October 19, 2012
On to our final full day in Puerto Princesa.
We had the usual early morning breakfast at the rooftop of Jamp. Then we waited for our tour guide to pick us up. Our guide arrived at around 8 am, then we decided to go to the nearest store to buy snacks and drinks (with that I also meant booze. hehe).
Then we also went to the dive shop where we rented swimming gears like snorkels, swimming shoes and camera case (for underwater photos). After about an hour of traveling, we reached Honda Bay. We registered again at the tourism office then rode our boat.
The fist stop of our island hopping adventure is the Pandan Island. It is approximately 25 mins from the tourism center. We were asked to wear our life vests all the time. While riding our boat, we spotting other small boats with tourists going to the different islands in Honda Bay. We even saw a ferry with tourists going to the popular Dos Palmas Resort. After enjoying the sun and sea and taking loads of photos of the surrounding, we arrived at Pandan Island.
There were many tourists when we arrived at the island; some were fish feeding, some were snorkeling, while some were using kayaks. The sand was actually very soft and powdery white. We were escorted by our guide and the boatmen to our cottage. It was situated at the right side of the island and near the sandbar.
We left our things at the cottage and immediately went swimming. Pandan Island is actually a nice beach if you want to try snorkeling and see different corals and fishes. We haven’t even been farther from the shore when we saw a starfish. I was hesitant at first to touch it because I was afraid that it might sting me. We took photos with the pink starfish then returned it to the water.
It was hard to walk in the water because of the corals. Good thing we were able to rent aqua grip shoes for protection. Well, even when I was wearing shoes, I still sustained a few cuts and scratches. And the fishes were not nice enough. Haha! Some even bit me. 😦
As part of our packaged tour, our guide with the help of our boatmen cooked lunch for us. They prepared shrimp, grilled fish and pork, eggplant, rice and ensaladang mangga. Very good combination and really my kind of beach meal. Happy tummy!
After enjoying our lunch, we sat on the shore while drinking booze. It was very relaxing and not very hot that day so basking under the sun was great. Then we decided to use our cameras for underwater photos. I really enjoyed it a lot. Made me want to try diving really soon.
One our our boatmen was also kind enough to teach us how to take creative shots in the island. By using the items in the island like coconut, starfish and beer can, we were able to take a lot of amazing and very creative photos. Even though we looked cray cray while shooting, it was a whole lot of fun.
By 1:30pm, we left Pandan Island. We were brought by our boat to our next destination – Pambato Reef. As what the name depicts – Pambato – it is one of Palawan’s popular snorkeling and diving spots. They said that the beauty of the corals and marine animals is like those in Tubbataha.
We stopped at a wharf then we were given the choice to snorkel or not. It was 40 feet deep . OMG! I am not a very good swimmer and I am really afraid of deep waters so no matter how beautiful that might be, I said no. We just waited for our friends to cross the reef.
I actually thought that there was a turtle at the wharf because of the design. But it turned out that they are underwater. Haha! I knew I missed a lot based from my friends’ stories but I really cannot risk going in deep waters. Tsktsk.
After waiting for all our friends to finish, we went to Luli Island. It was another place to snorkel and feed the fishes. And there was also a diving board so we really enjoyed it. Some of my friends tried using the board. It was very funny especially with how they land in the water.
We also fed the fishes. Again, the fishes were not so nice to me as they started biting me. The fish feeding area was also very deep but there was a seating area so I braved the water and asked one of our boatmen to guide me while crossing the water. I saw many fish and beautiful corals.
Since we were already very tired and it was getting late, we decided to end the island hopping.
Before heading back to our guesthouse, we went to Ka Lui Restaurant. Ka Lui is one of the known restaurants in Puerto Pincesa because of its ambiance and delicious food. We had to reserve the restaurant a day before since many people are flocking the resto especially for dinner.
The ambiance was indeed very beautiful; homey and with beautiful art decors. We were also served with “seaweeds” that looked like small grapes. I was surprised that it actually tasted good especially with calamansi. We ordered a lot of seafood – grilled and buttered. The dinner was actually cheaper that I expected and we were so full by the time we were finishing our desserts.
After our very satisfying dinner, some of my friends looked for a nearby ATM to withdraw money. Haha! I figured then ran out of money from buying too many booze and from pigging out.
Before heading back and finishing our final night in Puerto Princesa, we visited another souvenir store for more pasalubong shopping.
For the detailed itinerary and prices, please refer to this post.