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Puerto Princesa Travel Blog› entry 3 of 13 › view all entries
August 19th, 2008 – by: JeAr
As usual, I went to the airport with little time to spare. Good thing it was the newly-opened, semi-new NAIA Terminal 3, so it was easier for me to check in. I was worried about Seb, though. Did he make it on time, or did he fall asleep and forgot to set the alarm? My fear was unfounded, of course, because there he was, already checked in ahead of me. I just had to constantly remind myself that I'm the Filipino among the two of us, so if anyone would be late, that'd be me!
In fairness to Cebu Pacific, they were only a few minutes late (I hope you smell the sarcasm here). So, we took off at around 8.30 and clumsily landed in Puerto Princesa on time, thanks to the clumsy pilot, I think? Anyway, as we approached the city, I already had a glimpse of what's in store for me.
The crystal-clear, turquoise water and the islands scattered all over it were just sooo unbelievably beautiful! You can see the shallow part surrounding the islands where the beaches are. Then, the water gradually gets deeper, meeting beautiful coral formations before eventually plunging sharply into an abyss. Everyone on-board were gasping 'ooohs' and 'aaahs' all the time. As for me, I wanted to scream! I couldn't wait to see the islands up close!
As soon as we got out of PP's (that's Puerto Princesa from now on) very basic airport, we were greeted by resort touts.
We had a pretty good list of possible places to stay, so we hired a tricycle to take us to PP's main artery, Rizal Avenue, where most hotels and restaurants are. After checking the first one which looked more ancient than Angkor Wat, we moved on to the next. I think we checked out 4 different places before settling for Payuyo Pension (see review below). After unpacking, we went to a 'Vietnamese' restaurant for lunch. I wasn't able to sample authentic Vietnamese dishes in Vietnam, so after eating the food, I concluded that either the food we ate was not authentic Vietnamese food, or that Vietnamese food sucks. It's probably the former.
After lunch, we hired the same tricycle driver to give us a tour of the city (for P600). In case you don't know (and would want to know), PP is the capital of the province of Palawan; therefore, it's as modern as Palawan gets. It has the typical hustle and bustle of a small city, but for someone living in Manila, I didn't find it stressful at all. Anyway, the 'interesting' places to see were a little bit outside of the city proper, although technically, still within the city.
Our first stop was the butterfly garden. Could be butterfly farm, I'm not sure. It was too small, though, so yeah, let's just call it butterfly garden. Well, what can I say? The place was full of butterflies! Although they're not the extraordinary kind (if there ever was one), they're fun to observe in their natural habitat.
On our way to our next stop (the crocodile farm), it started raining hard. So, we waited for a few minutes inside the visitor's area, admiring some gargantuan whale bones and a complete skeleton of a HUGE crocodile caught years ago. They even have its skin displayed on the wall (Versace will be delighted). Anyway, it looked like the rain wouldn't stop, so we just thought the hell with it and went on with the tour. Of course, we saw lots of crocs, big and small, the former being formidable and the latter being just a few notches away from being cute.
We're supposed to go to the museum after the tour, but it was pretty late already, and Seb and I we're both hungry again. So, our guide took us to a hilly place overlooking Honda Bay. After stopping by some politician's vacation house for a panoramic view of the Bay (which was super-duper amazing!), we went to a nearby restaurant to have our fill. Then, back to our guesthouse. Did we eat dinner that day? Man, can't remember anymore...
By the way, tricycle fare anywhere within the city proper is 8 pesos only. You're welcome! :D
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