Palawan is known to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world, and it certainly has some of the most attractive beaches in the Philippines. One of them belongs to Port Barton, a small, very quiet – and the emphasis is on quiet – village on the north-west coast.
For those who are seeking luxury or a place to party, look elsewhere.
Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot to write about. With simple accommodations, no electricity during the day and only limited connectivity, there are no distractions to keep one from simply just relaxing.
The biggest attraction is probably the diving and snorkeling. The area around Port Barton boasts some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the Philippines. There are a couple of dive schools in the area which can get you certified and ready to go. Remember that this is the Philippines. Everyone (for the most part) speaks perfect English and is exceptionally pleasant.
There are also some beautiful hikes in the area. Most of the land is filled with incredibly lush, green foliage and teeming with wildlife. Just ask a local for directions.
One can’t help but get the feeling that the time to enjoy Port Barton is limited. The nightclubs, five-star hotels and shopping are perhaps on the horizon, but for now long walks and hikes, boat trips, island hopping, swimming, snorkeling, sun bathing and sunset watching will have to suffice.
How to get there:
Flight to Manila (e.g. from Ningbo via Hongkong), then flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa (Palawan).
From the airport in Puerto Princesa, there are two busses daily, but the last one leaves at 2pm. Minivans (jeepneys) are available and cheap, they’re also a little more comfortable and offer A/C.
If booked early enough, flights to Manila can be purchased for around RMB 1500. Cebu Pacific Air (www.cebupacificair.com) is always running specials from Ningbo, Shanghai and Xiamen. Expect to pay around another RMB 500 for the domestic flight to Palawan.