Category Archives: Puerto Princesa Palawan

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Reliable Van Service

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.

Kuya Edwin and his van 🙂

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!!!

Here is his number: 09173335340

The brand new van! 🙂

TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT PUERTO PRINCESA, RE: ACCOMMODATIONS/ ITINERARY ETC. CLICK HERE

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Budget Place to Stay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Manay’s Transient House

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 🙂

Budget Place to Stay in Puerto Princesa: Manay’s Transient house

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.

Facade of the main hall/house with our group.. You can spot my mom somewhere there! 🙂

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.

The 2nd Cabana with the 2nd room and kitchen
The 2nd room
other view of the 2nd room
The 1st Cabana with 4-5 pax capacity, this is where we stayed, see the bag and the hat, that’s mine! 🙂
1st room good for 4-5 pax
Room 1 another angle, sorry, I took this photo when we are about to check out 🙂
see the TV??
Bathroom, no shower, just dipper and pail, no flush though, de buhos type, haha, but It is clean though and if you are just staying for few days, and in a tight budget this will do 🙂

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. 🙂

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OTHER POSTS FOR MY PUERTO PRINCESA ADVENTURE, LIKE ITINERARY, BUDGET, TIPS AND OTHER REVIEWS OF PLACES I VISITED.

Pandan Island, Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa: Simply Breathtaking!

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.

The lone tree.. beautiful isn’t it? This is my own cozy spot, no crowd, just me and nature
white sand beach and blue waters… ooohh.. looking at this makes me want to jump to swim!! I miss this place!!

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.

Towering Coconut trees

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) 🙂

My cozy spot

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…

The Registration area With the prices.
One of the “paluto” restaurants in the island.

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…

Cottages lining up near the shore

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!

Fish 🙂 Yum!
Yum!
Shrimps!

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…

FROM THIS:

THE CRABS ARE STILL ALIVE…

TO THIS:

TO THIS…. Now they are cooked!
I pity the crabs… I just saw them breathing and the next time I saw them, they’re cooked.. but, oh well, that’s life! 😦

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… 🙂

Shower Area

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

HAPPY WANDERING!

To SEE other posts about Puerto Princesa, CLICK HERE!, (ITINERARY, REVIEWS, BUDGETS, ACCOMMODATIONS, ETC).

Starfish Island, Honda Bay, Palawan: SERENITY at its finest!

THE STARFISH ISLAND

starfish we found in starfish island.

It is named as such because of the existence of various starfish in the island. It has a fine white sand(though, It looks color flesh in the photos).  Warning however, is that in the shore there are bits and pieces of shells that may wound you if you’re not careful, so I advise that you walk with your slippers on. Amidst those shells lie a fine sand that it so good to touch! It is like polvoron or powder… I just love rubbing it in my feet… It feels like walking in a carpet 🙂

Another starfish, also, look at the sand, there are bits of shells with it 🙂

I think, the best thing in this island is the fish feeding area where you can feed the fishes with the bread while you are doing your snorkeling—so basically, you are swimming while feeding them 🙂 There are various kinds of fish swimming and awaiting for you to throw them a piece of bread, so doing this activity is really a great experience, especially for the kids and kids-at-heart (like me! Lol!)  It is so cool. Anyway, I don’t have pics with the fishes because I’m busy feeding them :)_

fish..fish..fish… so colorful!

My experience with the fish feeding is that at first, I was really scared, it seems that I feel threatened because of the various kind of fishes swimming towards me every time I give them bread, I’m so scared that they will eat me or bite me… so I stayed in the floater until the assistant boatman (he is actually a kid) showed me that they are harmful and won’t bite 🙂  (thanks for the movies Piranha and Jaws, which made me think that I can be eaten alive of this cutesy little friends).

Anyway, the island itself is somehow less crowded than the more well-known Pandan Island, since when we docked here, there are not much people roaming or swimming, so basically we had the island for ourselves. By the way, upon entering this island, you need to pay P20.00 or P40.00 as entrance fee (sorry forgot the exact amount, it’s been too long after I wrote in my blog), You can also eat here if you brought with you food and snacks. It is better to eat here if you have a packed-lunch because the other island—Pandan Island— is totally crowded! Moreover, there are a lot more vacant cottages here than in pandan Island!

