El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, May 2016. Internet here in El Nido barely functions, and thats being diplomatic – speeds are slow, slower than when we all had to use a phone line to dial up a connection back in the day. Everyone wants Wifi – modern day life almost dictates as a necessary component to living. The frustration is clear to see as visitors to El Nido are unable to make onward accommodation bookings or arrange outbound flights, let alone the million other things they need to do over an Internet connection.
At best ‘Google Search’ will load and at worst, it stops there. Sometimes, at around 6.30 am one can score a hit beyond Google and load in some hometown news and at least bloggers can get to their editing page. If luck persists then service will stay uninterrupted for at least 6-7 minutes, time enough to catch up on any Facebook messages and emails and a very quick blog post. Most of the time though connections are on and off, interruptions every 3 minutes making any payment transactions almost impossible. Equally, uploading photos is a hit and miss affair, mostly miss, especially if its a big megabyte file.
Software downloads and photo album uploads are just a pipe dream around here using a Wifi connection. Data connections are of course a different matter and local sim cards may offer a solution for those with capable smart phones. There is of course roaming data for those with exceptionally deep pockets as the mobile coverage seems pretty good for some people in different parts around the town. As for me, well, I must wait until returning to civilisation before I can make onward arrangements through booking.com and catch up with some blog posts.
Article based on Wifi provided (or not) at Austria’s Place Guest House.
Top Tips: Try to have all onward bookings completed before travelling to El Nido as this will avoid frustrations later. However, best chance of a sustained wifi connection is between 6-7am and around 12 noon. When its working, a reasonably fast connection lasting at least 10-15 minutes can be found out of town at Garden Bay marked on Google Map as Hippo Camp!(Google Map).