Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa Palawan Experience! (Photo Essay)

Puerto Hotel 32

The flourishing city of Puerto Princesa is the beloved capital city of Palawan and is said to be the gateway to the last frontier and best island in the world.

Famous for its beautiful Honda Bay and the world-renowned Underground river, Puerto Princesa is one of the best go-to summer destinations in the Philippines.

Equipped with a new airport and a fast-growing city, there is something for everyone in Puerto Princesa City. And if you’re looking for the perfect staycation resort, then Princesa Garden Island Resort & Spa has you covered.

 

PRINCESA GARDEN ISLAND RESORT & SPA

Caniguiran Street, Barangay Bancao-Bancao

Contact: 0977 194 5105 | 0920 822 7443 | 048 723 1356

Email: reservation@princesagardenisland.com

Website: www.princesagardenisland.com

Facebook: @PrincesaGardenIsland

Instagram: @PrincesaGarden

Puerto Hotel 14

Located just 10-15 minutes away from the airport and 3.5 kms away from the city center, Princesa Garden Island Resort & Spa is the perfect holiday getaway for your family, friends, and loved ones.

 

Puerto Hotel 20

Beautifully designed with an Asian themed wooden architecture, it blends well with its surrounding environment and is perfect if you want to immerse yourself in nature.

 

Puerto Hotel 16

Speaking of nature, Puerto Princesa brings you even closer to it with their floating glass villas on stilts, which also give you that much-needed privacy.

 

SNY07044

Upon entering the Princesa Garden Island Resort & Spa, it already becomes apparent how the luxury resort architecture completely blends with the untouched beauty of its surroundings.

 

SNY07046

Staying true to their “green is the way to go” campaign, the resort even has its own wastewater-treatment plant and desalination system.

 

SNY07110

Combined with the use of solar panels and local natural materials, this extra step helps lessens the resort’s overall carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

 

SNY06994

Aside from the lush, beautiful scenery, this 4-hectare resort is also great for different kinds of land and water activities for your family and kids.

 

SNY07099

Check-in guests can enjoy an outdoor jacuzzi and an enormous lagoon pool where they even have a full-size water slide built just for kids.

 

SNY07108

All rooms have balconies, while others have pool access balconies that let you walk out directly into the main pool from the comfort of your bedroom.

 

SNY07098

On top of that, they also have premium rooms with shared private pool access that also connects to the main pool.

 

SNY07123

Other features of the resort include an entertainment & kiddie room, gift shop, a lovely gym, and 1-hour free use of bikes and non-motorized water sports.

 

SNY06995

In total, the resort has four bars and restaurants with international and local cuisine, a full-size ballroom, and a Catholic church.

 

SNY06993

But what sets the resort apart from the many other resorts in Palawan is its unique location.

Its combination of lush palm greenery and oceanfront mangrove is where the island resort really stands out.

 

Puerto Hotel 31

Nestled directly in front (and above) the ocean is their water villas on stilts, the first of its kind in Puerto Princesa Palawan.

 

SNY06987

Lucky enough, we got the chance to experience and stay in one of their coveted water villas for two nights.

 

SNY07082

Before you even enter the villa premises, you first have to go through a gated receiving hall, complete with its own reception, lobby, and snack bar.

 

Puerto Hotel 2

In total there are ten floating villas, each with their unique design and perfect for couples or honeymooners who want their privacy.

 

SNY07060

Inside the villa you’ll be greeted by a 180-degree floor to ceiling glass wall with an undisputed sunrise view of the ocean.

 

SNY07063

The villas are very spacious and well equipped with all the modern amenities that you’ll ever need during your stay.

 

SNY07064

Each villa has its outdoor wooden deck with daybed and hammock.

 

SNY07075

Did I mention that each villa has its own outdoor Jacuzzi with an excellent view of the ocean?

 

Puerto Hotel 4

Also, just a few steps away from the villa residences is a wooden walkway that leads up to a sandbar that only appears during low tide.

 

Puerto Hotel 7

What better way to end the relaxing day than with a sumptuous meal at the Golden Elephant seafood village.

 

SNY06951

Golden Elephant is a floating restaurant within Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa that serves different types of Asian fusion and seafood dishes.

 

SNY06966

Among our favorites are the live seafood and freshly caught spicy crab.

 

SNY06965

And of course, the Thai style classic chicken tom yum in coconut soup for the meat lovers out there.

 

SNY06982

All in all, the food was excellent. Even though I’m not a fan of seafood, I still I enjoyed most of the dishes we ordered, especially the relaxing ambiance of the restaurant.

As for the whole resort, I can’t recommend this place enough. I fell in love with the spacious rooms, big swimming pools, and the overall “close to nature” feel of the resort.

I also liked the small and private boardwalk that leads up to the sandbar. I had a short walk in the morning and saw a lot of starfishes, and along the way, I was greeted by the friendly staff of the resort that was more than happy to help.

The Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa is indeed a paradise tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city and is the perfect getaway for you and your friends, family, and loved ones.

 

PRINCESA GARDEN ISLAND RESORT & SPA

Caniguiran Street, Barangay Bancao-Bancao

Contact: 0977 194 5105 | 0920 822 7443 | 048 723 1356

Email: reservation@princesagardenisland.com

Website: www.princesagardenisland.com

Facebook: @PrincesaGardenIsland

Instagram: @PrincesaGarden

Live an Awesome Life,

 

NICO of Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Our stay was courtesy of Princesa Island Resort & Spa. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

The post Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa Palawan Experience! (Photo Essay) appeared first on Our Awesome Planet.

Advertisements

Thoughts from a life of travel: Day 6251 – Bali, Indonesia

Wandering Earl

The island of Bali, Indonesia - beautiful

It’s January. It’s Monday. I’m on the island of Bali. It’s my 6251st day of travel.

I’m sitting here at a nice wooden table, with a ceiling fan whirling above my head and a mosquito whizzing around my left ankle. To my right I hear the occasional churning of an espresso machine. Behind me I hear some chatter in accents ranging from Australian to German to American to others my brain is not able to recognize.

In front of me is a wall with a painting of a man with a unicorn on his head. It says “I believe in unicorn” in blue writing. Behind that wall is the rest of the Dojo Bali co-working space that I’ve been hanging out at lately.

There’s a swimming pool in the back, a loft, a water dispenser, tables everywhere and some good people working away on their laptops. I think they’re good people anyway, I don’t really know.

I’m a bit jittery this morning. It’s not the coffee though, as I’ve only had one sip. Maybe it’s because I haven’t done as much exercise lately as I was planning on doing.

Either way, I need to get some work done.

Let me check my to-do list for the day:

– answer emails

– look at new ways to promote this year’s Wandering Earl Tours

– clean my flip-flops

– order a birthday gift for my mom (important!)

– update my How to Work on a Cruise Ship eBook

– create a presentation for the workshop I’m giving on Thursday at the co-working space

– 2pm: Skype call with a travel startup based in Dubai about possibliy becoming an advisor

And write a blog post. I didn’t actually put that one on the list for some reason.


Shrimp burrito, please. That’s what I’ll have for lunch. A bunch of people from this co-working space are going to a nearby Mexican restaurant at 1pm. My girlfriend and I will join them. I just pre-ordered a shrimp burrito.

The island of Bali, Indonesia - temples


Oh shoot, speaking of burritos…I need to purchase flights to Dili, East Timor for next week. We need to do a visa run as our current 30 day visa for Bali ends on the 15th of January. The plan is to take the short flight over to East Timor, stay there for 5 days and then come back to the island of Bali for another 30 days afterwards.

East Timor. Here’s an odd story for you.

Back in 1998, I ate dinner one night at a Tibetan restaurant on Main Street in the town of Northampton, Massachusetts, USA. There were five of us at that dinner. Two of us were university students and members of the local Students for a Free Tibet chapter, one was a Tibetan woman and the last two were Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos-Horta. If you’re not familiar with Xanana and Jose, they would both end up becoming Presidents of East Timor after the tiny nation achieved independence later on, in 2002.

I don’t even know how I ended up at that dinner. But there was I, eating Tibetan momos and noodle soup with two future presidents of East Timor.

And now I’m actually going to visit their country. Maybe I should look them up.


[5 minute break]


I’m back. I just sent a message to Jose Ramos-Horta through his Facebook page. Let’s see if he remembers that Tibetan dinner way back then. I doubt it, but you never know!


[2 hour break]


That shrimp burrito was good.

During lunch I also had a nice conversation with a guy from Belarus and a soft spoken gentleman from Turkey, both of whom have lived in Chicago and are passing through Southeast Asia. This island of Bali sure is a popular place. We were also invited to a BBQ this weekend by a Lithuanian fellow sitting at our end of the table.

I’ll tell you this about travel. Once you get out there into the world, it doesn’t take long to realize that everyone is just looking for a place to fit in. Travelers certainly feel joy and belonging just from becoming part of that cool global gang known as, well, travelers.

After all, there is no initiation or application – as soon as you get on a plane or train or bus, you’re part of the group. You can actually be part of the group before then too, why not?

Hey.

Hey.

You like to travel?

Yes I do.

Cool.

– (High five)

Boom, we’re travelers!

But here’s the catch…

Through my travels, I’ve also realized that fitting in doesn’t really have anything to do with other people at all. Fitting in is more about feeling comfortable with yourself and not deviating from who you are at your core. When we don’t need to alter our behavior and we can stay true to ourselves, that’s when we actually fit in…everywhere.

The island of Bali, Indonesia - jump

And travel does allow us to feel comfortable with ourselves.

As we constantly interact with people of different nationalities, beliefs, perspectives, interests and personalities, we learn that there is no need to pretend to be someone else or to put on a show or to do anything apart from being who we really are and want to be.

