2GO or not 2GO---FERRY TICKETS
2GO travel has integrated many of the country's ferry companies such as Negros Navigation, Superferry, Supercat and Cebu Ferries and it is possible to buy tickets from the one office. The office in PPC is in Concepcion Street, just opposite the cathedral, just walk 50m down the street and you will see the sign and booking office. From time to time there are promo offers, or if you book early sometimes you can avail of a better price.
SAN JOSE TERMINAL--JEEPNEY or BUS
San Jose Bus Terminal is located around 4 kms from the Capitol Building and can be reached by multicab from there for 15-20 pesos. After entering the o/w street by San Jose Market you will see the main terminal building in the right where there will be various buses and jeepneys waiting for passengers to depart to all parts of the island. I am sorry to say that some of the vehicles are not in the best of condition. Some shuttle vans will leave from there too but you can also see most of the shuttles across the road in a separate area.
SAN JOSE TERMINAL----SHUTTLE VANS
San Jose Terminal is located about 4 kms from the city center next to San Jose Market, and when you enter the market on the o/w street the area where you will find shuttles will be on your left hand side. Shuttle vans hold up to 12 passengers and will travel to all destination north and south Palawan. Usually shuttle vans will leave when they are full and each company has its own small ramshackle building where they leave from. The destinations are clearly displayed on the shuttle van or a tarpaulin sign. You will see such names as Charing, Alexis, Fort Wally who are some of the main operators here.
You can reach the terminal from the Capitol Building by means of a multicab, which will cost something less than 20 pesos. You can also rent a trike for a private trip for 100-150, depending on your bargaining skills.
MONTENEGRO SHIPPING LINE to CUYO and ILOILO
The Montenegro ship departs once a week from Puerto Princesa stopping at Cuyo on the way to its final destination at Iloilo. The ticket office ( a ramshackle of a place) is just 50m from the gate to the port in Malvar Street.
As at the moment the boat departs Thursday evenings at 18.00 hrs and stops in Cuyo for a few hours so you can hop off, visit the town and buy supplies.
Note, the Milagrosa boat stops for longer.
Details of prices etc can be found on the website below
MILAGROSA OFFICE - boats to CUYO and ILOILO
Normally the Milagrosa line sails to Iloilo on Panay twice a week. The boat also stops in the island of Cuyo for about 6-8 hours, arriving early morning and departing mid afternoon, which allows you enough time to explore Cuyo. I have not posted sailing times as they can change from week to week depending on weather and boat maintenance.
The Milagrosa Booking Office is in Rizal Avenue, just past Roxas Street on the left heading towards the pier. The sign is almost illegible but you should recognise the office by the photo above.
RENT A BICYCLE
As far as i know there is only one place to rent a bicycle in Puerto Princesa and it is a little way from the center. You will be able to rent a simple Korean bike with basket and without gears at MB By the Bay for 150 pesos a day or 50 pesos per hour. The owner has 5 bicycles available for rent.
MB by the Bay is opposite to Deep Forest Inn which is located in Abueg Road, and you will clearly see the sign . Just follow the road 50 meters and then turn to the right and MB by the Bay will be another 50 meters. The bikes will be fine for riding around town as one can manage without gears, and it would be even possible to visit the Crocodile Farm (km 12) and Iwahig Penal Colony (km 16 + or - 1km), but if you are thinking of going further afield to Nagtabon or Sabang i would not advise it.
NOW FLY DIRECTLY TO KOTA KINABALU
Great news, MAS Wings which is part of the national carries of Malaysia are starting flights from Puerto Princesa to Kota Kinabalu. The only details i have are in the attached photograph but will try find out more later and post here, but at $59 this seems a bargain as previously one had to return to Manila before catching a flight to Kota Kinabalu. Over the years i have lived here so many tourist have been frustrated as Borneo is so near to Palawan and they have been unable to get there from this island. Let us hope that the flights are successful and will continue without interruption.
I believe that the plane flying this route will be a Turbo Prop ATR 72-600 which can carry 48 passengers (or 78 if it is the extended version) . The 600 series had their maiden flight in 2011 so they are all new planes.
- Budget Travel
RENT AN ATV or 4 wheeled motorbike
I noticed that it is possible to rent this 4 wheeled vehicle from a stand just after you come out the airport and turn right on Rizal Avenue. I have no idea about the rental fee as the vehicle seems to be parked there most of the time.
