Last May 2015, we celebrated our 2nd anniversary in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. We happened to purchase a Flight+Hotel package deal (good for 3 days and 2 nights) in AirAsiaGo for only Php 4,200+.
We travelled around the city on the first day of our trip, spent our second day in the Underground River and went back home the third day. It was just a short vacation but it’s one of the best travel memories I’ve had.
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY TOUR
The city tour package we availed in a travel agency costs us about Php 500 each. I could say that it’s worth the price if you’ve got no means of transportation. Because if you do it yourself and arranged with tricycle drivers to bring you to each of the destinations individually, it would cost you just a little less than a thousand. So if you’re a solo backpacker, that’s a more expensive choice. If you’re a travelling couple like us, I’d recommend you to book a city tour package. Less hassle plus you get to travel in a van (with aircon) and meet new people.
Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center
First on our list was the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center or commonly known as the Crocodile Farm.
This 3-hectares of land houses hundreds of crocodiles. It serves as a rescue and conservation center mainly for the crocodiles, thus its name.
At the end of the tour, we had the chance to carry a baby croc!
It took me a lot of courage before I touched its tail. Yikes!
Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Located along Rizal Avenue, we’ve visited this blue cathedral as part of the city tour package.
I’ve only had a glimpse of its interiors because we were told that we’ll go after 10 minutes.
This is the disadvantage of joining travel tours. You don’t own your time. But it’s okay. When we go back, at least we’d already know where to go.
Anyway, next on our list was Mitra’s Ranch.
Again, we didn’t do much here. Sometimes, it already satisfies me to see the place once regardless of what I did there. For another 10 minutes, I didn’t threw away the chance to have a selfie. Tee-hee!
It was about 3 hours past noon when we visited Baker’s Hill. It’s a bake shop that sells a wide variety of pastries from chocolate crinkles to raisin breads.
And if you’re on the lookout for the best pasalubong to buy, then hopia is the best choice!
Within the city proper, quite a number of souvenir shops can be found. We went to this shop just along the national highway.
I know keychains are too mainstream but I’d say you’ve never been to Palawan if you haven’t bought any croc or pawikan keychains. What is Php 35 right? Tee-hee!
The city tour ended with the souvenir buying but we requested to have us dropped in Baywalk.
It’s so much alike with Manila’s Baywalk. The only difference I guess is that the coastline was unpolluted. And it’s also famous for the seaside turo-turo canteens. We had our dinner there and if I remember it right, we only paid Php 200 for the meal good for two! Not bad right and as you eat dinner, you’d have a breathtaking view of the sunset along the horizon.
UNDERGROUND RIVER ADVENTURE
Named as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park or also known as the Underground River truly made me ponder upon how the Creator came up with such beauty.
From Sabang Beach, tourists will wait for their turn for the boat to bring them to the Underground River.
There were too many tourists so if you’re planning to have a visit anytime soon, better be early.
And by the way, you have to secure entrance permit first from Puerto Princesa City Hall for you to be able to experience the adventure that awaits you there.
Usually, travel agencies have already secured permits for the tour but don’t hesitate to ask them about it beforehand.
It took us about 20 minutes boat ride from Sabang Beach to the shoreline of the Underground River jump-off point.
When we’ve finally arrived, we’ve waited for a few minutes before we started the 10-minutes trek to the Underground River. So we took the chance to have this photograph for keeps!
Then upon arriving onsite, I was astounded by how clean the river was. Another perfect backdrop for our couplefie!
We’ve waited at least an hour to finally explore the Underground River.
When we’re about to enter, I’ve had an eerie feeling because it was so dark.
Nevertheless, I’d say it was still a good experience.
A tour guide was assigned per boat. He gets to describe the formations inside in a humorous way so even if it gets frightening as we go inside, we were entertained. Here are some of the few shots I took.
The tour guide also mentioned that there is this portion of the river extended to somewhere that the public is not yet aware of.
He mentioned that only professional archeologists are allowed to proceed there. I wonder what’s beyond. Do you know? Feel free to comment below!😊
SIDE TRIP TO KARST MOUNTAIN
After our Underground River adventure, we visited Karst Mountain. It is also known as the Elephant Cave because if you’d observe how it looks from afar, it resembles an elephant lying down. It was also said to be one of the exit points from the Underground River but is not yet open to the public.
And guess what, it became a location for the tv show Amazing Race twice!
Palawan is indeed a very fortunate province as it is blessed with such fascinating natural wonders. I will definitely go back here and I’ll try my best to document everything so I could share it with you.
Thank you for reading and I hope to have inspired you to travel more!
P.S. You can find a lot of travel agencies offering city tours on the internet. Sorry if I can’t provide you with all those details because when we went to Palawan, I have no intention to blog just yet. Better ask your accomodation first if they are offering tours.
Leave no trace but memories