Day 12 – Getting to Palawan

Puerto Princessa, Philippines

Today was a big travel day but it was well worth it because we’re here on the beautiful island of Palawan about 400km southwest of Manila.

The day started pretty early at this was our schedule:

9:00      wake up
9:30      have room service breakfast
10:00    pack everything
10:30    check out of the hotel, take a trike to Dau bus terminal
11:00    bus to Pasay area of Manila
1:00      arrive in Manila, take a taxi to Terminal 3 at airport
2:00      arrive at Terminal 3, go with Methzie to her checkin (she’s never flown before)
2:30      take a taxi over to Terminal 4
3:00      checkin for my flight
5:00      fly to Puerto Princessa on Palawan Island
6:25      arrive at Puerto Princessa

The bus to Manila should only take 2 hours but because of the ridiculous Manila traffic it took 3 hours to get there putting us an hour behind.

Thankfully though I way over estimated how long it would take to get to the airport from the bus terminal.

I was sure it was an hour but it turned out to only be 10 minutes which put us right back on schedule.

When I went online to buy Methzie’s ticket this week the cheapest fare was no longer the flight I had booked over a month ago.

This meant she flew out of Terminal 3 on Cebu Pacific Airlines while I flew out of Terminal 4 on Air Asia a half hour later.

I went into the terminal with her as this was the first time she had ever flown and I wanted to help guide her through it.

Checkin was a breeze except I was forced to forfeit 2 of my 4 remaining cans of mosquito repellent as the guard said we were only allowed one each.

Love how they just make the rules up as they go along.  Never mind that it hasn’t been a problem or that it was in my checkin luggage or that I wasn’t even boarding a plane at that terminal…

So, for those of you keeping count – I started with 5 cans and am now down to two and I haven’t even used any yet.

Once Methzie was checked in I grabbed another taxi to take over to Terminal 4.  This terminal is the old domestic terminal and it shows.  It is literally a piece of crap building.

My checkin and security went fine and I had a couple of hours to kill before boarding my flight.  I spent the time using the airport’s free wifi to catch up on blogging and then at 4:30 it was time to board my flight.

The flight ended up sitting on the tarmac for a good 20 minutes which was aggravating considering it was only an hour flight.

We flew as the sun was setting and as luck would have it, I was assigned a window seat on the right side of the plane to watch it.

A fitting start to an island adventure.

The plane landed at just after 6pm and it actually ended up parked right beside the plane Methzie was on.

This all makes perfect sense since our planes arrived so close together and the airport here in Puerto Princessa is very small.

We met up right away as I was getting off the plane.  A few minutes later I had my bag and we went outside to find the van I had arranged to pick up with from the hotel.  There were quite a few people holding up signs but our guy wasn’t there.

Thankfully he did arrive and we only had to wait around for about 10 minutes.  Can’t really complain as this was a free pickup.  Soon after we were at our home for the night – Deep Forest Garden Resort.  This place is as luxurious as I’ve ever stayed but it wasn’t crazy expensive at only $30.

God, I love Southeast Asia!

After freshening up from the long day we grabbed a trike and headed to the main road to find some place to eat.

By now the sun had set and the streets were dark and pretty quiet.  We had the trike driver drive us to the far end of the main road so we could walk up the road and explore.

The trike driver recommended Ka Inatu when I asked for a restaurant for authentic Filipino food as we passed by it so on our walk back we went inside to look at a menu.

When I saw the menu was all written in Filipino I knew this was the place for dinner.  It helped that I had a Filipino translator by my side too cause otherwise I’d have no idea what I was ordering.

I had an Ice-T shake because, well, I’d never heard of such a thing and had to try it.  It was actually pretty decent.

For dinner I had Kambak Kambak (a mildly spicy beef dish) with garlic rice and Methzie had a Korean style chicken soup which I nibbled on as well.

The food was great and the restaurant was like a cool little shack where we sat at a corner table outside.

After dinner we walked down the street and Methzie heard pop music coming from one of the bars so we went inside.

It was a girlie bar where the girls parade around with numbers attached to them for guys to see.  Oh, and there were people singing really bad Filipino karaoke.  Good for a laugh anyway.

By 10pm we headed back to the hotel to turn in for the night.

Tomorrow we’re taking a 6 hour bus ride up Palawan Island to El Nido where we’ll spend the next 3 days just relaxing and maybe doing a little island hopping.

Fun times ahead!

Asia Trip 2014, Trip Journal

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