5 Things to Do for First Time Puerto Princesa City Visitors

Sabang Port in Puerto Princesa City
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5 Things to Do for First Time Puerto Princesa City Visitors

So you’ve just booked a ticket to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Great! Time to plan your trip. Never been to PPS? Don’t worry, this guide is for you!

Palawan Underground River
Palawan Underground River

Visiting the Puerto Princesa Underground River is usually on top of everyone’s Palawan bucket list (read Team Out of Town’s tips in planning your PPUR tour).. if not going to beach. I can’t blame them. Palawan is a paradise that is home to the world’s most beautiful beaches and one of the Seven Wonders of Nature.

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But before immersing yourself with water activities or heading back home, get acquainted with these city gems.

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Know Palawan’s Historic Past

One of the popular tourist destinations in Puerto Princesa City is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral located along Rizal Avenue. Unlike the typical Catholic church, this one is painted blue and has a unique architectural structure.

Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Puerto Princesa City
Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Puerto Princesa City

Just across the church is Plaza Cuartel, a garrison of Spaniards that became a military fort of Americans during World War II. It became the site of Palawan Massacre in 1944 were around 150 prisoners were burned to death by the Japanese. Today, it is part of the town plaza complex with a nice view of the sea.

Plaza Cuartel Puerto Princesa
Plaza Cuartel Puerto Princesa

More areas of interest from Sir Melo’s Heritage Tour last February 2016.

Kart Racing

Rent a fun kart for P500 and do 10 laps around the 1,350 km long track of the Palawan International Circuit. Scooters are also available for rent at P250 per day.

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Eat like a local

A friend of mine who recently went to Puerto Princesa told me to try Noki Nocs’ Halo-Halo. Luckily this was the first meal that we had went we landed, along with pizza, and boy it was one of the best!

Nokinocs
Nokinocs

Head over to Ka Inato for lunch and try their version of Chicken Inasal, best with atchara and soy sauce-vinegar dip. You can drop by here for your last meal in the island before heading to the airport.

Ka Inato
Ka Inato

Another local favorite is Kinabuch Grill & Bar, a laid back restaurant and full bar where you can eat both classic and exotic food. How about Crocodile Sisig or Tamilok for dinner or midnight snack? They have a large TV screen by the parking lot where you can watch sports.

Bar area
Bar area
Kinabuch’s Gising Gising
Kinabuch’s Gising Gising

Of course, when in Puerto Princesa, eating at KaLui is a must! This seafood restaurant has great ambiance and equally delicious food. Take off your shoes, place your order and check out the art collection on your way to the loo. Don’t forget to make a reservation for sure seats, especially for dinner time.

KaLui
KaLui
KaLui Restaurant
KaLui Restaurant
Complimentary fresh fruits with muscovado
Complimentary fresh fruits with muscovado
You may also buy souvenirs or food items to take home
You may also buy souvenirs or food items to take home

Drink artisanal beer

Cheers to an adventurous day with a bottle of locally-made ice cold beer! Palaweno Brewery, the first and only microbrewery in the province, offers five variants of their specialty craft beer called “Ayahay” for P150-P170 per serving. Choose from Ambog Ale, Palawan Wit, Pawal’an, Hunter, and Ayahay IPA. If you’re not sure which one to try, the owners and/or staff would gladly help you pick based on your personal preferences.

There’s a beer for everyone here
There’s a beer for everyone here

Pasalubong shopping

A trip to Baker’s Hill will satisfy both your tummy and your Instagram feed! While most people go here to take home baked goods (don’t forget the hopia!), you might want to spend an hour or two exploring. From a hugot tree to life size sculptures, a mini zoo to a viewing deck, you’ll never run out of spots to take your OOTD and group photos.

Bakers Hill Puerto Princesa
Bakers Hill Puerto Princesa

Drop by Binuatan Creations for local handicrafts. The souvenir shop sells keychains, ref magnets (P35 each or 3 for P100), fans, wallets, bags, table runners, etc. Drop by the factory and experience traditional weaving firsthand from the lovely makers.

Pasalubong Shops in Puerto Princesa City
Pasalubong Shops in Puerto Princesa City
Binuatan Creations
Binuatan Creations

For last minute shopping, go to MCA Pasalubong Center (formerly known as LRC 908 Market Mall). This is where I bought Palawan-printed shirts, pearl jewelry and more keychains.

Various food products are also sold here
Various food products are also sold here

Thankfully, our trip to Puerto Princesa City was not limited to activities related to MIMAROPA Festival. I’d be sad going home when I barely scratched the surface. Our itinerary might have been packed and tiring (because of early call times and late nights) but we still had fun! All thanks to Department of Tourism MIMAROPA and Tourism Promotions Board.

Have fun on your upcoming trip to the center of mainland Palawan!

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Puerto Princesa is an hour away by plane from Manila. Philippine Airlines/PAL Express operates daily flights from Manila to Puerto Princesa and vice versa. PAL Express also offers direct flights to and from Cebu and Clark.

Note: all rates mentioned are as of November 2016.

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