Monday, February 4, 2013

Puerto Princesa City Tour on a Tricycle



Puerto Princesa in Palawan is our gateway to El Nido. We dedicated our fifth and last day of our trip in Puerto Princesa. I remembered the endless chao long, tamilok and booze 9 years ago. But now it felt different, I felt like commercialism ate up the city. It is not a bad thing but I am in lost to what was left of Puerto Princesa in my mind. 
On our fourth and final day in El Nido, we reserved an aircon RORO Bus to Puerto Princesa scheduled at 6:00 p.m. We were at the dispatching area 10 minutes before the time of departure. We stayed at the right side of the bus and witnessed the sunset from the Corong-Corong area. It was a very nice way to end our trip. The bus fare was 483 pesos (386 pesos for students like me). I just had one problem about the RORO bus, the seats are not comfy at all. It was so narrow that when the bus driver made some turns, we were on the floor in no time - well not really but I felt that way. So I didn't get to sleep at all. The seats in the Eulen Joy non-aircon bus was more comfortable (check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Palawan).

We scored a room at GoHotels (check for discounted hotel rates) in Puerto Princesa for 400 pesos and read in its terms that the latest time to check-in is at 12:50 a.m. the next day. We approximated 6 hours for the bus trip and RORO bus did deliver. We arrived in Puerto Princesa at 11:40 p.m. and haggled with tricycle drivers on San Jose terminal to bring us to the GoHotels. I got our ride for 50 pesos only (although other so s offer up to 200 pesos). The GoHotels is just near the terminal so don't go beyond that fare (around 10 minutes).

The GoHotels branch in Puerto Princesa is relatively new. They just opened last February 2012. Our check-in process was a breeze. We just presented our identification stuff and the reservation print-out and then they ushered us to our room. Ours was on the second level. The room was basic and the free wi-fi access was unreliable but nonetheless, we had a nice sleep that night.



our 400-peso promo room
We didn't have any plans on touring the city the next morning so we stayed in bed up to the check-out time limit of our room (11:00 a.m.). And just because our flight was late in the afternoon we went out (while leaving our bags on the hotel - 50 pesos per bag) on a mission to go to Rene's Saigon Chao Long. I have dreamed about going back to Puerto Princesa an eating loads of chao long and coffee shake in Rene's. Chao long is somewhat related to "pho". Vietnamese food is very popular in the city because some Vietnam refugees stayed there after the war. 

And then we met the trike driver Kuya Ricky - 0919.407.4955. He asked us if we want to do a city tour. He quoted higher than what I expected but ended up approving on my 400 pesos haggle. I didn't wanna go to the Crocodile Farm (which was really far from other sights) so he agreed on my terms. 

We were famished. We didn't get to have a decent breakfast plus I really wanted to go to Rene's and get my long overdue cravings for chao long and coffee shake. But sadly, Kuya didn't know where it was and I couldn't remember it as well (later on I learned that it is near the airport. arrgh). So we went to Bona's chao long instead. It is one of the most popular ones according to him. 

It was nearly lunchtime when we got there and there were loads of locals and tourists who were having their chao longs. I ordered Beef stew with noodles (50 pesos), French bread with longganisa (30 pesos) and a huge soda. It was yummy of course. When it comes to chaolong I think it's either you like it or not. There's no in between. But nonetheless, you shouldn't miss chao long, french bread and coffee shake when you're in Puerto Princesa.

Bona's chaolong
Beef stew with noodles - 50 pesos
french bread with longganisa - 30 pesos
From then on, Kuya Ricky took care of our trip. We went to the pasalubong center - tiangge right after lunch and checked out some souvenirs (pearls, cashew nuts, etc.). And he sped off to what they called the "Little Tagaytay" of the city. First stop was the Mitra's ranch (Rancho Sta.Monica). Yes, the late Ramon Mitra Jr. and his family are from Palawan. The view of Honda Bay plus the cool breeze in this hilly side of the city is so relaxing. No fees are collected to get inside the ranch.

lahat ng natatanaw mo ay... 'di sa akin

Next stop was the Baker's Hill. And true to its name, it's a bakery on a hill. Don't forget to grab some fresh hopia (Monggo is my favorite) for 40 - 45 pesos per box. But wait, there is a mini aviary/park inside the area. There are also some restaurants and a play area for kids. Best of all, there are no fees that are collected to get inside. Nice.


I do love chimes!
especially this one
peacock - male
peahen - female

fresh hopia for 40 - 45 pesos per box
the famous Palawan mask
Next stop was the Binuatan Creations. This is a factory/showroom of woven materials. What's nice about this place is that you get to see the weavers in action. And luckily, I also got to try weaving using their loom. It was difficult, I must say, especially when you see the weavers doing their stuff. They were really good!




effortless si ate
hand and feet and eye and mind coordination. whew!