Cottages in the Starfish Island. Not much people here
Ruins of an Old restaurant which once stood here. I somehow feel lonely looking at this pic… ruins of man made structure amid a nature-made wonder

Another photo of the ruins:

My colleague and I, together with the boatman and his assistant, walked towards the seemingly disappearing piece of land because of the tide change. It is almost high tide, and we can see that the path we walked through is now covered by shallow water.

there is a picture wooden frame there suggesting that the view is indeed picture perfect! btw, we walked that path and it’s really amazing! see the narrowing way? it is almost high tide!!!
we walked towards that cottage/shelter… looking at this picture melts my heart…. hmmm.. and also, look at how the waters cover some parts of the path… so interesting!
we are now going back…. look at the winding path and the island itself. beautiful isn’t it. the man in orange is our boatman… see, no people?? You can say that this an “almost deserted” paradise!
The path where we walked was already covered by the waters….

One more interesting thing in this island, is the existence of mangroves or in tagalog, bakawan. However, when I imagine places where mangroves are planted, I always fear piranhas or crocodiles swimming towards me! But Nah! that’s only me. Aside from the fears I got from watching too much movies, the awe that my heart felt while savoring the peaceful atmosphere that this island provides, is indeed one of a kind experience, it is really relaxing–it made me forget about my endless hardship in school 🙂 … I feel serene deep in my heart, and somehow made me feel blessed… that I don’t know why… don’t ask me, just experience it yourself 🙂

Mangroves in the other side of the island… so beautiful…
look how calm and serene the place is!

This place is indeed a paradise! A place where you can feel nature at its finest! No noise… no crowds.. just you and nature! 🙂

Things not to forget:

1. Visit this first and eat your lunch here, savor the peaceful vibe of this island, it is really amazing!

2. Don’t forget to bring bread, buy it in the stores in the metro or in the port, a loaf of bread is only P20.00, I suggest you buy 2 packs of bread (2 loaves) because I assure you that you’ll have tons of fun feeding and swimming with the fish

3. Don’t forget to rent snorkeling gears, you will need it to look at the fishes underwater.

How to Get to honda bay: Click here to see my previous post about Information, Tips and How to’s for Honda Bay Palawan
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Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Honda Bay: Tips and Infos

Honda Bay is a cluster of beautiful  islands and islets in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The islands here have fine white sand beaches, and cobalt blue waters.

I really recommend that anyone going to Puerto Princesa to visit this place at least once.  This is a serene and photogenic place! 🙂

PARADISE in Honda Bay, Palawan

To explore the islets/islands of this bay, one should rent a boat (which is usually provided by the city tourism office) for a price of 1500.00 (depends on the boat size)  So basically, this trip is an island hopping adventure 🙂

There are 3 main islands/islets in this bay, namely  Pandan Island, Starfish Island and the Snake Island. Although there are more islands in this bay, only the 3 mentioned is open to public. They are named as such because of the existence of Pandan and Starfish in those islands while the snake island is named that way because of it’s  long and winding characteristic similar to a snake.

Why is it that when I look at this picture, I feel lonely… 😦 hmmm…

In my visit last April, I was not able to visit the Snake island because it is undergoing beautification However, this would not hamper me in giving and presenting to you the other two beautiful islands of Honda Bay, but first let me tell you the process on how the entire trip came about.

WHEN TO GO HERE?

The Philippines is a sunny place throughout the year however, due to climate change, strong typhoons or heavy rains visits the country a lot more often… The Philippines has only 2 seasons, wet and dry. Dry or summer months starts from March to June or July while wet season starts by August til December. The wet season is where a lot of  low pressure areas are formed, However, I can say that it is a game of luck, or a gamble if you want to visit the Philippines during the wet season, since just because it’s called wet season it would rain the whole time… there are only days that it would rain while the rest is sunny…
However, for foreigners who will visit the Philippines (especially for those in the far most corner of earth) I think you need to plan your visit during the summer months, so you will be sure that no rain would ruin your vacation.

HOW TO GET HERE:

Honda Bay is about 20-45 minutes drive from the city center. The mode of transportation from the city center towards Honda Bay Port is by land, you can rent either a tricycle or a van. I opted to rent a tricycle for P500.00 or $11USD. The road is well paved/cemented, so going here by tricycle isn’t a problem. If you decided to rent a van, it will cost at around P1,500-2000.00 (this is the price that was given to us by the van driver we hired going to the underground river). We left the city center at round 6:45 am and arrived in the port at around 7:15.

