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Palawan is located to the west of the main bulk of Philippine islands. Distinctive in being a long and narrow strip of an Island, there are also a number of other smaller islands surrounding it. Fabled for being one of the more untouched islands in the Philippines, it's popular with backpackers, honeymooners, divers and those that like to go off the beaten path. Not to mention the odd movie star.
Located to the west of the Western Visayas, Palawan is about 450 kilometres in length but only about 50 kilometres in width. It sports one of the most versatile landscapes in the Philippines. Rich white sand beaches dot the coastline, alone with pristine blue waters and coral reefs. Volcanic rock is everywhere along with a eco habitat unique to Asia.
Around the start of March there is an annual festival, though being the Philippines there are many more throughout the year.
During festivals make sure to book your bus tickets way in advance, take names and numbers of the person you buy from and the owner of the company. There's a fair amount of overbooking taking place. Check back a few days a before you are due to leave.
The sun is a near year round treat on Palawan. But like the rest of the Philippines this is a tropical climate and monsoon season means rain. Keep a eye on the weather if you are planning to take a ferry to or from Palawan. Likewise when taking a banka from Sabang, Port Barton to El Nido or any other boat trip. The sea can get very rough in bad weather. Temperatures are mostly around 30 °C during the day and around or above 20 °C at night.
There are multiple daily flights from Manila and Cebu to Puerto Princesa with Cebu Pacific Air and Airphil Express have most connections. Other airlines that fly into the Palawan islands are Philippine Airlines, Sky Pasada, and Zest Airways which may also connect to Coron.
The main airport is in Puerto Princesa with another smaller one in El Nido. Another airport serves the Coron island through the Busuanga Airport.
A car can be brought on a ferry, but it's not worth it and quite expensive. Better to rent a car locally.
There are multiple ferry's linking Palawan to the rest of the Philippines via Puerto Princesa. Best to check in the region you are departing from for times etc., as they change frequently.
It is possible to fly from Puerto Princesa to El Nido however it's expensive! There are also flights between Puerto Princesa and Coron.
There are no trains on the Island.
You may rent or charter a car. The roads are not all paved though, however none are too off road.
There are plenty of bus and minivan services linking the cities of Palawan. You may reserve seats on minivans that are air conditioned, but its still prudent to show up early. Likewise with local buses which are half the price, take one third longer and have no air conditioning.
There are motorized boat (banka) services linking Puerto Princesa to Sabang, Port Barton and El Nido. However prices vary, and going in a group is much cheap than being solo. There is also a weekly service leaving El Nido for Coron, though it's not regular.
Food is very fresh all over Palawan due it's remote island status. Fresh seafood is easily available everywhere. In many of the resorts western food is available. Vietnamese food is popular in Puerto Princesa. Popular fast food restaurants like Jollibee and Chow King are in Puerto Princesa but not outside of the capital.
San Miguel Beer is once again King in this part of the Philippines.
|El Nido Four Seasons Resort||El Nido||Guesthouse||76|
|Summer Homes Beach Resort and Cottages||Purok Pag-asa Brgy. Port Barton||Guesthouse||96|
|Lally & Abet Beach Cottages||El Nido||Apartment||-|
|Monkey Family||Quezon St. Port Barton||Hostel||-|
as well as Peter (4%)
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