And just before we go back to GoHotels (book online), Kuya Ricky asked me if I wanted to see the Transformers. Without so much time in answering the question he stopped by a Technical-Vocational college and there I saw Bumblebee transformed. It was apparently a project by the students of the said school.

Bumble-me
We went back to GoHotels where we got our bags and hopped on the free shuttle van service to the airport. Our short Puerto Princesa tour was just the perfect way to end our trip. And when I go back to the city I would definitely go to Rene's and eat chao long. Oh wait! O would also get loads of Big Munch crisps. It's made in Cebu but I first saw it in Palawan. I love their Barbecue flavor. If only I know where to get some here in Manila... Hmmm...

made in Cebu, experienced in Palawan
ang sarap lang talaga nung Barbecue
and they are strict. 1 cigarette butt littered = 200 pesos!
(eh pano pa yung anti-smoking? plus 500 pesos)






33 comments:

  1. Haha! Natawa ako dun sa peacock and peahen.

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  2. your series has been very helpful esp. this post para sa niluluto kong lakwatsa nmin dine, marami pong salamat teacher! :)

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    1. no worries leandra. let's cook some more! :)

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  3. Wala akong ginawa sa Baker's Hill kundi kumain. Masarap yung Thai Iced Coffee nila. :p Yung hopia friend ko yung bumili kaya nakitikim na lang ako.hehe


    http://www.dekaphobe.com/

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    1. shoot. di ko natikman ang iced coffee michy bilang solb na solb na kamisa chao long. burp

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  4. wow okay nadin ung tour ha! not pricey nadin! and uiii katabi ng apartment ko ung bodega ng prifoods (bigmuch) haha!

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    1. oh my! katabi nyo lang as in? haha. at nasa mindanao din ang big munch! waah. naexcite ako bigla :)

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  5. thrift na masyado yung trip nato with puerto princesa. babalikan ko tong post pag mejo na rerealize na yung plans nami for palawan;-D

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    1. go phioxee. madaling kausap si kuya ricky :)

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  6. the best sa pagtatravel ay yung nagtatravel ka ng super cheap!

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    1. at tama ka diyan kulapitot. feeling mo nakatipid ka ng bonggan bongga! :)

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  7. This is what I love about you! You really know how to deal! Cheap travel ang peg! I should learn this from you! I guess you never miss a single detail of your travel:)

    I know the E for effort as blogger but I know you find joy in doing so:)

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    1. wow salamat naman kebler. pero minsan pag tinatamd na ko tumawad di na ko nageeffort :)

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  8. Galing talaga, salamat sa mga contact numbers.....nakalista na lahat....:-)

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  9. naniwala ako sa peacock/peahen! wahaha..chos!

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    1. apparently it's true. their offsprings are called peachicks :)

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  10. Bohol countryside tour is much better than Puerto Princesa City tour... there's quite much more to see in Bohol compare to Puerto Princesa's city tour.

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    1. hi ian! bohol tour is much better because it comprises certain towns unlike in puerto princesa which is a single city. there are more nice spots in the whole province of palawan. if only they do a whole "province tour" in palawan :)

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  11. hi ms.carla,excited na rin kmi sa muling pagbabalik palawan namin,deretso na din kmi sa el nido.thanks sa mga bloggers na kgaya mo,kasi mrami kming nkukuhang idea.ky ate neriza na din kmi nag pareserve ng bahay,kc yung bloggers na sinusubaybayan ko dun lahat kayo nagpunta,kaya mkikigay na kmi hehe..thanks tlga,sana one day ma meet ka nmin ni hubby ko,amor cruz..

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    1. wow inggit ako. emjoy amor. say hi to ate neriza for me. hope to meet you din someday.:)

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  12. hi mam carla,yung big munch mo meron na sa SM meagamall,mAsarap nga xa,

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  13. yes,dun sa snack exchange nila sa loob ng dept store.sobrang yummy nga ng bbq.kulng sa akin yung isang balot... :-)

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    1. and yes! nakakita na rin ako ng big munch dito sa manila! yeey:)

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  14. Thank you for this entry, Ms. Blissfulguro! Helped me for palawan tour with my family! Keep on sharing!

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    1. Just got back from our 3 days 2 nights trip. Kuya Ricky was our tricycle driver, he even arranged our UR tour, cost less than what is published. Thank you Ms. Blissfulguro!

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    2. no worries mary! nice to hear that. makamusta nga si kuya ricky :)

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  15. We're planning to visit Palawan and we chose Go Hotels Puerto Princesa for our Hotel. Thanks for giving good feedback.:D

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