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Monday, April 17, 2017

Philippines: Day 24 - Back in Puerto Princesa

We had booked a flight with Cebu Pacific, a big Philippine Airline, that offers cheap flights in the Philippines and to some international destinations, like Hong Kong. Our primary destination was to get from Hong Kong to Puerto Princesa, where I grew up, lived and studied. 

To get there, we had to fly to Manila and then take another aeroplane to Puerto Princesa. But first, we took a cab from our hotel, the Butterfly on Hollywood, to the Airport Express Station at the Hong Kong Station of the MRT. We didn't need to buy a ticket, as we still had the return ride on our convenient Airport Express Travel Pass, which included a return ticket to the airport and three days of free travel on the MRT. 

Our flight was leaving at 8.30 a.m., so, we had to be there early. And we needed some time, as there was another train inside the airport to get to the right gate. We were a bit late, but fortunately, check-in, immigration and security were relatively quick, and we came just in time for boarding. Unfortunately, there was no time, to spend some remaining Hong Kong Dollars for gifts...

In Manila, we had some spare time, because immigration and security didn't take that long (we were positively surprised - a few years ago that was entirely different). We had to bring our luggage through security and could just give it to transfer personnel. Soon we took off to Puerto Princesa, from where we took a tricycle to our nearby hotel, the Acacia Tree Garden. Our favourite hotel, the Hibiscus Garden, had been fully booked. We, therefore, chose the Acacia Tree Garden, which has a pool and is located close to the airport and relatively central. 

We got a spacious room with flat screen TV (only lacking a refrigerator) and of course had to try the pool. After all, it was around 35 degrees. We actually slowly went up, temperature-wise. In South Korea, we had 10 to 20 degrees, in Hong Kong about 25 and now 35.  

It was too late for sightseeing, so, I just called my nephew, and we went to Robinson's Mall together by tricycle. There we had some pizza, did a bit of grocery shopping at the large supermarket and made plans for the next day.

For many visitors, Puerto Princesa - with its airport - is just the entrance to Palawan. And it is possible to go from the airport directly to the main tourist destinations in Palawan, El Nido and Sabang. However, it's also nice to stay for a few days in Puerto Princesa. You can book a city tour or do a self-guided tour by tricycle and visit attractions like the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, walk to Plaza Cuartel and the Baywalk, where you surely will find something to eat. 

There are also a lot of day tours available, which can easily be booked at most hotels in Puerto Princesa or here. One of my favourite day tours from Puerto Princesa is Honda Bay, where you visit beautiful islands. With the brand new Puerto Princesa International Airport now open, it will also (hopefully) be more comfortable to directly access Palawan. 

But we just wanted to enjoy the pool first! 

Our plan for the next day, however, was to visit something, we've missed the last times when I came back to Puerto Princesa: The Crocodile Farm!

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