Thursday, December 27, 2012

Puerto Princesa Weekend (Day 1)

It's cool to find out that my closest friends in graduate school also love traveling as much as I do. The first time we traveled together was in Davao last August (see my previous post here), and after that, we already booked our flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan for the Bonifacio Day long weekend. Also this time, a Couchsurfer whom Dennis was hosting also joined us in the trip.

This time, it was our friend, Mayette who took charge of our itinerary. She called the local travel agency that toured her sister in Puerto Princesa. Besides our 3-day itinerary, it's the travel agency who arranged our accommodation and all our transfers/transportation too. The agency's name is Diamond Princess Travel & Tours. We requested for April as our tour guide for 3 days but she was able to accommodate us on the 2nd and 3rd day only. She's very lively and funny so we really liked her.

Our airfare was around Php 3,500 roundtrip. We flew Zest Air going to Puerto Princesa then Seair (Tiger Airways) back to Manila. And we only spent around Php 6,500 for our accommodation, meals, and activities for 3 days there. We stayed at Corazon Tourist Inn which is located near the airport and the commercial areas. So here's how our 3-day trip went:

Day 1 (Nov.30) - Puerto Princesa City Tour

Arrival at Puerto Princesa Airport - Our flight from Manila was more than 2 hours delayed.

Photobucket
trying to entertain ourselves despite the delayed flight
Photobucket

this is what I call, very "touristic"! like yeah, we're sooo tourists! LOL!

Puerto Princesa Coliseum - We went there to physically sign up for the Underground River tour. Since it's now one of the New Wonders of Nature, there are limited slots each day for the tour and they prioritize those who appear there physically to sign up.

Checked in at Corazon Tourist Inn - All 7 of us fit one room. We paid Php 350 each per night for our accommodation. That included free breakfast too. Anyway, from the airport, we just left our stuff in the room and headed out for lunch.

Photobucket
the reception
Photobucket
the van


Lunch at Badjao Restaurant - It's a nice place and the food was good too. We only spent around Php250 each.
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Photobucket
Photobucket
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Photobucket


Plaza Cuartel - The van picked us up from the resto then our city tour officially started.  You must memorize your van's plate number because all tourist vans look the same. Our first stop was a historical spot. Okay, I couldn't remember the story the tour guide told us, so never mind haha.


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Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral - Just like every "first time" in every church, I stepped my left foot in first then I made a wish. Now I forgot what I wished for lol!



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Pasalubong Center - There's this huge pasalubong center near the hotel, but I forgot its name. I just bought cashew nuts 'coz they said that's what's good there.

Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center - I wasn't so sure if that's the first time I saw crocodiles, but what I was sure about was, I've never seen such crazy huge crocodiles in my life! And it got me proud to have seen lots of species that are endemic to Palawan, such as the Palawan Bearcat! It's kinda cute yet scary haha!


Photobucket
LOL!
Photobucket
it's real!
Photobucket
baby crocodiles
Photobucket
the bum crocodile lol
Photobucket
cute kids carrying the Bearcat

Mitra's Ranch - There's zipline and horseback riding, but what's only free was picture taking, so that's the only thing we did. LOL!

Photobucket
Honda Bay at our background
Photobucket
jump!

Snacks at Baker's Hill - It's a nice place to hang because there are a lot to see. Plus, there are lots of food to munch on too, and hopia is a popular one. We had snacks there, which included in our city tour package.


Photobucket

Binuatan Weaving Center - It's my first time to try traditional weaving and it's really an interesting experience. The creations of the weavers there were being sold not just there at the center but also to different places outside Palawan. One of the ladies there told us that they're supplying Rustan's and Marks & Spencer too.


Photobucket
supervisor mode LOL!
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my turn :)
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finished products
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Firefly watching and dinner on the boat - It was supposed to be in Iwahig, but they said that's more expensive and farther. So we just settled for this firefly watching somewhere 30 minutes away from the Puerto Princesa Port. The fireflies can be found at the mangroves so we had to transfer to a smaller boat to enter the mangrove area. We changed boats at the middle of the sea. We were actually the second batch who went to the mangroves for firefly watching. While the first batch was away, our boat seats were transformed into a dining table where we feasted on a seafood dinner. But besides the crabs, fishes and shrimps, they also served us what they called, "Amazing Eggplant", which really tasted good! When the first batch got back, it's their turn for dinner and it's our turn to go firefly watching. It was so dark there and our only light was the moon. Anyway, our tour guide was carrying a red light because everytime she flashes it to this plant, which I forgot the name again, the fireflies sparkle like Christmas lights. After 45 minutes there at the mangroves, we headed back to the boat; then we headed back to the port, then back to the hotel.



Photobucket
dinner in the middle of the sea :)

So that's our first day. Here's our total spending for airfare and accommodation:
1. Airfare - Php 3,500
2. Accommodation - Php 700 (Php 350/night per pax) - additional charges for our extension would be indicated on our last day expenses.
TOTAL: Php 4,200 per pax

And here's our total spending (per pax) for the Day 1:
1. Terminal fee - 0 (It's already included in our airfare)
2. Lunch - Php 250
3. City Tour - Php 480 (originally priced at Php 600 but we got 20% discount)
4. Eco-Tourism Fee - Php 40
5. Snacks - FREE (included in te tour package)
6. Firefly watching w/ Dinner - Php 1,200
TOTAL: Php 1970 per pax


Coming up next is my post about our Day 2: Honda bay Island Hopping. :)

2 comments:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Puerto Princesa Weekend (Day 1)

It's cool to find out that my closest friends in graduate school also love traveling as much as I do. The first time we traveled together was in Davao last August (see my previous post here), and after that, we already booked our flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan for the Bonifacio Day long weekend. Also this time, a Couchsurfer whom Dennis was hosting also joined us in the trip.

