Monday, March 4, 2013

Puerto Princesa: Zzzzs, Wheels, Meals


Surely, Puerto Princesa, a city that welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists a year, would have hotels, inns, and guesthouses. But we chose none of those. Instead, we rented a house for the two nights we were in the city. Just a ten-peso tricycle ride from Robinsons, the house was perfect for ten friends of all shapes and sizes. The house has three bedrooms (one bedroom with two single beds, and two bedrooms with four single beds each), three toilets and baths, a kitchen (guests can use the refrigerator, stove, pans, plates, glasses, and utensils), a dining area, and a living room.

All rooms have AC. Towels are also provided.

 Sala and dining area

The house is located in Westville, about ten minutes from the airport. We rented it for Php3500 per night. You may contact Ms Helen Ceballo at or through these numbers 0918 938 7987 or 0917 538 7987.


One can get around by hailing a tricycle, minimum fare of which is ten pesos. Late nights though will cost twice as much. This we learned when we took a tricycle home after watching a movie which ended half an hour before midnight. No matter, at least we got home safe and sound.

Another option is to rent a van to take you around. We rented a van for five hours to take us to the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, Iwahig Penal Farm, Mitra's Ranch and LRC 908 Market Mall (souvenir center). The rental is Php 1500 for four hours, but we haggled and got an extra hour.

The van was rented from Trip@Palawan Travel and Tours. You may email Ms Abelle Marie Sualog at or call Sir Rommel Gevela at 0908 376 4933. We also rented their van to take us to and from El Nido. The rental (Php12,500 Puerto Princesa-El Nido-Sabang-Puerto Princesa) already included airport transfers. The Underground River tour permits were also processed through them for Php225 per person (Php175 for the permit plus Php50 service fee).


The first place we ate at was Haim Chicken Inato  near the airport. There are many restaurants in Cebu that offer grilled chicken, so why this as the first meal in Puerto Princesa? Because we were hungry and it was the most convenient place for us to eat. I had their hot and spicy grilled chicken (Php95 + 5% service charge). And it was nothing like Mang Inasal's spicy grilled chicken. Haim's was very very very spicy. I think I drank two liters of water with that.

Haim Chicken Inato hot and spicy leg with rice

Haim Chicken Inato
294 Manalo Extension, Puerto Princesa City
(048) 433 2261 / 0929 817 4055
Daily 845AM-10PM

Kinabuchs, a restaurant recommended by one of our companions who has visited Puerto Princesa a few times, was also one of our food stops. At Kinabuchs, one friend gleefully ordered kinilaw na tamilok (woodworm). All ten of us have not tried tamilok but only four boldly put it in their mouths. I am proud to say I am one of the four...who cringed as we chewed our way thru the rubbery woodworm. Zero out of four liked tamilok.

Kinabuchs's kinilaw na tamilok

369 Rizal Ave, Puerto Princesa City
(048) 434 5194
Daiy 5PM to 3AM

Curiosity led our stomachs to chaolong. The word that has been plaguing us in every corner of Puerto Princesa. What is chaolong? Teo, my Vietnamese friend, says it's porridge with pork innards. Where was the chaolong in these chaolong houses? Their menu only offered noodle soups and banh mi. Before our flight back to Cebu, we looked for a chaolong house near the airport. We were pointed to Lou Chaolong Hauz, about 500 meters away. I had their beef stew (Php50). Its noodles were sticky and chewy. I would have wanted to pair it with banh mi, but they ran out of bread.

Beef stew from Lou Chaolong Hauz

Lou Chaolong Hauz
410 Rizal Ave, Dagomboy Village, Puerto Princesa City
(about 500 meters from the airport)

Other restaurants we tried were Viet Ville and The Gypsy's Lair. And both deserve separate posts.

Puerto Princesa and El Nido:
Puerto Princesa: Zzzzs, Wheels, Meals (you're here)
Vietnam in Palawan
The Gypsy's Lair
Puerto Princesa Underground River
Welcome to El Nido
Telesfora Beach Cottage in Corong-corong
A Perfect Day for Lagoon Hopping
A Perfect Day for Beach Hopping
Palawan on the Pocket

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