Travel Tales: Puerto Prinsesa

Palawan I would say is one of the best islands I have been to here in my country. There’s just sooo many beautiful places to visit here! So, I’m going to start with the very first place in Palawan that I have been to. I have been to Puerto Prinsesa twice: the first time during my birthday last 2011 and the next was during my mom’s birthday in 2013.

Puerto Prinsesa is about an hour plane ride from Manila. The airport is literally just 10-15 minutes away from the city center so it’s not going to take too much of your time form the airport to your hotel. I remember our flight arrived at around noontime so we went to have lunch first, dropped our stuff at the hotel and did the half day city tour.

The city tour will take you to the Baker’s Hill, Crocodile Farm, Mitra’s Ranch, the blue church (I’m sorry I forgot the name!!), and also some souvenir places – where we bought some cheap but good quality pearls.

Of course you need to buy pasalubong, that’s how Pinoys do it! 😀

It was our mom’s birthday that weekend I think so we all had our picture taken with her at Mitra’s Ranch.

 

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Our parents. My dad loves doing cheesy/funny stuff like these. 😀

After the tour, we headed back to our hotel to rest for a bit before doing the Firefly Tour.

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So, it’s a really cool tour because you’r going to ride a small boat good enough for 3 passengers. Your boatman also serves as your tour guide and he will take you to the entire river of Palawan in search of the fireflies. I like that our tour guide is very much knowledgeable about the river, the fireflies and a little this and that about how Palawan is taking care of it’s tourist destinations (eco-friendly). The firefly tour that we got included buffet dinner already, so I suggest to check out the travel agencies near the airport and ask about the different tours and promos that they offer. Usually, the van drivers (from the airport) already has contacts with agencies so it’s not really that hard to look for them.

You’re gonna have to forgive me. Obviously, this is the only legit picture I have of the place. We don’t have an high end camera to capture the river and the fireflies at night. But I guess it’s an experience altogether to not have to worry about trying to get good pictures and instead just focus on really experiencing it.

Our itinerary for our second day is of course to visit the Underground River. But before anything else, we dropped by this food place best known for their noodles. They said the fondness for noodles came from the Veitnamese people who used to stay in Palawan after WWII. Although according to the tour guides, they have returned back to their own country already.

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The pick-up time for the Underground River is usually around 7-8am depending on what your tour guide will advise the previous day. And the travel time from the city to the river is about 2-3 hours (if I remember correctly?). There will be stop overs but just be ready for the long ride. The first time I got there, we were not able to actually see the river because this is how it goes. You travel for a long time to the beach side, take buffet lunch there, and from there you will have to ride a boat to get to the Underground River area. The thing is, my birthday happens to be on December, and during that time there was a storm in a nearby province so boats were not allowed to travel to and from the river area. We actually tried again the next day but the coast guards still did not allow for boats to travel. At least we know that they really take care of the tourists that come.

The view of the beach near the cave entrance.

Anyway, so after lunch, we took a boat to that will bring us to the river. You’re going to have to take a smaller boat that will now tour you to the Underground River itself. I suggest that you bring a raincoat or anything that will at least keep you from getting water drops inside the cave. It’s actually amazing to see that much stalagmites that are still alive and growing. And, there’s just so many of them it’s really crazy. There are rocks that resemble a lion, the Virgin Mary, a cross, and even a church.

That’s my siblings trying to take a photo of a butterfly while waiting for our turn inside the cave. To the left is the only useful photo I have that has something to do with how the cave looks like inside, hahaha.

After the river tour, you have the option to do a little rock/mountain climbing in Ugong Cave. It’s going to be around 30 minutes climb to the top that will let you see a beautiful view of the small town below. Not only that, but you have the option to also go down via zipline instead of going back the same route.

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This is the part where we are required to wear our head gear for protection.

After about 30 minutes of easy climbing, we finally reached the top. And the view of course is amazing!

Trying hard to not look tired 😀

And this is me before ziplining!

Since this was our last night, we freshened up, had dinner and a few drinks before heading back to our hotel. Our flight the next day was around mid-morning so I we didn’t really explore the city proper anymore and just decided to call it a night and start packing.

The first time I went here, we also did a Honda Bay Day Tour. It will also last the entire day and it will be an island-hopping kind of day.

The beaches are okay. I mean, I still like El Nido and Coron (other islands in Palawan) better. So, don’t expect too much I guess?

Pawalan from me, like I said, is seriously one of the best islands in the country. And it’s cheap. If given the chance, will I come back? Of course! ❤

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