This time, it was our friend, Mayette who took charge of our itinerary. She called the local travel agency that toured her sister in Puerto Princesa. Besides our 3-day itinerary, it's the travel agency who arranged our accommodation and all our transfers/transportation too. The agency's name is Diamond Princess Travel & Tours. We requested for April as our tour guide for 3 days but she was able to accommodate us on the 2nd and 3rd day only. She's very lively and funny so we really liked her.

Our airfare was around Php 3,500 roundtrip. We flew Zest Air going to Puerto Princesa then Seair (Tiger Airways) back to Manila. And we only spent around Php 6,500 for our accommodation, meals, and activities for 3 days there. We stayed at Corazon Tourist Inn which is located near the airport and the commercial areas. So here's how our 3-day trip went:

Day 1 (Nov.30) - Puerto Princesa City Tour

Arrival at Puerto Princesa Airport - Our flight from Manila was more than 2 hours delayed.

Photobucket
trying to entertain ourselves despite the delayed flight
Photobucket

this is what I call, very "touristic"! like yeah, we're sooo tourists! LOL!

Puerto Princesa Coliseum - We went there to physically sign up for the Underground River tour. Since it's now one of the New Wonders of Nature, there are limited slots each day for the tour and they prioritize those who appear there physically to sign up.

Checked in at Corazon Tourist Inn - All 7 of us fit one room. We paid Php 350 each per night for our accommodation. That included free breakfast too. Anyway, from the airport, we just left our stuff in the room and headed out for lunch.

Photobucket
the reception
Photobucket
the van


Lunch at Badjao Restaurant - It's a nice place and the food was good too. We only spent around Php250 each.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket


Plaza Cuartel - The van picked us up from the resto then our city tour officially started.  You must memorize your van's plate number because all tourist vans look the same. Our first stop was a historical spot. Okay, I couldn't remember the story the tour guide told us, so never mind haha.


Photobucket
Photobucket
 
Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral - Just like every "first time" in every church, I stepped my left foot in first then I made a wish. Now I forgot what I wished for lol!



Photobucket

Photobucket

Pasalubong Center - There's this huge pasalubong center near the hotel, but I forgot its name. I just bought cashew nuts 'coz they said that's what's good there.

Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center - I wasn't so sure if that's the first time I saw crocodiles, but what I was sure about was, I've never seen such crazy huge crocodiles in my life! And it got me proud to have seen lots of species that are endemic to Palawan, such as the Palawan Bearcat! It's kinda cute yet scary haha!


Photobucket
LOL!
Photobucket
it's real!
Photobucket
baby crocodiles
Photobucket
the bum crocodile lol
Photobucket
cute kids carrying the Bearcat

Mitra's Ranch - There's zipline and horseback riding, but what's only free was picture taking, so that's the only thing we did. LOL!

Photobucket
Honda Bay at our background
Photobucket
jump!

Snacks at Baker's Hill - It's a nice place to hang because there are a lot to see. Plus, there are lots of food to munch on too, and hopia is a popular one. We had snacks there, which included in our city tour package.


Photobucket

Binuatan Weaving Center - It's my first time to try traditional weaving and it's really an interesting experience. The creations of the weavers there were being sold not just there at the center but also to different places outside Palawan. One of the ladies there told us that they're supplying Rustan's and Marks & Spencer too.


Photobucket
supervisor mode LOL!
Photobucket
my turn :)
Photobucket
finished products
Photobucket



Firefly watching and dinner on the boat - It was supposed to be in Iwahig, but they said that's more expensive and farther. So we just settled for this firefly watching somewhere 30 minutes away from the Puerto Princesa Port. The fireflies can be found at the mangroves so we had to transfer to a smaller boat to enter the mangrove area. We changed boats at the middle of the sea. We were actually the second batch who went to the mangroves for firefly watching. While the first batch was away, our boat seats were transformed into a dining table where we feasted on a seafood dinner. But besides the crabs, fishes and shrimps, they also served us what they called, "Amazing Eggplant", which really tasted good! When the first batch got back, it's their turn for dinner and it's our turn to go firefly watching. It was so dark there and our only light was the moon. Anyway, our tour guide was carrying a red light because everytime she flashes it to this plant, which I forgot the name again, the fireflies sparkle like Christmas lights. After 45 minutes there at the mangroves, we headed back to the boat; then we headed back to the port, then back to the hotel.



Photobucket
dinner in the middle of the sea :)

So that's our first day. Here's our total spending for airfare and accommodation:
1. Airfare - Php 3,500
2. Accommodation - Php 700 (Php 350/night per pax) - additional charges for our extension would be indicated on our last day expenses.
TOTAL: Php 4,200 per pax

And here's our total spending (per pax) for the Day 1:
1. Terminal fee - 0 (It's already included in our airfare)
2. Lunch - Php 250
3. City Tour - Php 480 (originally priced at Php 600 but we got 20% discount)
4. Eco-Tourism Fee - Php 40
5. Snacks - FREE (included in te tour package)
6. Firefly watching w/ Dinner - Php 1,200
TOTAL: Php 1970 per pax


Coming up next is my post about our Day 2: Honda bay Island Hopping. :)

2 comments: