For the first leg of our honeymoon my hubby requested for Coron (well, he was the guy I dumped for my Coron trip last year… check the story here) and I on the other hand was aiming for El Nido, unfortunately none of us got what we want, so we settled for a neutral ground which is Puerto Princesa.
Puerto Princesa is the largest city in the country with a land area of 254k hectares. It is the provincial capital of Palawan and the only major urban center in Palawan.
During our city tour our tourist guide mentioned that this city has been acclaimed as one of the country’s cleanest and greenest cities but I am not so comfortable with that, just my personal opinion please, the city is already polluted! During our city tour and our 4 days stay there the traffic was terrible; they have so many tricycles and other public vehicles. I can’t see much of “green” also in the main city, the place is getting so hot, there are so many establishments, not much trees, you have to go out of the main city to finally enjoy the scenery. In spite of these things, Puerto Princesa is still a must visit, why? It is a gateway to paradise! You can travel to El Nido from here, to the world famous Underground River, Honda bay and other beaches nearby.
3) Tours - after booking for our flights and accommodations, I made a concrete travel itinerary. I want to make sure that we will maximize our stay by seeing all best places the city has to offer. For PPS of course #1 must is the Underground River, 2nd is Honda Bay, then I made sure to include city tour, firefly watching and a "must" is to try their famous "Tamilok" ( read about our Tamilok experience here).
Day 1 in Puerto Princesa:
We arrived around 12 noon, we checked in at the hotel, grabbed a quick lunch and joined the City Tour (wrong move for me… I should have opt for motorbike rental! Will tell you later why…) We spent P1,200 for this tour (P600 x 2 pax)
Here are some places included in the city tour:
Palawan aside from its beautiful beaches and diving sites is also rich in history. Plaza Cuartel is actually a Japanese garrison in the WW2 used for American prisoners of war. Our tourist guide told us the gruesome story behind the place. A lot of American soldiers were killed here by being burned alive.
Immaculate Conception Cathedral
The blue cathedral is an eye catching sight because of its architectural design and of course its color. It is located at Barangay Liwanag just beside Plaza Cuartel. This cathedral was built during the Spanish colonization and the center of local's spiritual refuge especially during the war.
This newly developed place is a great place for strolling and a perfect place to view Puerto Princesa bay. It is a reclaimed area converted by their local government into a recreation center. It is seaside with colorful lights at night that gives the place a romantic atmosphere. We were there before Christmas and they have stalls and concert and a giant Christmas tree! We enjoyed the giant Christmas tree and the food stalls the most!
What's a city tour without visiting their souvenir shops? They have a lot in the city. Enjoy your shopping and don't forget to bargain!
One of the most frequented place in Puerto Princesa. This place is where they rehabilitate rescued animals before they are released in the wild. They also breed crocodiles here and you will see them in the hatchery where thousand of baby crocodiles are being taken care of until they are mature enough to be released in the wild. I had my chance of holding and carrying a baby crocodile for the first time.. yey! And first time also to ever try a crocodile meat.
After your tour, you can roam around in their park or mini-zoo, which is a disappointing place for me. It was not properly maintained and quite scary and creepy to visit specially if you are alone. There are no pathways and most wooden bridges and cottages were already in need of repairs. We just walked around for a while and left the place as soon as possible.
Aside from the places mentioned above we also went to Binuatan Weaving Creations, Baker's Hill and Mitra Ranch. Will post the continuation of our day 1 PPS adventure soon!
1. (Intro - Our 5 days honeymoon escapade) continuation of our adventure!