Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Palawan City Tour

when visiting any place, and you don't know where to start, a safe rule of thumb is to do a city or a town tour. after all, it's your first time in that place and what best place to start than getting acquainted with the surroundings of your temporary home. in line with a promise to a friend that i'll blog about palawan as much as i could, i shall cover in this post the usual itinerary when doing a city tour within puerto princesa. i'll cover in a later post the town tour when in coron.

Disclaimer:The pictures used here were from my February 2008 Palawan Trip. While the pictures may be old, rest assured that the points of interests in puerto princesa remain the same (or so i'm hoping :] )

as mentioned in my post PALAWAN: DIY or Packaged Tour, you can either do a city tour of puerto princesa on your own or you can avail of the services of tour operators. the decision depends on what kind of traveler you are; the budget-conscious-adventurous kind or budget-is-not-an-issue-with-me-so-i-want-everything-prepared kind. as of writing, the standard rate for a half-day city tour is PhP600 pesos for a group of 6. usually, when there are only two of you - the tour operator either charges you for the remaining 4 people, or they have you join other people to form the minimum of 6. tour fee usually includes AC van, travel guide, snacks. as i am cheapskate, i don't think paying for 600 pesos is worth the price. if you're after convenience, especially during the very hot summer in the philippines, the 600 could be worth it. again, it's up to what you value the most. in our case, we did the city tour on our own. there were 8 of us in the group. so i think, we only spent at most 300 pesos each (100 for the multicab and more or less 200 for the different entrance fees).

if you decide to do the city tour on your own, then simply negotiate with a tricycle or a multicab driver. Five hundred pesos (500) to 1K should be enough for the entire city tour ride (or usually 100/per head). Ask the driver to take you to the following points of interest:
  • baker's hill
  • - buy breads here for your snacks while touring the city
  • butterfly garden
  • crocodile farm
  • - if you like seeing crocodiles, peacocks, and wild pigs (baboy ramo)
  • rancho sta. monica
  • - for a panoramic view of honda bay
  • iwahig prison and penal colony
  • - the prison without bars, used when the americans were here
  • baywalk
  • -if you want to relax at the end of your tour
The Multicab

Note: Tricycles are the main mode of transportation when getting around the city. The Multicabs are the usual ride when traveling to nearby towns of puerto princesa (sabang, san jose, etc.)
Bong - The Driver

First Stop: Palawan Butterfly Garden.
entrance fee is pegged at PhP25 (now PhP50 (or less than $2) as of writing). click this for a video clip i found in youtube, uploaded by user patek143 [hehe, i don't know her personally nor does she know me].
UPDATE: My sister went back to Puerto Princesa last June 2010. A local travel agent told her that the Butterfly Garden is now defunct. Sorry folks, it's NOW CLOSED! No more butterflies + few visitors.
UPDATE 2: My sister and brother went back there February 2012. Apparently, the garden is operational again]

It is the home of different species of butterflies endemic to the province, also found in Southeast Asia. It is located in Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa City while the Palawan Lepidoptera Farm can be found in Brgy. Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa City.
--- lifted from:

them butterflies like me

2nd Stop: Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center

Ticket to the Center: PhP 40 entrance

Third Stop: Rancho Sta. Monica [late sen. mitra's mansion]
- entrance is free

Last Stop: Baker's Hill

I don't have pictures for Puerto Princesa's Baywalk and the Iwahig Prison and Penal Colony. That's because we started the tour after lunch, and we were tired to explore the two other areas. The driver also told us that it'd be too dark when we return home if we decide to check out Iwahig. Thus, we decided against going especially that we were scheduled to depart puerto princesa to el nido at 5:30 a.m. the next day. The entire tour usually can be finished within 2 to 3 hours. It really depends on how long you stay in an area. Oh, if you're a history buff, you may also visit Plaza Cuartel along Taft St. It's a place where more or less 150 American soldiers were burned alive by the Japanese during their occupation of the country. It's near the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral.

For more information on the above places, click THIS. Enjoy exploring Palawan Province's official website.

please click ---> HERE to go back to PALAWAN TRAVEL GUIDE.

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