Puerto Princesa Tour Review: Ugong Rock and the Underground River

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God gave us the best and most fantastic honeymoon gift ever: beautiful, consistent, perfect weather. We woke up everyday to a cool breeze and blazing sun. Since January weather in Manila was really weird and overcast, Palawan was a really, really welcome sight.
Niki and I spent 5 days and 4 nights in Puerto Princesa, in a bed and breakfast called Palo Alto.
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We were 15 minutes away from the city, in the middle of trees, peace and quiet. It was wonderful. The people were always so kind and accommodating, and the place is a lovely little haven, perfect for those who want to forget about the mess of Manila for a little while.
We decided we didn’t want to squish all our activities together, so we made sure to space the tours out. We would go out during the day, go back to Palo Alto to rest and clean up, then go somewhere nice to eat for dinner. I’ll tell you guys all about the wonderful restaurants in another post 🙂
On our first day, all we did was eat, take a dip in the pool, get a massage, and go out to dinner.
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We wanted to be rested for our first tour the next day — our trip to Ugong Rock and the Underground River!
We left the b&b at around 830 in the morning and took a 2-hour trip to Ugong Rock. Actually, it was supposed to be 2 hours but since our driver was getting all Fast and Furious on us, we probably made it in an hour and a half. Thank God we had a quick stop over! I’m not sure i would have kept my food down if we hadn’t.
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I mean, i don’t even really have motion sickness, but the roads were snaking all over the place and at the speed we were going, anyone would develop it. So my advice is carry some Bonamine with you, like, for the rest of the trip :p
But the crazy ride was worth it because that tour was amazing!
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Ugong Rock is a lot of fun. The mountain is called such because some of the formations are hollow and make sounds when you tap it, almost like a bongo. You get to go spelunking through the mountain, see some glittering stones (which you aren’t allowed to touch), a few rock formations and learn a little bit about tribal history of the area.
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and if you choose to, you can fly down their zip line! It’s the fastest in the country and really quite a trip, so you should try it out. It’s perfectly safe, don’t worry! Also, don’t forget to pose for a few photos on your way down 😉
After Ugong Rock we stopped for lunch (part of the package) at this little pier and then boarded a boat for the underground river.
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The island was BEAUTIFUL. The sand was white and fine, we were surrounded by trees and the weather was perfect! But you’re not allowed to swim, since it’s a marine reserve and the waves are kind of crazy.
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The Underground River was phenomenal. So much of it is yet to be discovered, and tourists are only allowed to see a couple of kilometres of it. It is pitch dark inside, and you can volunteer to sit in front and hold the search light. All you have to do is listen to the boatman and point the light to wherever he says. You will see some pretty amazing rock formations, and the size of the thing is breathtaking. Don’t let your mouth hang open for too long though — there are a jillion bats in there, and you don’t want to accidentally swallow any of their poop!
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WORD TO THE WISE: DO NOT BRING FOOD! The island is full of mischievous monkeys and they love, love, love grabbing food from tourists. I made the mistake of taking out a little pack of pretzel sticks, and the moment i opened it, there were a couple of monkeys that started running towards us! I didn’t even notice them hanging around. Good thing our tour guide was quick, and he was able to shoo them away after a few minutes. I seriously almost grabbed a rake so i could whack them, because i would never have given up my chocolate pretzel sticks. Haha. There are a lot of monitor lizards hanging around too, but they’re pretty chill. Just don’t get too near, because although they don’t bite, they can whip you with their tails and you will regret it.
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After another crazy drive, we make it back to Palo Alto by 5 pm, enough time to bathe, rest up a bit, and get ready for a little walk in the city 🙂
Next up – Honda Bay Island Hopping! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Puerto Princesa Tour Review: Ugong Rock and the Underground River

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