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Manila to Puerto Princesa- or Boracay??
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kraggy



Joined: 06 Mar 2011

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:27 am    Post subject: Manila to Puerto Princesa- or Boracay?? Reply with quote

Hi, I'm looking to go the Phillipines for a week at the end of July.

I heard Palawan is nice. Is the area around Puerto Princesa the best or the worst area to stay and how would it compare to say Boracay?

Also, I'm getting a good price for Seoul to Manila. Is it possible to get a decent price for a flight onward to Puerto Princesa when i arrive in Manila (i.e without booking) or should I book it in advance of my arrival in Manila?

Are the regional flights usually cheap?

Finally, how does cost of beer, food etc compare with Thailand?

Thanks!
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:33 am    Post subject: Re: Manila to Puerto Princesa- or Boracay?? Reply with quote

kraggy wrote:
Hi, I'm looking to go the Phillipines for a week at the end of July.

I heard Palawan is nice. Is the area around Puerto Princesa the best or the worst area to stay and how would it compare to say Boracay?

Also, I'm getting a good price for Seoul to Manila. Is it possible to get a decent price for a flight onward to Puerto Princesa when i arrive in Manila (i.e without booking) or should I book it in advance of my arrival in Manila?

Are the regional flights usually cheap?

Finally, how does cost of beer, food etc compare with Thailand?

Thanks!


Watch for the seat sales on Cebu Pacific, Zest and Air Phils.

On a good day you can get seats for p888.
On a bad day they will cost you p5000 each way.

There are places on/around Palaway with nicer beaches than Boracay.
There is NO place in Palawan with the nightlife of Boracay.

Costs will vary widely from p25 at the local sari sari for a bottle of San Mig to p200 at some of the "nicer" resorts.

For the most part, costs on the street are about 30% cheaper than Thailand but in the resorts they are about the same.

.
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passport220



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Location: Gyeongsangbuk-do province

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

- If you plan to stop over in Manila, then also check for cheap fares from AirAsia's new routes to both locations flying out of Manila (Clark).

- El Nido is the beach area on Palawan that would best compare with some on Boracay.

- As Ttpatz said general costs in the Phils are lower than in Thailand, with the exception of accomodations. I find hotels / resorts to be of higher cost and yet of lower standard in the Phils than what you can find in Thailand across the board. In the end it works out as a near wash for me, I tend to end up paying a bit more in the Phils in a week than I do in Thailand due to the higher hotel expense, but not by much.

Airline websites
Air Phil Express: http://www.airphilexpress.com/
Cebu Pacific: http://www.cebupacificair.com/Pages/default.aspx
Zest Air: http://www.flyzest.com/index.php
PAL: http://www.philippineairlines.com/home/home.jsp
AirAsia: http://www.airasia.com/th/en/home.page
TigerAir: http://www.tigerairways.com/


Last edited by passport220 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kraggy



Joined: 06 Mar 2011

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess what I'd like is really nice beaches with a little nightlife but I certainly don't want really loud clubs with music pumping loudly and people puking on the streets.

So is Palawan better then or do I have an overly negative idea of what Boracay is like?

If you reckon I should go to Palawan, is Puerto Princesa the best place to fly into or is there another airport that would be more convenient?

Lastly, 2 other important questions,

1. Can I get accomodation by just showing up or do I need to book something? Are there bungalows and guesthouses like in Thailand?

2. When I look at flights on flyzest.com, nothing is mentioned about taxes or fees. Are they included in the price I see or WILL I HAVE TO PAY SOMETHING AT THE AIRPORT?

Thanks again.

EDIT: SOMETIMES WHEN I GO ON THE FLYZEST WEBSITE AND SELECT A FLIGHT, A NOTICE COMES UP SAYING TO RING A NUMBER TO MAKE THE BOOKING.

IS THE SITE LEGIT?
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kraggy wrote:
I guess what I'd like is really nice beaches with a little nightlife but I certainly don't want really loud clubs with music pumping loudly and people puking on the streets.

1) So is Palawan better then or do I have an overly negative idea of what Boracay is like?

2) If you reckon I should go to Palawan, is Puerto Princesa the best place to fly into or is there another airport that would be more convenient?

Lastly, 2 other important questions,

3. Can I get accomodation by just showing up or do I need to book something? Are there bungalows and guesthouses like in Thailand?

4. When I look at flights on flyzest.com, nothing is mentioned about taxes or fees. Are they included in the price I see or WILL I HAVE TO PAY SOMETHING AT THE AIRPORT?

