It’s been a week already since I house arrested myself (o.a) due to this pandemic that’s currently happening all over the world and what to do given I have lots of free time aside from sleeping and eating? Write.
So let me start by telling you that recently (1st week of March 2020) I visited this laid-back place in Palawan called Port Barton – a village on the north-west coast of the island of Palawan in the Philippines according to Wikipedia.
It is a quieter and smaller version than that of El Nido but the activities are the same (island hopping, land hopping, kayak rentals) although lesser islands to visit here unlike El Nido but the price is somehow cheaper as well.
Port Barton isn’t popular enough to attract domestic tourists so aside from the locals living there the rest are all foreigners: mostly backpackers and other adventurous travellers who appreciate and enjoy the much relaxed atmosphere and natural beauty comparing to El Nido which is too commercialized and busy.
Though my time and stay there was very limited, still I enjoyed it and wanting to go back again (oh how I miss Batukaras already T_T). Got acquainted with lovely people and met my friend’s (Joyces) friend too! What a small world after all. ^_^
How to go there?
- You can take a flight from San Vicente which is nearer (and the airfares aren’t that expensive yet), or via Puerto Princesa and El Nido.
- From Puerto Princesa, you can hire a van/bus going there price ranges from P300-500 as on my part, I paid P1K because my flight was late and normally vans/buses going to Port Barton is quite limited, so make sure to check before going or stay in Puerto Princesa first.
- If by El Nido, you can take a van (P600) as well and a bus but please, please check bus/van schedules to not waste our time.
Where to stay?
- As mentioned, the place is perfect for backpackers and travellers alike so there are hostels that can cater to your needs according to your budget. The best thing about the place where I stayed was the location, it’s a beach front so view is lovely every morning El Dorado Sunset Resort (NO WIFI) and have private rooms too if you don’t want to share it with someone.
- There are too many accommodations there, you can always check Agoda, Booking, Traveloka, Airbnb just make sure to input Port Barton NOT just San Vicente, alright? 🙂
Where to eat?
- there are local food stores everywhere and hostels/ resorts offers meals as well… You can check it one by one or better ask locals around.
What to do?
- relax all day, sunbathing, do the tours, don’t worry the tours are of standard price and same as Coron and El Nido, lunch is included as well. If you have food allergies kindly inform your guide.
- My guide/ contact person there is Kuya Joey (+63945 8665492/ +63926 0879767)
- there are party hostels too like CocoRico Hostel who gave out free shots and Sirko Club, I think it’s the only club in Port Barton so you know where to find someone and it opens at 8 in the evening.
- If you’ll be arriving in Puerto Princesa or El Nido late afternoon or after 6 in the evening make sure to check buses and vans before transferring to Port Barton so you won’t waste your money paying if not double, triple price fare going to Port Barton. Like me, I arrived around 17:30, good thing there are few individuals who were going to Port Barton as well so we hired a van and paid P1K for each (we were 5 pax only) for the 2 hours van ride. How’s that?
- If you easily get motion sickness make sure to bring medicines with you, drivers are quite mad when it comes to driving, not sure if they know they are not alone in the vehicle or it’s just how they drive (always in a hurry) plus expect a bumpy ride going inside Port Barton due to rough road.
- If you want to transfer or go back to Puerto Princesa and El Nido make sure to check the schedules or make some reservations at your accommodation, just approached the attendant/ receptionist.
- Aqua shoes is not required in Port Barton but preferred during tours and environmental fee is P50.
- Globe network is not that good in there but hey don’t complain you’re there to relax and not check your social media from time to time, a little time off from your phone would be great somehow.
- Bring OFF lotion as mosquitoes are everywhere and a cream to keep sand fleas from biting you as specially for fragile skin like me, I ended up having sand fleas bites and sadly it turned out to be very bad. T_T
To say this year hasn’t gone off to a good start wouldn’t be an overstatement. As you may all know I was in Jakarta, Indonesia when the flash flood happened on the very 1st day of January, I was stuck there then when I came back to my homeland, there’s the Taal volcanic eruption wherein my country isn’t prepared to such and let’s not forget the bushfires in Australia. Now, the latest that’s been dominating the headlines is the COVID-19 and yet again, our country, the Philippines is still NOT PREPARED to this kind of crisis. It’s okay to say that you are not okay but know that when things are not okay, it’s not yet the end. Praying and hoping for everyone’s welfare. Take care, loves! ♥
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