September 2, 2011

Countryside Tour in Puerto Princesa Palawan

What might be known for most could still be a little compared to what is real in Puerto Princesa Palawan.  Apart from its famous Underground river and exhilarating white sand shores, it has an array of picturesque tourist attractions that will surely take you and your Palawan visit to another level of excitement.

I took a one day ad hoc visit to Puerto Princesa at a very constrained, and limited arrangement.  A trip for what I thought could be another half-starved attempt to dig up pleasure and satisfaction, but surprisingly it was not that bad in fact it could probably be the most pleasant and fun trip done by someone in a single day. 

Since my Puerto Princesa visit was way too quick, straying the Underground river or coasting the Islands were practically impossible so I thought I had to settle on something that would provide the most amount of leisure in the least amount of time. This was where the Puerto Princesa Palawan Countryside tour came in to play for me and hooked me up without a glitch. 

The Countryside tour is a fixed rate package normally around Php 2,000(cheaper when you have more company) that includes a private car for transportation(including pick up and drop off at your hotel), entrance fees, a tour guide, and the tour to must see interesting places in Puerto Princesa that will allow you to see lots and lots of fascinating views and stuff without taking too much from the hour glass.  A very convenient deal for this particular kind of trip.

Places I visited include:
The Butterfly Garden
The Crocodile Farm
Mitra's Ranch
Baker's Hill
Dinner at Ka Lui Restaurant (can't miss this one)

The Butterfly Garden
My first stop was in The Butterfly Garden.  It is basically a huge cage that caps several different butterfly genus found in the Philippines.  Its landscape is packed full of bushes, ferns, vines, plants, and trees that made me deem I was in an afterlife sacred garden of some sort.  You will be able to literally play around with butterflies fluttering around you and some will even attempt to go ashore right on your very palm if you set it still.  Something you don't see everyday.
Close encounter with the butterfly

Butterflies at work

The Crocodile Farm
After a wispy encounter with those friendly butterflies, the genre was immediately shifted from good-natured creatures to hostile flesh-eating predators.  Few minutes away from the first stop, my next itenerary was the Crocodile Farm.  The farm grows, breeds, and keeps a significant number of these reptiles of different ages and sizes.  There is a huge breeding and hatching zone which is frankly, very close to what you could imagine as one of the breeding facilities you saw in the Jurassic Park movie.  A line of white steel tubs are placed at one section in the area containing assortment of newly hatched to weeks old reptiles.  At another zone, they keep a float of grown crocodiles in a huge cage.  A steel foot bridge is mounted just above the cage from its end to the other so visitors get a good wild look as they cross and walk above these wild reptiles.

3 to 4 years old full grown crocodiles
A float of young crocodiles inside a cage
A float of days old baby crocodiles inside the steel tub

The picture above is a relic of the largest crocodile that was captured in the rivers of Palawan preserved and displayed at the farm's admission lobby.  The reptile was about 5 meters nose to tail and was captured and killed after hunting and eating a fisherman alive.

Mitra's Ranch
After a grisly acquantance with the crocs, it was time to shift the mood and feed my eyesight with a more soothing perspective.  Few miles away from our last stop, next is Mitra's Ranch.  It is basically a preserved ranch/rest house privately owned by former senator Ramon Mitra but now converted into a public landmark in Puerto Princesa.  It didn't give me any significant experience similar to what I had with the butterflies or the crocs-nothing really special to set eyes on this time but the beauty and loveliness of the green sorrounding sufficed and did away with any kind of cerebral stress I was putting up with at that particular moment. 

The Rest House

The beautiful view of the horizon from the ranch

The Baker's Hill
To conclude the tour, they took me uphill to the last stop, The Baker's Hill.  Similar to Mitra's Ranch, Baker's Hill was once a privately owned large multifaceted lot turned into an extraordinary bakeshop, theme park like landmark opened to the public for recreation, amusement, and picnic.  The huge lot area has astonishing landscape filled with trees, plants, and grass you could almost imagine what it is like being in a wonderland or anything like that for that matter.  They also keep a number of exotic birds in what I could think of as a mini zoo they built at the back end portion of the compound.

After a tiring yet pleasant ramble inside the village, I almost forgot why this place was named Baker's Hill afterall.  It wasn't really about the dazzling scenery or the birds or the architecture-those were eye candies. The real deal was the bakeshop's specialties. Baker's Hill Hopia was the best amongst other great tasting baked goodies in the bakeshop.  Another thing you can't miss out.

Marilyn Monroe Statue

Garden Patio



The tour just consumed half of my day giving me more time to eat and rest for my early morning flight back home.  I didn't know I could get this kind of satisfaction in just a little amount of time.  Now who says you can't enjoy Puerto Princesa in a single day?

It's time to take my dinner at Ka Lui Restaurant.  The must visit Restaurant in Puerto Princesa. (read article)


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