Palawan Underground River

by: xtian001

In: Palawan | Philippines

23 Jul 2008


We woke up early as the van was to pick us up at 6:00 in the morning. I got the tour package from Kawayanan as I was too lazy to do some research on doing the tour ourselves. I could have just rented a van which would be far cheaper than getting the tour. Anyway, the trip from Puerto Princesa to Sabang was said to take 3 hours and then the boat ride from Sabang to the island where you have the Underground River another 30 minutes.


The road to Sabang was rough to say the least. You’ll notice a lot of children walking to school throughout the trip and we found out the there was no transportation system in place so people and even children would walk for miles just to get to school. They also plant their own crops as there was no market to speak of. The trip just took us about 2 hours instead of 3 probably because we had the van for ourselves and didn’t take any unnecessary stops or detours.


After registering, we went sent to our boats. We were divided into two as the boats can only accommodate 6 people. The ride to the island was almost unbelievable. The water is so clean that you can see the corals more than 10 feet underwater. We even got to get a glimpse of a Sea Turtle (Pawikan) swimming! The surrounding islands have cliffs and were postcard perfect. After landing on the beach and getting out photos taken, we took a minute walk to where you can ride the boat to the Underground River.


We were able to fit on the boat and one of those in front was to hold the light for us to see the natural rock formations in the cave. It was Den (My sister Lyn’s husband) who was holding the light at first but after missing out on some of the formations that our boatman was referring to, my sister Tin got the light from him. However, we had the same problem with her not being able to follow the boatman’s instructions on where to point the light so either we see the formation too late or not at all. The boatman kept saying “Ma’am, right po. Ma’am right, right, a little more to the right” and then she’d miss it altogether and the boatman would say “Ma’am left. Left. Left ma’am.”



After 45 minutes and going through the “fruit and vegetable” section, the religious section, and even the Edsa Flyover, the boat trip was over. Then we had lunch brought our tour guide. We were also able to see some monitor lizards and monkeys after we ate. After taking more photos, we were off and back to the bumpy road that leads us back to Puerto Prinsesa.

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