Dive back into nature and uncover the beauty in the small little things that create your personal paradise. It’s time to get lost in amazing Asia.
In this issue
+ Leh Ladakh
+ New Zealand
+ Puerto Princesa, the Island Life
+ Hong Kong – More than Shopping
+ Singapore Shopping Hotspots
+ Kuta Beach Getaway
+ Unusual Festivals
+ Ride Like a Khan
+ A Sense of Touch
We are very pleased to unveil our most recent project,
a travel publication focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all around Asia. If you’re in the region of South East Asia, do pick up a copy and don’t hesitate to send in your comments and thoughts.
In this issue
+ The Islands of South East Asia
+ Raja Ampat, Phuket, Puerto Princesa
+ Koh Pha Ngan, Bali
+ New Zealand’s Splashing Lake Taupo
+ A Guide to Middle Eastern Cuisine
+ Heeding the Call of Asia
+ Spotlight on Jakarta
+ Flashpacking Essentials
+ A Tropical Affair
Few places in the Philippines, indeed in all of Southeast Asia, can compare with the beauty of Palawan. Throughout the years, its pristine islands and sandy beaches has tantalized the minds of many, and few are able to resist its charm. Puerto Princesa – its capital – serves as a center for tourism and trade, with most tourists using it as a stop over before heading to the various reefs of corals and coves around Palawan.
As I made my way into the hotel, I flashed a smile at a group of tourists passing by. I can smell the ocean salt in the air, a sure sign of the various beach activities they must have participated in – swimming at the beach, snorkeling, or diving to the depths of Palawan’s magnificent seas. I made a mental note to check out the beach, but first I have a whole new city to explore.
If we look at the map of the Philippines and the Palawan Island, we’ll find Puerto Princesa right in the middle, the province itself bounded by the South China Sea in the west and the Sulu Sea in the east. Totaling an area of approximately 260 thousand hectares, it is the second largest city in the country with approximately one hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants. It is a city that prides on its cleanliness and natural beauty, and has often been dubbed the capital of ecotourism.
Legend has it that Puerto Princesa was named after a maiden who used to roam the island on certain evenings of the year.
Others would say that she receives her name from being a haven for everyone, from the seafarers who dock there to the nature lovers and environmentalists who are amazed by the protected area. History tells us however, that it was named after a Spanish Princess in 1864, Princes Eulalia of Spain. When she died, the place was named Puerto de la Princesa and as time progressed, this was reduced to Puerto Princesa.
Island hopping is a popular activity here, with the Sta Lourdes wharf serving as a port for tourists who want to rent boats for fixed tours or to simply go wherever they like. There are also city tours that brings you to various attractions such as the Iwahig penal colony, the Crocodile Farm, Butterfly Garden and Mitra’s Ranch. The Iwahig is a unique wall-less prison colony where convicts act as they would living in a village. They cultivate rice and other crops, do fishing or carve handicraft products for souvenirs.
Top of my list of must-see attractions however, is Palawan’s most esteemed wonders – the Underground River.
The Subterranean River National Park at Puerto Princesa is a haven of natural beauty that has been nominated to become one of the Seven Wonders. It boasts a 8.2 kilometers long river that goes through a mesmerizing cave before it makes its exit right into the South China Sea. Exploring the meandering cavern is made easy with the various tours available on site, and you will be awed by the exquisite beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites in rainbow colors.
As the tourist boat gently made its way through the scintillating river, I laid on my back to take in the wondrous view. Passing through the beautiful river was a breathtaking experience comparable to none, and right at the mouth of the cave lies a clear, peaceful lagoon that supports a thriving wildlife. Truly, there is much more to Palawan and Puerto Princesa than its oceanic adventures and virgin beaches.