chill at the bar and grab a beer while looking out at the sea. Pandan Island is the destination for absolute relaxation with not many services and distractions – just a super laid back atmosphere!
Need to Know Before you Go
Before you go I recommend giving yourself enough time and be equipped with a bag of patience! Getting to Pandan is a challenge but it’s a challenge worth taking. Arriving here will take some time – for example, the travel time from Coron to Pandan Island can take 14 hours if you’re unlucky!
Check the schedules beforehand because the ferry from Coron goes every two days. One more tip: the best time to visit is from January to May. That is the dry season in that part of the Philippines. Take a lot of sun lotion with you as well as a good book and snorkeling/scuba diving gear if you have it.
Be ready for absolute relaxation with not many activities and spend your best holiday in paradise. Thanks for reading my guide on Pandan Island. I hope you enjoy your visit to this Filipino paradise just as much as I did.