Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Remembering Puerto Princesa

Due to my lack of beach exposure this summer and missing Grace plus helping Joy prepare their trip there, I’m going to continue my post about my Puerto Princesa trip. I was reading my archives and realized that I wasn’t able to tell you what happened next after our Honda Bay island hopping.

*nuninuninu* (ala-Lovingly Yours, Helen background music)

June 30

After going around Honda Bay, we were exhausted going back to the city. Good thing we had a hearty dinner at Ka Lui. Note that Ka Lui is closed on Saturdays and that it’s always almost full with people so better make reservations. We were there as early as 6pm so we were able to get really good seats, that is, on the floor. They have set up low tables where we get to seat on pillows strewn on the floor ala-Japanese style :) But before we were led to our table, we had to remove our shoes/sandals and walk bare-footed inside the restaurant. We ordered their set meal (good for two), this is complete with appetizer, main course plus dessert and costs less that P300.

July 1

We had an early start for our second day because we scheduled a trip to the Underground river. We had it arranged at the inn for a guided tour. I think it costs around P900/pax. The travel time going to the Underground river is almost two hours. We had a stop at somewhere (ooppsss, forgot the name of the place). It’s a viewing deck overlooking one of the bays in Palawan. Our tour guide informed us that this is the same bay where most of the Vietnamese refugees(now living in Puerto Princesa) where found.

After the long ride, we were dropped off a port where we boarded a small boat that will take us to the Underground river.

We waited for a long time for our turn. It turned out there were a lot of people who were there before us (we were there the same time a group of civil engineers were there for a convention). While waiting we explored the island and took pictures.

And because we were roaming around, our guide had to come and fetch us when it was our turn already. We had to run back to the pick-up point for the boat ride going inside the cave. I was so afraid we were going to lose our spot…after all the waiting. But the travel gods were with us that day that when we got back they were still putting on their life vests. =) They had to rearrange our seating because some of them were a bit big and were seating on the same side of the boat hehe.

Our boatman was funny. He was interjecting jokes while giving us a tour inside the cave. He was speaking in English because there were foreigners in our boat. Basta funny sya. The cave is enormous with all those stalactites and stalagmites. An officemate of mine said that if you’re able to go inside the caves in Sagada then it’s okay to not go to the Underground River because it’s quite the same. Well, I disagree. For one, in Sagada you don’t need a boat to go inside, second the St. Paul cave is much much bigger.

We were famished after going the cave exploration. We were so eager to get back to Sabang beach to have our lunch. Because of lack of time, we weren’t able to swim in Sabang so we just took pictures.

When we got back to the city, we rested for a while at Badjao Inn then proceeded to go around town.

Their provincial capitol

We were trying to find some souvenirs in the different shops that we went to. But we can’t find any that we liked. I finally bought shirts from Island Souvenirs haha. After walking around town, we decided to have dinner. Funny thing is from the hotel, we walked to the city hall which is a few meters from the inn. Then we walked going to the different souvenir shops. And then from there we rode the tricycle to take us back to the inn. After we dropped of our things we walked back again near the city hall to get a ride going to Kinabuch Bar and Grill only to find out that the resto was right beside our inn. Ahahahahaha.

It was still early after we ate so we went to Café Kamarikutan to have coffee/tea. It’s a coffee shop/art museum. We thought they were closed already when we got there because there were no other customers around. But I guess that’s okay because we had the place all to ourselves. We were able to steal some pictures inside the place, I mean, they told us we can take pictures of ourselves but not the artworks, the place being a museum and all but they can’t stop us hehehe.

Cute cream and sugar container

We took more pictures at the inn before calling it a night.

July 2

On our last day, we intended to go early to the market to buy some seafood that we can take home back to Manila. But we woke up a little late, maybe around 7am, that the crabs and shrimps were all sold out when we got there. I bought some baby lobster (I don't know what it's called) for my family instead.

We spent the rest of the time at the inn packing our things. And before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye to Puerto Princesa. It's a bit sad because we didn't have the time to tour the city - butterfly sanctuary, crocodile farm, Mitra's house, Sta. Monica ranch, cathedral, Plaza Cuartel. But that's good right? Because I have a reason to go back there. :)

At the Puerto Princesa airport

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