My college friend Danielle has always been my travel buddy since I started working. Her mom would always be the one to arrange the plane tickets, hotel accommodations, and itineraries. All I needed to do was to show up at their house and we’d all go together to the airport. Hassle-free!
The first trip that we went together to was when we went Puerto Princesa, Palawan and stayed there for 3 days and 2 nights (at The Legend Palawan Hotel). I was so excited because Palawan is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines and I couldn’t wait hop from one island to another.
We availed of a travel package so we relied mostly on its pre-arranged itinerary. Getting a travel package would be the most convenient way to tour around one place if you didn’t have time to research and was too lazy to plan your own itinerary (which was what happened to us). But of course, this would mean that you would be touring with other guests who also availed of the same package. It means that you won’t be able to leave and come back at some place whenever you like. As courtesy to the other travelers, you should always be on time for pick-ups and drop-offs. But for some weird reason, Danielle, her mom and I were always the last ones to arrive and would get stares from the other guests. It wasn’t intentional of course.
Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm
One of our most memorable stops (aside from the island hopping part) was at the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm. It is about 30 minutes away by road from Puerto Princesa city. Here you could see and buy native products that the prisoners made themselves. What’s unique about this prison is that the inmates live in dormitories and can roam around freely and work at the farm. A few that are at high risk of escaping are in maximum security areas which are closely monitored.
Irawan Crocodile Farm
Another must-stop for the tourists was the Irawan Crocodile Farm. I think there was an entrance fee but I couldn’t remember how much exactly because it was part of the tour package already. Didn’t enjoy it. I’m not really a fan of animal farms.
Aside from the crocodiles, you can also see other indigenous animals like the Palawan bearcat, sea eagle, Palawan bearded pig, and many more.
Mitra’s Ranch is a popular tourist destination in Puerto Princesa. It is located at the Sta. Monica Heights (where Baker’s Hill – if you want to buy pasalubong especially baked goodies for a reasonable price – can also be found), and is about 30 minutes away from Iwahig. It is owned by the family of the late Senator Ramon Mitra.
We stopped by at some restaurant where they provided free snacks. I forgot the name but it had a very nice ambiance and they had ponds around the eating area with lots of koi fish swimming about and waiting for your food crumbs to fall.
If you’re really into food tripping, you shouldn’t miss out on KaLui Restaurant located at 369 Rizal Ave., Puerto Princesa City. When we arrived at our hotel from the airport we asked around for a good place to eat. It is one of the most recommended by the locals and we weren’t disappointed! Very nice staff and great food. Just remember to remove your footwear when inside the restaurant. It’s their policy.