HOW TO GET A PERMIT:

Upon arriving in the port, you will notice that people are lining up, that line is where you will pay for the boat rental, environmental fee, and where you can get your permit. Unlike the underground river, there is no need to get a prior permit before heading there, so it easier to tour than the latter.

There are 4 simple steps in getting your permit and paying for the fees and these are:

First, you need to line up for the lane stating no.1 and where you will fill up a form and state how many passengers or tourists that are coming with you, you also need to put up their names, you should also know if what type of boat you are going to use, whether it is a 6passenger boat (which is the smallest) which costs P1200.00 while there are 10-12 passenger capacity boats which costs at around P1400-1800.00…

the 2nd step is where you will get your permit and pay for the boat rental fee and in exchange, you will receive the name and number of your boat.

The 3rd step is again filling up a particular form and paying for the environmental fee. The 4th step is waiting for your name to be called and VOILA, you are good to go.

The boat we used for our island hopping adventure

OTHER TIPS:

However! before you go anywhere else, you need to buy water, food or rent a snorkeling gear. Food and Water is expensive on the island itself, and it is advisable if you bring them with you at the start of the journey, so if anytime you feel thirsty you have a water/drink with you. But, I suggest that you go grocery shopping while you are still in the metro, since it is cheaper there than buying in the port itself.

Snorkeling gears and swimming shoes

As for the snorkeling gear, Part of your itinerary is to visit a snorkeling site with lots of fishes and various corals! Moreover in Pandan and Starfish island, you can snorkel and feed the fishes which is quite interesting because the fishes swarm around you if you give bits and pieces of tasty bread.

The fish and coral sanctuary

Click here to see my other posts for puerto princesa, palawan.

HAPPY WANDERING! 🙂

Puerto Princesa Underground River: indeed a Nature’s Wonder!

I heard a lot about the underground river in Palawan ever since I was a little kid, and to all honesty, I’m not a bit excited to go to the underground river since I always thought of it as a mere cave and that nothing is special about it, especially since I’ve been to a cave before (Hoyophoyopan Cave in Albay). But, there is something deep in my heart that tells me that the place is a a beautiful place with scenic views and will surely make me realize that Philippines is amazing! Moreover, it’s been crowned as part of the new 7 wonders of nature, so my curiosity had reached another level, from all these hype–tourism campaign, ads etc made me rethought things out.. so in the end I decided to go to Puerto Princesa.

The Underground River is 2 hours away from the city center, so it is quite a travel going there, but the only thing I will tell you is that the ride itself is an amazing one. You will be greeted by limestone mountains, by tall trees and amazing greenness– you will indeed feel that you are in a forest, so the city’s tagline being a CITY IN A FOREST– is not a bluff!

After that 2 hour van ride, you should go directly to the tourism office (near the port) to pay for the environmental fee which is (P40) and to ask them to check your entry permit. upon checking your id and permit they will lead you to a tent area near the port where you will wait and pay for your boat which costs (P700.00 with a capacity of 6 persons). Or if they told you to come back after a few hours, I suggest you go strolling in the nearby Sabang beach (a 3 minute walk from the port) and you can eat your lunch/breakfast or even dinner there.

the facade of the puerto princesa underground river tourism office in Sabang

Office in Sabang Port where you present your permits

My group went to the Sabang Port at around 8:00 am although our permit says 2:00 pm… such a misunderstanding among my mom’s friends (haha!) anyway, it’s such a long story to tell. So, what we did is to stroll around Sabang beach and wait for our turn. Then when 2 pm arrived we waited again for at least 30 minutes for the tourist boats to pick us up going to the Underground River.

