The Pleasures of the Princess of Ports
Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan province, is the only major urban sprawl in Palawan, with 200,000 residents and an area that makes it to the biggest city in the
Integral to the concept is cleanliness. Residents and visitors alike are for fined spitting and littering.
Puerto Princesa remains an unspoiled, off-the-beaten path tourism destination, making it such a huge bargain. Consider its beaches. At Sabang, you can rent an air-conditioned hut for just P400, a steal considering the scenery and the exotic food, flora and fauna.
The visitor to Puerto Princesa will not run out of things to do and see.
The best attraction is the
The UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site. Located on the west coast of Palawan, about 81 kms from the city center, the UR features cathedral-like caverns and domes, with stalactites and stalagmites formation that resemble (depending on how imaginative you are) religious images (like the Madonna and Holy Trinity). There are plenty of bats and droppings.
Two-thirds of the park is covered by tropical rainforest, from the shoreline to the highest
While the concrete road is under construction, be prepared for a rough ride half of the way. But the partially bone-jarring ride is worth it. Aside from the rise, you can reach the
At sleepy Sabang, have lunch at the nearby Taraw Beach Resort. The food is excellent but the service can be slow. Or you can try other resorts that are just now sprouting.
Puerto Princesa also has a zoo and botanical park, hot spring at Santa Lourdes, the Salakot Falls Forest Mountain Resort, the Salvacion Viewdeck that gives a panoramic view of the Honda Bay, the private Talaudyong Beach Resort, the Canigaran Sandbar, and the 100-ha.Government Center and
At the Crocodile Farming Institute (Mon-Sat 10am-5pm) in Barangay Irawan, 12km from the city center, scientists conduct research into crocodile ecology, biology, nutrition and biochemistry, pathology and physiology.
To get to the farm take a jeepney (P15) from the terminal in
A farm of a rather different kind, a Butterfly Farm, owned and operated by Rowell Rodriguez, is at
Don’t miss the Iwahig Penal Colony, also known as the Prison Without Bars. Prisoners live here as if in a normal village, fishing and cultivating rice and root crops.
Tourists are also welcome at the Iwahig souvenir shop which sells handicrafts made by the prisoners. Prison officials say the rate of recidivism by offenders at Iwahig is significantly lower than among those incarcerated in the country’s traditional jails. Iwahig is 23km north of Puerto Princesa; jeepneys leave
Just ten minutes by tricycle from Puerto is
In the city, buy exquisite and delicate scarves and baring fabrics (reflecting the vibrancy and delicacy of nature’s colors) at the
Here is what a recent Visitor, Norma Lao, from
“There are no white beaches, not even in Honda Bay or the
“From the exterior it looks like an expensive restaurant; travel agents plenty in town for those snorkeling trips.”
“Ladies, if you want pearls, this is the place. Tell the tricycle boy you want to go to the ‘market’ (5 mins walk from Chow King, actually); a good, flawless pearl should cost you $7 (negotiable).
“Overall, according to Mayor Hagedorn, Puerto Princesa,
“How to get there? From the airport, take a tricycle to town (5 mins away, actually), and ask to be dropped off at Chow King, and from there walk around or along the road to find accommodation. There are also leaflets of nice and cheap hotels at the airport. Enjoy.”
At almost every hotel and corner, you will find boys and girls peddling pearls of all shapes, color and design. Try to haggle. Offer to buy at half the asking price. Whatever you buy, you will be happy with it. “