How I told you already, the crocodile farm - you can visit it together with the butterfly garden. Go by a multicab to Santa Monika (they starts in the Rizal Avenue - more downtown), after you been in the butterfly garden, take a jeepney at the mainroad to Irawan. 10 years ago I had individual guidance in the crocodile farm, together with maybe 5 visitors. At my last trip in January 2010 there been pinoy travelgroups with 60 - 80 people. The newest fashion are photos, holding a small crocodile in the hand. I suggest you, go better to the including small zoo in the nearby tropical garden!
Take a look into the busy market halls in Puerto Princesa, the small museum by the Mendoza Park is also worth a visit. After that, you can watch the boys (and also some girls) playing Sipa (it`s a kind of volleyball by feet with 3 members in a team and acrobatically overhead kicks).
Specialists (doctors) are situated in the Malvarstreet and in the Palawan Adventist Hospital you can also find an ambulance .
The immigration office in the Rizal Avenue ist very pleasant and works quick, only 3 employees, relaxed atmosphere.
ATMs are quite a lot inside the city, but nowhere else in Palawan. Only in Coron they have now two. So - take here enough cash for your further travel!
Puerto Princesais the capitol of Palawan. If you arrive with an airplane, you are already in the middle of the city. A great area of the surrounding region belongs to the town. In the last years specially the underground river becames famous, because he was going on the start for the philippines, for the new 7 Wonders of the earth. I will tell you later more. For many tourists Puerto is start or end of a journey to El Nido. The city itself is not very big, you can find there one mall (NCCC), two hospitals, the only specialists (doctors) in Palawan, as well as a lot of nice accommodations and restaurants.
For daytrips you can visit the crocodile farm and a butterfly garden. If you have some more time, go to Sabang and the close St. Pauls Subterranean Nationalpark. Boattrips for snorkeling, are possible to the islands of the Honda Bay.
Going to: Regulary you can book favorable flights from Manila with Cebu Pacific, Airphil Express and Zest Airways. Cebu Pacific flies also several times the week from Cebu City. Recently Airphil Express offers now 2 times the week flights from Busuanga to Puerto Princesa and back.
The Superferry boat from Manila about Coron is not going anymore, there are now 2 boats to Panay (about Cuyo).
Onward journey: To the van- and bus-terminal take a trike (80 Peso), for trips to El Nido or other outlying destinations start early. See also my El Nido - website! Since 2012 going also big RoRo-buses the road to El Nido and back, from 4 o'clock in the morning, all 2 hours until 6 in the evening, aircon varying with non-aircon, aircon fare is 485 Peso!
Favorable accommodations are:
Casa Linda, beautiful garden, lots of wood, starts at 1000 Peso. Very famous, without reservation mostly fully booked. Trinidad Road, small way from the Rizal Avenue, close to the airport.
Paradise Hotel, Manolo Street Extension, small Aircon rooms with cableTV and free WiFi, calm place, starts at 800 Peso.
Rendez-vous Lodge, Macasaet Str., nice and cheap accommodation for non-smokers, lots of bamboo, calm place. Fanrooms with small bath and balcony for 600 Peso, very good bacon & egg breakfast. The older english owner can tell you many interesting storys about his former work as a forester in environmental offices in town.
Banwa Pension & Art House, Liwanag Str., good reputation from many people - I not yet been there.
Kinabuchs, is situated central at the Rizal Avenue, large openair area with sportsTV on big screens, extensive menu with
favorable offers. Draft Bier.
Balinsasayaw Grill, Manalo Str. Extension, covered eating areas in a nice tropical garden, favorable prices, I like the spareribs.
Haim Chicken Inato, Manolo Str. Extension, cheap philippine food, very good spicy chicken bbq.
Tom Tom Club, sidestreet from the Manolo Str. Extension, german and international food and rockmusic.
