Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What's in a (Business) Name? Malaysia

I love you, too!
Oh wait, that's not a typo.
You don't love me, you're just selling the Taiwanese breakfast!
Spotted in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA2).

For more amusing business names, please visit Go Random.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Puerto Princesa Because

Because my vacation was too short, I had very limited time to spend in Puerto Princesa City. Very little time that it only served as my transit point to San Vicente.

Because my flight arrived at 3PM, too late for the last trip (at 2PM) to Brgy Port Barton in San Vicente, I had to stay the night in Puerto Princesa City.

Airport Park, Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City
0949 762 8998

Right beside the airport's exit gate was where I stayed. Not on the street, but at Natua's Cabin. I had made a reservation for a single fan room (Php 450) through text message a week before (with confirmation), but for some reason, when I arrived, the reservation wasn't on their book. Fortunately, a single fan room was still available. (Nearly had to stay on the street!) 

Natua's Cabins (left) and their restaurant (right)
(Photos above are from Natua's Cabin's facebook page)

Single Fan Room (Room 13)

They put me up in Room 13; the room and its en suite toilet and shower were clean. It had a wall fan, table, stool, a shelf (in lieu of a cabinet), and four outlets. It had a sliding window with a screen (for when you want to let some air in, but not the mosquitoes) and with too short a curtain (for when you want some privacy, but not really...since this cabin is a bit elevated, the bottom part of the window, where the curtain fails to cover, is eye level to people passing by). Towel (for a deposit of Php 100), soap, shampoo, and toilet paper were provided.

The only downside to that room was the threadbare bed sheet and the window screen which did not have a lock so I had to close the glass windows (which had a lock) at night. Luckily it was raining, and the room, with the fan on steady, was comfortably cool.

I stayed at Natua's Cabin a second time, a few days later, and was put up at Room 25. This was a corner room and had windows on two sides. It, too, was clean. The bed sheet this time was better and the curtains longer. But it still had a downside: the door knob was broken and I had to check it a couple times to be sure it locked properly.

  • Natua's Cabin is right beside the airport (very convenient if you have an early morning flight the next day!) but I hardly heard airplanes. 
  • Rooms are clean, comfortable, and affordable. The single fan room costs Php 450 a night; single AC room at Php 800.
  • They have a restaurant.
  • WiFi is available at the restaurant.
  • After check out, you may leave your bags at the reception.

And Cons:
  • Not all rooms are perfect: bed sheet may be threadbare, doorknob might be broken, curtain may be too short.
  • Inconsistent: It is stated in the website that breakfast is included, but when I got there they said breakfast isn't included for the room I booked.
  • WiFi signal at the cabins is either weak or nonexistent.
  • When it rains, you will need an umbrella to stay dry when going from the reception/restaurant to the cabins and vice versa.

Because my time in Puerto Princesa was too short to go on a Honda Bay Tour (and I had already done the City Tour years ago), I killed time in Puerto Princesa by eating.

KaLui Restaurant
369 Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
(048) 433 2580 / 0928 753 9621
Monday to Saturday
Lunch 11AM to 2PM
Dinner 6PM to 1030PM 

Whenever I am in Puerto Princesa, a meal at KaLui is a must on my to-do list. Since KaLui Restaurant is always fully booked, I remembered to make a reservation through email to secure my seat at this popular restaurant. I won't be writing about this visit's meal, but if you want to know more about the restaurant, please go ahead and read about my 2014 visit. (Nothing much has changed since then except for the price—everything on the menu has gone up by about Php 30.)

Imas Vegetarian Restaurant
46 Fernandez St., Puerto Princesa City
0939 916 1524 
Saturday to Thursday 11AM to 9PM
Friday 11AM to 3PM

So as not to feel guilty for doing nothing but eat, I went for healthy food at Imas Vegetarian Restaurant. I ordered tempeh (Php 100), grilled mushroom and eggplant sandwich (Php 120), and calamansi juice (Php 70). When I asked the server what tempeh was she only said fermented soy beans. It didn't sound appealing, but I ordered it anyway. And I am glad I did. It turned out to be soy fries (or something like that) and tasted fact, I loved it, and I kept popping it into my mouth 'til my plate was clean. As for the sandwich, I loved the smokiness of the grilled mushroom and eggplant. Plus they weren't stingy with the sandwich filling.

Rizal Avenue Extension, Puerto Princesa City
(048) 433 5255
Tuesday to Sunday 9AM to 830PM

I visited Rene's Saigon on a rainy morning with my stomach rumbling for bahn mi (french bread sandwich) and a hot noodle soup. Unfortunately, the former was unavailable as they still had to bake their bread (I guess it is best to visit them after 3PM for bahn mi cravings). For only Php 80, the hot beef stew noodle soup, though the noodles were too sticky and clumpy, sure hit the spot that rainy morning.

Because I had to go to Port Barton the next day, I had to catch a van ride at San Jose Terminal. The terminal, some seven kilometers from the airport, is where vans and buses to different parts of Palawan, such as Taytay, Roxas, Port Barton, San Vicente Poblacion, El Nido, Rio Tuba, etc begin their journey.

The cheapest way to get to San Jose Terminal from the airport is to take a tricycle to Junction 1 (Php 8), then a jeepney (or "multicab" as the locals call it) to San Jose Terminal (the sign on the side of the jeepney/multicab would be San Jose/New Market/Terminal; the last stop is the San Jose Terminal; fare from Junction 1 to the terminal is Php 13). This tricycle and jeepney/multicab combo would only cost you Php 21. A more expensive option (if you're going solo) but without the hassle of transfers is to hire a tricycle (Php 70).

San Vicente Short:
In Transit: Puerto Princesa Because (you're here!)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Wisdom from the Road #45

On laundry

Ahh what a fun day at the beach! And I still have a day or two of lazy beach days to go before I go home. But two more days to let my saltwater–drenched swimming clothes ferment into a stink bomb? No way do I want to lug a bagful of clothes that smell like dead sea creatures. But I am too lazy to do laundry right now. What to do? Wash 'em in fresh water and hang under the sun to dry. (The stinkiness will be less potent.) Proper washing (with laundry soap!) will have to wait til I get back home.

(In short, after swimming in the sea, wash your swimming outfit in fresh water then hang to dry. Just so it wouldn't stink so much as you procrastinate with doing laundry.)

For more lessons from the road, please visit Go Learn.