Thanks again.

5) EDIT: SOMETIMES WHEN I GO ON THE FLYZEST WEBSITE AND SELECT A FLIGHT, A NOTICE COMES UP SAYING TO RING A NUMBER TO MAKE THE BOOKING.

IS THE SITE LEGIT?


1) You have an overly negative view of Boracay. It isn't KSR or Pattaya.
They are different. If you want peace, quiet, solitude and eco tourism then go to Palawan.

2) I think Puerto Princesa is just about your only choice unless you charter your own aircraft.

3) yes and not quite the same.

4) There WILL be airport terminal fees payable at the airport that are NOT included in your ticket price.
At the major, international airports it is p200 for a domestic flight and p550 - p700 for an international flight.
In Caticlan it is p50 for a flight.
I am not sure what the terminal fee is at P.P.
(pay at the counter AFTER you are checked in and before you go through the in-terminal security check (many terminals also have an outside primary check))

5) For flights that are technically not a regularly scheduled flight but are a scheduled "charter" flight you can't book on-line. You have to use the agent. They are legit.

.
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passport220



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Location: Gyeongsangbuk-do province

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a few airports on Palawan Island, but flying into Puerto Princesa is the largest commercial airport (it is still a small airport) and the one the commercial carriers fly into. Palawan has been well known as a tourist destination for a long time, but I have noticed it has only really become "hot" in the last few years. A lot of high profile Filipino celebrities seen frolicking on the island. More recent TV shows and movies filmed there, overall steped up media exposure. Boracay has been more establish and known for a longer time as a tourist attraction.

As a side note, it seems you want to do your trip without alot of pre booking: ferry service is still alive and well in the Philippines. It has been 4 or 5 years since I have done a real ferry trip but fares are normally low and the same if you book in advance or last minuite. For both islands you mentioned, it would be an overnight trip and you would need to research to make sure you understand, food plans and on board accomodations, etc. I have taken ferry trips in the past and enjoyed it, just for the experience with some nice views of the islands onboard. A last minuite ferry on the way to my destination and a prebooked flight back seemed to work out well for me in the past.

Number of tourist accomodations in the Phils are generally less than what you will find in Thailand (overall Thailand has a better, more established tourist infrastructure) but in the Phils, you will still find a wide range of accommodations available bungalow, guesthouse, etc. End of July is off season so I think you will have a lot of choices available without prebooking.

Zest air is a small airline but it is ďlegitĒ. They are based out of the old Manila domestic terminal. It has a small airline feel, plenty of working class Filipinos on the flights. I have often thought you would have live chickens, goats and pigs packed on the plane with passengers if aviation rules allowed it. It just has that kind of feel. Small operation, but kind of quaint and fun. I have flown with them domestic within the Philippines several times with no problems or issues.

The price quote you get when you search fares at the Zest Air website includes all regular taxes, etc. There is one small web processing charge at the end of about 85p that will be added on. At all air and sea ports in the Phils you have to pay a cash terminal fee. 200p in Manila, Cebu and Davao City. In smaller airports it is less, sometimes as little as 30 or 40p.

If you are having a problem booking a flight on the Zest website, manually check their schedule table and make sure they have a flight for the day you are looking for. I book routinely on their website and it has not been a problem.

I have booked on the websites of all of the airlines I gave links for and paid with my USA based credit card in the past without a problem, with the exception of Cebu Pacific. CP does not accept my US credit card (I haver read complaints from others online with the same problem, but it does work for some), but they do have a system where you can book a flight online and pay that same day at almost any bank in the Philippines. It is a bit inconvenient to have to visit a bank to pay, but it is not complicated and it has worked well enough for me in the past.


Last edited by passport220 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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passport220



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Location: Gyeongsangbuk-do province

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking around for my own upcomming trip, I notice TigerAir (SEAir) is starting up flights to both locations end of July, beginning of Aug. at BIG discounts:
http://www.tigerairways.com/ph/en/real_deals.php
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Lazio



Joined: 15 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Local food is quite inexpensive. A portion of rice and 2-3 side dishes (locals usually eat only one) and a drink will cost you 100-150 pesos. You can have a very filling and decent (western) dinner with a drink or two for less than 500 pesos.
A bottle of San Miguel was some 22 pesos at a huge supermarket and only slightly more expensive at the local stores which can be found literally everywhere. At a local eatery you will pay around 40-45 pesos for a bottle while other restaurants charge 50 pesos and up. Coke is dirt cheap.

