Summer Trip to Palawan, Part Deux

March 25, 2008 at 2:32 PM | Posted in Animals, Lifestyle, Musings, Travel | Leave a comment
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Buenavista View Deck overlooking Ulugan Bay

My housemate and I woke up early the next morning for the Underground River tour package we availed. We weren’t suppose to get this tour package since we only had very limited time in Palawan. But a few tour guides we’ve spoken with have said that we still had enough time to squeeze in this
tour package before we fly back to Manila. And so we decided that we take the Underground River tour on our second day there then get the Honda Bay tour on the third day.

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Our tour guide told us to be early for the Underground River tour because it would take a whole day. So we had our early breakfast in the hotel then boarded the tour van at 7:30 AM. The drive to the wharf took about over two hours. Then we, along with the other tourists, had to take a pump boat and cross the sea to get to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which featured the 8.2 km-long underground river. I must say, the Underground River cruise was really exciting! It was an actual adventure going inside the long, huge cave aboard a paddle boat. Since it was pitch black inside the cave, we had to use a light to see the stalactites and stalagmites there that were so abundant — not to mention the hordes of bats hanging on the ceiling of the cave!

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view from inside the cave

It took us 45 minutes to get through the cave and back. Then we had lunch at the park, among Palawan’s wildlife which included several lizards (didn’t know what type of lizards they were) and a couple of monkeys. After lunch, our tour guide gave us only a few minutes to take pictures then we headed back to our respective hotels. It was only three in the afternoon when we returned to the hotel so Marj and I decided to take a bit of rest in our room first before we hang out again at the SJD Center, at another coffee shop. We stayed there until six PM.

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the shore of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

The third day came and Marj and I went to Honda Bay with our usual group of fellow tourists. The drive to the Honda Bay wharf took only 15 minutes. Then we boarded a pump boat for some island hopping. The first island we visited was Pandan Island. For me, this was the best island among the three islands we visited. It had a wide stretch of shore with white sand fringed with palm trees. The shore wasn’t rocky so swimming wasn’t much of a problem. What I loved most about this island apart from the wide shore was that it wasn’t teeming with people. You could have peace and quiet there. We took our lunch on the island then hop on to the next at around noon. Our flight back to Manila was scheduled late in the afternoon of that day so we really had to rush. The second island we visited, the Snake Island, was too commercialized. There were crowds of people there and the shoreline was narrow and grassy though it’s still white sand. The shallow waters were rocky too so it was a bit uncomfortable swimming there. The third and last island we hopped on was the Starfish Island. Though the stretch of white sand was wide enough, the shores were so rocky. Swimming there was pretty uncomfortable.

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neat paw prints of a dog

We were given an hour there to swim before Marj and I were whisked off back to the wharf and the hotel at around three PM. Good thing we already checked-out from the hotel before the tour so we only had to grab our bags from the front desk and change our clothes then get to the airport. We arrived at the airport in time and by past six in the evening, we were back in Manila.

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view from the boat

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