Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Palawan Day 3: Island Hopping, Irawan Ecopark & Iwahig Firefly Watching

I woke up for day 3 thinking it was going to be the worst day ever. I never liked the beach(or the sun), it was that time of the month, grades were going to be released and it was very humid. I was very wrong though, since it was the best day we had the entire trip because
a. I got a massage on a hut by the beach
b. I got fairly good grades
c. ZIPLINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
d. The firefly watching was one of the best experiences I've had as a traveller EVER and I'm glad I got to experience it in my country

Honda Bay is one of the top destinations in Puerto Princesa and we got to go Island hopping. We were supposed to go to three islands but we chose to go to Pandan Island and Cowrie Island instead. In Pandan Island everyone went swimming and whatnot while me and the boys (dad & cousin's boyfriend) got a massage at a hut. It was super relaxing but terribly overpriced. I was charged 600PHP for a dry massage, which should only cost around 300PHP in TonTon Thai massage. 

We also had crabs cooked for us for lunch at Pandan Island which we took with us to Cowrie Island where we had our buffet lunch. Take note however that in Palawan, they use the term "Buffet"a lot... but don't let them fool you. Most buffets have low quality of food and you sometimes have very limited choices. The one in Cowrie Island is acceptable enough but take note that you'll be along with a lot of people in line for food.

Cowrie Island also offers Banana Boat rides. I really wanted to ride one but like I said, womanly problems got in the way (screw u uterus!!! *shakes fist in the air*) and my parents decided to join me in my agony (THANK U). Only my titas and cousins rode and father took photos while I was on my phone patiently waiting for my friend's text regarding my grades. 

We left the island past 3pm and went straight to Irawan Ecopark for ziplining. There were two options for the zipline: normal or superman position. We all chose the superman position except for my tita who's afraid of heights. Irawan Ecopark actually has Asia's longest zipline spanning 1.3km long. I cannot remember the exact cost of the zipline but from what I remember it's not expensive at all. It was my first time to zipline and I was very happy that I got to do it so early in the year.

After all the sweat and sand, we went back to the hotel to take a shower and rest. If you were wondering, yes I slept again!!! We were taken to a buffet dinner somewhere in the city but I don't remember the name of the hotel. It's okay though because once again, the so-called buffet was very disappointing. What we saw after that wasn't though. 

It had to be really really dark to see the fireflies so around 8pm we arrived at the Iwahig Firefly Watching. We were skeptical at first because there were only a handful of tourists (foreign & local) and the front desk told us there was only 5% visibility because of the winds. We rode the boat even more skeptical because it was very dark and we felt like there was nothing to see. When we went deeper into the river though, we saw the mangroves light up like Christmas trees and it was so beautiful. If 5% visibility of fireflies looked like that, then 100% would probably look like Time Square! Whenever you touch the water, your hand lights up too because of a luminous creature that chemically reacts with our body (I forgot what it's called though *sob*)  What made the boat ride even more entertaining was our boatman who was really smart and told us facts about mangroves, fireflies, rivers, etc. He also taught us constellations because the sky was filled with so many stars -- the most I've seen ever! It was so quiet and peaceful I wanted to stay there for longer. Too bad the ride only lasts for 30-40 mins.

If you go to Palawan I would recommend you go see all the attractions mentioned in this blogpost. Just be more picky with food choices because there are a lot of tourist traps. 

I hope you liked this post! I'll post our last day in Palawan soon! 

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