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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Puerto Princesa: Underground River

It is known as the longest navigable underground river in the world. The stunning natural formations of stalactite and stalagmite mixed with some residues coming from the bats made it as one of the recently added 7 Wonders of Nature.

This tour was the highlight of our Palawan Escapade and Besties wouldn't leave PP without checking this one out.

As mentioned; everything was arranged prior to our coming to Puerto Princesa including the tour to underground river. The tour organizer booked us a month before our arrival to visit the underground river; also known as Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Lucky if you just arrived and had you listed on the list of visitors as many are flocking the place to see this 7 Wonders of Nature.

We had a wake-up call to ensure that we will arrive at Sabang Port early. The tour guide was a jolly guy who made the 2-hour travel from the city to Sabang a memorable and joyful one. One of his notable jokes was:

"Wag po kayong mag-alala, wala na pong Abbu Sayyaf ngayon.. nag-iba na po sila ng trabaho.. Tour guide na po sila ngayon" (Don't worry about being kidnapped by Abbu Sayyaf, they already changed their careers.. they are now tour guides) :D

As we traversed a seemingly endless road; we marveled at the sight of mountains and greeneries. We even stopped at Karst Mountain Elephant Cave. The entire mountain looked like a mother elephant; and the hind-leg seemed to have a carved mother and baby elephants. We took a lot of pictures at this site.

At last, after an almost 2-hour ride; we reached the Sabang Port. That was one of the busiest port I'd seen. A lot of tourists both local and foreigners flocked the area with their ready cam-on-hand. We had to wait for our turn as our tour guide arranged to get our tickets. I didn't waste this ample time. I took some shots of the area.

We boarded at a 10-seater motor boat; with life vest on. It took less than 30 minutes to reach the spot, The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. We awed on the vastness of the Park. It seems an entire Island covers this National Park. Our tour guide told us things to avoid during the tour; like never leave your things unattended as the monkeys (naughty) roaming the area might get them and in which part should you not take a deep breath as the bats left their excretes with foul odor. True enough, we had to cover our noses not to smell an intoxicating odor; but this didn't last that long.

A long queue awaited us to get in to the small boat for the underground tour. It took about 30-minutes before we were boarded and at that time gap the Besties played like children. We climbed trees; swing like Tarzan and jumped at the beach (since the place is a protected marine sanctuary; no one is allowed to plunge into a crystal clear water).  

At last we were called and were introduced to our new tour guide; who also was the boatman at the same time.

We saw great numbers of natural stone formations molded into shapes like a great artist could have done. There were various distinct sculptures made by nature itself. And by then; we knew why it was renowned 7 Wonders of Nature.

The trip was short as we were not allowed to get into Cave 2. A special permission is needed for such and it takes a more experienced boatman to handle the course. What I read was that; in that cave, fossils of manateee (dugong) and some crystal caves can be found. If you were persistent in getting into that special cave get the permit a month before you go there.

We were happy not to miss the chance of being fascinated with  Puerto Princesa Underground River. This actually made me proud as a Filipino.

We are about to end this Puerto Princesa journey with one last post. In the meantime; check out our trips in Puerto Princesa by clicking on the links below. Thank you for dropping by  :)

Puerto Princesa: Plaza Cuartel
Puerto Princesa: City Baywalk
Puerto Princesa: Binuatan Creations
Puerto Princesa: Baker's Hill
Puerto Princesa: Mitra's Ranch
Puerto Princesa: Crocodile Farm
Ysabelle Mansion in Puerto Princesa

And for the other journeys of the wandering Gfootsteps, click this link :)


1 comment:

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