TASTE A FEW UNUSUAL TREATS AT BAYWALK
Favorite thing: Baywalk is an area by Puerto Princesa Bay where many of the locals and tourists congregate at night, many coming to enjoy a meal or a few beers at the numerous eateries that line the bay. So maybe it is time to try a few tasty delicacies that you don't find in your own part of the world such as sea urchins, lato or unripe mango with bagoong.
Eating live sea urchin is not for everybody but try cracking it open and you will know it is still alive if the black spines are moving around while you eat it. The sea urchin can actually move for around 30 minutes after you have opened it, BUT what does it taste like? Very difficult to explain to someone who has never eaten one before but how about a briny ocean taste with a creamy texture.
Lato is a type of seaweed that grows among the mangrove trees where the sea temperature remains constant. The seaweed is eaten fresh, usually dipped in vinegar.
Green mango is sliced and eaten with bagoong which is partially fermented fish or shrimp with salt, again an acquired taste.
HAVE YOU EVER EATEN A WORM ???
Favorite thing: NO !!! Well, if you are in Puerto Princesa now is a good time to try it. Tamilok is a type of woodworm like creature that is found inside rotting mangroves, but it is actually a mollusk. It is a delicacy here and several restaurants serve it, mainly for tourists to sample. According to some people it tastes like an oyster but i cannot verify this as i have never eaten one, and probably never will We have had a few VT friends meet us in Palawan and so far all have refused this delicacy. The tamilok can be found at Bakers Hill, Kinabuchs, Ugong Rock and probably a few more restaurants should you wish to try it.
Finding these woodworms among the many mangroves is not an easy task and the supply cannot keep up with the demand. The locals will search for dead mangroves then split them open in search for the worm which can grow uo to one foot long. The tamilok is eaten fresh, or perhaps with vinegar or kalamansi, but when you are eating one make sure you have you alcohol beside you, ready to wash it down your gullet.
AND ONE MORE THING !!!
Why was it called tamilok. ?
Two Americans saw some locals eating the delicacy and one shouted to the other "Tommy, Look!"
CHECK OUT THE MAP OF THE CITY
Favorite thing: If you arrive at the airport and decide to walk out to Rizal Avenue you will find a detailed map of Puerto Princesa just before you exit the airport compound. Many hotels and restaurants are marked on the map so you will have a rough idea of where you want to go.
I will also remind you to pick up a map of the city at the Tourists Information Kiosk just after you exit the arrival terminal. The kiosk is actually a native hut where two or three tourist police will be posted there.
TITI or KIKI-----KNOW WHERE TO RELIEVE YOURSELF
Favorite thing: I have seen this in several establishments throughout the country but the photographs here are taken at the Tiki Bar in Puerto Princesa. You will see these names on the door of the toilets and if you are male you must go to the TITI door, female to the KIKI door. Titi and Kiki are slang for the male and female genitals, so now you know not to make a mistake.
PALAWAN VOTED NUMBER ONE ISLAND IN THE WORLD
Favorite thing: I am proud to say that the island where we live has been voted the best island in the world (by Vone Nast Travel magazine). The last few years Palawan has truly arrived on the map and is picking up awards on a regular basis as the island offers beautiful beaches, wonderful diving, trekking, mountains, rock-climbing, island hopping (there are 1,700 islands in the Palawan Group), jungle, water sports, and first class seafood. You can read about several of the awards in the links below and hopefully you will make your mind up and come for a visit.
Favorite thing: Who knows what may happen to you while traveling, so here i have listed a few numbers in case you need the police, hospital or immigration, as well as a few others.
EMERGENCY NUMBER (equivalent to 999 UK or 911 USA) 117 (using cellphone)
CITY POLICE STATION 166
IMMIGRATION OFFICE 433-2248
AIRPORT TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICE 434-4211
PALAWAN ADVENTIST HOSPITAL 433-4666
CO-OPERATIVE HOSPITAL 434-5580
PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL (GOVT RUN) 433-2621
STORE YOUR BAGS, BUT IT IS A RIP-OFF !!!!
Favorite thing: This place opened up this week so i thought i would go and check it out for our members as it is the only place in town that will store your bags, except for your friendly hotels and guest houses. Quite often the hotel where you are staying will store your bags if you want to travel around the island and don't want to haul all your gear around with you. This shop, called Worldwide Collection seems to be selling clothes but will store bags for 300 pesos a day. 300 PESOS A DAY!!! That is correct! I cannot see them doing much business at this inflated price. I asked if there was a weekly rate-----YES, 2,100 pesos was the reply!!!
NEED I SAY ANYMORE ???
In case anyone is interested the shop is 100 m after Katobom on the left towardsthe airport in Rizal Avenue. All trike drivers will know Katobom.
CRAFT BEER from PALAWENO BREWERY
Favorite thing: Update--- the premises have been moved to 82 Manalo Street, but i have not visited the new location yet. You will see the same wooden sign on the wall and it is between Valencia St and Mendoza St on Manalo St.