 

scenic view while driving towards sabang port to see the puerto princesa underground river
puerto princesa underground river boat dock (look at the tent in the right, it is where you will wait and ride your boat going to the underground river) I took this after our tour so the sun is already setting
Here are the boats going to the underground river

The boat ride going to the underground river is as smooth as silk (so no problem at all) and what I loved the most was the amazing scenery while traveling towards the underground river.

the views after you get into your boat, look at that tall limestone mountains

The skyscraper tall limestone mountains are so amazing that it made a tear (or may I say tears) came out of my eye. I’m definitely crying, and tears just kept flowing. I maybe overreacting, but I’ve never seen such a beautiful sight. I feel that I’m not inside my own country– I always tell myself before that Philippines has nothing to offer (that is why I always satisfy my travel cravings in other countries and not in my own beautiful country). A travel in my own land, looking at its beauty, is definitely a different and worthwhile experience!

look at those limestone mountains… so scenic. and look at the waves that crashes in the rocks during low tide.. so scenic.. so beautiful.. my camera cannot capture how beautiful the real place is.
going to the underground river will let you see the waves crashing to the rocks during low tide

Moreover,the limestone mountains are really tall making those I’ve seen in Caramoan as a miniature version of what I saw during my palawan trip. The view is just breathtaking!

other limestone rocks in the puerto princesa underground river

And lemme tell you that what you see in pictures here are not even a pinch of everything you will see in Puerto Princesa. The place is just a wonderful place. Nothing beats this, I really love it.

limestones in puerto princesa underground river
limestone rocks while going to the puerto princesa underground river

There are also hidden coves with white sand beach that is sandwiched with beautiful and tall limestone mountains. The beach somehow waves at you and invites you to visit and swim to its pristine waters–if only the boat can stop there, I will definitely plunge to the waters of that beautiful secret cove

limestone rocks along the way towards underground river puerto princesa palawan

The boat ride is almost 30 minutes, but you will definitely enjoy that ride because of what you will see. It’s a scenic ride and I loved it!

You will disembark on a white and fine sand beach while on your right you can see a majestic and tall limestone which seems to be protecting the island from big waves and such.

the beautiful rocks 🙂

And after you walked to the white sand beach you will then enter the forest where big trees surround the area. There you can find huts. You can rest while you wait for your turn to enter the underground river, and it is also where you will show again your permit to the officer-in-charge of the city tourism office. After showing your permit he will then put a number in the upper corner of your papers/receipts which means that you will be queuing again to finally enter the underground river–which is the last leg of your journey.

the huts where you can sit and relax

tall trees awaits you

The officer then told us to enjoy the scenery before going to the opening of the cave. We then headed north east and found a ranger house and of course the well known and photogenic monitor lizard.

What’s funny is that I saw it walking across the path that we should be taking. Then I started shouting “Lizard! Lizard! Lizard” and the people in my group started looking up and they said “Saan? Saan?” “Where? Where?” and my hand is pointing towards the ground and they are still asking where! and then I said “bayawak!” “Monitor lizard” and they said “Ahhh!” This might not be funny for others but for us its funny! ako na ang corny! haha

Heading towards the monitor lizards’ lair 🙂

We are actually lucky to see one because the officer said that these lizards already went away.

The monitor lizard in puerto princesa

Then, after satisfying are “kodak” or camera moments with the monitor lizard we went directly to the waiting area where you can see the underground river opening. The place is indeed amazing.

I then roamed around the area and found a big tree lying in the sand. It might be struck by lighting or was made that way due to a storm or maybe its just cannot support its weight that’s why it fell.

the fallen tree where people sit while waiting.

I then saw the place where the saltwater and the water from the river meets. It’s an amazing sight.

the merging 🙂 such a view!!!

The beach has fine white sand which makes you wanna swim in the blue and crystal clear waters, however there is a sign that says no swimming, marine preservation 😦

The waiting time before you enter the infamous cave will take you almost 2 hours, so you need to stand and wait in the shady area  for about an hour or two.

There are two (2) kinds of boats being used in the underground river tour, the other one is a 6-7 person capacity while the other one is 10 seater capacity. Sometimes, if you are traveling alone or by two’s or if you wanna go ahead than your own group, you can volunteer yourself and join other groups, even though your schedule is later.

You will be equipped with lifevest and helmets — but I should tell you, especially if your tour is on the late afternoon– you should get ready for the smell of these yucky things–It smells of sweat and bat shit 🙂

The boat, life vests and boatman
the opening of the underground river palawan

After waiting, we then entered the underground river– sorry, no pics, my dslr cannot take pictures of pitch black darkness… my picture is until here. Let me just narrate you my experience and what I saw in the place.


