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Malls of Manila and Honda bay hopping

Hello dear friends,

We have spend 3 days in the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to out expectations. We couldn't find a lot to do, due to the very hot and humid weather. We did manage to do a short stroll in Rizal Park:
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and we also went to the Chinese / Japanese garden there. (They have signs for both versions...)
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We did get the chance to see Manila's very well air-conditioned malls, where we saw two movies: Hunger Games, and the new 3-D version of Titanic. Although Dana was more anxious than me to see the 3-D Titanic, I must say that I think I had more fun watching it that she did.
Manila also has a lot of poverty. Even on main roads, there are pregnant woman and young children begging for money. All this in front of monstrous bank buildings.

After 3 days in Manila we headed up for the island of Palawan. where we landed in its capital, Puerto Princesa. Palawan is much less touristic than Manila, but still, very touristic. We have checked into a small guesthouse recommended by the Lonely Planet called Casa Linda Inn. It was highly recommended. Much higher than any other guesthouse. However, it seems like the recommendation has gotten the worst of this place. Even though it looks amazing, prices have risen, and there is no hot water in the shower... Even so, it's a very nice place to stay. (Dana almost did a hot-bucket shower... almost...)
The guesthouse looks like this:
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Yesterday night we went to a restaurant called Kaluhi, recommended by Dana's friend Yishay. This was ,by far, the best restaurant we have been so far. The native decoration was extremely nice, and the food was delicious (and there was a lot of it):
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You are looking at a tuna steak, with mashed potato with avocado dressing, fried eggplants, papaya salad and seaweed salad. So good. As we ordered the check, we also asked to reserve a table for the following day.
There was also a complimentary fruit salad:
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Today we went "island hopping" from Honda Bay. We took a van to the port, where we took a Bangka (boat) that took us to 3 islands:
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We snorkeled:
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And enjoyed the wonderful islands:
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Dana got a one hour massage at the last island:
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Tomorrow we plan to try and get tickets to the fully-booked Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Since it won the new seven wonders of the world competition, it's fully booked. (By the phone only, of course. They still don't have a website where you can order tickets). We hope that there will be a cancellation and we could go and see it.

After Puerto Princesa, we'll continue to see more of Palawan, going north. Our next destination is Port Barton, but there may be another stop on the way... We'll see.

All the best,

Noam.

Posted by bugok 01:58 Archived in Philippines

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