April 16, 2014

PUERTO PRINCESA TRAVEL DIARY: Emerald Playa & Nature Park

Our goal during this trip was to enjoy Puerto Princesa “off the beaten path”. That’s why we ended up doing most of our tours DIY and go to some places that most tourists won’t consider going to. I just asked around from friends/colleagues who has been to Puerto Princesa on what they can suggest. I also scoured the net for  interesting things to do and places to see in the Puerto Princesa.




We never planned to take any city tour offered by any travel agency in Puerto Princesa because for one, I find the Php 600 per person fee a little expensive especially when you can rent a trike specifically used for touring the city for half a day for the exact same prize. Most drivers who uses the blue and white-painted trikes have had seminars at the Palawan Tourist Center, so they basically can also become your tour guides and can share interesting stories about some of the tourists spots around the city.


We hired Bryan as our trike driver/tour guide for the two days that we went around the city. He is  courteous and we are at ease with him, we just know that he’s someone of good heart especially when we started to get to know him during the two days that we availed of his service. He related to us some of his life stories, how his son loves watching UFC, how he is happy and contented in living a simple life in Puerto Princesa, how he dislikes how the local government corrupts the funds to develop roads to forward the tourism of Palawan, and how thankful he is for trusting him. (You can contact him at: 09152788528).




We are not tied with time and we didn’t have to follow the pace of other tour members. If we want to stay longer in one place, we could; if we want to skip a destination, we could. That’s the freedom you can get if you veer away from group tours especially if you’re not with your own set of friends. I’ve designed our 4days/3nights itinerary in Palawan to be the most relaxing vacation we both can experience. I divided our city tour in 2 days (first and last days) so we can enjoy each place until we tire ourselves.


Emerald Playa and Nature Park
Emerald Playa and Nature Park is not one of the usual destinations when you go on a city tour  in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Our trike driver/tour guide Bryan suggested that he’ll take us to this place after going to Kuyba Almoneca;  where we can spend  the rest of the afternoon. Since our visit to all the other destinations near the city will resume on our 4th day.





Emerald Playa and Nature Park is also in Barangay San Jose, where Kuyba Almoneca is. This is where you can find Microtel Palawan Hotel. What’s nice about Emerald Playa is its proximity to the city proper, it’s just a few minutes trike or van ride and you don’t need to ride a boat just to get here.




There is an entrance fee of PHP 160 or 180, wherein 100 pesos of it is consumable, you’ll pay this at the food court  (which is actually just a  snack bar) and you’ll buy food items from there as well.




There are a couple of Nipa huts/cottages that is scattered along the property where you can relax, I wasn’t able to ask if they are for free use or if there’s a corresponding fee. We spent most of our time walking on the beach and just stayed at the huge gazebo near the “food court” when we ordered sodas.




There are comfort/shower rooms available, I was not able to use it but by the looks of it, I assume it’s decent enough.




The beach here is wide and has fine sand but not as white like that of the others beaches in Puerto Princesa (but whiter than that of Luli’s). Mangroves  dominate both sides of the beach and not too many people go here which will give you that feeling that you have the beach all to yourselves. When it is low tide, the sea goes far back and the mangroves become more exposed and the beach goes as far as a few meters.




We walked as far as where sea bed is still exposed and enjoyed checking out and guessing what creatures made these little swirls of sand that spiral up like little mounds  across the beach; which I insisted that they were made by small crabs digging holes to get into the sand. But I did a little research while writing this blog post and found that they are in fact made by lugworms.




The swirls are the “castings” of a worm. Various species of lugworms are found in sandy marine mud all over the world. Lugworms are not typically visible, but the casts produced by their burrowing make distinctive patterns in damp sand. The lugworms live in a U-shaped or J-shaped burrow. They ingest the sandy mud at one end, and excrete digested sand at the other. They can process a cubic centimeter or more of sand every hour. The worms digest the bacteria and other microorganism in the sand, in much the same way that earthworms process soil. Lugworms are a favorite bait of fisherman all over the world they are eaten by shorebirds and also by fish when the tide covers them. (source: askanaturalist.com/what-made-these-swirls-in-the-sand/)




We also found a lot (I mean a lot) of starfishes camouflaging themselves in the sand (especially those that are submerge in water). I didn’t like the way the starfishes here look like because of their boring color. But we had spent quite some time, sort of, playing with them. We observed how they moved using their tentacles.




The beach at Emerald Playa and Nature Park is well-known for kite boarding (a.k.a. kite surfing) enthusiasts. Yes, it’s not only in Boracay that you can learn how to kite-board, but also in Puerto Princesa. Bryan told us that a kite-boarding competition was held here a few days before we arrived.




We stayed here until sunset and enjoyed the marine life that we saw on the beach. I recommend you try visiting this place and include it in your city tour if you happen to be or plan to go to Puerto Princesa anytime soon.




Emerald Playa and Nature Park
Langka Road, Barangay San Jose, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines

Puerto Princesa Tour Assistance/Licensed Tour Guide: Bryan Elivera - 09152788528


Read about my Puerto Princesa Travel Diary blog posts here:
Go & See:
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Kuyba Almoneca, Your Alternative to the Palawan Underground River
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel, & - Puerto Princesa Baywalk
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Palawan Special Battalion WWII Memorial Museum
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Emerald Playa Beach & Nature Park
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Dos Palmas Island Resort
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Where to Buy Souvenirs
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour Part 1
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour Part 2
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Irawan Eco Park and Zipline
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Crocodile Farm and A Peacock I've Never Seen Before
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Mitra's Ranch & Baker's Hill
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Binuatan Creations Handloom Weaving 

Eat:
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Badjao Seafront Restaurant
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: KaLui Restaurant
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Bona's Chaolong
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Kinabuchs Bar & Grill
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Rene Saigon Vietnamese Specialties
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: White Fence Country Cafe

What I wore:

Sleep:
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary:  The Legend Hotel Palawan
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Purple Fountain Courtyard Inn


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3 comments:

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  2. Hi! How much is the fare going to Emerald Playa and back to the city? We're going to Palawan next week and we want to visit this place. Thank you so much! :)

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    1. hi Tessalonica, our trip to Emerald Playa was part of a day tour which is 600 pesos... but i think it'll cost like 100-200 bucks if your just going to Emerald Playa alone. you can ask the tricycle driver to wait for you or pick you when you're ready to go back to the hotel. You can contact Bryan, the trike driver who took us there at: 09152788528. :)

      Thanks!

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