We met Kuya Edwin the day when we were touring the Crocodile Farm. He told us that the price of the van rental with driver going to the Underground River is P3,500.00 which is the uniform price for all van rentals in Puerto Princesa.
He owns a very brand new van. I was amazed on how new it was! There are plastic covers in the seats!!! Haha! Anyway, here is his contact number. 09173335340. Haggle as much as you want! 🙂 He is really kind and he helps you all the way. He suggests places you should visit… and also he is really a very safe driver! He doesn’t speed up that much! He is really careful especially he owns the van being rented, so he is extra careful…
If you will look at his plate number is still not in rainbow colors (well, during the time of our visit), which is usually the color of the legal tourist vans’ plate numbers. He reasoned out that the van has already a pending registration with the tourism office and that he is already an operator ever since. The franchise of his old van will be transfered in this new van, he is just awaiting approval. So no worries about it! And he is Legit because Yannah the Wanderer had already tried and tested his services!!!
The place where we stayed in Puerto Princesa is called Manay’s Transient House. It is nothing fancy, but I assure you that the hospitality they showed us is comparable to a 5-star hotel. All I can say is that I’m such a happy customer 🙂
They might not give you the amenities and comforts of a 5 star luxury hotel, but they can give you their warmest smiles and greetings! And believe me that in this transient house, you are not a mere guest, but you will feel that you are a part of their family. By staying here you will feel that you have brought a piece of home with you.
I’m a person who is really choosy about the places to stay, so, if I had a chance I will research about every single hotels/hostels in that city, and choose an affordable yet decent place to stay. However, for this trip, I was not the one to book or plan it, since we are in a group, and I’m just a plus one (+1, in Filipino, Sabit). My mom’s office mate was the one to book this transient house. To elaborate, my mom and her office mates attended a convention conducted in Puerto Princesa and since my mom told me to go. I didn’t say No, because I love traveling and it’s a good chance for me to explore Puerto Princesa.
We are a group of 14 pax all in all. Some stayed in a different hotel, but my mom’s office mates being spendthrift and all, opted to use this transient house.
For the very first time in my life, I’m the one who is in the passenger’s seat—meaning I didn’t do anything for this trip, they were all planned beforehand by other people–I’m not really comfortable with that idea, but still, It is okay, sometimes, I feel like I need a break with my being Yannah-the-know-it-all.. so It was a good break and experience for me. My mom warned me that I should not expect anything from the place we are going to stay, and so I didn’t but what I did not know is how hospitable the people were. They are really helpful and always smiling– I thought I’m in a 5 star hotel when they shared us those warm greetings. It just felt like home!
I should warn you that this transient house is not for those who wanna splurge, it is very simple, but what made me write a review about it is the impeccable service that they provided us. They are really hospitable. Aside from that, the place is really cheap and clean too! 🙂
HOW CHEAP? Hotel (P1200 per night for 4 persons including airport transfers). So, it is like P300.00 per night. Coffee and Breakfast are also served. Clean Linens are provided. You can also ask for more discounts if you’ll be coming by groups of 10 or more.
They will provide for your needs like airport transfers, van/tricycle rentals and even underground river permits! The owner always serves us with a smile, and they even give you trivia about the place, it is like having a host and a tour guide all at once!
The owners are really nice and helpful…. we experienced how helpful they are…. We needed to rent a tricycle to bring us to the Honda Bay Port, we didn’t arrange it prior to our arrival in the City, or even the night before, hence deep inside me, I know that we’ll have a hard time looking for a ride. Luckily, the owner is very helpful, he told us that he will contact someone for us. Take note that we asked for his help at around 6 am. And amazingly at around 6:30am we already have our driver!
The location is in a residential area but is only a 5 minute ride to the city center, just ask the owner to bring you to the area of choice and they will do it, or just hail a tricycle outside the transient house and your on your way to the city center.
By the way, my mom saw a squirrel (rare in Manila and other parts of the Philippines) in the vacant in front of the hostel. 🙂
The transient house is good for 10 or 12 persons. If you are traveling in a big group like us, maybe this is a good choice for you.
