Monday, May 16, 2016

Your Ultimate Travel Guide to Puerto Princesa


Going around Puerto Princesa is easy because it is such a small city. I usually fix my itinerary ahead of time but for this trip, my girlfriends and I just planned it along the way. Look at me trying to be more spontaneous for a change! (I'm really a control freak. Lol.)



Getting There 
We took Cebu Pacific (roundtrip) but other airlines such as Air Asia and Philippines Airlines also fly directly to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Our flight out was at 11:30 am on Friday and our flight back to Manila was at 4 pm on Monday.


Where To Stay
We stayed at Canvas Boutique Hotel. (For more information, read my previous post here.)


Tours 
I inquired at our hotel about the tours available and they gave me a brochure to choose from. There was firefly watching, eco adventure, island hopping, and many more. Check out this website if you want to book your tours in advance.

Underground River

The Underground River was chosen as a one of the Seven Wonders of the World last 2011. I was not going to leave Puerto Princesa without seeing it with my very own eyes. The shuttle picked us up from the hotel at 6:30 am. We started our day bright and early. It takes around an hour and a half to get to the port. At the port, your tour guide will assign you a boat number. You have to wait for your boat to get called. The line is quite long. I think we spent more than an hour waiting. 


Met this little cutie while waiting


This view will greet you as soon as you dock on the Subterranean National Park. The boat ride takes around 45 minutes to an hour. 



You will need to wait for another hour or so to ride another boat but this time it's smaller. My best friend, Mika, and I took advantage of the free time and took as many photos possible.






Finally after patiently waiting, it was our turn to go inside.


Take note that you're not allowed to take photos inside the cave. The government of Palawan has worked hard to preserve the Underground River. Flash photography and loud sounds can alter the condition of the cave. 



The tour comes with buffet lunch.


Honda Bay Island Hopping

We were all excited to hit the beach! Our tour guide picked us up at 7:30 am. It will take an hour to arrive at Honda Bay. During the tour, you get to visit three beaches namely Starfish Island, Pandan Island, and Cowrie Island.


First stop: Starfish Island




It is called Starfish Island for a reason. There was an abundance of starfishes!





The next island we visited was Pandan Island. It's called pandan because you will find many pandan trees. 

Fun fact: Pandan leaves are used as plates by Filipinos especially when we use our hands to eat. It's also the leaf we use for boodle fights where all the food is laid out in the middle. 


Our last stop was Cowrie Island which is my favorite among the three because there were plenty of unique trees.





We had our lunch at Cowrie Island. 



Food 

We discovered a lot of good restaurants. Everywhere we went, our tummies were happy. 

1. Kinabuch Bar and Restaurant 
For our first meal in Puerto Princesa, we asked the tricycle driver where to eat. He brought us to Kinabuch where I had the best sisig of my life.


2. The Gypsy Lair
My friends and I decided to walk around to look for a place to eat for dinner. We found this cute art cafe literally three minutes away from our hotel. We went inside because we were so intrigued by the decor. The menu was overwhelming. It was around 10 pages if I'm not mistaken. There were so many choices.




3. Chimaek House (Korean Food & Bar)
If you're looking for good food at a small cost then you've come to the right place. This food stall was right beside our hotel. We passed by it on the way to the convenience store and gave it a try. 


5. Ka Lui
Ka Lui would have to rank #1 on my list for must try restaurants in Puerto Princesa. They only serve sea food that they catch fresh everyday. 



6. Badjao Seafront Restaurant
Do you want to eat with a view? If your answer is yes then this is the place to go. It's a 15 minute bumpy tricycle ride to get to Badjao but it's worth it once you see the calm water surrounding you. 






'Til we meet again, Puerto Princesa!

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