Saturday, July 28, 2012

Palawan: Learning Experiences

We are back from Puerto Princesa, Palawan and I have a lot I wanna blog so I will just divide them into 2 parts: Learning Experiences and Tours.

Backgrounder, me and my family booked this trip last January during Cebu Pacific's seat sale. This was my first time to plan a trip and to treat my whole family. I booked the lodging and underground river tour in advance, then the rest, read about it in DIY tour blogs. Here are some of my mistakes that no one should ever commit again when going to Puerto Princesa (PP).

Mistake #1: Give your best effort in finding for a place to stay. Because I didn't. I got a room for P2,000 a night at Sotera Mansion (out of convenience) and I didn't like it that much. Though they had air-conditioned rooms, wi-fi, drinking water, heater, plates and utensils, it really wasn't worth the 2k. Especially when I learned that Go Hotels in PP offered cheaper rooms (around P788 for 2 during promos). Plus there are a lot of cheaper rooms ranging from P700-P1400 found here. That could have saved me at least P1500.

Mistake #2: Permitting the travel agency to change our underground river (UR) tour date from July 19 to July 20. The agency told us that the July 19 date had no slots left since the UR management only allows 780 visitors per day to help conserve the area. Wrong move! Our tour was cancelled due to strong winds that day and we didn't have any chance to re-book it to the next day because we were already leaving.
We met some friends from PP and told us that we should ALWAYS PRIORITIZE THE UNDERGROUND RIVER TOUR and as much as possible book it on the first day of stay to avoid missing it. If the agency won't give the UR tour on your first day, try to get the permit from the Underground River Booking Office (URBO) for P175 at the city proper. URBO gives certain slots to agencies and certain slots to walk-ins. So when your agency says that the UR tour is full, it's not completely full. Fight for it! :))

Mistake #3: Buying souvenirs on the first day. I was so excited that I impulsively bought souvenirs the moment I saw them. Then I realized that they were EVERYWHERE and were cheaper depending on the place. Buy bracelets, pouches, etc. at stopovers/ view decks going to Sabang Beach. I bought a pouch at the city for P70 then saw them at P50. :| If you're buying dried fish or squid, then they're cheaper at the city. We bought them for P100 then saw them at Sabang for P150.

Mistake #4: Not asking for discounts. Just ask. We saved a lot by asking after I learned that our first trike ride was too expensive. P400 to P500 is the cheapest you can go.

So these are my major mistakes that I think should be heeded not just in Puerto Princesa but in booking for future travels. Though I'm super sad about how much I could have saved, it's okay now because now I know what to do for planning for the next trip! :) Yay!


  1. From those mistakes that you encounter on your Palawan tour for me what counts most is the experienced you had during that day, the laughter's and the moments you were together sharing and enjoying each time.

    palawan resorts

    1. True! Thanks! Now we have another reason to go back to Puerto Princesa then hopefully head off to El Nido! :)

  2. It is actually useful article for person like me, who go for tourism lot. Much useful for any tourist. Appreciated for sharing your experienced and exact scenario by which troublesome can be avoided.