"PUERTO PRINCESA, CAPITAL of PALAWAN" Top 5 Page for this destination Puerto Princesa by davidjo

Puerto Princesa Travel Guide: 351 reviews and 902 photos


When i visited Palawan as a tourist i realised i had found a special place. The plane flew over the islands off of the north, over El Nido, Port Barton then across the island over Honda Bay before slowly descending to land on the runway which starts at the sea. From your window you will see mountains, jungle and rugged seashore with idyllic beaches. Ex- Mayor Hagedorn has done so much for the city and is well known for his environmental concerns. The airport is only a 5 minute ride to the city centre, i say city but it's more like a town. Back in 1990 Puerto Princesa really was "The Last Frontier" as after you left town the road north was not surfaced, just a track going north through forest for 280 kms until you reached El Nido. To visit the Underground river you had to take a boat from Baheli or Port Barton, and there were only a handful of cars, the town was quiet and the only traffic going up and down Rizal Avenue were tricycles. There was a choice of a handful of guest houses and people from Manila were frightened to come here as it was known as a wild place, a malarial place and far away from the rest of the Philippines. That first time i saw Palawan in 1990 i knew i would return.

1995 to NOW

I returned in 1995 and opened up a restaurant guest house for backpackers but after the kidnappings in Honda Bay a couple of years later the tourists dwindled so i gave up the business, no point spending my time in an empty building waiting for the occasional visitor when i could be out enjoying myself. so the last years we purchased 10,000 sq. m. built a house and landscaped the area, planting many different types of fruit trees. So now we have our little part of paradise.We often take trips to the beach or ride the motorbike to all points in the island. We usually take a trip to a neighbouring country in S.E. Asia once a year and another domestic trip, but always pleased when i return to the City in the Jungle. we never get tired of the numerous visits to Sabang and trekking the Monkey Trail, or visits to some of the wonderful beaches. I am lucky to be able to settle here.


I am not sure if all the changes are good as i kind of love nature and not a city man, but where there were rough roads there are now surfaced roads. There used to be one flight a day, now there are 9, and in April Air Asia will also start flying here. There was one department store, now there are a few shopping malls open or being constructed. There were only a few cars, with occasional jeepney and tricycles were the normal way to get around town, now there are many buses,multi-cabs, minibuses and 100's of tricycles with traffic congestion. There were 3 gas stations in Puerto Princesa and now there are 25. There were 4 cinemas, now they have gone, we have countless stalls selling fake DVDs. There was one good hotel, now there are quite a few and over 100 places to stay. But now there is a dramatic increase in the number of tourists due to Mayor Hagedorn's wonderful campaign to introduce Palawan to the world by his successful endeavour in getting the Underground River recognised as one of the NEW 7 WONDERS of the WORLD.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:beaches, jungle, waterfalls, nature, cleanliness and low crime rate
  • Cons:have to go via Cebu or Manila to visit other parts of the country.
  • Intro Updated Apr 8, 2014
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Reviews (266)

Comments (19)

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    A very thorough and interesting page, you have created here :) Will come back for more.

  • Madasabull's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    I have just been going through your restaurant reviews to see what I might have missed out on. And I can't believe how many places to eat there are that look so good. Captain Ribs and you had fish and a burger. I would have loved to try the ribs.

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Feb 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Yes, the ribs are great according to my friends but i am not so keen on pork.

  • rosata's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    A wealth of information here on a place I know very little about, very interesting!

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Jan 21, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Thanks for visiting and your ratings. I see that you have not ventured out of Europe yet!! Take the plunge, you will not regret it!

    • rosata's Profile Photo
      Jan 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      I know, I know! :-)

  • vpas's Profile Photo
    Jan 6, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    very informative page David! My boys have found a new love for snorkeling. I was looking for places that have snorkeling opportunities.

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Jan 6, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      Everyone who comes to Palawan enjoys it, and we have hosted quite a few members too!!!

    • vpas's Profile Photo
      Jan 7, 2014 at 6:13 AM

      that is good to know David. Will surely have this on my agenda!!

  • CEP1863's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    Amazing pages David! Palawan is one place that I really want to dive in the Philippines as it has been highly recommended to me by many fellow divers.

    • CEP1863's Profile Photo
      Dec 30, 2013 at 3:09 AM

      That's worth knowing, quite a small window of opportunity. The guys that I dived with in Thailand were raving about the dives that they did there.

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Dec 30, 2013 at 4:37 AM

      Yes, i have several friends with dive boats (live-aboards) and during the season they go out for 5 days and i have spoken to many divers who really enjoyed the experience

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I am always sad to see the beautiful places go...the creeks...the trees, the greenery, the sounds of the bush....I hate to see the wildlife driven from their homes and I wonder why man has been given such power to destroy.

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    You have the best pages in Puerto Princesa. Very detailed and informative. I plan to revisit it one day.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Lots of Things to Do in your adopted home town. But it sounds like it has changed a lot since you first went there. Do they really need 25 gas stations?

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Apr 20, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      They are even building more gas stations, and new guesthouses open up every week. We are building 4 apartments ourselves and when the electric company hooked us up with temporary electricity, they told us that there were 29 new hook ups a day. The reason Puerto is becoming so popular is that the nearby underground river was selected as one of the new 7 natural wonders of the world. When i first lived here there was 1 flight a day , now there are over 20,,and nearly all full!!! Still i prefer it the way it was 20+ yrs ago

  • heydelin's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2013 at 4:08 AM

    Love your Palawan page! Can't wait to show my kiwi boyfriend around the most beautiful place in the Philippines - Palawan! :)

    • heydelin's Profile Photo
      Mar 29, 2013 at 4:22 AM

      We're planning to visit Puerto Princesa and El Nido November this year! I'll contact you! :)

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Mar 29, 2013 at 4:24 AM

      i will be here

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    did not imagine there are so many things to see and do in and around Puerto Princesa. I would like to visit the Museum, Batak Cultural House, hot springs and SM beach with bungallows in the water. we might rent a motorbike which gives us more freedom.

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Feb 8, 2013 at 4:56 AM

      At Kims hot springs you can rent a cottage overnight for 1000pesos and you have your own hot tub below on the ground floor---and a good restaurant!!!

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