DIVING/FISHING-HEN & CHICKEN ISLANDS
Although i have never been fishing or diving near Hen and Chicken Islands i have friends who have fished there and caught plenty. Other friends have dived there and said that it was well worth it. Hen and Chicken islands are accessible from Nagtabon or Talaudyong, and both can be reached from Puerto Princesa by driving 23 kms north on the Northern Highway to Bacungan and turning left to cross the island 10 kms to Nagtabon. If you like to go to Talaudyong just follow the road to your right instead of going down the hill yo Nagtabon, and after 9 kms you will reach your destination. At both places you will find plenty of fishermen where you can negotiate the price for him to take you to the islands, approx 5 kms offshore.
I have been to the nearby beaches countless times and can never see the resemblance to the hen and chicken, but i guess if you have a few beers you will be able to see anything!!!
WONDERFUL BEACH and a NEW ROAD
Nagtabon Beach used to be a difficult place to get to as one had to drive 23 kms north of Puerto Princesa then take a track across to the west coast of the island for the last 10 kms, but just this month the concreting of the road has almost been completed. Unfortunately the last few hundred meters down to the beach is steep and rocky , but once you are there you will probably have this magnificent beach all to your selves, except at the weekend where we have sometimes seen as many as 10 people there!!!
HOW TO GET THERE
Rent a motorbike in Puerto Princesa.
Take the highway north to Bacungan which is between the 23 and 24 km markers. Turn left and after the small village the road will split, take the right hand fork and continue on the paved road until you are near the top of the hill and there is a signpost which says B Marcelo Road which leads to the right, but don't take this one. Leave the concrete road and take the rocky road on the left that leads down to the beach.
VISIT A PRAWN, FISH AND CRAB FARM
There are many fish, crab and prawn farms on the island so we visited one today and even though i have lived here for 20 years i never knew of this place which is 2 kms from where i used to live. The fish farm had dykes around it and split into 4 separate pools. This particular one produced crabs, milkfish and tiger prawns, but normally just sold to a particular restaurant or the occasional person who comes to buy, but none were sold at the market. The couple running the farm were extremely friendly and gave us two mud crabs to bring home.
To reach there you must travel south on the highway to km 9 at Sicsican and then turn left by the Petron Station, follow the road to the left and then right and take the first left, then you will have to ask someone for the fish farm or 'babayan'.
VISIT A FISHING VILLAGE
Take the road perpendicular to the airport, ten you will come to a junction, take the second left, Gabinete Road and follow the road for around 1.5kms and you will reach the sea. There is a small fishing community there and you may see the fishermen carry their catch ashore. Some fish are taken to the market and some are sold at 3 or 4 stalls there, where the fish will be up to 10% cheaper than the main market. You will see many bangkas and even a couple houses that have been built on a rock, 50 metres out at sea.
WALK OUT TO AN ISLAND AT LOW TIDE
If you go past the airport and right to the end of Rizal Avenue (1.5km maybe) the road will end by the sea, and you will see quite a few outriggers, mangrove and a tower to your left. Take a walk along the shore to your left and you should be able to see a small sandy island (only visible at low tide), perhaps a 100m from shore. You will be able to wade out, the water will be up to a meter deep. You can rest on the sandy island, but just a few meters further there is a drop off where you can swim or snorkel in the deep water.
SQUATTERS HUTS OVER THE SEA AT LIBERTY
Why don't you take a walk and see some of the squatters who live in huts on stilts built over the sea. Most of the families have a small outrigger boat to catch fish, and you can see these shanty areas at several places by the sea. The area i visited was called Liberty and one can walk down to the end of Liberty Road and find a small walkway over the water where the boats are anchored. Each side is surrounded by the squatter's houses and the area is very crowded with washing drying in the alleys.
Liberty is just off of Abueg Road. Any hotel receptionist or tricycle driver will tell you haow to get there.
Some things to see on the road south
After passing the tourist attractions of The Butterfly Farm (km 7), Orb and Zip Line (km 9), Crocodile Farm (km 11), Eco Park (km11) Iwahig Penal Colony (km 18) and the Fire Fly Watching (km 23) then you will see fewer tourists, but there are some scenic spots. At around km34/35 you will have some wonderful views of the sea to the right, this will be on the new road as before there was a real nice zig zag road that traversed the mountain, but be careful on this stretch, there are two bad bends. A few kms after the old zig zag road meets up with the new road you will ride near the sea and local fishermen will be selling their catch at the side of the road. At around km 43, just as you pass a bridge if you look carefully to your left you will see the corkscrew coconut tree, and a km or two afterwards there will be a small track on your left leading to a deserted beach and river, good for a swim. There is a derelict building there if you need shade. Around km 54 you will reach the turn off to Inagowan, and if you go down this road a few kms you will come to a beach with two small local resorts. You will also pass by St Eziekel church with Balon Pare, a spring which has holy water and the people believe that if you drink this you will be cured of your ailments. Km 68 you will reach Aborlan, the market on your left with a nice bakery behind it. Around Plaridel at km 82 you can turn left to Tigman Beach (5kms) where you can swim at Camilla Del Sur Resort. Return to the main rd and a few kms later there will be a sign for Estrella Falls, turn off, 4kms later you will pass through the small village of Estrella before turning right and going another 4 kms to the falls. They are worth a visit on a hot day as the water is cool. If you wish to go further south return to the main rd and at km 94 you will reach the town of Narra (some places to stay), then you can continue on another 100kms to Brookes Point ( accommodation available), then still further south is the largely Moslem town of Rio Tuba(km 250?), with some cheap lodging houses. Another 50 kms to the most southern point of the island . Enjoy the trip!
At Santa Lucia Sub Colony at Iwahig Penal farm there is a shooting club at the range, which is located at around km 26 on the southern highway, just before a bridge. You will see the sign for the sub colony on the right, just go in to the guard house which is 100m from the road and ask if you can join the target practice. You should be able to borrow a gun from one of the instructors but you pay for your bullets. Prisoners will set up the targets .
Rent a bike and visit Talaudyong, a small fishing community with a deserted sandy beach on the other side of the island, about 40 kms from Puerto Princesa. If the fish have not been transported to town you may be able to buy some from the fishermen and bbq it yourself. You will have to bring buy charcoal from the sari sari store or find driftwood or old coconuts and build your own bbq device by finding a couple of stones, spearing the fish with a stick and lay the fiah across the stones. To get there take the road north to Bacungan at km 22.5 then turn off to the right, and at the end of the village take the right hand fork which will be unpaved. Ride for about another 9 kms until halfway up a steep hill then the road will split again, take the left hand fork (sign says B Marcelo rd), which will lead you another 10 kms to the village, winding your way along the coast line with some astounding views. The road ends at the fishing village.
cool water falls
If you are in Sabang and you still got time to kill after you've been amazed on wonderful rock formation in underground river take a walk/trekk past the temple ( i forgot the name of the temple, just a small temple though) to the water falls. Or you can asked the locals there espacially the kids they will gladly walked with you, but prepare yourself this is not an ordinary walk because there are lots big stone in the shore.
Nasin Aw Beach
If you are longing for a beach within the city, just hop in on a tricylce and ask the driver to bring you at Nasin Aw Beach. It will only cost you 25.00php for entrance
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