I admit that despite our research from the internet and from friends there were still a lot of glitches during our first time trip to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. For one thing it had been raining off and on throughout our stay there and then there was the permit to the Underground River fiasco. (Please see my previous blogs for details). Nevertheless, we still got three lifers and managed to see some beautiful birds. We also had pleasant experiences at the local hotels.
We were picked up at the airport by the hotel van. We booked at the Palo alto Bed & Breakfast for June 25th and then on June 27th. Our room was in excellent condition with hot showers, refrigerator, complimentary bottled water, aircon and complimentary breakfast (you choose from Filipino, American, or local - all of which are very delicious). Their in-house restaurant, Salakot, opens at 6 am. However when we left for Sabang at 5;30 the following morning, they even packed our complimentary breakfast for us! The hotel itself is relatively new (it opened in 2011). It has a native look to it and the foundations were made of a Acacia manguim taken from a responsibly maintained local plantation. The hotel uses solar energy to heat their water. It being away from the city center, and thus far the noise and pollution make it a perfect nature getaway. Palo Alto also offers free van transportation to and from the city/airport. From the hotel's two decks you can view the surrounding trees and hear the sound of bird songs. We saw about 15 species of birds within the surrounding area. Everyone at Palo Alto, from their cordial owner, Guido Ylaya, the desk personnel, Bernadette & Girlie, to their driver, Mervin, were very nice, helpful and made sure our stay was enjoyable.
In Sabang we stayed at the Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort. Again, the staff, particularly May and Grace at the reception area and Eugene, the carabao cart driver, were exceedingly helpful. Rydell and Julbert, the waiters at the in-house Pawikan Restaurant, were the epitome of service and friendliness.
Badjao Restaurant in Puerto Princesa sits atop a mangrove forest. Fresh sea breezes kept the place comfortably cool. The dishes, particularly the seafood, were gastronomical delights. The waiters were friendly and courteous and the prices were just right.
Kalui Restaurant in Puerto Princesa, touted as the number one in the city, for us was a bit disappointing. Compared to Badjao's expansive feel, Kalui, although bigger in space, seemed cramped and dark. The wall decor was composed of various works of art some of which were quite prurient in nature, which makes this place not really family-friendly. The waiters tend to be aloof and just focused on serving food without a hint of congeniality. The dishes themselves were just so-so.
Palo Alto Bed & Breakfast - P3,000.00 a night. (complimentary breakfast included)
Private Van (provided by Lexus Shuttle Service) to Sabang - P3,000.00
Daluyon Beach & Mountain Resort - P4,424.00 a night (complimentary breakfast included)
Public Van from Sabang - P140.00 per person = P280.00
June 25 dinner, Badjao Restaurant - P522.00 (senior discounted)
June 26 lunch, Pawikan in Daluyon Resort - P490.00 (senior discounted)
June 26, dinner, Pawikan in Daluyon Resort - P350.00 (senior discounted
June 27, lunch at Badjao - P370.00 (senior discounted)
June 27, dinner at Kalui - P390.00
Tricycle fares - P80.00 used twice = P160.00
Van to Iwahig (provided by Palo alto B&B) - P1,200.00 (half day)