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Where to go in Palawan, Philippines

8 Places to drop by when you visit Palawan

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Just this September 2017, I came back to Palawan, where I spent my elementary days in the hot sun. Back then, I was engrossed in going to school, playing by the beach, and getting taller every single day.

During my childhood, Palawan was already a paradise to be discovered.

Now that tourism has boomed in the Philippines, Palawan has become a sought after destination. It has also experienced tremendous economic growth– even claiming that it’s the No. 1 island in the world.

Palawan is a dear familiar place to me. It’s city, I walked when I was still in elementary. So after 13 long years, I was able to go back to my hometown and visit places I did not know existed. Here’s my humble list I hope you will enjoy.

1. El Nido, Palawan

Since this post is more on the places to go to when you visit Palawan, El Nido has to be on the list. It’s one of the top tourist destinations worldwide. I say, it should definitely be.

With El Nido, Palawan, no amount of photos can equate to experiencing it firsthand.

The tour provider I hopped into was gracious enough to extend their discounts to those who I will refer (:

Please feel free to use the promo discount below if you’ll ever visit El Nido.

 

El Nido DIY Tours Promo Discount

Tours A B C D Promo code discount in El Nido. DIY promos as low as 800.

2. Underground River

Underground River in Palawan

A rock formation depicting a banana blossom (puso ng saging) inside Underground Subtarranean River in Palawan.

The Underground Subtarranean River in Palawan has made it to UNESCO’s Top 7 Natural Wonders of Nature.

This has become one of the primary reasons why foreign tourists have started flocking to Palawan even before Filipinos have visited it themselves.

The trip inside is an adventure.You get to traverse the dark with surprising rock formations along the tourist’s 2km safe zone. The remaining  Your tour guides only have a lone LED lamp that they point at featured rock formations. Other than this, there was

The bats were hospital. They simply let the guests visit them, although flash photography has to be discouraged as a guest courtesy.

Tourists at Underground River.

Tourists gaze at rock formations while inside The Underground River in Palawan.

3. Iwahig Stargazing and Firefly Watching

It came as a surprise, but my elementary classmate’s mom brought us to Iwahig where we were able to stargaze and watch fireflies. If you are interested in visiting the place, I suggest you ask help from your travel provider since it’s a few miles from from the city, of which you can only enjoy at night.

Iwahig-firefly-watching

Aim for a romantic Iwahig Firefly getaway when you visit Palawan.

For a Manileño like me, I seldom get to see the night sky so bright and glimmering.

I even got to see the milky way! I thought they were clouds clouding the starry view, to my dismay, they weren’t moving. Sadly, my skills for capturing milky ways aren’t just there yet.

4. Baker’s Hill

What more can I say, Baker’s Hill is a local lover’s park within Puerto Princesa City. It’s a tricycle away from the city center. Locals would once in a while drop a visit. As my local friend mentioned, “There’s always something new being added here.”

 

Still, if you’re a tourist, you’ll definitely go there for their food, some photos, and a way to snag some pastries and goodies before your trip home.

5. Robinson’s Palawan

Due to Puerto Princesa being just a small city, Robinson’s strategic location will make you drop by before going to El Nido, Underground River, or San Vicente. Here’s where you can drop by when you forgot bringing your sunscreen, or a flipflop, or just some snacks along the way.

By this time, there’s now two mega shopping centers competing for the local market in Puerto Princesa. The other one, which is SM Puerto Princesa, has opened more recently.

6. Port Barton

Port Barton has become one of the buzz words in Palawan lately. I haven’t personally visited it, yet. But I heard it houses majestic views, island hopping tours (just like El Nido) and a laid back island life.

Its tourist population isn’t as renowned yet, so, it’s perfect for visitors who are still on the look out for an unpopulated Palawan destination.

7. San Vicente Long Beach

Like Port Barton, San Vicente long beach has become a recent buzzword in Palawan. Local developers have also started eyeing on this 8-mile long white sandy shore. At the moment, there’s almost no establishments here, only a deserted pristine shore of aquamarine shore.

