It has been our (me and my fiance) dream to travel in this province, regardless of which town or island, as long as it is in Palawan.
Our chance to visit this island came when there’s a seat sale in PAL (Philippines Airlines) in which we are able to get a round trip ticket going to Puerto Princesa city for Php 1,300 per head. This seat sale was around March for their anniversary promo and the travel date we picked is Sept 4-7. As you can see, we were able to save enough budget for our hotel accommodation and tours since we know that it could be a little pricey when traveling to a well known place like this.
=== HOTEL ACCOMMODATION ===
Part of our 4 days/3 nights plan is to have a relaxing stay on one of the best hotels (not the expensive ones) in PPS (flight code for Puerto Princesa City). Gladly, there is a promo for Mastercard users in Agoda where they can avail this 10% discount when they use their card for reservation. Of course I take advantage of this promotion.
When planning on where we will stay, the things that I consider are the following:
- Free Breakfast
- Cabinet inside the room
- Air-conditioned room
- Satellite-cable TV
- Spacious room and bathroom
- Queen Size bed
- Average Guest Ratings/Reviews is above 7.5
I understand that people may find this very finicky but since its a once in a blue moon trip, I make sure that this will be relaxing and peaceful for both of us.
All of the above matched with Dolce Vita which is within the city proper. The price varies depending on the type of room available.
We end up having their Queen Size room (Daisy) which we do not regret. You can find our review here in TripAdvisor as their service and food is very satisfactory. Five Star rating!
I will not mention how much is our hotel fee for 3 nights. There are hotels and bed & breakfast that has the same reviews and ratings as this hotel which has lesser price so you may also check it in Agoda or in Expedia.
=== TOURS ===
Since we are already in Palawan, we make sure that we will have a chance to visit the Underground River, Sabang Beach and Honda Bay. But before we go there, we reserved a month before our scheduled trip there to make sure that everything is already settled once we arrive.
I will recommend Top Peak Travel And Tours as they are offering discounted rates when you available both the Underground River and Honda Bay tour. For both trips, we paid Php 6,000 pesos which is inclusive of the lunch buffet, transportation fees and environmental fees.
Though the tours seems to be free all the time, still make sure to bring some pocket money especially on the Honda Bay tour as you will need to rent for the snorkel, aquatic shoes and such. The whole gear is just Php 300 per head. You will not regret renting these things since you will definitely use them when diving with the fish and feeding them.
Our Honda Bay tour includes the Pambato Reef (a floating reef in the middle of the sea), Luli Island (has lots of sandbar) and Cowrie Island (island with lots of water activities) where we took our lunch. Our tour is a shortened because two of our tour mates will need to leave earlier for their flight.
Regardless, everything is pristine, quiet and calm. So… Don’t forget to coat yourself with sun block as you will definitely soak under the sun.
These are just some of the images we had when having this island hopping tour.
=== CITY TOUR ===
On our last day, we opt to have our city tour with the help of Kuya Sonny who we rode his trike before going back to our hotel after a short visit to a certain restaurant. He offered his business card and mentioned that the whole tour will only cost us Php 600 for two people (in travel agencies, its Php 600 per head).
Kuya Sonny was able to pick us up on the time (with his own tricycle-a spacious one) we agreed on and started our tour on the city’s cathedral. Then to an old site where it used to be a cell of prisoner of war back in World War II. Then, after 30 minutes we went to The Butterfly Garden which has also the local tribes presentation (there’s a fee going inside the garden by the way), Crocodile Farm (Php 40 per adult), Mitra’s Ranch, Baker’s Hill and some more. But since we are catching up to our flight, we decided to cut the tour short and give Kuya Sonny an additional tip since he’s a very good tour guide around the city.
If you like to avail his service you may contact him on this number – 09204912564.
Here you go… These are just some of our pictures together during our city tour.
After a long day, we have our dinner to make sure that we will be able to catch up on our flight.
As you can see on our smiles, we enjoy our trip here in Puerto Princesa. Though the budget we have went above, we are still happy to have this once in a lifetime experience traveling throughout Puerto Princesa.
==== TIPS ====
Here are budget friendly tips from me when you travel in PPS:
- Make sure to reserve your hotels and tours a month or two before your scheduled trip.
- When you’re there already, be polite to the locals especially when you don’t know where to go.
- Do not throw garbage anywhere. There’s a fine of Php 5000 to those who will be caught.
- Always carry small bills and coins especially when you ride a tricycle. There’s no fix rate here ever since we roam around the city.
- Wear light clothes as it could be humid around the city. The weather here is opposite in Metro Manila especially when its monsoon season.
- Carry sunblock and mosquito repellent. Palawan has cases of malaria so as an initial precaution before you start your tour, put some after taking a bath.
- Have a small bag with you during tours.
- Bring smaller bills as much as possible.
- For dinner, I suggest you eat in Baywalk as the food there is way more delicious than the overpriced ones in Rizal Avenue (the strip where known restaurants are located).
- For pasalubong, go to MCA Pasalubong Center. They have everything there. 🙂
- Lastly, enjoy, relax and be happy. 😉