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Friday, September 20, 2013

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Things to Know about the Underground River

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, or more popularly known as the Underground River, has slowly gained its popularity in the last three years. Because of it's recent recognition as part of the New 7 Wonders of Nature last 2011, tourists arrival is starting to grow gradually.

Puerto Princesa Underground River
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River

Since the Puerto Princesa Underground River was declared as a UNESCO Heritage Site, to protect, maintain, and preserve the integrity of the place, limited number of tourists per day can be accommodated. According to our tour guide, a maximum of 900 to 1,000 visitors are allowed to visit the heritage site.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ayutthaya, Thailand: Historical and Cultural Tour

During my second day in Bangkok, I went to Ayutthaya City riding through Bangkok’s State Railway Train. The train ticket to Ayutthaya from Bang Sue station cost THB 14. You can read more details about Bangkok Transportation from here: "Where To In Bangkok?".

Bang Sue station
Bang Sue Train Junction

Arriving Ayutthaya Station, head straight directly near the pier and ride the ferry boat going the other side of river. The ferry boat costs THB 4 and around 5 minutes travel. Here were the historical places I visited in Ayutthaya that will surely captivate your interests: 

Ayutthaya Historical City
    • Wat Ratchaburana
    • Wat Mahathat
    • Wat Lokayasutharam 
    • Elehpant Ride
    • Wat Phra Mongkhol Bophit
    • Wat Sri Sanphet

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thailand: A 3D/2N Short Itinerary Trip

Yes it was just a very short trip to Thailand, but hell I care because I made sure that I maximized each and every second of my stay and have a worthwhile journey around this country. For these 3 Days and 2 Nights, I've appreciated Thailand's unique and colorful culture, tasted their local and famous cuisines, rode almost all types of transportation, and experienced local scenery at its finest.

Temple in Ayutthaya, Thailand
Ayutthaya Historical Park

It was really tough for me planning for this trip because this was my first backpacking experience. Well, I admit I'm not yet a certified backpacker and I still haven't experienced sleeping in hostels and guest houses, but I guess this is a good start for me!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Ysabelle Mansion - Hotel Review

Having a good accommodation when traveling somewhere is an important consideration for me. Well not in the level of luxury hotels and high-end resorts, just a comfy place to stay with complete basic amenities, clean toilet, and of course soft beds and pillows, I'm satisfied.

Ysabelle Mansion Exterior
Ysabelle Mansion

Thanks to the help of the travel site Trip Advisor for giving me ample options with matching positive and negative reviews of each and every hotel located in Puerto Princesa. The accommodation that caught my attention was Ysabelle Mansion because of its satisfactory online ratings and reasonable room rates.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: A Traveler's Guide

TRAVEL DATES: September 7 - 10, 2013

The City of Puerto Princesa in the Island Province of Palawan is now The Philippines' largest city. Yes, Davao City no more. Being where the world-class Subterranean River is found, my expectations of Puerto Princesa were on a high. No doubt.

Puerto Princesa Airport
Puerto Princesa Airport

Prior my trip, my thoughts in mind about Puerto Princesa were: clean bodies of water, lesser air pollution, friendly locals, sumptuous foods, vibrant city aura and bunch of tourist-worthy spots. Well here's my rundown of observations visiting the place, as far as my memory can suffice me.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Underground River - Getting There

If you're doing your own itinerary and booking to the Underground River, the process may be tedious and requires a lot of time and effort. Some things to secure for the trip are the visitor entry pass, van rental from City Proper to Sabang Port, boat rental from Sabang Port to the Underground River, Lunch and Snacks, and other related fees.

The Elephant Mountain going to Sabang Port
The "Elephant Mountain" (mountainside view going to Sabang Port)

However, if you choose to book a travel agency who will arrange your underground river tour, you'll just need to pay PHP 1,500 and they will be the one to secure all the necessary permits, arrange the van and boat rentals, and as well as the buffet lunch. The travel agency will also be the one to settle the time of visit to the underground river. Hassle-free trip.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: The Subterranean River

For me, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River or popularly known as the "Underground River" is definitely one of the best tourist site in the Philippines and a must-see place before you vanish in this world. It's pretty amazing how nature unraveled its own beauty and created such beautiful scene.

St. Paul Limestone Formation
Originally known as "St. Paul Limestone Formation"

According to our tour guide, Kris, when we went to the Underground River, the Islands of Palawan was once submerged in water that's why the island is mostly made up of limestones, and over time and other environmental factors, the island was formed the way it is now.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Sabang Beach Lunch Buffet

After a memorable and worthwhile trip in the Puerto Princesa Underground River, a sumptuous meal should suffice our hungry stomachs. Good thing because included in our underground river tour package is a buffet lunch at a restaurant along Sabang Beach.

Gusto Grill & Resto, Sabang Port
Gusto Grill & Resto, Sabang Port

The restaurant's name was "Gusto Grill & Resto" which is just some few walks from the Sabang Port. It's a two-storey bamboo-made restaurant that offers buffet lunch to visiting tourist. The restaurant is an "open-type" resto to which the fresh air of Sabang Beach greets you.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Exploring Sabang Port and Beach

Sabang Port is a 2-hour van travel from the city proper of Puerto Princesa. It's just exciting to know that even though it's located quite far from the heart of the city, it still is a part of the city! Well Puerto Princesa is now the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area so I guess that explains it.

 Boats lining up Sabang Port
 Boats lining up Sabang Port

Sabang Port is the gateway to the Subterranean River. A lot of pump boats lined up the shores for boat rentals to and from the Subterranean River. It's nice to see how the local government funded this port for it to be a decent transportation hub to the newly proclaimed New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Underground River - Booking Options

When visiting the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, you need first a confirmed booking schedule before you can gain a visitor entry permit. Basically, there are two main ways on booking a reservation: one is through DIY or Do-It-Yourself booking, and the other one is by contacting a travel agency to locally arrange the tour for you.

Entrance to the Underground River
Entrance to the Underground River

If you prefer a hassle-free tour arrangement, then the travel agency option is just perfect. However, if you want a more challenging way by doing everything yourself, then the DIY option should work best for you.

 

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