Palawan Trip, First day
Palawan is a truly amazing place to go to not just because of its beautiful beaches but especially because of the diversity of marine life that seems to be ubiquitous in that area. I remember going on a 5 day live aboard dive on the Tubbataha Reefs and TO THIS DAY the memory of the hoards of marine life that mobbed us, as well as their extreme diversity stays fresh in my mind.
But thats for another blog... now its just the landlubber's adventure...
(photo: left to right, cebu pacific check in counter, PuertoPrincessa airport, welcome band)
The plane fare to Palawan costs anywhere from 3.2k to 5k depending on airline promotions. We were able to get a moderately cheap fare since this was October and not the peak season yet. When we arrived at the Puerto Princessa Airport in Palawan, we went to this row of tricycles and was lucky enough to get an all-in-one guide/tricycle driver. He agreed to both drive us around and be our guide for 300pesos a day. He was very friendly and informative so we decided to raise this to 400 inclusive of tip na.
(photo: Audissie pension room 1.2k for 2pax/night)
Upon his suggestion, we went to the TOPSTAR TRAVEL AGENCY and booked a trip to the underground river. It costed 1.2k per head inclusive of (heavy)buffet lunch by the beach. We then proceeded to our hotel called Audissie Pension House (don't ask about the name...) in the city and checked in. Afterwhich we immediately left for the amazing Honda Bay!
(photo:left to right-honda bay wharf with bogs in center, bangka transport, tindahan ni manang)
The name "Honda Bay" is not in any way connected to the japanese car maker. I can't remember the story or history now so if someone knows it please tell me.
The tricycle ride to Honda Bay Wharf took a mere 30 to 35minutes so we arrived at about 10:30am. Walang masyadong tao sa pier kasi hindi naman peak season. They have now organized boat rentals on the wharf. My friend said the going rate used to be around 800pesos per boat for the round trip beach hopping. However, we now ended up paying twice that for the same trip.
Before going onboard the bangka I suggest you buy some hopia and water from the nearby sari sari stores. The drinks on the various islands are quite expensive. We didn't bother stopping at Pandan Island but proceeded straight to the bigger Snake Island just in time for lunch.
(photo:weird looking room-like boat, pandan island)
It took about 20minutes to get to Snake Island from the wharf. On the island, we swam on the beach while waiting for our lunch to cook. You can buy fish from the lone establishment and they will cook it for you, rice included. Beware because though the fish is fresh its a bit pricey.
(photo: left to right- snake island dock, swimming area, long stretch of beach)
Little did I know when I stepped into the water that I would see something so amazing it left me breathless. While swimming around, our bankero brought my attention to a school of fish. What I saw was hundreds of these HUGE jacks about 3 to 5kilos each forming a huge wall! It was so amazing that I had to shout and motion for everyone to come and share this wonderful sight with me quickly. The wall of jacks kept going around us sometimes forming a huge ball into which I sometimes playfully penetrated with excitement.
Wow!.. only in palawan could this even be possible...
(photo: fishermen abode on snake island, walking on the beach with eman and allan)
After all the exercise we were really famished and feasted on fresh crabs and fish which was cooked and ready when we came ashore. Having eaten so much so fast we decided to walk around the long stretch of sand.
On the way back to the wharf we passed by an island full of bats aptly called Bat Island then made a brief stop at this floating house marking the Pambato Coral Reef. The corals that can be seen in this area are beautiful and diverse! Possible more beatiful than those in Anilao, Batangas! With hundreds of coral fishes as well as big trigger fish.
(photo:leaving snake island, Pambato Coral Reef guardhouse - pay 50/head)
This coral reef is located just in front of LuLi Island (Lubog-Litaw Island: An island that comes and goes with the tide).
(photo: Ka Louie's entrance, allanbarredo checking equipment, Ka Louie's front)
We finished early so we decided to go to Ka Louie's (a little after 5pm) just to make sure we get a table since we had no reservations. The place had great ambience but too many mosquitoes lang which ruined the culinary experience for me. They make you remove your slippers but the floor was not clean so you end up getting dirty feet.