The response you might receive when asking about Palawan Packages would generally involve anything except for the things you shouldn’t do. We’ve done a few articles about the must try activities in Palawan, it’s time to look at things from a slightly different perspective. Here at LetsPalawan we’ve got it all covered, from your “to do list” to your “to don’t list” in Palawan. So, discover the top 10 things you should not do in Puerto Princesa and learn what you should do instead from travel blogger Mavic Conde and you’ll be sure that local residents will welcome you back with open arms. LetsPalawan.com team does this automatically for guests 🙂
The Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan is one tourist destination in the Philippines that is successfully regulated by the LGU. This effectiveness, according to a book, “marks the victory of both environmental quality and economic development.” Indeed if not for the park’s effective management system, the Underground River might not be what it is now.
Along with that success are sets of regulations that the LGU have been implementing to make tours as organized, fun, and with less ecological impact as possible.
Here are 10 things you should not do when in Puerto Princesa to help keep those tourism management rules in check.
- Do not go to Puerto Princesa without booking for Underground River Tour. A permit is required before tourists can visit the Underground River. This is obtained at the city’s tourism office. The easiest way to book for an Underground River tour is through a travel agency. A travel agency also offers a tour package that includes transportation, lunch and tour guide.
Tourists that consider a DIY approach will have to schedule their visit to the Underground River in their third or fourth day in Palawan. But booking must be made on their first day in Palawan as permit needs to be reserved in advance. A valid ID needs to be presented, too.
- Do not bring food or a plastic of food to the vicinity of the Underground River Park.
Wild monkeys freely roam the park and they could grab food or anything that tourists carry in a plastic bag.Tour guides said that there were incidences when monkeys had snatched waterproof bags with cameras in it for mistaking it as food. They would then throw it once they realized it wasn’t edible.
- Don’t rush things out. The UR tour is one organized trip, with side trips and stopovers to to fill up waiting time for the main activity. After the lunch at Sabang beach, tourists may opt for eco adventure trips like the Mangroove Paddle Boat Tour. The hundred-year old mangrove trees are tall that they create natural shield against the sun. The tour will not be complete without planting mangrove samplings. Other options include Ugong Rock caving, spelunking, and zip lining, or simply lazing on the beach until 3:30 comes, the afternoon schedule for the UR tour.
- Do not litter. Littering is punishable by a fine in Puerto Princesa. The fine for first offense is P200, P300 for second offense, and P1000 with 2 months imprisonment for third offense. Likewise, smoking is banned in public places in Puerto Princesa. Tourists caught violating this ordinance will be fined P500 for first offense, P3000 for second offense, and P5000 for third offense.
- Do not schedule city tour on a Sunday. Tourist spots in the city proper such as the Crocodile Farm, Puerto Princesa Museum, and KaLui’s are closed on Sundays. If you arrive Sunday in the city and want to go around, you can try going to the Baywalk, sample Bona’s chaolongan, visit Plaza Cuartel, or go to Ihawig for firefly watching.
- Do not visit Puerto Princesa for sightseeing alone. Majority of visitors in Puerto Princesa are after the Underground River, but a four-or-five-day stay allows for more activities other than sightseeing. Enjoy the island life. From high-end resorts like Dos Palmas to budget-friendly snorkelling sites in Honda Bay, tourists can choose to have an island adventure suitable to their preferences. While Dos Palmas Resort is for those who would want to sit back and enjoy some luxury, the Honda Bay is for those looking for more action.
- Do not skip the city tour. Mix and match these city tourist destinations: Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (Crocodile Farm), Baker’s Hill, Binuatan Weaving Center, Vietnamese Village, Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village. Each provides opportunity to learn new and authentic facts about Palawan’s culture, industry, history, and local talent.
- Don’t go home without buying a souvenir. Puerto Princesa has one of the most affordable souvenir items, including pearl earrings. Cultured pearls cost from P10 to P80, depending on quality and size. Prices for necklaces and bracelets range from P70 to P500. The rarer South Sea Pearls can cost P1000++, though it can be negotiable. Fish tocino and other dry goods as well as cooked and frozen crocodile meat can also be brought for home. Shopping for souvenir items can be found in any of these stores: LRC Tiange, Delma Pearl and Souvenir Shop, Baker’s Hill, and Iwahig Penal Colony.
- Don’t go for comfort food. Exotic food like crocodile meat and sisig, tamilok (shipworm) and raw tuna salad can be found in the Crocodile’s Farm, Baker’s Hill or at Kinabuchs’s, and at KaLui Restaurant, respectively. The Vietnamese Village restaurant made a mark for its noodle dish, chaolong. Chaolongan in the city proper like Rene’s Saigon restaurant and Bona’s offer this type of Vietnamese cuisine in several varieties to cater to Filipino taste. According to Ivan Henares, this cuisine must be named pho because chao long is congee with pork innards.
- Don’t expect to explore tourist attractions solo or in pair. Most tourist attractions in Puerto Princesa are explored by group – from the trip to Sabang beach, the jump-off site to the Underground River, to the river cruise, from city tours to island hopping. This does not only provide convenient and practical option but also help locals keep the number of tourists visiting the city more manageable.
On your next trip to Palawan, make sure to see further into the island landscape and feel The Joys of Journeying.
LetsPalawan.com organizes these tours for you so you don’t make these mistakes, or wait in line for your favorite restaurants and attractions.
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