Don`t forget to test a vietnam soup (with french bread) in town, small restaurants in the Rizal Avenue, culture from the former boatpeople (refugees) - painful the traveler of the philippines will notice, what food he would get for less money in other countries of south east asia!
Kamarikutan Kape at Galeri, Rizal Avenue, close to the airport. If you have breakfast there, or you come for a coffee, you can watch the Koi (fish) surrounding you. Nice garden, small gallery of local artists.
Kalui Restaurant, Rizal Avenue, classic philippino food in a beautiful ambience, not expensive - but to many travelgroups from Manila, go there in the off-season.
You will find still plenty of other good and pleasant restaurants and coffees in Puerto Princesa - but I wrote just more then I planned!
Sabang still belongsto the city-area. There are waiting the underground river and the St. Pauls Subterranean National Park. The underground river is one of the longest subterranean rivers of the world, tourists can visit the first 1 1/2 km with guided paddle-bancas.
Because of the campaign for the election of the new 7 Wonders of the world, many new philippine visitors are coming now to Sabang. The tourist offices propagate daytrips by vans - and really, the people stand in long lines from the morning until the early afternoon, on the pier of Sabang and waits to get a boat.
I think, for Sabang you should take more time! You can find there one of the best national parks of the Philippines.
Approach by Van or Jeepney from Puerto Princesa. Now going also 2 times a day Vans from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, rate is 1000 peso per person.
Favorable accommodations: Dab Dab Resort, nice cottages in a big garden at the sea, 700 Peso, delightful restaurant.
Blue Bamboo Resort, simple cottages, situated behind the small village, rooms start at 400 Peso.
Destinations in the south of Palawan: About that topic I cannot offer much information. 2001 I been once some days around Quezon, in the Tabon Village Resort of the belgian guy Theo. An excursions to the island of Tamlagun was very nice, snorkeling was also ok there. Other daytrips I made to the islands of Tataran and Malapackun.
Alternation was brought through a hike to Theos cottages at the waterfall of the Tumarbong river.
North of the Tabon Village Resort you will find a small village. On the way to the village you will find plenty of shells on the beach.
Some information about Southern Palawan you will find on the website of "dutchpickle" (link).
I remember I have read 2010 in Puerto Princesa, in an info-brochure of the tourist office, they have meanwhile almost in every village in the south at least a simple accommodation. Even on the island of Balabac you will find a pension house with a common bathroom. If somebody been there already, send me an email with information - anyone I like go there also!
Because we just talking about it, I am also interested about travel informations for the islands of Nangalao and Cabulauan (they are situated east of Linapacan), as well as the islands north of Cuyo (Quiniluban, Agutaya and others). If somebody sends me tips, "how to go there" and "possible accommodations", I pay you some "San Miguel"!
For traveling to Palawan I will you also remember, it is still a malaria region, specially in the rainy season in the south!
And also dengue fever exists, some members of a german school class became the illness, when they been in sabang. ... I have read this information, when I googled about dengue fever in the Philippines 2008, because I thought I got it in Moalboal/Cebu (but the tests did not validate it).
The part of the jungletrail from the headquarter back to the village does not exist anymore! If you like more hiking in the park, ask at the park office for information and guides.
Because the monkeys speculating meanwhile for food from hikers and they can act a little greedy, it`s a good idea to bring a walking stock from the jungle, so can knock on the railing, if they will be to aggressive.
At the underground river you get lifejackets and safety helmets and the people get assembled to groups for the boats. Big lamps, powered by car-batteries, spending the light. It `s going around 25 minutes upstream, all in all - quite nice.
For the way back to Sabang regulary you will find a boat at the peer. If no boat is available, ask the boatdrivers to call one for you!
For me - just the national park itself is a good reason to visit the park, walk a little away from the main path, be silent and look for a good place for watching.
At the Poyuy-Poyuy river, closer by the village, one can get also a ride in a paddle-bance upstream for watching, but bring some off-lotion against the moskitos!
Many accommodations, restaurants and a big new hotel lies on the way from the pier to the national park.
