Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Puerto Princesa Palawan Day 3: Island Hopping

Welcome to day 3 of our Puerto Princessa Adventure.

 Our activity for the day was Island Hopping. Left the hotel at around 7:30 so excited to get in the sea and soak up the sun. It was just a short drive from the City to the harbor where we transferred to a boat to get us to Palawan's majestic Islands. For these tour we had three stops where we could swim, feed fish and have fun and play around.
Stopped by a shop to the rent some swimming gears and underwater covers for our camera. 
1st stop: Luli Island short for Lulubog-Lilitaw island
The shore of this island may me underwater depending on the tide. Thankfully the island was above the seawater when we got there. Tourist may go to different islands but it all depends on the tour package and the agency.
 Sting taking his fist plunge into the Palawan sea.
 Of course it had to be done. Jump shots on the shore.
 Enjoying my piggyback ride.
 Ready adored this shot. Thanks Chaky for taking this!
Thanks to modern technology, we were able to get underwater pictures and videos with our digital camera the small handheld ones. We just rented some plastic cover for it and we're set to go. The pictures came out alright. 
Sting and I were trying to catch up with those fishes.ha ha ha
 Lunch is served!
 2nd stop: Pambato reef
This was technically not an island but we still enjoyed swimming around this protected area and looking at those corals.
In the Pambato reef wearing of the life vest is a must, but in the other stops that we've been to it was not necessary if you know how to swim.
Spotted this weird vase like coral.
Of course underwater selfie! Whose foot is that?
 Last stop: Cawrie Island
Thanks to the well toned dark guy with great abs who took this group picture. (forgot to get his name) This was a great shot! 
 Cawrie island shore
 Guys playing like little boys...

We got back around 4 pm in the afternoon with plenty of time to rest, wash up, and prepare ourselves for dinner.
After all those frolicking on the beach, we were so hungry that we were ecstatic when its finally dinner time. We went to Kalui an exclusive seafood restaurant were you need reservation a day before your scheduled meal. This was done in order to accommodate most of the tourists and to let the restaurant patrons enjoy their meal. Kalui is closed on Sundays and you can have your hotel call the restaurant to schedule your meal either for lunch or dinner. Usually for dinner they have a 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 time slots.
 The place was small and cozy. Guest were required to remove their shoes at the door. The place is warmly lit and was decorated with real fruits and vegetables. Can you see the banana piece at the side? Yup we were tempted to eat it, but we could not bear to ruin their decor.
The food was to die for!!! I'm not really a seafood person but this restaurant really converted me. They serve they best seafood I've ever eaten in my life. No exaggeration here promise.  
Kalui's menu was literally half a page of a letter sized paper and I could count the items their with my fingers. They served a limited variety of seafood but they make and serve them well. I truly recommend you try this place if its there was only one restaurant you'll go at Palawan make it Kalui. The price was also reasonable, we were six in the group and we ordered the Kalui special package and we even ordered Lobster (the creepy alien looking thing on the upper right of the first food photo) and it only costs us around P2,500 roughly around $50 - $55.
 Sting and I having a little fun posing at one of the empty corners at the restaurants while waiting for our order.he he If you think he's proposing in here, he was not.ha ha He was just giving me this very tiny flower he picked from one of the tables center piece. We were such posers! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Puerto Princessa Palawan Day 2: Underground River Tour

Welcome to Day 2 of our Puerto Princessa Adventure!
Woke up bright and early for a speedy breakfast and we're on our way to the Underground River tour. It was a 2-hour road trip from the Puerto Princessa City to the Underground River docking bay where we had to take 20 minute boat ride to reach the Underground River National Park.     
 Stopped for a little bathroom break at this local souvenir shop with a great view of the sea.
Channeling my inner Bruce Lee
The shop sold a lot of interesting wooden carvings and weapons, they have Chako Sticks, Tonfas, and Arnis Sticks. I was tempted to buy one but it would be such a faff checking it in through security since it's considered as a deadly weapon.  

Oh one very important thing to remember, the Underground River was recently included in one of the new 7 wonders of the world, getting access to the area is strictly controlled. Only 100 people are allowed to go in the cave per day as to preserve the area. You have also to secure a permit from the Local Government Unit of Puerto Princessa in order to be allowed to enter the Underground River National Park, which should be done preferably 2 to 3 days before so that you can be scheduled for the Underground River tour. No PERMIT = NO TOUR. 
Since our tour was schedule around 1:30 pm, we have ample time to stop and explore the Ugong Rocks. Ugong Rocks means rocks that makes sounds when you touch it or slightly hit it. They had a lot of activities lined up for tourist, a couple of which were Spelunking and Zip Lining.  Of course we chose Spelunking because it sounded new to our ears.ha ha We were like Spelunking? What? What? 
We soon found out that spelunking means exploring caves.ha ha We were not dressed for exploring caves but that did not stop us from conquering the Ugong Rocks.
 At least we have hard hats and gloves to protect us against the sharp rocks.
 I thought we were just gonna walk around a spacious cave but boy I was wrong! I had to crawl, climb, and squeeze myself in order to get through the cave. 
 Finally reached the top. Look at us with those smug expressions.ha ha We felt victorious, it took us around 1 hour and a half to get to the top. 
 Now we have to go back the way we came up. Uuuggggh! I was sweating buckets when we finally reached the bottom but it was a lot of fun!
 We had our lunch by the beach.
We had a buffet lunch and I think I refilled my plate trice because I was so hungry from spelunking. Did I use the word right?he he 

