PERFECT PALAWAN

There’s always a danger attaching the word perfect to anything, but if anywhere on earth comes close, then the breathtaking islands of Palawan Province in the Philippines would have to be a very strong candidate. Stretching from Mindoro in the northeast and Borneo in the southwest, the main island of Palawan is 450kms long and 50kms wide – and it is truly stunning.  Surrounding it are some 1,780 other islands and islets, which form part of the Calamianes, known for its crystal clear waters, lush virgin rainforests, coastal plains, craggy foothills  and towering mountains, the area is a photographers dream.  So  lets explore ‘Perfect Palawan’

Palawan

Introduction

The Province of Palawan has a total land area of 14,949 square kms, on which a melting pot of 87 different cultural groups are represented in its 850,000 strong population.  Aside from the native born Palawenos, there are influences from China, India and the Middle East, giving the islands a highly diverse flavour.

Climate

Palawan has two very distinct seasons.  The southern half of the Province is almost entirely free of tropical depressions, however its a different story in the north which experiences torrential rains, particularly in July and August.  The average temperature all year round is approximately 31 degrees.

Palawan-Map

Palawan-Map

Puerto Princesa

The city of Puerta Princesa is the largest in the Province, with a population of around 150,000 and provides a gateway to the islands through its airport and seaport.  It is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage Subterranean River National Park, which provides a wonderful starting point to explore this remarkable region.

Major Attractions

Spectacular scenery abounds throughout Palawan, and many sites still have that feeling of new discovery as they are not overwhelmed by tourism in the same way many other parts of Asia have been.  As you’d expect the ocean and its endless delights play a big part in many of the regions most amazing attractions. El Nido, and its Marine Reserve Park regularly top the list of Worlds most beautiful locations. Swim with Whitetip Reef Sharks at Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, explore Malampaya Sound, home to bottle nosed and Irrawaddy dolphins, and on land, trek amongst wildlife in the game refuges and bird sanctuary’s found on both Ursula and Rasa Islands.

El-Nido

El-Nido

The Philippines undoubtedly have some of the most gorgeous beaches in the World, and Palawan has arguably the best. At Long Beach near the small fishing village of San Vincente, you’ll find 14kms of stunning unspoiled coastline locals consider number 1 in the country (although the locals in Coron will tell you otherwise).

Getting there

The NEW Puerto Princesa International Airport opened in May 2017.   Whilst still modest in size, the upgraded airport is a tremendous boost for tourism in the region.  The Airport serves PAL Express, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Cebgo and Air Asia.  For Australian’s the easiest option would be to go via Manila, which has the most regular connections, but the airport also has links to a number of other airports in the country, such as Cebu and Davao.

Alternatively, visitors can also access the numerous islands using the many ferry services in the region.  The quality and regularity of these services varies quite considerably, so it pays to do your research using popular travel sites, such as Trip Advisor, to gain some clarity and comfort.

Healthcare

There are 9 Provincial Government Hospitals in the Province, 2 National Government Hospitals and 9 Private Hospitals, with the largest and best equipped in the capital, Puerto Princesa.  The quality of healthcare in the Philippines can be inconsistent, and as we have stated in previous blogs and elsewhere on our website, we strongly recommend you have suitable (high quality) health insurance in place.  This is especially essential if you plan to stay in the region for any length of time.

Perfection?

Whilst there’s no question Palawan is one of the most beautiful places on earth, as a long stay location it has several challenges.  Healthcare and Transport would be major considerations before making a commitment. So for retirees it may fall short of perfection.  But for visitors in general, and particularly those who love nature at its most dramatic, jaw dropping and unspoiled, Palawan is indeed the perfect location to realise your dreams.

If you’d like more information or have any question on long stay adventures or retirement overseas, please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email info@retiretoasia.com.au and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.

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