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David asks…

Palawan suggestions?

Done some of the other major sites in Philippines; now looking at Palawan – but it’s so big! Where to go? We’ll have a 9 month old baby with US so I want somewhere that is child-friendly, not too far from an airport, close to decent medical facilities, nice beaches, diving – and the stunning cliff pictures I’ve seen on the Magic Sing. Needs to be under Php2,500 per night per person (accommodation only) and near a town so we can go and choose restaurants/bars/etc. West coast would be better for romantic sunsets! Beach front would be nice. Air con and reasonably nice – I’d rather pay a little bit more for a little luxury.

Oh, and close to any other tourist spots like the underground river I’ve heard of.

Is that too demanding?! Any ideas appreciated.

Best Answer:

There are “2 areas” to go to in Palawan.
The first and the obvious is via Puerto Princessa. This you can access via PAL or Super Ferry.From Puero Princessa, you can already go to numerous places: crocodile farm, the st. Paul underground river, island hopping at honda bay, the former vietnames refugee camp, then southward is a totally different trip like visiting the tabon caves, etc…
The other area has to be accessed differently bec. It is at the northernmost tip of palawan, the Calamian Group of Islands. (check out a Philippine map–it’s quite distant from Puerto Princessa)
This is cheapest to access via SuperFerry (leaves Manila pier Friday afternoon, you get there Saturday about 7am).We had a grand weekend (2days) coming home Monday afternoon, I think this is cheapest from manila. Same ship will sail to Puerto Princessa and it takes another 8hours or so.Come Sunday afternoon, this same ship sails back to Manila…
In the Calamianes, probably due to the geography of the group of islands, there’s a weather phenomenon, some sort of a “squall” (quick rainpour then stop, leaving a quiet mist-filled surrounding). We experienced this and it was amazing.
In Busuanga, CORAL BAY RESORT is excellent (ask for the resorts owned by the Mata Family) Limestone caves, pristine beaches, superb dive sites. The cleanest lake is in Calamian. There is also a hotspring right in the middle of the water between the limestone cliffs. And another one tha’t like a swimming pool in a shore somewhere. This area is “not accessible” from Puerto P. In the sense that it is quite distant w/ mountains and rough roads and it is an altogether different area.
In Popototan Island, the farthest westward is where Coral Bay Resort is. The waters in the Calamianes are calm. Just calm. Excellent to island hop and even do watersports.Good luck!

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