Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Poyt Salazar Palawan Experience Day 3

Photoblogger Faith "Poyt" Salazar took a 4-day PAX (Palawan Experience) tour and this is the last part of her travel chronicle.

This is our last day at Palawan, so I was psyched to enjoy the whole time. We got up extra early to go snorkeling and swimming today. The van dropped us off at Sta. Lourdes Wharf, where boats and other swimming, diving and snorkeling gear were sold and rented.

It actually took quite a while for us to leave. Good thing there’s a small market beside the rental place so I was a bit occupied scouring for pasalubong.

Coincidentally, our tour guide for the day was also Christine’s guide when she got on the Honda Bay tour. The boat ride from Sta. Lourdes Wharf to Snake Island took about less than an hour. We stopped by an area where the waters were so clear we can see the corals.

We passed by this really small island they call ‘Luli’ for LUlubog-LIlitaw. It’s so small you can go around it within five minutes. During high tide, you won’t be able to see some of the small islands.

When we got off the boat, I was surprised at how undeveloped Snake Island is. We changed clothes in a make-shift dressing area – note that you have to take someone with you because the door is just a piece of rotten plywood. The beach isn’t that much to look at but after I put on our gear and began snorkeling, I forgot how dull Snake Island looked like. This is just my second time to go snorkeling and the last one did not leave me impressed. You can see the thriving marine life with the vivid colors.

We had lunch at Pandan Island where we got to swim and snorkel again. The marine life is more diverse here - we even got to feed the fish with bread. One of them bit me as I held on to the bread longer. It was both scary and exciting to have throngs of fish coming me. Pandan Island is just perfect for jumpshots and group pictorials – the fine sand and the perfect weather made everything picturesque.

After buying pasalubong (I bought lamayo, shrimp, cashew wine and lots of shirts), we stopped by McCoy’s, a local pizza place. If you happen to pass by McCoy’s, their curry pasta is a must try.

Badjao Seafront Restaurant

This place had a weird feel to it – it has a high ceiling and you have to cross a bridge to get to the restaurant. It even had chandeliers – everything was very elegant and the food was served fresh. The restaurant also had a wonderful view of the sea and a couple of mangroves. Note that this is the only restaurant that His Royal Highness Prince Andrew (UK) dined in while he stayed at Puerto Princesa.

The Legend Palawan
After staying at the Legend Palawan Hotel for three days, going back to Manila seems like a bad idea. Although we weren’t able to use their swimming pool, we were lucky to have their band play for us before we got home. The hotel has a new wing called The Pads – it is way cheaper than the rooms at the hotel proper. So, if you’re on a budget, you can get dormitory type of rooms at the Pads.

There are still lots of places to discover at Puerto Princesa. There are so many places to go to – you can go with your family, friends or your significant other. This is definitely not my last trip to Palawan!

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