I was extremely surprised that we now have a brewery in Puerto Princesa producing CRAFT BEER, which opened up at the beginning of May. Ayahay Brewery is located at 40 Taft Street, which runs parallel to Rizal Avenue in the vicinity of the cathedral. The owners also run Matutina Pension House behind the small bar. There are 5 types of beer on offer, two of which are available as drafts, and they range from 5.5% to 7.2%, but at 120 to 140 pesos a bottle only tourists and middle class locals can afford to drink it. I tried an Ambog Draft and thoroughly enjoyed it, wish i had more time to sample the others, but it was a real treat and i will not hesitate to drop by again. The owner was extremely friendly and took time to explain the type of beers that were available. More seating is available at the back of the building.
EMERGENCY DENTAL TREATMENT? THEN READ THIS!
Favorite thing: Travelers often need dental treatment when traveling so whether a filling dropped out or a tooth has to be removed it is good to have a dentist recommended to you. I have been living here nearly 20 years and the first 5 years i tried many dentists and was never really satisfied with mt treatment. However for the last 15 years i have been attending the dental clinic of Doctora Orleda and found her to be very good. I am not saying she is the best but certainly knows her job after 30 years experience. She is also a supplier of dental equipment for the other dentists in town. Recently she invests in a new dental chair for her patients.
Filling 600 pesos
Extraction 500 pesos
Crown 7,000 pesos or less.
You will find her clinic on the second floor of the building on the right as you enter the street in front of the City Coliseum. For location please refer to the map in the photo above. Clinic hours and telephone are detailed in another photo above.
NEED YOUR SHOES REPAIRED
Favorite thing: As in many Philippine towns you will see simple stalls by the side of the road, usually near the market where the locals will repair your shoes for a very cheap price compared to the West. Sometimes, if it is a simple repair you can wait while they do the work.
If the shoe just needs a few stitches probably 30-50 pesos will cover it. To sew the sole back to the shoe, maybe 100 pesos, but to replace the sole it will be worth paying 350 pesos and your shoes will be as good as new again.
WHERE TO GO IF YOU NEED MEDICAL ATTENTION
Favorite thing: Palawan Medical City newly opened last year and is located on the National Highway in San Pedro, perhaps 1.5 kms from the Capitol Building . You cannot miss it as it is next to Puregold Supermarket. There are many different doctor's clinics, each specialising in his or her field, as well as a laboratory. Last year i had a medical problem and was very pleased with my treatment which happened to be a small operation involving surgery.
There are 3 hospitals in the city
1) The Provincial Hospital (Government run) which normally deals with the poorer class who cannot afford to visit the private hospitals. Located in Malvar Street
2) The Adventist Hospital which has been here for 30 years or so which is located at 3 kms from the Capitol Building where the National Highway splits to go north or south. They recently opened up a new wing to accommodate more patients. I have been admitted to this hospital on two occasions but around 15 years ago and i was satisfied with my treatment, but unfortunately my wife was admitted twice and was extremely dissatisfied and we will never go back there again.
3) The Co-operative Hospital which is the newest in town, located in Burgos Street, not far from the Post Office. My wife has had several relatives confined here and all were pleased with the treatment except for the one who died!!!
CHANGING POUNDS,EUROS, SWISS FRANCS AND MORE
Favorite thing: In Robinsons Shopping Mall a new Money Exchanger recently opened its doors. Until recently it was quite difficult to change any notes accept for US $s but i spoke to the manager and they will change most Western Currencies, but the rate did not appear as good as the rate in Manila.
The office is located upstairs on the second floor towards the rear, overlooking the car park.
HOW ABOUT A TATTOO OR PIERCING???
Favorite thing: Redskin Tattoo studio is long established in Puerto Princesa and although i have not had a tattoo myself i know quite a few people who have been pleased with the tattooist's work. You don't have to have a permanent tattoo as they can do henna and cosmetic tattoos also. Body piercing is available here too. A tattoo will cost much less here than back in Europe, America or Australia.
The studio is perhaps 500 metres from the airport. Turn right as you exit the airport and walk along Rizal Avenue for 5 minutes (on the left hand side of the road) and the studio is in the same building as the immigration office.
KAINGUD & CASTAWAY SHACK
Favorite thing: This is probably the best place in town to look for tribal souvenirs and it is located in Rizal Avenue 500m before you reach the airport. There are several sections of the shack and you can sit down and enjoy a beer and if you are lucky there may be a jamming session as the local group Kawangis ng Tribu run the bar. They are quite celebrities as they play tribal music with a variety of old traditional instruments.
ROCK WITH RX-80
Favorite thing: RX - 80 are a real good rock group that normally perform at different venues throughout Puerto Princesa. The musicians are still young but if you like hard rock just ask around at the music venues to see where they are playing.
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