Palawan: Puerto Princesa City Tour
It is my third time in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan (PPS). The first time, I came with a friend and our main destination is the underground river. We decided to explore Honda Bay and do a city tour but I got sick and we ended up staying in the hotel and watching a movie at the cinema. The second time, I just stayed briefly since we went to El Nido, which by the way, is a must-visit.
Anyway, this time, I am in Puerto Princesa for an official business, and I really planned to squeeze in the city tour and if still able, the Honda Bay island hopping tour. The airport in PPS is new and I am surprised that there are already taxis in the area. Airport transfer by the hotel is free of charge though and I appreciated that the driver waited for me for two hours due to the delayed flight.
Main transportation in the city is the tricycle. One thing I slightly don’t like is the standard fare. Sometimes they would ask for 50 pesos, sometimes just 20, there is no tariff displayed inside the tricycle. Later on, on my last day, I appreciated the driver, since he told me beforehand of how much he will charge me and if it would be okay with me. So he then explained to me the different fares which are due to the distance, and if you will be with other passengers or not.
Inside the tricycle are advertisements of the different tours in PPS. City tour, Honda Bay island hopping, even El Nido tour. I inquired for the city tour and I was quoted 800 pesos. I kinda declined since the other day, another driver quoted 600 pesos. The current driver finally agreed for 600. It was already 4 PM so it would be a rush tour. I told him that I just wanted photos of the attractions, I won’t really linger.
Our first stop is the farthest part, the Crocodile farm since we have to catch up its closing at 5 PM. We arrived late and it was already closing, but I was allowed to get inside for photo ops on the entrance (no entrance fee anymore).
Butterfly Eco Garden and Tribal Village
Next stop is the Butterfly Garden where there are different species of insects. I paid, I think 50 pesos for the entrance fee. I was able to hold a scorpion and see a boar and a Bearcat!
And what I love about this place is the cultural sharing of the Palaw-an indigenous people. They are the native of South Palawan and they come from the highlands to share their culture and to sell their crafts. They have so much talent and they are happy people.
After the Butterfly Garden, we were brought to the Mitra’s Ranch. This is the ranch of the former Senator Ramon Mitra and located at Sta. Monica Heights. Inside the ranch, there is a zip line and a hanging bridge. You can also view Honda Bay in this place. There are horses and cows and trees and grasses. I enjoyed it a lot.
Next stop is the Baker’s Hill, still in Sta. Monica Heights. It is a man-made theme park, many trees and flowers and a playground. And of course the bakery which sells baked goodies. We arrived there around 6PM and all the freshly baked goodies are gone, sold out for the day. The hopia is famous here, I bought mine at the airport for 65 pesos and it is good, it must be cheaper at the Baker’s Hill. There are also restaurants in the area serving pizza, pasta, street foods and others.
Puerto Princesa City Hall
We ended the city tour with a photo at the Puerto Princesa City Hall signage. It was dark already and I was so tired with the tricycle ride, I did not get a photo of the city hall itself. Yeah I know we did not go through all destinations, it was late already. But I was happy since the driver is talking about the places during our travel. By the way, the driver will bring you in the pasalubong center. Please do not miss this, even if you will not buy anything, just go inside the store and look around. When the driver brings tourists to the pasalubong center, he earns points which when accumulated will be convertible to 15kg of rice! Also, the pasalubong in PPS are cheap! Keychains are 5 pesos and ref magnet for 10 pesos. I was able to buy a sarong for only 120 pesos.
I arrived at the hotel at almost 8PM and I gave Kuya driver 700 pesos. He was so thankful. Over all, it was a great tour. If you are a group, you could save more as you will just divide the fee into the number of persons.