Summer Trip to PalawanMarch 23, 2008 at 6:37 PM | Posted in Animals, Food and Dining, Lifestyle, Musings, Travel | 2 Comments
Tags: asturias hotel, butterfly farm, city tour, crocodile farm, ka lui, palawan museum, palawan trip, palawan vacation, puerto princesa, summer trip, wildlife
Masks at Ka Lui’s
So my much-anticipated vacation in Palawan came and went. I had such a blast while I was there. It was really a much-needed break for me — to get away from the big city and the stress of work and just enjoy the beauty of nature. I was in Palawan for three days with my housemate Marj. And I could really say that all the planning, the costs, and the preparation for the trip were worth it.
It was my first time to go to Palawan and I must say that the city of Puerto Princesa was pretty laid back. There was no traffic, no rush hour, and no large crowds. There wasn’t even a mall there. All you could see were mostly hardware and construction stores, small restaurants, a few banks, bike shops, and convenience stores. But whatever the city might lack, it made up with its beautiful, pristine beaches and amazing wildlife.
My first day in Palawan consisted of checking-in at Asturias Hotel and having lunch at a popular local restaurant outside the hotel called Ka Lui. The restaurant was built in traditional wood and bamboo cottage and was spacious and breezy. All diners were required to leave their shoes at the entrance. Ka Lui served mostly seafood and vegetables and their menu was very affordable.
The afternoon was spent taking the city tour with a tour guide. My housemate and I, together with a small group of tourists, were led to several tourist spots around the city. The first stop was a World War II Japanese garrison called Plaza Cuartel where a hundred or so American POWs were imprisoned. The second stop was the Palawan Museum where it showcased several local artifacts including chinaware from the Ming dynasty and a small number of bone remains of the Tabon Man.
One of the crocs at the crocodile farm
Our tour guide took us to the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center for the next stop. The center included a crocodile farm and an ostrich farm. Unfortunately, the tour guide only allowed us five minutes to explore the area so we didn’t have enough time to take some pictures of the wildlife and lush greeneries there.
We all went to the Iwahig Prison after that, which for me was a complete waste of time. I had no choice then since the prison camp was part of the itinerary. There was nothing to see there except the prisoners and the farm they were tilling. If I had the choice, I wouldn’t want to go there. I don’t care if it’s the largest prison camp in the Philippines. The place was boring!
It was a good thing that our next stop was the Butterfly Farm. Now this place was awesome! Sadly though, we were only given three minutes to wander around the place before we headed off to our sixth stop, which was the private residence-cum-ranch of Congressman Abraham Mitra. The sprawling vacation house was set on a hill surrounded by a big ranch. The view here was breathtaking. As usual, our tour guide rushed us away from there towards the last stop. Our last stop, the Baker’s Hill, was no more than a small bakeshop with the usual bread and pastries being sold. Souvenir items were also being sold here.
The city tour ended at five PM. It was too early for us to go back to the hotel and since we didn’t want to be holed up in our hotel room, Marj and I decided to pass the time lounging at a local coffee shop called Itoy’s located within the SJD Center. It was one of the only two coffee shops we saw in the area that’s near the hotel. We stayed there til six PM then headed back to the hotel.
Our hotel room was generally OK, albeit it could use a bit of decoration. Though bare, it was perfectly clean including the bathroom. It was kinda spacious too. The location of our room was ideal since we only had to open the door to see a nice view of the swimming pool. Our room was practically a few steps away from the pool. My housemate and I spent the evening swimming in the pool and lazing around in the Jacuzzi.
(to be continued)