If you go to Palawan than donít plan on staying in Puerto Princesa longer than itís really necessary. Itís a somewhat nice town but there really isnít anything to do there.

The Puerto Princesa Airport is surprisingly International despite of the small size. I saw a wide-body (B-767?) aircraft landing while we were waiting for our flight. There is a tiny airport by El-Nido but mainly for the high-end resorts and their guests. I think you could still buy just only the flight ticket without staying at one of those resorts but itís insanely expensive.
So whatís left is bus or van. The vans are nearly not as comfortable as their operators make you believe it. They like to run it with full house so itís not that good. The bus is more comfortable, cheaper and only about 30 minutes slower. There are air conditioned buses running between P.P. an El Nido for 485 pesos in 5:30 minutes. The van is around 700 pesos and somewhere around 5 hours.

The summer is slow season so there is no need to book accommodation.
In Puerto Princesa I recommend the Dallas Inn, 600 pesos for a very clean room with private bath. The owners are super cool and itís practically in the downtown yet itís very quiet.
In El Nido we stayed at the El Nido Bay Inn or El Nido Sands Inn. (they changed the name and I donít really know which one is the latest). Payed 550 pesos for a shared bathroom fan room. They have an awesome terrace overlooking El Nido bay.
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kraggy



Joined: 06 Mar 2011

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the info.

So where in Palawan is worth seeing besides El Nido? Are there nice beaches near PP?

And considering I'll have just 6 or 7 days, how much time should be spent in each of PP, El nida and others?

Id like some swimming, snorkelling and a few drinks at night. A really nice beach is a must.

Or should I just go with Boracay?!
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northway



Joined: 05 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been to Palawan, but based on what I know: as another poster noted, it takes nearly six hours to get from PP to El Nido. Do you really want to spend eleven hours of a six day trip on a bus?

I'm not the hugest fan of Boracay, mostly because I spent way too long there, but it sounds like you just want to chill on the beach with some cheap beer and enough to keep you entertained during the day. I know you're concerned about quiet, but when I was in Boracay three years ago, the far south end of the beach was very quiet. Luckily, this is also where most of the budget accommodation is. Palawan is one of the places in the world that I most want to visit, but I wouldn't go through the effort for that short of a trip. You won't get lump in your throat beauty in Boracay, but I think it will suit your needs.
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randall020105



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Location: the land of morning confusion...

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:37 am    Post subject: family Reply with quote

hello, what would you guys suggest for a family of 4....with small kids?
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: family Reply with quote

randall020105 wrote:
hello, what would you guys suggest for a family of 4....with small kids?


Short time, the east end (boat station 1-2) of Boracay is nice. Kids do the beach thing, sitters are available for mom and day to go out for an evening.

Bohol is nice and there is more to do off the beach. If you have more than a few days then it is probably the better choice with the wider range of things to see and do for the whole family.

Both are easy to get to from Korea. Just look back in this forum or do a quick search for either Bohol or Boracay.

.
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randall020105



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Location: the land of morning confusion...

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oooh... that sounds expensive...doable...but expensive. What are we looking at spending on a sitter p/night?
So we can board incheon to manilla and head on to boaracay with another flight/boat? Cant find any airlines to fly us there under 500 K won p/p.
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passport220



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Location: Gyeongsangbuk-do province

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ When will you be traveling? If you don't have a problem with point to point travel, you can try Zest Air, Seoul (Incheon) to Manila (Naia Terminal 3) for less than $350 usd r/t (some sale dates less than $200 usd). Then Zest has 6 flights per day to Kalibo at low prices, some for less than $35 usd r/t. You would need to take a taxi ride (only about $2 usd) from Term 3 to the old domestic terminal to ride all the way with Zest.

Also check TigerAir, they have a sale now where you can fly to Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, etc. for less than $35 usd r/t the times work out alright as the flight from Korea arrives at 11am, the Tigerair flight leaves for Puerto Princesa at 2:30pm.

(check my post above for airline links)
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

randall020105 wrote:
oooh... that sounds expensive...doable...but expensive. What are we looking at spending on a sitter p/night?
So we can board incheon to manilla and head on to boaracay with another flight/boat? Cant find any airlines to fly us there under 500 K won p/p.


Sitters are EXPENSIVE... A hotel/resort supplied sitter would probably cost you somewhere between 250-500 pesos for an evening (<15k won).

Yes, shop around and you can get flights from ICN-MNL then on to Caticlan.
Don't fly into Kalibo unless you want to add a 2 hour van ride to your travel time.

.
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