Husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in Palawan last June 3 to 6. Although our trip was not as adventurous as to other tourists, we still had a great time. Allow me to share some tips and experiences during our 4-day stay in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
Fly high, pay low!
For budget travelers (like us) it’s important to book cheap flights (back and forth). Cebu Pacific and Tiger Air have seasonal promotions that can be availed ahead of time. One of the most well-known promos is the “Piso Fare”. It is very compelling, but usually falls on weekdays or during off peak season.
We booked our Tiger Air flights via Cebu Pacific “Piso Fare” promo for less than Php 4,000 (including baggage allowances, taxes and seats reservations). Good thing there were no serious delayed in our flights, back and forth. Our travel went smoothly.
Just bed and breakfast!
We booked a standard room for 3 nights at City Asturias Hotel via Directwithhotels.com. Fortunately, there was an ongoing 50% off, so we paid more or less Php 7,000 for 3 nights.
If you’re not going to spend most of your time at the hotel, amenities aren’t really vital. I’m not saying that the hotel is not good. It just that I expected a mini bar inside our room and there was nothing. One more thing, the bed is made of iron bars and wood which is not really appealing to me. But since most of the time we were out of the hotel, these nitty-gritty details didn’t ruin the fun. In all fairness, the hotel provided airport transfers, buffet breakfast for 3 days and free Wi-Fi access everywhere.
Oh, the food!
Food tripping completed our Palawan tour. Gladly, our relatives there prepared good food for us, mostly seafood and delicious fishes, thus, we saved some penny. They also let us taste the famous Vietnamese rice noodle soup called “Chaolong” for Php45. Food at the Baker’s Kitchen were so yummy, I can’t forget the delectable “chocnut shake”. Seafood and meat ihaw-ihaw at the Baywalk were also ideal for “pulutan”. Call me boring, but I was not ready yet to taste crocodile sisig and tamilok.
Where to go?
I’m not a beach bum, but to enjoy your stay in Palawan make sure to do island hopping. We went to the Cowrie Island and enjoyed its white sand beach and clear water. For Php1,066 we were able to see the beautiful island. The amount includes boat rental, environmental fee, entrance fee, etc. excluding food.
We also visited Baker’s Hill where tasty pastries can be bought, Mitra’s ranch with an overlooking of Puerto Princesa, Crocodile Farm, Cathedral and souvenir shops.
Robinson’s Place Palawan offered a very cheap 3D movie experience. The Maleficent movie was only Php200.
There are also nice and decent places to visit at night, like in Baybay where you can just chill, drink beer and talk. For some dose of humor, visit e-Republik comedy bar along Rizal Street.
Don’t be surprised if the tricycle ride cost Php400 from town to Honda Bay vise versa, and Php700 from Iwahig to Cathedral as the prices of gasoline and diesel are 8 peso higher compared to Manila.
Best “pasalubong” in town!
There are many souvenir items wherever you go, including t-shirts, cashew nuts, dried fishes, pearls, wood crafts, among others. Cashew nuts are quite expensive as it ranges from Php200–400 per kilo. South Sea Pearls are also common in Palawan, but each pearl costs more or less Php1,000. Fresh water pearls cost a way cheaper compared to South Sea pearls. Dried foods are also famous, but you have to put them inside your check in baggage.
We had an awesome trip and will definitely visit Palawan again, more of island hopping for sure.