Saturday, February 23, 2008

Underground River, Mitra's Ranch and Baker's Hill in Palawan


Palawan trip, Second day
St. Paul Underground River

The transport service of Topstar Travel Agency picked us up at about 7am. After a bumpy and winding but thoroughly enjoyable 3hr ride we reached the Sabang or port that is the jump off point for the underground river.
(photo: sabang where you board bangka to underground river, transport to site)

This amazing 15km long underground river is estimated to be 16 to 20 Million years old! It has been recently added to UNESCO's World Heritage site which attests to its deep natural and cultural value.
(photo:tour bangka, registration area and life vests)

Regular tourists like me are only allowed to go about 1.5 kilometers into the cave, special researchers may be granted an 8km exploration permit. However, only the few (and the wealthy?) are granted the full 15km permit. So far, only the large documentary stations like Discovery and NatGeo have been granted full access according to our guide. The St.Paul Underground River is now called the Puerto Princessa Subterranean River National Park.
(photo: underground river tour group, tip of 1.5km tour, cave fauna)

After our boat ride on the river, we headed back to Sabang to take our lunch. There are a few souvenir shops where one can get tshirts in case you got wet in the river.
(photo: sabang-walk on beach to lunch area, sabang beach, walk back to departure point)

The lunch area is a few minutes walk away from the sabang and along the beach. It was a simple meal of fresh buko, pipino, bbq and shell fish but there was plenty of it!
(photo: beautiful sabang beach, crab eating habbits, view point stop over)

On the way back don't forget to stop by the Buenavista Viewdeck (view point) where you can have a good vantage point of Ulugan Bay.
(photo: sta.monica heights main road, view from mitra's ranch, mitra's ranch house)


Our tour guide was somehow in a hurry! We arrived back in Puerto Princessa before 4pm so we still had some time to kill. I called up our tricycle driver/guide Bogs and he brought us to Sta.Monica Heights where both Mitra's Ranch and the famous Baker's Hill is located. What you should actually do is buy food in Baker's Hill FIRST and then proceed to Mitra's Ranch where you can eat on his porch overlooking honda bay. Instead we proceeded to the ranch first where we enjoyed the scenery before proceeding to Baker's hill because we feared that the ranch would close first.
(photo:baker's hill mascot, eating area, cartoon figures)

stuffed ourselves full of the local patisserie, we decided to forgo dinner and just bought some beers ,isaw and balut. I was surprised to find out that balut is more expensive here in puerto princessa than manila. 12pesos! (sampu lang sa amin eh)
(photo:eman fooling around with the statues, plaza water fountain at 6pm)

Some interesting rock formations found in the underground river are the jurassic triceratops, puso ng saging and the Peking duck.
(photo: interesting rock formations - triceratops, puso ng saging, Peking duck)


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cyrille said...

Hi Mr. Demeter. I really am amazed and interested to go to Palawan because of your blog, I really am encourage to celebrate my 19th birthday in Palawan together with my Girlfriend. I would just like to ask if you could give me details about your accommodations and package fees. I would really appreciate it if you could send me an email about your Palawan trip. Thank You.

cyrille said...

btw Mr. Demeter just email it to me at

Anonymous said...

when i was young i saw already the place of mr. mitra .i do hope to maintain the fair of nature under the management of them.i hope to go back again in that spot smeday

demeter said...

@cyrille, sorry for the late reply. All the details including packages are in these 3 blogs.

plane fare and accomodation prices as well as tour packages are found in the first day blog here....