After we had been in Puerto Princesa for two nights, we made our way via van to the -almost- northern most part of Palawan; El Nido. The ride there was pretty painful; it took about 6 or so hours with multiple stops picking up and dropping off passengers (both tourists and locals) along the way in the towns of Roxas, Taytay, and who knows where else. However, I was in for a real treat on the ride back to Puerto Princesa when we were stuck in a much smaller van with the same amount of people, and had a pregnant lady moaning as if she were having contractions and an older woman who was horking into a baggy that she tied around the back of a seat… But, I digress.
After we finished climbing up and ziplining down Ugong Rock, we made our way to the Underground River (more specifically known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park). The river is a UNESCO Heritage Site in Sabang, about an hour or so drive from Puerto Princesa City. Established in 1999 and confirmed as one of the New 7 Natural Wonders of the World in 2012, this site has been a huge tourist spot and economic boost for Palawan.
We had booked our day tour to see the Underground River, which has been declared a UNESCO Heritage Site as well as one of the new 7 Natural Wonders of the World. Unbeknownst to us, there was actually a morning stop at Ugong Rock before we made our way to the Underground River. Initially, I was annoyed that we would have to sit around and wait for an hour or so while the only person in our tour van who had paid for this ahead of time was to go up the rock and zipline down. Fortunately, the friend I was with convinced me to go as it was inexpensive and was better than doing nothing for an hour. Not that difficult to convince me under those circumstances, to be fair.
Like I mentioned in my previous post on stopping over in Puerto Princesa, there isn’t that much to do in the city center. If you have a day to spend wandering about the city, there are a handful of tourist attractions you can visit during the day and some great restaurants and bars to check out at night. They are all within walking distance, unless you’re incredibly lazy or are on the verge of heatstroke and can’t bear to walk another step. If that’s the unfortunate case, there are plenty of tricycles haphazardly about the streets that will take you to any of the locations below for a nominal fee.
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.