SO MANY TRAVEL AGENCIES
The other day i walked from the airport to the Capitol Building, a distance of 1.5 kms perhaps and i counted 38 travel agencies, most of them i have never heard of before. They will all offer the same thing, trips to Underground River, trips to Honda Bay, City Tours , Dolphin Watching and arrange tickets for local flights and the multicabs traveling to points all over the island. A tourist in town will be offered almost exactly the same price at each one but there are agencies that have been around for 15 years or more which would be more professional. Most of the new ones opened up since the underground river became popular which brought more tourists to the island.
If you are looking for an international air ticket i suggest you book it yourself on the internet.
Air Asia merged with Zest Air so they could have access to the airport in Manila instead of flying from Clark. Unfortunately they arrive and leave from the old domestic airport so be aware of this should you fly with them. Sometimes you will be accommodated on an Air Asia plane and sometimes the less popular Zest Air plane
UPDATE Air Asia is operating daily flights between Manila and Puerto Princesa and you can often find flights at promo prices if you book in advance.
Be aware that when you start booking the price increases as you pay for luggage and seat selection, then taxes and fuel surcharge on top of this. So you may see 500 pesos advertised but could end up paying 2000 pesos.
RENTING A MOTORBIKE
In the kilometer or so between the airport and the Capitol Building there are many places where you cab rent a motorbike. Small Hondas or Yamahas go for around 450 pesos a day and bigger off road bikes such as the Honda XR200 go for around 800 pesos a day, but during the off season you can possibly bargain the price down a little. There should also be a good discount if you like to rent the motorbike for a week.
Shuttle vans operate in two different ways. You can go to the main bus station at San Jose and ride a shuttle south or north to various destinations throughout the island, but be careful as normally the driver goes at breakneck speed to reach his destination before other competitors.
Shuttle vans are also used mainly by tourists taking day trips to the underground river in Sabang, City Tours and several hotels use them for picking up guests at the airport. 15 tears ago there were no shuttles in Puerto Princesa but with the growth in tourism it seems that every second vehicle is a shuttle van, Should you want to go anywhere just ask at your hotel and one will appear quite quickly to whisk you away.
Jeepneys are extended jeeps with two rows of passengers along each side, possibly seating as many as 24 people. Jeepneys tend to run on longer routes of 20 to 150 kms, but occasionally they are found on the shorter roues that multicabs take. The fare is fixed and the fares should be posted inside the jeepney. Baggage, motorbikes and even live animals are piled high on the roof of the jeepney, as well as extra passengers when the vehicle is full. Be careful if you are sitting on top of the jeepney as more than one person has been seriously injured by a branch of a tree!!!
Most of the jeepneys run from the main bus station which is out of town at San Jose.
Tricycles in Puerto Princesa take passengers from A to B either along set routes or you can choose your destination. Each Barangay (area of town) will normally have a tricycle waiting area where they will take you into the town center, usually to the market area, and from the market they will leave at certain places to take you back. Sometimes they are a little different to locate as each trike has a different route and a different waiting area. If you ask a local chances are they will only know where the trike departs from to take them to their own Barangay.
Tricycle fares along the designated routes are a fixed fare, but if you flag one down on the street they should charge you 8 pesos for the first two kilometers, but often this is not the case involving tourists. As tourists have no idea what the correct fare should be they often end up paying inflated prices. And now there is a different problem--- when you are in the trike you must tell the driver that you don't want a special ride, which means he will be allowed to pick up extra passengers along the route. If you want a special ride you must negotiate the fare and you will have the trike all to yourself.
Normally a trike will take two passengers in the seat facing forwards, two more in the uncomfortable metal seat facing backwards and another sitting on the motorbike behind the driver. So now you know all about tricycles!!!
AND LATE AT NIGHT ALL RULES ARE IGNORED---you must negotiate the fare with the trike driver, possibly 50 pesos for 2 kms and maybe 100 pesos for 4kms would be about right!
TRICYCLES FROM THE AIRPORT
If you arrive at Puerto Princesa Airport and decide to squeeze into a tricycle with all your baggage and partner there is a tricycle waiting area just by the arrivals hall, just cross the road and walk down a few steps and they will be waiting in a little neat line for you. By the waiting area you will see a sign on a lamp-post indicating the fares, which is for the whole tricycle, not each passenger. The only problem with this is that you must know which district you are going to and very few tourists will know that Centro Hotel is in San Pedro, or Grace Park is in Bancao-Bancao. Even so, the fares may be a little higher than flagging one down on the street but when i inspected the fares , they were not too bad.
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