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Going to Sabang via public transpo is a bit tough, especially if you plan to be back in PP within the day. The best thing is to join a tour group. I requested the staff at Casa Linda to arrange it for me through Ellen's Travel and Tours. Tour fee is P1300 per person inclusive of round trip transpo on aircon van, boat ride, paddleboat ride, lunch, permit, stop-over at VietVille, and tour guide.
I was picked up at my hotel before 7am, fetched other tour members, and was able to leave the city around 7:30am. The tour guide, Buboy, is very knowledgeable about the province's history, landmarks, and current events. He also shared some anecdotes and side stories (he is also a licensed therapist and offers massage services). I was back at my hotel around 4pm.
Updated Mar 16, 2006
Upon reaching the picnic ground, a short walk along a forested trail follows. At the end of the trail is the mouth of the underground river where the paddle boats are waiting for our 45-minute river tour.
Aside from life vest, we were required to put on helmet to protect our head from bat dung, dripping water, or possible sharp objects inside the cave. Also the person seated at the boat's front-end is in charge of holding the lamp that illuminates our way.
It is advisable to have an early start to avoid the long queue of people waiting for their turn on the river tour. Based on experience, we were the second group to arrive so we were able to choose the color of our helmet, strike different poses, and take pictures. However when we returned, there were already more than 5 groups in line.
Updated Mar 24, 2006
The advantage of being in a tour group, I didn't have to worry about details. As soon as we arrived at Sabang wharf, we immediately boarded a motorized outrigger boat for the 20-minute ride to the picnic ground. We were provided by life vest each which we had to don as per coast guard policy.
Alternatively, an option to taking this 20-minute boat ride is to hike inside the jungle. It takes around 3 hours to cross from Sabang to the picnic ground.
Updated Mar 24, 2006
As this was supposed to be an adventure trip, as all my latest trips are, I took the boat from Manila. We were scheduled to leave at 5 pm but we left at 7 pm actually. Before getting on the ship the police took our photo and fingerprints. In big boats there was always a luggage search usually with dogs sniffing for guns , which of course gave me a safety feeling as I had heard a lot about bombings and disorder. Well, after all, nothing went wrong in my whole Philippine trip as you can read in my dangers tip...
After watching the sunset in Manila port we set off for the 24 hour voyage to Palawan. The bunk beds were not very comfortable as they were all on the noisy deck, exposed to the winds and rain but anyway. People were very friendly and talkative. Some treated me to their food and although I avoid munchies I had to accept as a gesture of good will. The noise and most of the lights went out about midnight and I had an undisturbed sleep due to the eye covers and ear plugs....Don't forget them if you plan a trip like this! Your sleeping bag, too or a small blanket, you know like the ones the planes have....
At 6am everybody was up, had a bath and was directed to the dining room for a basic breakfast. At about 7 we stopped at Coron island where a group of young schoolchildren welcomed the new passengers with music instruments playing a happy, local tune. We finally arrived in Puerto Princesa around dusk. There was lunch too, but you can bring your food as meals are not included in the ticket price and are nothing much.
The ticket was about 1200p if I remember well.
SuperFerry Customer Interaction Center
7th Floor, Times Plaza Building
United Nations Avenue corner Taft Avenue
Manila 1000, Philippines
(+63 2) 5287000
700am to 10:00pm
(GMT + 8 Hours) Philippine time
Monday to Sunday
(+63 917) 8892421
Updated Nov 14, 2007
I had decided on flying back to Manila from El Nido. The air fare was 100 US$. But when one of my friends decided to get on the cargo ship that was leaving at midnight I was in a big dilemma. I thought it might be fun but I would waste two whole days. The adventurous spirit prevailed so I canceled the booking on the plane and went along.
The ship was cramped with passengers, crew and cartoons of bad smelling fish. The bunk beds were made for dwarfs and put together side by side..The first impulse was that of running away. But there was no option anymore. I relaxed and decided to enjoy whatever I could. We were surprised to see the reason for our delay . They were trying to fill up the last remaining space in the front with 20 yes! 20 big buffaloes! 20 more pigs were squeezed in a corner making a terrible noise. The buffaloes(carabao) were loaded by a crane. They were lifted up in the air and then put into the ship leaving no space between them. They tied them together so that they wouldn't be able to move an inch. I pitied them.
