Palawan Weekend Day 2: From the Underground River, Sabang X Zipline, to Kinabuch!
The following morning, without much sleep (well, only me since I'm nocturnal like that) we had our 5:30am buffet breakfast at our hotel's restaurant. We're still munching away that we didn't notice it's already 5:55am, our scheduled pick-up from the hotel. We're actually expecting the van to arrive a little late like - typical Pinoy time - but we're wrong. Exactly 5:55am, our tour van was already waiting outside and the staff called us to board.
AlexBam's Tip: It's definitely a great idea to arrange your tours through your hotel since rates usually doesn't exceed those of tours by agencies, and you have the convenience of your hotel knowing your itinerary.
On the tour van. We were greeted by our tour guide Sharon and the rest of the tourists coming from different hotels. The ride from the City proper to Sabang lasts for approximately 2 hours over endless zigzag-y roads and cliffs, so we recommend you to eat light or take meds if you get dizzy fast. There's a quick 15 minute stop over on a peak that overlooks the coves, islands, and West Philippine Sea.
After a couple of hours, we arrived at Sabang Wharf which is the jump-off point going to the Underground River. Although still not that developed, the area is really commercialized with souvenir shops and people selling everything from raincoats to waterproof gadget cases. We arrived in Sabang on a bad morning since it is drizzling, but thank goodness when it was time to board our motor boat, the sun decided to show itself.
AlexBam's Tip: Stick with your tour-mates while in Sabang Wharf as it tends to get really crowded especially on weekends. Also wear flip-flops as you're really bound to get your feet wet while boarding and getting off the boat - saw some dudes wearing shoes while we're there, wrong decision.
The boat ride from Sabang Wharf to the Underground River takes around 20 minutes via motor boat, you're really not hopping to another island, you're just going to one of the multiple coves of Palawan. While you're on your boat ride, enjoy the sceneries and take photos, it's really a fun ride!
Once you arrive at the Underground River cove, you'll be greeted by is beautiful beach with powdery sand. Unfortunately, this is a no-swim zone and you can only play around on the shore, so just take this time to do your photo-ops infront of the signage and on the beach.
AlexBam's Tip: Don't wear anything shiny or brightly colored and hold on to your stuff! The monkeys here really loves stealing from unsuspecting tourists, it's their territory after all.
From the beach, it's a 5 minute walk through the forest before you arrive at the mouth of river. From here you'll need to wait for your boat for the tour. It usually takes around 15-20 minutes depending on how fast the tours before you finish. While you're here, you can enjoy taking photos and feeling the cold river on your feet, the water is also very clear that you can see fishes swimming!
The Underground River Tour is approximately 40 minutes covering 2 kilometers inside the cave. Half way, you'll make a u-turn to go back where you boarded. The tour guide generally speaks in English with a few Tagalog words, he'll show you the rock formations & explain it briefly.
AlexBam's Tip: Be careful looking up as bats are everywhere and bat poop are so freaking stinky, believe me, my hand was a lucky victim. Also, I recommend you not to sit in the front of the boat - unless you want to be the one holding the spotlight throughout the tour.
After the tour, we headed back to Sabang Wharf and went to Gusto Grill & Resto for lunch. The buffet lunch is included in the tour package, they offer Filipino foods carienderia style, we also found that they offer Tamilok which are these little worm-like creatures living inside old dead trees, we decided to grab an order for 100 pesos. Yes, we ate it raw dipped in vinegar, it tasted something like mussels. It's definitely worth a try when you're Palawan just for the heck of it!
Just when we thought we're home bound, our tour guide asked us if we want to go Ziplining, the zipline is not part of regular tours and cost extra. The whole tour decided to go with it, so we went to Sabang X Zipline's office just along the Sabang Wharf and paid 600 pesos. We then boarded our van again and took a 5 minute ride to the drop off point which from there you need to cross as river, walk along the beach and hike up the mountain - a reminder to bring lots of energy as this is really tiring.
When we arrived at the peak, the Sabang X Zipline assisted us right away for our ride. There is a lower deck to prepare while the upper deck is where you'll start the ride, we watched a few foreigners go first before we took our turn. The ride is unbelievable but not scary, you can take in the view of this beautiful paradise while zipping 800 meters and 100 feet above the sea. It's really a fun experience!
AlexBam's Tip: If you're riding the zipline. Leave your stuff to your tour guide or else you'll bring everything you have along the ride and hold on it til the end of the ride like what we did - yikes!
Back to the hotel, we decided to do a little swim at the pool and a quick nap. We woke up that evening and decided to try Kinabuch for dinner, a lot of my friends are raving about it so might as well try it while we're in Palawan. Kinabuch is located long Rizal Avenue near the airport, the avenue is filled with tourist inns and restos.
Kinabuch is a laid back place with 3 main areas, one outdoor seating for drinking and two areas for dining. They have this giant projector screen on their parking lot that plays music videos ala-drive-in movie which is cool, they also have some pool tables where you can play - not sure if there's a fee for that though.
We enjoyed their Pork Sisig, Vegetable Curry, Fried Chicken, Pancit Canton, and Garlic Rice, all of which are served generously. We were stuffed that we didn't got the chance to finish the pancit and we have to ask for it to go.
Our day 2 in Palawan was a blast! We explored Palawan's natural wonders to nightlife all in one day. We capped off our night again with a few drinks before heading back to our hotel.
Read our Palawan Weekend Experience here!