Day Trip Option #1: THE OTHER SIDE

Puerto Princesa is called the City in the Forest for a reason BUT if you are staying in and around the city center, it is quite difficult to appreciate that.

So, this year, we started exploring the city with our motorbike, bicycles, and two feet to give you more tips if you are to spend a full day or more in the Puerto Princesa. 

For our first Day Trip Option for you, we went to THE OTHER SIDE: the real City in the Forest.

Start early, get your motorbike from Peter Bike (ask the hostel staff for it), and head out to see Puerto Princesa's other side.

On our trip, we went straight to Puting Buhangin Beach (White Beach)  in Barangay Mangingisda. 
Your destination, your own beach: Puting Buhangin Beach (White Sand Beach)
The road to the south part of Puerto Princesa offers a beautiful scenery of rice fields, mountains, acacia trees, and fresh air.

It's a long drive but a very satifying one.  Make sure you download the map.  There is a part once you enter Barangay Mangingisda that it's gonna feel like an off-road adventure (it is, so be careful).  Just follow the trail and you'll end up in a resort that is still being prepared called Matahum (it means beautiful in Bisaya language).  The owner is a lovely lady named Yolly.  She is really nice and she even lent us an umbrella and a mat for the beach.

The Mangrove Walk to Puting Buhangin Beach
Basking under the sun, walking along the beach, listening to and spotting birds in the mangrove forest are just some of the things you can do here in addition to enjoying the warm waters.

We recommend that you check the tide chart first and adjust your itinerary accordingly.  When we came there, the tide was just coming up which was perfect.

Hungry, we continued our trip but on the way to finding food we decided to check the Port of Mangingisda to find out more about the other option to get there - via boat from the Baywalk.

When we arrived, people were just getting off the boat after about 45 minutes from the other side of the bay.  You can catch the boats which leaves every hour or two from the fishing port next to the Baywalk.  The trip cost 35.00Php only. 

If you are going to take this option, you just then only need to take the tricycle to bring you to the beach.  It would be safe to say that you pay the trike not more than 50.00Php.

Back on the quest for food, we had another stop on the way back to the highway which is to appreciate the difference of the both sides of the bay.

On this side, it is so quiet.  And also on this side, you would see that Puerto Princesa City Center is still pretty green and looks pretty calm. 

We had a quick lunch at an eatery by the highway and it cost just 68.00Php for each of us.  We each got a cup of rice, a slice of fish in coconut milk, a serving of vegetables and a bottle of soda.

Next stop, the Sta. Lucia Hotspring.  It's on the right side on the way back to Puerto Princesa.  The sign is quite small so be attentive not to miss it.  The road to the hotspring is with round stones so be careful.

Sta. Lucia Hotspring is being managed by the city. All you need is to sign up on the logbook and give a little donation.  We gave 10.00Php each.  We did not manage to take a photo of the hotspring pools but they are pretty decent.  There are 5 pools. One is separated from the four and we bet it's for kids as it shallow.  The other four pools form a grid and each pool has different temperatures.

Enough relaxing with warm water and cooler water which was good for our sunburnt skins, we were off again and this time to the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (PWRCC).  

The PWRCC is more commonly known as the Crocodile Farm but it is somehow associated to farming crocodiles for the leather and the meat.  PWRCC is, however, not.  It is a sanctuary that breeds th
e two species of crocodiles found in the country - the fresh water crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) and the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) - and distributes them to other sanctuaries in the Philippines.  You can see some of the endemic animal species in the center.

After your tour, you can get some brewed coffee (we did) and maybe try some of the crocodile dishes that they have at the cafe inside the center.

Try to get back before sunset and head to the Abanico Yacht Club to catch it. 
They offer cold beer and some food options there.  Enjoy the sunset!  And cheers!

Tell us about your experience after doing this tour.  We want to know if it is really worth recommending THE OTHER SIDE.


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