Later we went up on the tiny deck beside the captain seat to have a glass of the local wine we had brought along. The impact of the alcohol made us relax and enjoy the refreshing night air as the boat was sliding smoothly on the dark water. The captain, a young boy in his early twenties had all the lights off. Even the navigation panel was dark. The starry night was bright enough and the powerful lamps of the fishing boats shone like huge stars in the horizon. Only the sound of the boat's wake could be heard in the silence..It was a good feeling.
Later we had a lot of laughs as my friend tried to fit his European body in these tiny beds. When he put his head on the pillow his legs were out of the window! When he put his legs on the bed his head was in the air. He preferred the first position.
The trip took 32 hours and we had enough time to talk about everything on earth...We enjoyed wonderful sunrises and sunsets! It was a nice experience after all ! Click on the photo to see!
Updated Nov 13, 2007
Seair's flights are not just commercial flights from PUERTO PRINCESA to EL NIDO and BUSUANGA, they are also a great way to see Palawan from a birds eyes view.
Seair 's 19-seater plane flies Tuesday, Friday and Sunday (no sunday till october) either way. Bring a camera. You may book them in Manila in Seair's ticket outlet, in Puerto Princesa at Floral Travel, in El Nido at the Artcafe, in Coron at Coron Tours.
Updated Jul 27, 2006
Phone: 048 434 5272 Puerto Princesa
When getting around Coron, Palawan. From the YKR airport, you will be ask to board a passenger jeepney as chartered by the airlines(SeaAir or Asian Spirit). You will be charged a high rate of P150 per person on an almost 30-45 minutes rough dusty ride from the airport. Just tell the jeepney where hotel/lodge you intend to stay. Otherwise he will drop you off at the public market as its endpoint.
Getting around the town is very simple by riding a tricycle for a fee of P7 per person. Going on inter-island boat hopping is pegged at P1200 to P1500 per boat with a capacity of 8 persons to the max. So make sure you can bring a lot of friends there for you to save.
I advise you that as you land make sure to reconfirm your flight way back home at the airline office located at Coron town. Reconfirming your flight is very important so that the jeep transfer will wait for you at the meeting place or they might fetch you up on your hotel.
Failure to do so might lead you to being left out of your flight or you might be forced to "bite on the bullet" of hiring a special motorcycle enroute to the airport just like what happened to me. Cost of motorcycle hiring is P500 as compared to the P150 regular jeep fare. Riding a motorcycle exposes you to danger(no helmet) and the dust/muds since you will be travelling on rough uncemented roads. Although it offers a little thrill since you have a clear view of the route. So expect to see flying parrot, hawks and monkeys roaming along the journey.
Updated Jun 10, 2007
Public transpo between PP and Sabang has no specific schedule. As soon as the jeep is full, then it leaves. In most cases, people and cargo are squeezed together, whether inside or on top of the jeep.
Updated Mar 16, 2006
Puerto Princesa is the capital of palawan. Most if not all buses that go to the different municipalities in Palawan are found in this city. A number of them are stationed at the new public market. Buses' go to roxas, taytay, port barton, el nido, aborlan, etc.
Written Apr 5, 2006
Cost of Inter-island trips at Coron ranges from 1500 pesos to as high as 3000 pesos. But you can save on the cost of the boat trips by joining/sharing with other budget-conscious tourists. This is a common practice among the guests here in most hotels. All you have to do is to ask the hotel front desk personnel to find a safe looking partner / tourists inside the hotel who can join you on the trip. Most of the time they announce it over the microphone / post it on the bulletin boards the day before the scheduled trip
This way you make your trip more enjoyable(esp if you are alone) by gaining new friends along the trip. Who knows he/she might be the one you've been looking for and you can count on take beautiful pics of you.
Written Dec 23, 2007
Marina Garden Beach Resort El Nido
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