Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Accommodation & Aimless Wanderings

The majority of travelers who go to Puerto Princesa, Palawan in the Philippines are not there for a long time. Usually they stop for a night or two at most before heading north towards El Nido and/or Coron. Because the turnover of travelers is quite high, there isn’t much to do in Puerto Princesa.

I was like many of these other in-and-out travelers, as we only had a three night stay in Puerto Princesa before I made my way on a long and exhausting journey up to El Nido. Though my time in PP was short, I tried to make the best of it by going to see most of the touristy things I found online, as well as the obligatory wanderings of a backpacker who has found themselves in a new place.

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We arrived quite late after our flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa was delayed (surprise, surprise) and were absolutely drained from spending over 7 hours in Manila Airport. We hopped on a very affordable (around $4 CDN) tricycle that took us to our lovely little “pension house” called Orange Mangrove Pension House. This place is truly a hidden gem – the owners were absolutely fantastic, the room was great, and breakfast was incredible! For budget accommodations without sacrificing cleanliness and comfort, I would highly recommend this pension house to anyone staying in Puerto Princesa.

The owners were a lovely couple who had previously lived in Bangkok, Thailand and were extremely accommodating and helpful. The breakfast was different each morning and was much more than what  normally comes with budget accommodation – pancakes, oatmeal, eggs, bacon, sausage, and fried bananas. Amazingly delicious, we left the pension house absolutely stuffed each morning.

After a good rest and a satisfying breakfast we decided to take the morning to do a bit of walking around to see what PP was all about. Unfortunately, it wasn’t much. The streets were identical to those you would see in most towns throughout the Philippines. I was a bit surprised that there were barely any tourists on the streets. We did enjoy going to see a few free touristy attractions, which I’ll write about next.

I would recommend spending at least two days in Puerto Princesa, especially if you want to see the Underground River. If you also want to take a day trip to Honda Bay to do some island hopping, you should consider spending three days here. One day to see the local attractions and the other two days for the Underground River and Honda Bay.

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15 thoughts on “Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Accommodation & Aimless Wanderings”

    1. Agreed! I’ve been twice now and had an incredible experience both times!
      Where have you been in the Philippines? If you haven’t done El Nido or Boracay, you definitely should!
      I’m starting (albeit rather slowly) to post photos from my trip to Palawan – perhaps they’ll persuade you to hop on the next flight out ;)

      1. I’ve been there 5 times! I made a lot of Filipino friends when I was living in Shanghai, plus my best friend from Spain married a Filipino and moved there, so I’ve been visiting a lot, haha. I have been in Manila, Taal volcano, Coron, Boracay, Cebu and Davao. I really want to go back to Palawan, it’s an amazing place! I’m looking forward to.your pics!

  1. Just bookmarked this for the Orange Mangrove. Sounds like a cheaper version of the place I stayed at. Simple, clean, and friendly is all I need. And great intel in that other post about restos/bars around PP. I only went to the Tiki as I was only out one night there, but that Balinese place sounds pretty skookum!

      1. I will, indeed. I definitely plan to do El Nido again, so PP is on the agenda for 2015. Coron as well, but I would never again do the trip by boat between EN and Coron lol

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