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Palawan's Jewel: The Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa in the Philippines is located in the western province of Palawan which some would describe as being the country's final ecological frontier. It is the least populate city in the Philippines with a population of around 210,000.


Puerto Princesa is an example of a multicultural melting pot in the Philippines. It has a diverse population of indigenous groups such as the Batak, Palawanos, Molbogs and Takbanwas living together in the city. They have a rich history of cultural legacy and folklore waiting to be explored. Filipinos migrants from other provinces also add to the potpourri of diversity in the city.  Palawan city is also known as a model city in terms of its environmental preservation efforts and cleanliness.

Not many have heard of Puerto Princesa. You might be wondering what is so special about this small Philippines city. If you travel 50 kilometers north of the city you will discover one of the most awe-inspiring natural attractions that you have ever seen in your entire life, and it is the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Since 1999, this river was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Puerto Princesa Underground River is the longest navigable underground river in the world. You can navigate up to 4 kilometers in this great river that flows directly into the South China Sea.

This magnificent river was also chosen as one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature in early 2012. Ever since the Puerto Princesa Underground River was discovered, tourists began to flock into this small Palawan city to explore this special river. The number of tourists visiting Puerto Princesa Underground River has risen at an exponential rate, causing the city authority to limit the number of visitors at 780 per day. The tour of the underground river is so popular that visitors have to book their tour a few months in advance in order to secure a place.

With its magnificent cave system, it is not surprising that the Puerto Princesa Underground River is always attracting visitors, explorers and scientists from all over Philippines and abroad. These rising numbers flocking Puerto Princesa is a proof to the fact that the river has a lot of wonders to offer its visitors. You will be greeted with a breathtaking view of the caverns and rock formations when you navigate into the river. The 24 kilometers long St. Pauls Underground River Cave that contains the underground portion of Cabayugan River, stretching around 8.2 kilometers, is the main attraction within the Princesa Underground River system. You must see it by yourself in order to appreciate the magnitude of its beauty.

The Princesa Underground River has a complete mountain-to-sea ecosystem. It is indeed beyond the shadow of a doubt that the river rightly deserves the designation of both the UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature.


This hidden jewel of the Philippines has now begun to show its sparkling intensity to the whole world as Puerto Princesa is starting to be transformed into a major tourist destination. Perhaps it is now your turn to discover the glorious beauty of Puerto Princesa and its underground river.

Tags: Puerto Princesa | Palawan | Batak | Palawanos | Molbogs | Takbanwas | UNESCO Heritage | Underground River | Cabayugan River | |


Main Reasons Why Sabah And Sarawak Must Be your Ultimate Destinations

  Sabah and Sarawak are two different locations in Borneo Island. The word Borneo has been there since year 1839 when James Brooke made his first landing in Kuching city itself with his ship by the name of The Loyalist. Ever since then, the White Rajah has been governing Sabah and Sarawak for several generations, which eventually gave Sabah and Sarawak a new chapter.


  As time flies by, Sabah and Sarawak now becomes the ultimate destination for domestic and international tourist spot. Both Sabah and Sarawak have so much to offer when it comes to travel. Be it for family vacation, business trips or personal visits.


If you are still unsure what Sabah and Sarawak have to offer you, then here are the main reasons why Sabah and Sarawak must be your ultimate destination.




  Food alone is more than enough to represent the cultures in both Sabah and Sarawak. In Sarawak, places like Kuching City, is a heaven for food lovers on their personnal blogs. Some even described the taste of food in Kuching itself, is like a fantasy and filled with all sorts of colours and presentations.


  In Sabah, food such as the Sago worm is an exquisite dish that you can find in the jungle. It is usually served deep fried or you can eat after it is boiled.


  Both local and international tourists have so much to learn when it comes to culture. For an example, a visit to the longhouse deep within the heart of Sarawak is something to look forward to. Although it is generally known as longhouses, the ethnic groups in Sarawak especially the Ibans are divided into a few different ethnics as can be seen from their ethnic Ngajat dance have different version in the longhouse.


  If it is in Sabah, the most unique cultural dance you will find is the Bobohizan dance. Performed by a group of Papar Kadazan, the Sazau Bobohizan dance will be performed by the priestess. The dance is used to send spirits of the dead to a different realm known as Pongouvan.




  The UNESCO heritage site, Mount Kinabalu or the Pinnacles in Mulu National Park will fulfill that desire.


  As for Mount Kinabalu, for those who had the experienced of climbing Mulu Pinnacles, Mount Kinabalu is much easier for them, but if you are a first timer, Mount Kinabalu is hard enough to be tackled for a first timer.


  Both offered different challenges respectively. Then again, most tourists who took up the challenge on climbing up Mulu Pinnacles mentioned that it was not easy getting up there. It is not just only about the weather, but also the mind and physical toughness is something that you need to prepare before you can attempt the climb Mulu Pinnacles.