They have 2 rooms, or may I say Cabanas that is separated from the main house of the owners, This is basically a homestay but you have your separate cottages. There are a total of 3 buildings, the house and the two cabanas/cottages/buildings–where guests stay at 🙂
The 1st cabana/room is good for 4-5 persons, it has its own bathroom (don’t expect a shower though, there’s only a pail and a dipper). The 2nd one is good for 6-8 persons (double deck beds), outside of that room is a kitchen where another bed is located, it also has en suite bathroom.
Contact Number: Papa Armi–owner 09198094745
You can also ask him to help you with your underground river permits if you decided to stay in this hotel. 🙂
Breathtaking— the only term that I can use to describe this island. It has aquamarine/apatite colored waters amidst the cobalt blue sky, it also has the whitest fine sand I have ever seen (whiter than the one in Boracay). It is simply a paradise!
What makes this island special?? There are no buildings made of concrete, just cottages made of wood.. This is the place where you can really savor the beauty of nature.
It is amazingly picturesque! There are also a lot of coconut trees which makes it your dream tropical island.
While looking at this island, I imagine as if I’m a survivor of a shipwreck, and this is the island I choose to be stuck.
I’ll definitely choose this place to relax and chill….
According to our tour guide/boatman, this island has the whitest and finest sand throughout Honda Bay, thus, it is more popular for the visitors than the other islands. Most people choose to stay here to eat their lunch, so during lunch time there are a lot of people…. and it kinda become messier/noisier.
The downside of its popularity is that it is a lot more crowded or noisier than the others.
I might say that I prefer the Starfish Island over this island… because more people spend all their time here, but I don’t blame them since this is the most beautiful amongst the islands… However, I hate the seaweeds that lives in its shallow waters… I just don’t like swimming with those amoeba-like (in terms of movement) weeds :)… anyway, the waters here are shallow, just like in Boracay… in order to reach the deeper part you need to walk at least 3-5 meters, this is good for those who have children, since it is safer for the kids…
Amidst all the cons, I can still say that it’s a relaxing place, since it is a big island, you can find a good and silent spot and CHA DA! You have your little paradise without anyone spoiling it…. you can have your cozy, private space where you can meditate, reminisce or just be emo (emotional) 🙂
The best thing here is the sand! it is indeed white and fine….Actually, the sand here is comparable to Boracay, and I may say that it is whiter! I’ve taken some sand with me by putting it in a bottle of mineral water, and compared to what I got in Boracay, It seems whiter… But, you would only see the difference if you’ll look at it closely….
There are various business establishments in the area– No, not like those in Boracay, concrete stores/hotels etc…– Only small stores that offer foods, drinks, and even massage! This island is more commercialized than the others since it is the top choice of tourists who visits Honda Bay…
There are a lot of cottages for rent, but we weren’t able to get one…all were occupied. However, we found a table with chairs and fortunately for us, they didn’t charge us for that tiny little space beneath a coconut tree…
There are three (3) “paluto” restaurants in the island–As far as I’m aware of. they will cook for you and serve you the freshest seafood available– Which is indeed not only tantalizing to the eyes but also delectable to the taste-buds! I promise you that the food is great!
unfortunately for us, the other restaurants doesn’t want to take our orders anymore since they are already super busy…. poor me, I’m already hungry during that time 😦
Luckily, our boatman found this small store on the end most part of the island, the store is selling crabs. I bought all those crabs for P1500, including rice and the service fee for cooking. Me, my colleague, the boatman and his assistant all dined together…
Aside from the restaurants, there’s a shower place where you can wash your body and change your clothes after hours of swimming and rolling in the sand. It is made of native materials, so it blends well to the tropical island theme… 🙂
After we spent 3 hours here, we went back to the port. By the way, there is an entrance fee of P100.00 per person in this island.
Here are the other pictures I took. I experimented using my DSLR, so, here you go, some are good while some are not (overexposed, not good blending!) I’m an amateur you know! :p