Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines, May 2016. Leaves at 10.20 am, 380 pesos, 7 1/2 hours from the San Jose bus station situated on the Northern extremities of Puerto Princesa City. To get there from downtown one has to ride a local three wheeler called a tricycle, a motorbike with a sidecar. Alternatively hop onto a minibus type contraption called a multcab (see photo) – just enough room for a backpack squeezed in among the locals. All this transport is hailed from near the end of the airport runway and the journey upto The bus terminal is about 20 minutes by multi-cab costing 15 pesos. The tricycle will cost around 50 pesos and is a bit quicker of course.
The big green Roro bus to El Nido, one with aircon and one without, both waiting patiently for passengers. The non aircon is packed and leaves first, at 10 am. The bus I’m taking is the aircon version which eventually rolls out at 10.20 am only to stop for another 20 minutes on the highway just outside the city!
A pleasant ride North with plenty of scenery to keep ones attention on the outside. A stop for lunch just outside a town called Roxas – just a quick stop, hardly time to drink the rather expensive instant coffee – yes, fleeced again. 2 bits chicken with rice and the instant coffee, 160 pesos!
Another stop 20 minutes later in the town of Roxas. Up until now the bus was 1/2 full, now its filling up fast. Now is not a good time to leave ones seat, however urgent the call might be. Backpacks and baggage is place down the middle along with the rice and fish- the only thing missing now is chickens and dare I say, a goat!
And to cut a long story short, the bus is packed all the way to El Nido with frequent stops. The bus will also stop when another Roro passes heading back towards Puerto Princesa – The drivers like to have a five minute chat. A 10 minutes stop at TayTay town but once again leving the seat my mean having to stand for 3 hours until El Nido!.
Arriving El Nido at 5.15 pm, a journey of just under 7 hours. At leat I didn’t have to share space with a chicken or goat and the roads are pretty good. The bus stops outside the village of Coron so its about a 15 minute stomp into El Nido Village/town.
Top Top: When riding a Roro bus, empty your bowls and bladder at the first stop. Don’t leave your seat at any subsequent stops! When riding a multi-cab don’t have anything of value in your pockets.
Here’s a few snaps from the bus on the way to El Nido.