Beautiful Rainforest


  The archipelago of rainforests both in Sabah and Sarawak, have been preserved and labelled as protected rainforests in the world. Visiting either one, will let you see how these rainforests in each state tend to grow on top of one another creating a beautiful canopy like you have never seen before.


  If you are tourists who happen to be doing some research and looking for new medical discoveries, then you might want to try out Sabah and Sarawak as the million years’ old rainforests will give you rare insights.




Historical values


  Every city has a story to tell. And every state changes from time to time leaving historical footprints behind. The Kundasang War Memorial in Sabah is a place where relatives and families of fallen heroes will gather and reflect back on their sacrifices. Those fallen heroes, consist of British and Australian soldiers who marched a total of 160 mile and leaving only 6 survivals to tell their tales.


  In Kuching, one of most prominent historical site it is the Kuching City Waterfront itself. Before it was converted into a Waterfront, it was also known as a place for early settlements of the sea Dayaks.


  Then in year 1864, after the landing of James Brooke, Chinese businesses started to grow like mushrooms. And the historical business district can still be seen across the road of the entire whole stretch of Kuching Water Front.



Festive Seasons


  Due to the mix culture in Malaysia, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, you will have the Christians, Chinese, Dayaks, Indians and Malays. The different believes and ethnicities, is what makes Malaysia unique. For an example, the Chinese will celebrate the Chinese New Year, Moon Cake Festival, Wesak Day and Chap Goh Mei. As for the Dayaks, it would be the Gawai festivities. Muslims on the other hand will celebrate Hari Raya which is also known as Eeid Season by international Muslims. Christians as usual, will be Christmas and Indians would be the Deepavali.


  With all the mixed ethnicities, during the festive seasons, you will see different kinds of cookies and food laid out on the table.



Food is cheap


  Food in Sabah and Sarawak is still considered cheap. All you need to bring is RM 10 in your pocket to have a decent meal and a glass of water from those outdoor street cafes for the day.



World Rainforest Music Festival


  Usually held every year, in the middle of June, the sound of traditional music comes from all over the world and can be heard during this time of the year. During the event itself you will get to hear music from other parts of the world and watch live performances.



  The above reasons would be good enough for you to decide to pack your bags and head over to Sarawak and Sabah in Borneo.

Tags: Sabah and Sarawak | Borneo Island | Sabah and Sarawak Food | Mount Kinabalu UNESCO Heritage | Mulu National Park | Mulu Pinnacles | Borneo Rainforest | Sabah Sarawak Rainforest | Sabah War Memorial | Kundasang War Memorial | World Rainforest Music Festival | |


Gunung Mulu National Park


Gunung Mulu National Park is one of Nature’s most spectacular achievements and the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Sarawak’s expanding network of national parks. It is also the largest national park, covering 52,865 hectares of primary rainforest, which is criss-crossed by fast flowing rivers and clear jungle streams. Mulu is dominated by three mountains – Gunung Mulu (2,376 m), Gunung Api (1,750 m) and Gunung Benarat (1,585 m).

Yet many of Mulu’s greatest attractions lie deep below the surface. Hidden underneath the forested slopes of these mountains is one of the largest limestone cave systems in the world.

Mulu’s four Show Caves were selected for their uniqueness or sheer beauty. Besides the popularly visited Deer Caves, Lang Caves, Clearwater Caves and Lady’s Caves, a more strenuous trek leads to a weird landscape of razor-sharp rock pinnacles.

They can all be visited as day trips from the park HQ and are accessible by plankwalks and well-lit concrete paths. Strategically positioned spotlights highlight the unique features of the individual caves. A plank walk leads through the forest to Deer and Lang’s Cave whilst Clearwater Cave and Wind Cave are reached by taking a longboat up the Melinau River, or by following a 4 km nature trail. The more adventurous can do Adventure Caving.

Permits and a park guide are usually organized by tour operators. Access to Mulu was traditionally by boat, but Fockker Friendship and Twin Otter workhorse flights from Malaysia Airlines rural services are available and shorten daylong trips to 25 minutes and 40 minutes flights respectively.

The Canopy Skywalk, the world’s longest tree-based structure, in Mulu National Park allow visitors a glimpse of life in the treetops of the rainforest. 480 meters of walkway hang 20 meters above the forest floor, forming a circular route suspended between 15 trees with a separate exit tower. To keep human incursions at a sustainable level, visitor numbers to the Canopy Skywalk are carefully monitored. Tour operators need to book canopy walks well in advance, and stay within the stated hours. Up to ten hours per day is available.

At dusk, millions of bats will fly out of the caverns, a very spectacular sight.

Tags: mulu national park | UNESCO heritage site | mt mulu | sarawak | benarat lodge | royal mulu resort | |