Since I am traveling alone, I relied on blogs for my itinerary. I originally planned on hiring the tourism accredited tricycle which I contacted through another blogsite that charges me 700 pesos for the half day tour. But when I checked-in to my Hotel at Island Stay, they were offering the same tour for 600 pesos, inclusive of entrance fees, tour guide and snacks at the comfort of an air conditioned van.
I arrived around 12 NN and was picked up around 1:30PM. Joining me were 3 other groups. There was a foreign couple, 2 fellow architects from Ilo-ilo, and 5 nurses who are also attending their convention.
Once complete, we were off to our 1st destination, the Puerto Princesa Baywalk. The baywalk is best appreciated at night and a place where people can eat at the many food stalls offering a variety of dishes. Its favorite hang out for locals and is known for the tallest Christmas Tree making it to the Guiness Book of World Records.
After passing the Sea Port, we were then taken to the Plaza Cuartel which is located just beside the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral.
|Entrance of Plaza Cuartel|
Plaza Cuartel has a tragic past. It was the site where 150 American and Filipino prisoners were massacred by the Japanese towards the end of World War 2. A monument commemorating the victims is found inside the compound.
|Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Puerto Princesa|
Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Right across Plaza Cuartel is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. The Immaculate Conception is the Patron Saint of the City, the reason for the blue and white color of the church. It is also the color of the city. As you go around town, you will notice that all their tricycles are painted in this color. They also have a traffic coding system based on them.
|The Color Coded Tricycle of the City in Blue and White|
After the Cathedral, we navigated our way through the main street, Rizal Avenue to our next destination. Rizal Avenue is also known as the Port to Port road, with the seaport on one end and the airport on the other and stretches 3 kilometers.
We were then taken to the first of the two souvenir complex we would visit. Since, this is just the start of my stay, and have no baggage allowance, I just explored the other shops in the vicinity.
Mercado de San Miguel
Mercado de San Miguel is a souvenircomplex complimented with coffee shops and restaurants. I was drawn to an Art Cafe beside it, but went to try the Casoy Brewed Coffee at Isla Casoy de Palawn. I even got myself a jar of the Casoy Butter.
|The Charming Art Cafe within the complex. I will definitely come back should I have more time. The entrance reminded me of "The Shire" from Lord of the Rings.|
|The many ways to enjoy Casoy! From Coffee to wines and the many other flavors it was packed. I personally got myself a jar of the Casoy Butter and tried Casoy Brewed Coffee to go!|
LRC Souvenir Complex
By time, I now regret not having bought a baggage allocation for my return flight. There are so many items I want to bring home.
After the souvenir shops, we then transferred to Binautan Creations.
Binuatan Creations is a community based weaving industry, wherein grass and other local fibers are woven into mats and bags and other souvenir products. You can actually watch the weavers at work and will let you even try using the looms.
Palawan Wildlife Recue and Conservation Center
Popularly known as the Crocodile Farm, the Center allows visitors to appreciate these calm but very ferocious creatures. Right at the entrance is the skin and skeleton of the largest crocodile caught in the wild prior to Lolong. Guests are then taken to the hatchling tanks and the cages for grown crocodiles. An optional visit to their nature park allows you to see some of the endemic animals of Palawan.
|Remains of the 2nd Largest Crocodile caught in the wild|
|The Palawan Bear Cat|
Mitra Ranch is Puerto Princesa's Version of Tagaytay. Perched on a hill, it offers a view of Honda Bay and the landscape of Palwan.
|Honda Bay as viewed from Mitra's Ranch|
Bakers Hill is a Park with landscaped gardens complimented with fiberglass figures of famous characters. It is also known for their baked treats like the hopia and the restaurants.
If this is your first time in Puerto Princesa, the tour serves as a good introduction to the city. I'm looking forward to my Honda Bay Tour on Saturday.