Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Boat to Underground River + The caves

approach approach

that's how you move a mountain
Ooh la la!

limestone cliffs beach

Our tour mates were two pairs of young couples. The guys share the same name. So do the girls. Coincidence?

We finally got on two boats (four persons each), plus the boatmen. The swells, which reached about five feet, would be negligible to other craft, but in a small boat, you feel it all.

Good view of the waves hitting the rocks. Landing on the beach, you need to walk another hundred meters through the forest to reach the opening of cave. It was another long wait to get a boat going in. There are few boats available and even fewer boatmen. And we were caught by their lunch break. But we still arrived ahead of those who trekked and the line got much longer by after lunch, so we were still lucky.

monitor lizard

path going in


cave entrance

if you really want to know what's in the cave, this is the vid for you

boats formations formations formations tourists

formations formations

Palawan's Subterranean River is the longest navigable underground river in the world. It is the Philippines' nominee to the New 7 Wonders of the natural world and is currently number one (vote here). It is more than 8km long, but only a little over a kilometer is open to visitors. The water is still and cold.

Monkeys are said to snatch plastic bags because they think there is food inside. But since the dogs are around, they're out of sight. The monitor lizards, which eat fish and crabs, were out near the beach, unafraid of people.

We were eight to a boat. Wearing hardhats for protection, we listened to our boatman who pointed out the formations inside, including the large Melting Candle, the Christian imagery in the Cathedral, the Vegetable Section and the Expressway. It is nearly pitch black, so the light our fellow tourist held for us was very important. This is the kind of thing you have to experience for yourself. Go go go!

A caveat: a limited number of people can enter the cave, which makes you think what an awful wait there is for a boat during peak season. How can you develop tourism if that is the case?


  1. I actually cannot stand the idea of being in caves. I get really, really scared and hypersensitive to any sensory information because I feel like I'm going to be attacked by bats or something like that so yay you for having the balls to go through that underground river trip! LOL

    And the pictures are gorgeous! They look like postcard pics!

  2. thanks!

    i'm creeped out by bats, too. but since they were very small, the only danger they posed was them peeing on us. hahaha!