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.