Dream and make it happen.
Sailing through the Underground River of Palawan was the number 1 in my bucket list since I learned about it at grade school. Actually, I grew-up in the island that’s just few hours away by boat from this beauty. But, I never had the chance to go before. I grew up in a family that the concept of travel was a luxury. We don’t leave our hometown for a splendid holiday. It’s either for our tailoring/store’s stocks, to do the medical check-up or to visit my grandparents that’s ocean away from us… and Palawan is out of the course.
Now, let’s fast forward… last twenty fourteen, my first vacation being an overseas worker, I decided to have a detour to Palawan on my way to Manila. A solo trip of 16 hours by boat from Mapun to Brooke’s Point and 5 hours of road trip to Puerto Princessa. When I arrived in Puerto Princessa bus station, that was around 3:00PM, I hopped in to the first empty tricycle that passed by and ask the driver to take me to the nearest lodge to the airport. After settling in and had refreshed, I spent the first day meeting my best friend’s family, bought some stuff and had dinner with our good neighbor back in the island, Kah Whi. My tour in Palawan officially started the day after, and here we go, my solo trip in Palawan…
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THE SUBTERRANEAN RIVER
Would I missed the chance? It’s one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature! I’m already here, people travel from miles away to cruise in this river.
What I did, approached the owner of the Lodge, and ask to book me a tour to the Underground River. I paid 1.2K Php (about 25USD) for all in – municipal permit, transportation and buffet, in 2014. At 7:00 AM call time, I was ready and excited. The van was 12-seater, and luckily I was a part of Petron Manila group. I blended in with them. I had an instant group. The perks of traveling solo, can easily meet new friends.
1st Stop: Palawan Municipal Hall
We waited for about 30 minutes in the municipal hall, the opening time was at 8:00AM and a bunch of group tours were also waiting.
2nd Stop: The Pit Stop of Amazing Race
3rd Stop: Sabang Beach – Lunch time
A buffet lunch is waiting as you arrive the beach. While waiting, you can have a have a phototrick here, any amount of donation for the man. You can also have swimming while waiting for your boat, the tour guide will call your group anyway if it’s almost your number.
4th Stop: The Beach Across
About 15 minutes of sailing the boat will take you to the location of the Subterranean River, swimming is not allowed in the area, the water is deep and rough, and there’s no lifeguards. So, we just had picture taking, again ?. Watch out for the monkeys by the way, they will try to snatch your stuff, specially food. They did that to my water bottle. The monkey got scared, I screamed because I was shocked.
5th Stop: The Entrance of the River
The path that will lead you to the final waiting area.
We have number for our group, and there’s like 8 of us. While waiting, another picture moment for us. It’s kinda busy and we waited for about 20 minutes. But you won’t get bored, the place is beautiful. Besides the actual tour in the Subterranean River only takes about 30 minutes, so enjoy the scenery.
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We came back from the tour to the Subterranean River at around 3:00PM. The van, I mean the tour provider will drop you to your hotel or hostel. Few minutes rest, I headed to a souvenirs shop immediately. The prices of souvenirs are really cheap, that time you can buy 15pcs of key chain for 100Php (2.50USD). I roam around the city, going to one place to the other with the tricycle. I just ask the drivers to take me from one place to the other. So far I did not have an issue of overcharging the fare.
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Kah Whi, took me to Baker’s Hill. FYI, NO entrance fee. The place is cool for families and friends, specially to those who enjoy photography, like me. We arrived at around 7PM+, the store and resto was closing, so we had our quick tour and bought some goodies.
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– TO WRAP UP –
The experience… Achieved! Roaming around in a place that I kept on dreaming since I knew about the Underground River and having the instant group who adopted me, as if I am also their workmate, amazing.
Palawan is blessed with nature and there are bunch of must go and must see places. By the way, to spend a day in Palawan, there’s tour options actually, island hopping is one of those, but for first timers, nature lovers, explorers – the Underground or the Subterranean River I would suggest should be the priority. The total package of the tour is worth it and hassle free, all you need is to enjoy while waiting for your group to go.
PS. The quality of my images is really unforgivable, and I’m thankful that PicsArt is there for editing, so I made all my images look cartoonish.
#itsmorefuninthephilippinesTags: adventure, breakingthecomfortzone, daytrip, escapades, journeytohappiness, travel, wanderlust