Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Puerto Princesa, Philippines

Today I marked my check list for stepping foot on my 7th key ASEAN city with 3 more left to go to complete my ASEAN journey. Upon arrival in Nino Aquino Terminal 3, Manila at 1.15am, we proceeded to the airport lounge at level 4 called The Wings for an hour plus of rest. The lounge is pretty decent with nothing fancy but they do have really helpful and friendly receptionist.

Right sharp at 4am, our journey continues with a transfer to terminal 4 to catch our domestic flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa. The journey from terminal 3 to 4 took us around 10 minutes but I can imagine the short distant during day time will probably take you about 25 minutes considering the road condition and jams because this city was already bustling with traffic at 4am in the morning!

With about 50 minutes left after checking in, I decided to go for a massage by the blind located right inside the departure hall. Believe me, it has got to be one of the best 30 minute massage I ever had! The precision and strength was on point.

So here I am boarding this flight to Puerto Princesa with the sun rising to another beautiful day. What a sight to behold. The sunrise is beautiful here in Manila. This airport does bring back memories on the good old LCCT in KL.

Ponding of LAKES in aircraft parking bays are not something any airline appreciates but the reflection this morning was beautiful. We are all set. See ya in Puerto Princesa!


Day 1
Puerto Princesa was....... Gloomy. It was basically drizzling the whole day. We went to the national museum and a little bit of sight seeing in the city with nothing in particular that was worth mentioning except learning the fact that if you were to come to Puerto Princesa, you must make your way to El- Nido for the crystal clear waters off the world class coastal or Coron for the amazing island escapade.

Aside from the uneventful day, we managed to check in to Microtel, one of the very few beach front hotel here in PPS.

We ended the day with a little massage and dinner around town. The day also ended with more drizzle and yes it made Puerto Princesa nothing but GLOOMY.

Day 2
Sunrise here in Puerto Princesa was as early as 5.20am.

Yup day 2 started off GLOOMY. Till this point you must have figured out how gloomy and sad the trip sounded like. We were supposed to take a 2 hour ride from the hotel to the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE Underground River in Sabang BUT it started pouring.

Underground River Tour
Price: 1,500 pesos per pax (including 2 hours land transfer from PPS, permit to enter the cave as well as the boat ride across and into the Underground River (UR).

Each passenger will be given an audio guided device before boarding the paddling boat into the cave. I have to say the experience was amazing because the audio guide will pretty much explain everything you need to know about the UR. The journey inside the dark cave takes about 40 minutes of paddling through approximately 2.5km deep into the UR. This world's longest underground river is definitely one of those architecture marvels crafted by the universe that you will have to see for yourselves. The tunnel itself measures up to 22km long with accessible area only measuring up to 8km. The remaining 14km are all submerged under water and only 2.5 km are open for tourist exploration tours.

These are some of the beautiful photos taken by Chency and Alex because my camera sees no shit in there.

And this is how the inside actually looks like if if they have lights. Above picture from Google.
Right after the 1 hour tour at the UR, we were directed to Daluyon Beach Resort where seafood lunch was hosted. We then made a 15 minutes hike to the top of the hill next to the hotel for our beachside Zipline.

Sabang X Zipline
Price: 700 pesos per pax
It was windy and the view was priceless. The view from the slide down was breathtaking. The journey to the hike was a short but adventurous ride thru mud and bumpy road via a 4 wheel drive.

After ziping down the beach, you guessed it, it's swimming time! We went for a swim and made our 2 hours journey back into the city just in time for our firefly cruise.

Firefly Cruise
Price: 1,300 pesos per pax which includes transfer, dinner and the cruise. You can also choose to only go on the cruise at a cheaper alternative of 600 pesos per boat (per boat can fit up to 3 pax thus only 200 pesos per pax)

The firefly cruise was actually my favourite out of all as the sky was really dark and the waters were
really calm. All I could hear were the soft paddle against the calm water where I suddenly realise the world is much more than human beings, skyscrapers and city lights. Throughout the 30 minute ride, we saw trees lit up like it was Christmas, we stargazed at the Milky Way and we paddled against millions of bioluminescent plankton that light up the river. The dark calming river has suddenly came alive. Absolutely amazing.

We ended our day with dinner at Ka LuĂ­ hosted by Sir Atto from the City Government of Puerto Princesa as well as Ms Debbie from Tourism Palawan. This was by far the most beautiful restaurant serving some of the best Filipino cuisines.

Day 3
It was a fun and short 3 days trip. We checked out and made our way to the Puerto Princesa International Airport to fly back to Manila.

Upon touching down in Manila Terminal 4, I figured that you can actually proceed to the transfer counter as below and request for a free shuttle to terminal 3 for your next connecting flight.

Located right next to baggage collection belt 1, spot this counter and present them your boarding passes for them to transfer you to your next departing terminal for free.

If you ever plan to visit Puerto Princesa, you should make sure to include the below in your itinerary to see the best of what PPS has to offer.
  • Island hopping at Honda bay (dedicate one day for this)
  • Dolphins and whale sharks spotting
  • UNESCO Underground River (start your journey early in the morning)
  • Rock climbing & hiking at Ugong Rock (on the way back from UR)
  • Firefly cruise
  • Make your way to El Nido!! (Voted World's best island by Tripadvisor and Conde Nast Traveller)
Our trip was too short and we didn't have enough time to include all of these highly recommended activities. Also, please do avoid visiting from May to September as its their raining season hence why the trip was gloomy.

So here I am sitting right next to the cabin window for the past 2 hours gazing at this beautiful sun setting against the violet sky.

See those dotted lights among the clouds? I guess they are oil rigs all over the South China Sea. Till then Philippines!

You've gotta live like everyday's your last day! It's time to quit your job, pack your bags and travel with me.


Post a Comment


I'M @ivanojhx

I'm a full time traveller, part time wanderer. I believe that life's a journey and not a destination. You've gotta live like everyday's your last day! It's time to quit your job, pack your bags and travel with me.

Email: ivanojh@gmail.com