And let me say that the tour guide/boatman in the cave, named Kenneth, made our journey in that long and winding tour a very funny and enjoyable trip, although he didn’t explain a lot of historical or factual things about the cave, he just stated different rock formations such as angels, mushroom, jellyfish, sexy woman, vegetables, the Three Kings, Mama Mary, Jesus and many more. The formations with a help of your imagination will make you really amazed on how the hands of nature molded such amazing formations.

another view 🙂

What made me very amazed was the cathedral. The tall high ceiling which is really tall that even the beam of the flash light cannot reach. By that time I’m really asking myself on how nature made it to look that way.

The karst is 11 km long, averages 3-5 km wide and covers an area of around 35 sq. /km. It is estimated to be between 16 – 20 million years old (puerto-undergroundriver.com)

The underground river tour only lasted for 45 minutes. We toured the 1 km out of the 8.2 kilometer long Puerto Princesa Underground River. Since the other 7.2 you need a special permit to gain entry. But as a whole it consists of 24km cave with 8.2 km of which has underground section of the river (Wikipedia).

The underground river is called as St. Paul’s subterranean river national park since it is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range (which include The three main peaks are Cleopatra’s Needle (1,500m), Mt. St. Paul (1,028m) and Mt. Bloomfield (870m) puerto-undergroundriver.com) all are located on the northern part of Puerto Princesa.

And also according to wikipedia, “the area also represents a habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full mountain-to-the-sea ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia. It was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site on December 4, 1999” (Wikipedia).

After that time, we are all tired, took pictures, claimed our pictures from the photo booth which the tourism office took for us–which is definitely overpriced for P550.00 for the big one and P250 or P350 for the small one.

After that we saw a bunch of monkeys seemingly waving us their goodbyes.and then we sailed towards the sabang port while the beautiful sun also says goodbye.

the free roaming monkeys of the underground river, palawan

We ended the whole journey at around 8pm, and traversed again the limestone mountains which we learned that beneath those is where the underground river is located.

HOW TO GET HERE:

1. Riding a lexus van in Puerto Princesa city center if you wanted to commute for a fare of P250-500.00

2. Hire a van if your are a group for P3500.00

3. Hire a tricycle (some of the tourist uses tricycle to get here, but take note that it will take a lot of time)

For a group of 6, we decided to hire a van. We used the services of Kuya Boy. I will post his number here as soon as I get a copy of such from my mom’s office mate.

TIPS WHEN YOU VISIT THE PPUR:

1. Travel in group and you will save a lot. The van and boat rentals will be able to carry at most 6 passengers. If you are 6 using the boat and van you will be able to save much since you will divide the expenses among your colleagues.

2. You need to bring ID’s for verification in the Sabang Tourism office. Moreover, there is discount for the elderly and minor for the entrance fees, so the minor and elderly just needs to present Id’s (school i.d. or senior citizen’s card).

To see my expenses for my palawan trip, click here.

3. Wear comfortable clothing, and bring extra clothes as you want to change your clothes after using the smelly lifejackets that you are required to wear for your underground river tour (maybe the life jackets smells bad because we are one of the last few who had our tour in the UG. And also you can have a dip in Sabang Beach. Click here to see my post about Sabang Beach.

4. Have your permits ready for your underground river visit. Make sure to book in advance (about 2-3 months) before your travel date especially if you wanna travel during the summer months (March to May) since those times are the peak season.

5. Book in an early time so that the smell of the life jackets won’t affect you.

6. Visit the place during the summer months since during this time typhoons or low pressure areas are rarely seen. since if you chanced upon a stormy day during your visit, for sure the underground river tour you booked will be cancelled.

7. You can also hike through the monkey trail towards the underground river or you can just hire a boat. Hiking will be for almost 2 hours but there was said to be a magnificent view. If I’ll go back there, I will try this

WHAT TO SEE NEARBY:

1. If you wanna stay in Sabang Beach there are various accommodations nearby that offers competitive pricing. Click here to see my post about Sabang Beach.

2. You can also visit the Mangroves nearby where they offer a mangrove river tour. Unfortunately we weren’t able to experience this since we are too captivated by Sabang Beach

3. A few kilometers away is a cave

HOW TO GET A PERMIT:

I suggest you call these numbers. I was not the one to book this trip. That’s why I didn’t know the procedure:

Anyway, here is the contact details.

Contact details to get underground river permit

REMINDERS:

1. Other blogs states that permits can be gathered in the Sabang Port Office, as of April 2012, the Sabang Port Office does not issue permits anymore, walk-ins are not allowed. Permits are only available in the main office in Rizal Avenue.