 After a short boat ride from the bay where we had our lunch we are finally here at the docking bay of the Underground River National Park.
Of course we had to take our picture in front of the sign for evidence!ha ha It had to be done.
There are a lot of monkeys in the area that are very much ready to swipe all your food so tourist are discouraged to bring food inside the park. They also have big lizards crawling around in the park so be sure to watch your step.
The area is pretty secluded and I think it would be perfect to have a picnic in, if not from those thieving monkeys! Although the monkeys are quite cute if they are not stealing your food.
 The entrance to the Underground River. 
The tour will last for about 20 to 30 minutes depending on how fast your boatman will go. The Underground River is about 24 kilometers long but the tour will be just for the first 1st kilometer because it would take about half of day to get to the first 8 kilometers.  However tourist may go for the 8 kilometers tour but they will have to get a special permit from the government. Beyond the 8 kilometers area only those researchers and scientists are allowed to enter to study the cave. 
The cave was so majestic. It was so spacious inside and so dark. It was difficult to take pictures inside because if not for the spot light coming from the boat it was totally pitch black. It was kinda scary and exciting at the same time. The water was brackish meaning it is mixture of salt and fresh water. The boatmen were really funny, they shared stories about the caves and they made jokes about some of the stalactites and stalagmites formation. 
 It was late when we got back to the city that almost all of the restaurants were already closing and most of them were closed during Sundays to begin with, so we went to a local eatery that served Chaolong. The locals said that we should definitely try Chaolong since it is one of the specialty in Palawan. Chaolong is a Vietnamese food which basically consist of rice noddles with beef stew and it has this red sweet sauce paired with french bread. I had garlic french bread with mine and it was delicious.  We originally wanted to go to Rene's Saigon which said to serve the best Chaolong but it was late and the place was already closed, but we vowed to go there before we leave Palawan.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Puerto Princessa Palawan Day 1

Hello were finally back from our little holiday at Palawan and here is the first installment of my fun adventure with the guys.

Woke up pretty early to catch the 1st flight out of Cagayan de Oro to Cebu City and from Cebu we have a 1:00 pm flight to Puerto Princesa Palawan. Honestly we had so much trouble with the logistics for this trip but we still enjoyed every bit of it.
Sting and I making a face while on our flight to Cebu. Woke up pretty early around 4:00 am, got ready and we're out the door. Good thing my makeup turned out okay, if I say so myself. (patting myself on the back)
Every time Sting and I travel together, whenever the plane takes off and land, Sting always hold my hand. 
Meet my travel companions. From left to right we have Sting, Chaky, Reggie, Jimsky, and Joe. I know you're thinking that I'm the only girl in the group, and you're definitely right! I have been travelling with these guys locally and internationally over the past couple of years and most of the time I'm the only girl in the group. Its no big deal, they are group of good decent men with quite a dirty sense of humor but I'm already used to it. What I like about these guys is they sure know how to have fun.
Popped to SM Cebu for lunch because we had time before our next flight to Palawan. Ordered some Chinese and Halo-halo for dessert. 
Beautiful sky for flying.
Burned my tongue with the Airline's complementary tea. 

Touchdown and Puerto Princesa Airport
After settling down at our hotel, we went for a little walk around the area and also to find a place to get dinner. The streets of Puerto Princesa was not what I expected. It was clean, relaxed, there was definitely no traffic and the drivers were surprisingly very level headed. I was expecting it to be all hustle bustle since it is one of the most popular tourist place in the Philippines but it turned out the opposite, which was very refreshing.

The mode of public transportation in Puerto Princesa is the Tricycle. It fits around 3 to 4 person per trip and it's a nice way of seeing the sites of the city. 
 The city feels like an urbanized province. It has the facilities and infrastructure of a proper city but it has a feel of  rural Province. I'm quite taken with this black and white mural of a school, it shows that they really put emphasis in taking care of nature and tourism. Palawan is also one of the cleanest cities of the Philippines, I learned that from our tour guide Neil.
 Dinner at Kinabuchs, one of the famous grill and bar in Puerto Princesa. The place gets pretty packed with tourist and local alike.  They serve some interesting food here which attracts people especially the tourist. Can you guess what it is? 
Crocodile Meat!
Yup! They serve crocodile meat and we ordered them. On the upper left, it's the Croc Adobo and on the right, it's the Croc Sisig. Crocodile meat to me, taste like pork with the aftertaste of fish. If it was served to me, without me knowing it was crocodile meat, I would say it taste like old pork. Well aside from that, we ordered other "normal" food as we call it, we had the Pork Crispy Pata on the lower left and the Sisling Squid on the lower right. The food here was great and the ambiance was excellent. I do recommend that you visit this place when you go to Palawan.

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