For visits of the park and the underground river you need a permit of the parkoffice, which is situated also on the pier.
For a place in the paddle-banca at the underground river you have to pay 200 Peso per person, if you going only inside the nationalpark it costs 75 Peso. The boat to the underground river (backtrip) costs 700 Peso (6 passengers are allowed per boat).
To those who are sportive and physically fairly fit, I recommend do the hike through the national park to the underground river. Bring enough drinking water! First you can follow the beach. Then there is a way behind the resorts, but you can go also around the cliffs at the sea. The river you have to cross at the estuary mouth, another very nice and originally beach you have to walk until the monkeytrail starts. Partly you will climb wooden staircases, after 30 - 45 minutes you enter the park headquarter, it mades a neglected impression.
For me it`s incomprehensible, that now, where they earning plenty of money with the numerous visitors at the underground river, the trails are not maintained, the information signs not been renewed and the buildings not become a renovation!
2010 it was only possible to walk the first part of the monkeytrail, after the headquarter you could take only the jungletrail to the underground river (around 1 hour, hiking about some hills, arduously). The last part of the trail is very impressive, you walk downsite the limestones on long wooden staircases and ladders - frequently you can meet here a group of 10 - 15 monkeys.
If you hiking through the small village in the southwest, a wooden chinese temple comes after some minutes. Further walking along the stony beach brings you after a while to a small waterfall.
15 years ago I made the trekkingtour from San Raffael to Sabang. Meanwhile they have guides from both sides. My memory of the tour is quite well, it needs 3 days, onetime we slept inside small bamboo houses, the second time we slept on a wooden terrace at a big river.
If still Batak-tribes living in the forest, don`t disturb them with photographs (...or maybe it is nowadays already their income ?!)
Since that travel experience I did not bring shoes for hiking to the philippines. Because, if you crossing around 15times the river, it is not a pleasure to take on and off all the time the shoes - and the pinoyguides walking of course with their regulary slippers. I recommend the "source adventure sandals", they are robust and also excellent suitable shoes for swimming.
It is a protection by snorkeling against sea urchins and the stonefish - I can`t swim without them now!
Ok - I hear already the warnings! What is with the poisonous snakes? So - wear high and clossed hikingboots! I not wanna be guilty!!!
The Save Palawan Movement, a multi-sectoral coalition of concerned environmental, legal religious and other civic groups launched the “No to Mining in Palawan” signature campaign on February 3rd, 2011 in the hope of putting an end to mining activities in Palawan, known as the Philippines’ Last Ecological Frontier.
The campaign aims to raise ten million signatures to deliver a strong message to the Philippine and Palawan governments so that they would finally say no to mining in Palawan and help protect one of the Philippines’ last remaining treasures.
Present at the launch were ABS-CBN Foundation Managing Director Gina Lopez, Palawan Mayor Edward Hagedorn, “running priest” Fr. Robert Reyes, environment leaders Clemente Bautista (Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment) and Atty. Jose Andres Canivel (Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation), and Rhodora Angela Ferrer of the Catholica Educational Association of the Philippines.
They were joined by Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas (WWF-Philippines) president Jose Lorenzo Tan, country director for Conservation International Romy Trono, Atty. Gerthie Mayo-Anda of Environmental Legal Asistance Center, executive director of Palawan NGO Network Inc. Atty Bobby Chan, Tanggol Kalikasan executive director Atty. Rolly Bisquera–Sheen, Alyansa Tigil Mina national coordinator Jaybee Garganera and various leaders of the environmental movement in the country.
The ten million signature campaign came about after the killing of Dr. Gerardo “Doc Gerry” Ortega, a civic leader who championed the protection of Palawan’s rich biodiversity and an outspoken critic of mining operations in Palawan.
The text above is from the "No to Mining in Palawan" - Website.
I support the petition - only if many humans will join, the campaign can be successful and the environment of Palawan (and other places in the Philippines) can be protected!