The reason people come to the beach town of Sabang is to see the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, or simply the Underground River. The river is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It’s also on the list of “new seven wonders of the world.”

I probably would have enjoyed the underground river more if it was’t surrounded by so much hype. But it’s just a big cave, packed with boats full of Filipino tourists.

The highlight of the underground river wasn’t the cave, but the guides. They cracked corny jokes the whole time, like “That’s the bat cave. I can’t go in because I’m not Batman. I’m a boat man.” It wasn’t very educational, though.

Beyond The Underground River

With that out of the way, I was free to enjoy the rest of Sabang. First up was the trek back through the jungle. Most people just take boats, but why be like everyone else? It’s possible to walk a trail that goes up over some karst peaks. Guides wait at the trailhead. It was scenic, but also hot and sweaty.

The beach is pretty nice, and deserted after the crowds leave. There are some nice beachfront restaurants. There is also a super-swanky hotel. I was a little jealous as I peered at it from my cheap bungalow.

Morning in Sabang.
Morning in Sabang.

An inserting attraction that nobody goes to is the mangrove tour. It’s a local project, and all the funds raised go back to the community. A guide will take you through the mangrove in a rowboat.

Sabang is nice. Come for the Underground River, but stay for the other attractions.

LetsPalawan has offered a $30 discount off their Palawan tours if you use the coupon code terrytreksC016. Check out their roundup of the top three places to visit in Palawan!

As usual, my favorite activity was a morning stroll.
As usual, my favorite activity was a morning stroll.
My guide to the mangrove.
My guide to the mangrove.
An armada of boats waits to take the masses to the Underground River.
An armada of boats waits to take the masses to the Underground River.
The guides were the highlight of the Underground River.
The guides were the highlight of the Underground River.
My guide on the jungle trek back to Sabang.
My guide on the jungle trek back to Sabang.
Me in the jungle.
Me in the jungle.
Terry
I'm Terry, former cubicle-dweller, and now traveler, photographer, writer, and entrepreneur. I quit my job in 2014 to travel to US national parks, then to South East Asia. I write about independent, flexible, long-term, budget travel. Sign up to my newsletter to get the latest news on what I'm up to. I hope you join me on my trek around the world.

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