Quick Guide: Puerto Princesa City, Palawan


Puerto Princesa is one of the country's independent cities — the city is geographically located at the heart of Palawan but is not administered by the island province itself, even though Palawan's provincial capitol building stands within the city. Puerto Princesa is also the country's second largest city in terms of land area and the country's least densely populated city; an implication that most of the city is not covered by urban areas but by lush green forests.

Having its natural wonders preserved despite being a "city" makes Puerto Princesa apt to its moniker — the City in a Forest; it has been acclaimed several times as the Philippines' cleanest and greenest city. Also, the city has a paramount historical importance during the World War II. These facts just make Puerto Princesa a perfect getaway for nature lovers and history enthusiasts.


We took advantage of an airline's promo so we were able to get a great discount on our airfare. Months before the trip, we availed a 3D/2N tour package at Villa Fuerte Bed and Breakfast for PHP 3200 per person (original price is PHP 3400, they gave us a 200-peso discount for a reason I never bothered to ask, haha!). The package is inclusive of hotel accommodation, airport transfers, daily breakfast, a buffet lunch, Underground River tour and city tour.

Here's where our 3-day getaway ended up:
Boarding at Air Asia
Summer's actually over but our flight wasn't cancelled, luckily.
At Puerto Princesa Airport
Arrived safe and excited at Puerto Princesa Airport
At Villafuerte Bed and Breakfast
Villafuerte Bed and Breakfast hosted us


Day 1: A Taste of Puerto Princesa

First thing we did? Taste the flavors of the city! We took our late lunch at Balinsasayaw Chicken Grill and Restaurant and our dinner at Bona's Chaolong, both located just a few blocks away from the hotel. And nothing much happened on our first day since we arrived late in the afternoon.

To kill some time, we hopped at Angela's Pool Resort which is about 15 minutes away from the hotel. For PHP 70 entrance fee and an umbrella cottage for PHP 100, we enjoyed the cool waters of the pool and had ourselves freshened up.
Angela's Pool Resort
Killing some time at Angela's

After a refreshing dip at Angela's, we then filled our tummies with one of Palawan's must-taste.

A popular diner among tourists and locals, Bona's Chaolong, happened to be a 5-minute walk from the hotel. They serve chaolong, a Vietnamese-style beef stew noodles that comes with a plate of calamansi, basil leaves, bean sprouts, and chili paste. The bean sprouts taste like a singkamas (Mexican turnip) that it made me eat them alone, not putting them on the noodles. Chaolong is also best paired with their buttered garlic French toast. A must-try dish for PHP 65 for a regular sized bowl.

Bona's Chaolong is at Manalo Ext., Puerto Princesa City.
Bona's Chaolong
Bona's chaolong

We concluded our first day by catching up with each other's fun-filled stories alongside a can of beer.


Day 2: Puerto Princesa's Natural Wonders

On our second day, we had an adventure-packed nature trip at Ugong Rock Adventures and Puerto Princesa Undergroud River

Ugong Rock and Underground River


Day 3: Around the City in 5 Hours

And for the last leg of our getaway, we roved around Puerto Princesa and learned about the city's historical importance and environmental excellence.

Puerto Princesa City Hall


Summary of Expenses

  • Airfare (round-trip): PHP 2100
  • Tour Package: PHP 3200
  • Angela's Pool Resort (tricycle, entrance fee, cottage): PHP 100
  • Spelunking at Ugong Rock Adventures: PHP 200
  • Food (Dining at Balinsasayaw, Bona's Chaolong, Baywalk, Airport): PHP 500
  • Pasalubong/Souvenirs (Baker's Hill hopia, Crocodile meat sisig, shirts, key chains, etc.): PHP 1000
  • PPS Airport terminal fee: PHP 150
Palawan map
Puerto Princesa, Palawan map
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan 
Maps by: Wikipedia

Must-try Activities

  • Spelunking at Ugong Rock Adventures: PHP 200
  • Zip lining above farm and karst forests at Ugong Rock Adventures: PHP 250
  • Rapelling from the view deck of Ugong Rock Adventures: PHP 250
  • Zip lining above the waters at Sabang, near Underground River: PHP 500
  • Honda Bay island hopping: hotels offer a tour package at around PHP 1300 per person
  • City tour: hotels offer a tour package at around PHP 600 per person
  • Navigating the Puerto Princesa Underground River: hotels offer a tour package at around PHP 1500 per person

Must-taste Dishes

  • Pho, authentic Vietnamese noodle soup. Available in Vietville.
  • Chaolong: PHP 65 per regular sized bowl
  • Tamilok, wood worms harvested from the barks of mangrove trees: PHP 100-150 per plate
  • Crocodile meat sisig: PHP 150-180 (we bought ours in Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center at PHP 150)
  • Baker's Hill hopia: PHP 50 per box




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