Southern Palawan

img_1060Southern Palawan

Most travelers head north out of Puerto Princesa because the scenery there is more spectacular than in the south.

img_0882.jpgThere has been some amazing archeological digs around the Tabon caves near Quezon.

I’ve talked to some Filipinos that remember the burial pots still full of bones in those caves back in the late 60′s and 70′s but they have all been removed now and there are just some empty man-made caves over on the island now. A boatman can take you out there for 500 peso or so if you want to take a look.

The coconut tree in the picture to the left is the only one I have ever seen grow in a corkscrew shape like that.

img_0956.jpgThere is a small museum in Quezon but it has very little information and the manager is most interested in hooking you up with her boatman and guide for 1000 peso.

If you continue south you will run into the town of Rizal, formerly named Marcos but the name changed with the times.

img_0943.jpgIt’s not a bad little town but there is not much going on with the exception of a small market and a few food stall alongside the road.

There is a small hotel on the roundabout called the True Cut. The manager is a friendly guy and the charge is 100 peso per night including coffee and bread.

img_0925.jpgThe town is often without power so you will probably be without fan to blow the mosquitoes away. Just a word of caution – This area has a high incidence of malaria so use a mosquito net if at all possible.

A Filipino acquaintance that works with the indeginous people down there uses the word “rampant” when describing the malaria in the area.

img_0924.jpgIf you continue south from Rizal you run into some remote country, the kind I just love. There are few settlements and very few travelers passing through. It is very difficult to get traveling information from anyone because no one has been very far from home. You can get to Riotuba without passing through Batarazza but the trail isn’t used very much.

In Riotuba there are boats to Balabac, the island to the south. It leaves around 2 pm provided there are not ay difficulties. (bad weather, lack of passengers or any other reason that comes up). I slept on the docks because there weren’t any boats that day.

img_0961.jpgWe headed over to Balabac the next day arriving after dark. This is a great little town but the people are somewhat reserved because a lot of smugglers and other characters operate out of this place so everyone minds their own business.

There is also a lot of military and police intel stationed here keeping an eye on what comes up from Borneo. A number of Filipinos do head down this way to Malaysia to work but they are illegal and will wind up in prison if caught.

img_0946.jpgBackpackers are not advised to use this way to Borneo because even if you could find a lift you would be an illegal once you arrived and in for all sorts of hassle.

Commercial passenger vessels make the run to Sandakan in Sabah from Zamboanga in Mindanao every week and you will not have any problems with immigration taking this route.

img_0972.jpgKeep in mind that you can fly from Clark to Kota Kinabalu for only 60 USD or so.

Back in Riotuba you can play a round of golf at the 9 hole course set up there for mining execs. (probably would need an invite though)

There are some huge zinc mines down there that the entire economy depends on.

img_0931.jpgThe ore is barged in large bags to freighters anchored a few kilometers off shore and then shipped to Australia or Japan. Visitors are not allowed at the mines without an invite.

As you travel up the east coast you will pass through Batarazza, another malaria hot spot. That big crocodile skeleton at the croc farm near Puerto Princese came from this area. The officials had it removed after it killed one of the local kids.

img_1072.jpg Narra up the coast is another small settlement with not very much going on but I have been down there a few times to visit friends. There is a nice waterfall around 7 kilometers north of Nara and then another 7 kilometers into the countryside.

local info about southern Palawan

Then its about a 2 hour ride over a bumpy road back to Puerto Princesa. Allow 5 days for the round trip Puerto to Balabac and back to Puerto.

Southern Palawan

Nov 2, 2007

12 responses to “Southern Palawan”

  1. Hi! Nice information on sothern Palawan. I am looking into purchasing a beach front property or perhaps a small island in Palawan. I was told that Southern Palawan is beautiful as well and the property here are still cheap but it sounds like the peace and order is a turn off.

    Looking at Goggle Earth, I see very nice islands with beaches in the Southern Palawan. Were you able to visit these places?


  2. Mr.Edmund So . . . I am from Bugsuk Island, under the municipality of Balabac . . . located at southern tip of mainland Palawan. We have property in Brgy Sebaring, Bugsuk Island that we like to sell. . . approximately the area is 67+ hectares, no arrears, with original titles. . . should you be interested, my email address is: (unionpanther69 @ (Rene Principe) . . an option is a joint venture.

  3. Ive been in riotuba palawan,, nice place. My dad works in riotuba nickel mining corp. I enjoyed the place. Refreshing far from the pollution of manila, im so excited coz i will be there this coming 23rd of aug until the 1st of sept.. Txt me if u need any company 09272113911

  4. Yup i did with my dad… But we didnt finished it coz it rained.. Too bad… Hehehe . Wer u from? Any plans to visit?

  5. Im back in puerto princesa after 6-7hrs travel by land c/o LEXUS (van). Sorry for the late post dutchpickle coz i dont have any access on the net over there..but There are some places in rio tuba especially in townsite who has smartbro(internet connection provider) but i cant use my laptop coz of security reasons hehehe need a password for wifi. Anyway will keep in touch via this website.. Im also planning to spend christmas at riotuba hope to see u there if ever. Ill be in manila tom yehey. .. Have a good one! Erven xoxo

  6. Youre welcome dp! Anyway im in manila now… Work work and work. Hehehe. See you around! C-:

  7. It’s quite amazing how foreigners were able to travel to different parts of the Philippines while the locals just stay in their place. I visited Palawan only this year and during that time I was dreaming whether I was still in the Philippines. I still need a lot of traveling in my own country to feel at home. Knowing the geography I really feel isolated when I traveled to Palawan. I kept thinking that I was closer to Manila than Davao City or Zamboanga City but why I feel farther. Because Palawan is still like a “wild west” to me. The vast tracks of land looks like anyone can claim on it.

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