Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Puerto Princesa, Palawan CROCODILE FARM Day 1

How was your long weekend folks? Were you able to observe Holy Week or were you off somewhere on a deserted island baking under the sun? You wish? Hahaha!
As you all know, we went to Puerto Princesa and spent 4 days and 3 nights exploring the city and nearby towns and islands, which was a first for us coz the last time we went to Palawan, it was Coron we explored.

Anyway, being the budget-conscious travelbugs that we are, we checked in at Casa Linda (048-433-2606; 048-433-2309), one of the best but cheapest resorts in the Philippines as published in the book 100 Resorts in the Philippines. It is located in Trinidad Road, Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City.

We only paid 750/night for the two of us. The room was spacious,  airconditioned, with the following amenities:  a big vanity table, chair and  mirror; two single beds (you may opt to get one with double bed for couples) with a side table and lamp; and a huge hammock chair at the corner. The room also has a huge cabinet for all our clothes, shopping goodies and other stuff. Furthermore, their bathroom is big enough for Peter and I. It comes with cold shower (which is definitely helpful to fight off the summer heat after spending the day outdoors) and towels are changed everyday.
The P750 fee is exclusive of meals. But don't you fret because they offer big servings of American and Pinoy dishes at a fair price.
Another good thing about Casa Linda is that it's just 2-5 minutes away from the airport. So the moment we all got all our luggage from Puerto Princesa Airport, we  headed to the tricycle terminal across the arrival section and hailed one for Peachie and Marichit and another one for me and Peter.
The ride to Casa Linda only cost us P40.00 per tricycle. During the short ride I noticed that the driver was sort of taking his time. He was trying to do a sales pitch to get them for our city tour, trip to the underground river and the honda bay island tour. I was skeptical at first since we already booked these tours with Casa Linda. But when I heard how much cheaper it would cost us to get their services instead, I told Mang Lito, our driver, that I would have to discuss this with my hubby and friends first. Plus, I didn't wanna look too eager in case they're trying to fool us (Yes, I can be very paranoid at times, which helps me be more careful in my dealings with strangers).
When we reached Casa Linda, we checked-in and went to our respective rooms. We rested for a while, ordered brunch and decided on what our first itinerary would be.
Having had no proper breakfast (we only had siopao that morning at the airport), we ordered sinigang  na tangigue and squid rebosado. We thought it wise to stock our tummies with real food if we were to have our city tour that afternoon with Mang Lito. Uhuh, we finally decided to take him up on his offer. We'd only be paying him P400 per tricycle for the whole afternoon tour. If we get the tour from Casa Linda, we'd be paying P900.00 each. Although that would make us ride an airconditioned van, we still opted for the cheaper ride. The weather was very sunny and windy anyway and there's really no air pollution in the city. We can give up the aircon for a while if we can save P2800 divide by 4 = P700 each! Imagine?  That money can already be used for shopping! :-)
After brunch, we rested for a while. Come 1 pm, Mang Lito was already outside waiting for us to start our tour. Now we come to the most exciting part of our first day --- the places we visited! Check them out!

Crocodile Farm
Above are the remains (croc skin on the wall and skeleton inside the glass coffin) of the largest & oldest croc that ever lived in the Philippines. He reached around 90 years old. Woah!
Those bones on the floor are the actual jaw bones of a whale.
At this point, I thought one of the little crocs in the bathtub behind me reached for my hand. Hahaha! Paranoid!
At last! I was able to hold on to one! 
I swear, they can afford not to move for several hours! According to the tour guide, these little crocs are only active at night. During the day, they tend to  rest by not moving AT ALL.
Compared to the ostriches in Davao and Ilocos, these ones in Palawan were very friendly. We didn't need to call or lure them for picture taking. 
Ooohhh! Turtle! 
Since it was Holy Thursday, we almost didn't get inside the DENR compound where the Crocodile Farm was. Usually, they only allow tourists who come with their own tour guides courtesy of certain agencies. As for us, we were gate crashing (sort of). It was a blessing that there was another group of tourists coming in and we were able to go with them. Inside, we didn't only see crocodiles but ostriches and tutles as well. 

To be continued...

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