May 7, 2014


While doing my research about Puerto Princesa, I also included places where we can eat local delicacies or do food tripping. I was surprised to learn that there are so many restaurants that we can try in PPS, but I only included several of them in our itinerary. I learned that there are a lot of Vietnamese restaurants in Palawan, yes you read it right, Vietnamese. A little history before I continue sharing our experience in trying Vietnamese cuisine: Puerto Princesa was once home to Vietnamese refugees during the Vietnam War before most of them migrated to the US or Canada. Some stayed and some left, but their influence on Puerto Princesa cuisine still lingers even after they’re all gone.

We were supposed to visit the Vietnamese Refugee Village which is somewhere north of the city, but locals told us that we can satisfy our Vietnamese food cravings without travelling that far. There are a handful of Viet restos in Palawan but several stand out: Bona’s Chaolong and Rene Saigon (which I will blog about too soon).

After our trip to Dos Palmas (read about it here), we passed by the souvenir shops in LRC Tiangge and afterwards hailed a trike and asked the driver to take us to Bona’s Chaolong. When we got there the place was jampacked!

Chaolong, btw, is a stew, usually beef, but Puerto Princesa chaolong houses have other varieties, probably to suit the Filipino palate. We ordered Buto-Buto with Noodles SBS and Beefstew with Noodles, cost PHP 60 and PHP 55 respectively.

After I ordered, we were not able to find an unoccupied place and since it was dinner time, people keep pouring in. We later spotted a table with two available seats in the middle with only one customer seated at the right end and a family of 3 on the other end. We asked if we can take those seats and they gladly said we can do so. 

While waiting for our food to be served, we made conversation with the family and asked about Bona’s and about them. The man is a barangay official in a nearby neighborhood, he said that Bona’s is always full because it’s cheap, offers generous servings and really taste good. They taught us how to eat the chaolong, by putting the bean sprouts, basil leaves together with the stew and squeeze kalamansi after. We chatted with them until they were done eating and left.

Don’t expect fancy ambiance or furniture in Bona’s Chaolong, it’s not airconditioned too and looks just like any other eatery in the Philippines, but when you finally get a hold of or taste a comfort food like that, what the surroundings looks like won’t matter anymore (unless you are that alta de ciudad).

French bread is the perfect partner for the Chaolong. Why French bread? I don’t know lol! All I know is that the Vietnamese were once a colony of France and their way of life including architecture and food has been greatly influenced by the French. Bona’s Chaolong offer a variety of flavor of these French breads. I had a mistake of buying 3 of them when we ate there, we were already so full with the Chaolong alone, and can’t finish the French bread anymore. I had them put in a take-out bag and ate them during breakfast. We were not able to finish our bowl of Chaolong too because the serving was huge and we never anticipated that; we should have ordered just one and shared.

Bona’s Chaolong is a must try if you happen to be in Puerto Princesa, it one of those places where you can get more value than what you paid for. We really enjoyed eating there and meeting very friendly locals.

Bona’s Chaolong
Manalo St., Puerto Princesa City,
Palawan, Philippines

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 

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:

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

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