 

8. Honda Bay Island Hopping

If you’re on a quick visit to Puerto Princesa City, add Honda Bay to your itinerary list. It’s the best choice you have if you’re short on time during your stay.

It’s a 15 minute tricycle ride from the airport. You get to spend the day on an island hopping trip on the islands in Puerto Princesa. White sandy beaches and marine life are in store. They have available packages that include lunch.

Tien Ma’s at Makati Avenue

Tien Ma’s: Great Taiwanese food at Makati Avenue.

Tien Ma’s serves the usual Chinese oriental cuisine we love and know with quality more than what you pay for. It’s good, and the Xiao Long Bao experience was something that made us come back.

The restaurant is located across Union Bank, beside Angel’s Pizza. Just around Next Door North Park’s vicinity.

Tien Ma's opens its branch along Makati Avenue.

Tien Ma’s opens its branch along Makati Avenue.

We gambled on trying Tien Ma’s for the first time. We were usually North Park and Next Door North Park regulars but their quality and service have dropped through our visits. And Tien Ma’s: It did not disappoint. It’s a place worth going back to again.

More than dimsum and dumplings, they offer a fair variety of savoury oriental choices. So far we haven’t tried any rice meals yet.

So what’s our favourite at Tien Ma’s?

Tien Ma's Xiao Long Bao

Tien Ma’s Xiao Long Bao explodes inside your mouth.

Tien Ma’s Xiao Long Bao

Order their Xiao Long Bao. This dumpling is infused with pork broth soup inside. You have to eat it while it’s hot, otherwise you’re missing out the experience of the soup exploding inside your mouth. Also, don’t let it sit long, otherwise the soup gets absorbed by the flour.

It’s hot, be careful, but the infusing bite is worth the experience.

Tien Ma’s Xiao Long Bao comes in three flavors:

Mixed Xiao Long Bao

With the Mixed variant, you can try all of Tien Ma’s Xiao Long Bao variants.

Original – 8 pcs.; Php200; The most value for your buck.

Cheese – 8 pcs; Php240; We haven’t tried it personally, but our friends loved it and said it tasted great. So, we’re definitely going back for the cheese Xiao Long Bao.

Black Mushroom – 8 pcs; Php240; We didn’t taste much difference between the original and this variant. The mushroom bits were too tiny to infuse as strongly as the broth.

Mixed – 3pcs Cheese; 3pcs Black Mushroom; 2pcs Original; Php240

Oriental Offerings

More than dumplings, their Taiwanese offerings also include rice bowls, rice toppings, and savoury oriental recipes.

Their Three Cup Chicken caught my attention, but we haven’t tried it yet. That’s next on my to try list.

We have to go back to try them all.

No service charge

Since their fairly new on the Makati Avenue strip, I’m not sure if their price and no service charge policy will stay for long. As we have mentioned, their current quality is really good. We hope that it retains since right now, their really fairly new.

They have other branches across Manila, but bringing it near our Makati vicinity opens a new pool of regular customers. Not to mention, Makati Avenue is a nightlife strip where foreigners frequent.

Tien Ma's Makati Avenue branch.

Tien Ma’s Makati Avenue branch.

Operating Hours

Makati Avenue Branch is open from 8AM-2AM. They seem like they’re picking up popularity as the place usually gets 70% full.

We’ll definitely be back. This one’s for sure.

Izakaya Hideyoshi: Japanese food in Makati Avenue

Their choices are very decent and a bang for the buck.

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If you’re craving for some Japanese food around Makati Avenue, check out Izakaya  Hideyoshi just across A-Venue Mall. It’s a good go-to place and I’d highly recommend around the Makati Avenue.

I’d say that Izakaya Hideyoshi is at a middle price range. There’s very few of them that rings a bell along the strip. More so, there’s fewer that offers quality Japanese for their price range around the vicinity.

8 pcs Gyoza at P180

For example, their gyoza set costs P180 as of my writing. They use flour on their mix. It’s not as juicy and scrumptious as Mendokoro‘s gyozas, still tasty. But maaaan? 8 pieces at P180? You have got to be kidding me.

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Katsudon at P280

We also ordered a Katsudon set. Their Katsudon costs Continue reading

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