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Tourist Spots in Palawan
Things to Know About Palawan
On the western side of the Philippines is the largest province called Palawan which is known as "The Last Ecological Frontier of the Philippines". It is the most sparsely populated place in the country with well preserved panoramic landscapes and high bio-diversity. It was voted in 2013 as the best island in the world.
The northern part of Palawan province is where I truly find bliss. The crystal-clear waters, virgin beaches, lush forests homing various species of birds, magnificent olden limestone of cliffs tower, marine sanctuaries filled with countless species of fish and coral, endangered sea turtles, various aquatic resources and of course the vast treasure of exotic flowers and plants make Palawan made the place a real paradise.
Here is a review of some of the Palawan tourist destinations I've actually experienced:
El Nido Is Awesome Beyond Description
El Nido is one of the municipalities of Palawan. It is a very remote place which explains why it is less inhabited and its pristine beauty remains intact. Island hopping experience in this place is one thing you should never miss if you really want once in a lifetime experience.
It is a splendid place.No amount of words are enough to describe its beauty. The amazing sight of towering dark cliffs, thick green forest, white sand beach, sparkling crystal clear water and as you look up you will be awed by a series of wonderfully sculpted jade islands. There is more but beyond expression. In my own assessment, El Nido is a much more magnificent place than Boracay. Even if Boracay’s powdery white sand can’t be equaled by El Nido; I still found the latter much more picturesque, virgin and peaceful. It has marvelous rock formations and lagoons walled with wild plants. These will keep you awed and inspired while swimming or boating along the crystal blue water. These rock formations and lagoons hinder the waves so the sea is largely peaceful.
The marvelous island hopping experience we had at El Nido Beach made us ecstatic. The boating, kayaking, swimming and surfing were fun but in time we felt the hunger. But that was not a problem because we have foods and were to eat in the ferry boat.
Eating in the midst of the sea was a big thrill, so even if the taste of the foods were not really great, the awesome nature surrounding us was enough to boost our appetites.
After the island hopping we went around and then we entered a restaurant/bar named ArtCafe for some drinks and snacks. Sadly, their Carbonara tasted so bland but in fairness, the Pizza and the Tuna Melted Cheese are winners. They are so delectable!
The only downside is the long travel involved. After going down the plane, we had to travel for 6 more hours by car along zigzag roads. It was so time consuming and exhausting. However, the magnificence of El Nido Beach is worth the boring travel. The saddest and hardest part is going home because my heart wanted to stay and not leave. And of course it also means going through the wearisome road travel again
The Honda Bay Puerto Princesa
Honda Bay Island Hopping Experience
One of the places I visited in Puero Princesa is the Honda Bay. I visited this place twice. In my first visit, I booked a tour. The hotel pick up and drop off time is 8:00 am to 3:30 pm and for that I paid PHP1,100 for each of my family members. It is costly but the most convenient way for tourists in exploring the islands in Honda Bay. I think all agents offer the same price because they are well regulated by the local tourism department.
The second time I visited the place is a more economical way. I was with some friends and one of them has a relative there and he served as our tourist guide. We did not even pay for hotel because they gladly offered their house for free to us. It is 2 hour drive however from their house to Honda bay.
Our guide rented a small boat that fitted all the five of us and we paid just PHP200 each inclusive of the snorkeling gear. We visited some islands but unfortunately I could not remember all the names, only few of them such as snake island, pandan island and luli island.
Island hopping is a wonderful experience but you have to shell out some money because there are entrance fees in some islands and you also have to pay for cottages so you have to inquire first which fits your budget. But of course we enjoyed the snorkeling experience in crystal clear beach, the multi-colored colony of fish I have just first seen in my entire life and the virgin coral reefs, among others.
The Underground River at Puerto Princesa
The Long and Boring Underground River Experience
When we had a tour to Underground River it cost us PHP1500 each. We were picked up at 8:00 in our hotel, then dropped back to hotel at 3:00. , Personally, of all the experiences I had in Palawan I find this experience not much exciting. I still prefer island hopping over this.
Of course, the nature around the underground river is just as awesome.We road a ferry boat to the place and along the way we experienced the beauty of the place even more. Palawan neve fails to amazed in terms of natural beauty.
When we arrived there there were already a lot of people ahead of us so we have to wait for our turn and it was not just a short waiting. I have never really liked waiting actually. When it was already our turn, we were asked to wear vests because the water is deep and also helmet to protect us from any falling objects perhaps. The trip itself is not a real thrilling experience to me. There was an assigned tour guide on the boat and he has the expertise on what can be sighted inside the cave while we were travelling alone. He explained vividly the stalagmite and stalactite formations on every locations and those were visible to us only through a spotlight. The whole place was of course dark and without the spotlight, we would be travelling in creepy darkness. The waves were sometimes big so that the boar would shake making me fear at times.
It is about an hour boating and good that I protected myself with anti-mosquito lotion because I know caves could have lots of mosquitoes and lots of insects. Indeed, there were lots of mosquitoes inside apart from numerous bats hanging around and sometimes even flying around which made me feel nervous with the thought that it would bite at any time. So, even the different rock formation inside the cave failed to cheer me up.
My companions enjoyed the underground river experience but me no. I never really like dark and creepy places. This underground river as I experienced is just a long river inside a cave and even before we finished the travel, I was already bored and starving.