2. Other blogs also states that when you stay overnight in Sabang you can get a permit without the hustle, before this is practiced/allowed but as of April 2012, it was changed and only in the main office in Rizal Avenue you can get the permit.

3. The only thing you will pay here is the boat ride and the environmental fee. There are discounts given to senior citizens and minor students.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT PUERTO PRINCESA

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Sabang Beach– a walk to remember

Sabang beach is a nice place to spend time while waiting for your underground river tour.  It is really a wonderful and picturesque place; with fine sand beach and crystal clear waters.

sabang beach puerto princesa, such a wonderful place!

While waiting for your schedule for your underground river tour, you can stroll down the fine sand beach of Sabang. You can also opt to have the mangrove river tour while waiting for your UR tour. Sabang Beach is near the port where you will ride the boat going to the underground river.

Sabang Beach Puerto Princesa view.

The amazing wind that blew in my hair is really a feeling that I will never forget, the sea breeze is really refreshing and relaxingwhich I needed  the most after 3 painstaking months of hard work in Law school! It’s really a blessing to be able to savor the beauty of nature after everything I went through. And also the blue colored water greeted by green grass and tall coconut trees are really a view to be cherished--something you will never see if you live in a landlocked state or in a vibrant city anywhere in the world.

A picturesque view! 🙂

The beach is a long one. It will be tiring just to walk from end-to-end, so I decided to pick my spot, sit on the sand and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Take note that I don’t like the sun that much– being an Asian like me, I prefer being fairer than tanned, and in the Philippines being fair means being beautiful– even though this is the case, I still went forward to the beach where waves gently crashes the sand– this sight is really beautiful, the sound of the waves are really relaxing– as if I’m in a yoga class!

waves gently greets the sand 🙂
waves greets the sand– I don’t know why in this picture the sand looks black but in actual it is flesh 🙂

It was scorching hot when we get there so the weather is very nice to take photos of the place. The water is as blue as the sky above it. It is really a wonderful view, a place to inhale fresh air and feel relaxed.

The blue skies and the greeneries

You can also lounge in the recliners near the sea, just order some refreshing shake in Sheridan Beach Resort 🙂

Furthermore, I really LOVE the sand, it is so cuddly fine. I love walking bare foot since you are like walking in powder, it is really fine, as fine as the one in Boracay although not as white.

seaweed in the fine sand

There are also some resorts or restaurant establishment near the beach (it is usually beachfront) but it does not cover the picturesque view, the place is still picture perfect.

One of the best hotel resorts in Sabang is the Sheridan beach resort, the place is also beautiful with mountains as its backdrop.

the Sheridan Beach Resort in Puerto Princesa near Underground River
other view of the Sheridan Beach Resort in Sabang, Puerto Princesa

I ordered Melon Milkshake in Sheridan Beach Resort in Sabang Beach and lounged on one of their cozy chairs. The place is really beautiful.

The milk shake ordered in Puerto Princesa’s Sheridan beach resort

You can also eat your lunch in Sabang beach after or before touring the Underground River. There are various restaurants in the area that offers affordable and delicious food

eating area (tables and chairs) of various food establishment in Sabang Beach

We ate a Penao like an Inasal/chicken barbecue near the beach. It only cost P89.00/ 2 USD with unlimited rice. You can also try their buffet for only P200.00 or $5USD. The taste of the food is good and the price is also perfect.

Penao Restaurant in sabang beach puerto princesa
P200 buffet in Sabang Beach Puerto Princesa
Panao/ Inasal/ Chicken Barbecue for only P89.00 or 2USD

So basically going to the Underground River is not a waste of time, amazing scenery awaits you even before you enter one of the new 7 wonders of nature

How to get here:

1. You can ride a van (Lexus) to go to Underground River for only P200.00 per person (one way)

2. You can rent a van for P3500 good for 7-14 persons (roundtrip)

3. You can also rent a tricycle good for 2-4 persons

Tips:

You can also opt to stay in Sabang beach for the night but I do not advice it since there is an undercurrent during the night. And undercurrents are dangerous even if you are an experienced swimmer.

Warning sign that says that there is strong undercurrent after 6:30pm

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT PUERTO PRINCESA