When we travel, we quickly learn that nobody cares. Nobody cares about our faults and defects and quirks. Most humans just want to meet and interact with genuine people – whether it’s for a few seconds, a few weeks or more – and most people are more than happy to accept anyone just the way they are.


My coffee is getting cold. Let me take the final sip because here on the island of Bali they love clearing your cups away before you’ve finished.

I just looked up and noticed that man with the unicorn on his head again. It puts a smile on my face, even though I don’t believe in unicorns.


Anyway, my conclusion is this – the only group we need to belong to is ourselves. It’s that simple. That’s really how we belong everywhere else.

I’ve learned this from my travels, through long talks with my girlfriend and in the pages of certain books. And it repeatedly proves itself to be true. The more comfortable I am with myself, the more comfortable I am with everyone else.

So this is me, Derek Earl Baron: 40-years old, American, long-term traveler, currently on the island of Bali, slightly goofy, not so comfortable dancing, patient, don’t take things too seriously but can be cynical at times, bored easily, curious, always need to strive for more, analytical mind, sometimes talk too much, very part-time yoga practicer, enjoy being around people but prefer meaningful conversations over polite chit chat, vegetarian most of the time, armpit shaver.

Who are you? Does travel help you be that person? Please share below.

*Oh, Jose Ramos-Horta (or one of his staff) has read my Facebook message. But no reply yet. Oh well.


VIDEO: My Visit to a Remote Village in Nepal

Wandering Earl

My visit to a remote village in Nepal - family

How could I turn down an offer to visit a remote village in Nepal?

After all, I’ve known my friend Bhudiman for over 5 years.

When I first started organizing tours to India back in 2012, I was connected to Bhudiman through a mutual friend and he instantly became my most trusted driver for these group trips. Not only that, despite his limited English and my limited Hindi and Nepali, we became quick friends.

Bhudiman has now been the main driver for all of the tours that I’ve led to India and my tours would not be the same without him. And while he’s lived in India for over 20 years, he’s originally from Nepal, which he travels back and forth to several times per year in order to spend time with his family.

He has always invited me to join him in his home village too, but I usually couldn’t fit it into my schedule. So, after a few years of this, Bhudiman put his foot down this year and basically demanded that I visit his home.

After my Wander Across India tour ended in November, I finally went to Bhudi’s remote village in Nepal and this is how it went


VIDEO: My Visit to a Remote Village in Nepal


The Journey

To make this trip happen, Bhudiman and I flew from Delhi to Bagdogra, a small town on the opposite side of India. From there we took a bus, followed by a taxi, until we reached the simple border crossing at the town of Kakarbhitta. The Nepali immigration office there consisted of a small, unmanned desk in a dark room. I eventually found an immigration officer out back, I handed over the $25 USD fee and received a 2-week visa in my passport.

We then took another bus and another taxi until we eventually arrived at Bhudiman’s village, Asculchon, in the Jhapa region of the country.

I actually can’t even find anything at all about it online. I’m not even sure if Bhudiman is 100% certain that this is the name of his village!

The Experience

As you can see, I enjoyed two full days of hanging out with Bhudiman and his family, meeting his brothers and sisters, visiting markets and schools and friends’ homes, riding a motorbike through the countryside, eating wonderful home-cooked food, chatting late into the night, walking through the rice fields, having a drink at the local bar, throwing down dozens of cups of chai, taking bucket showers in the very simple outhouse and basically having such a unique experience that it can barely be put into words.

It really was beyond memorable.

Also, Bhudi and his family are always happy to have visitors so if you ever want to visit this village in Nepal too, let me know and we can try to make it happen!

Have you ever been to a remote village? How was your experience? Is this kind of travel for you?


My 2017 Travel Favorites (countries, food, gear and more!)

Wandering Earl

Travel favorites 2017 - Mauritius

As the end of the year approaches, I want to share my travel favorites from all the experiences that I had in 2017. It was a wild year, one that took me to 28 different countries, led me to 71 different accommodations and gave me some of the most memorable moments of my entire 18 years of travel.

So, here are my favorites from this year of adventures…


Travel Gift

Travel favorites - Tinggly

Tinggly

This has to be the perfect gift for someone that loves to travel. You choose from one of the ‘experience collections’ and the recipient receives a gift box containing 300 – 500 experiences in over 80 countries around the world that they can choose from. They then have 2 years to redeem one of the experiences. There are even versions that allow 2 people to share an experience together. Birthdays, weddings or any other occasion…who wouldn’t want to receive such a gift? Really creative and fun idea from the folks at Tinggly!


Luggage

Timbuk2 Co-Pilot Luggage Roller

With my luggage, things are getting confusing. My excellent Eagle Creek Load Warrior had to be retired as I really gave that thing a beating over the past few years. It was an excellent piece of luggage though and I would highly recommend it. With that said, I decided to replace it with something different – the Timbuk2 Co-Pilot. It’s a smaller company but they make some really quality luggage and this thing is tiny, yet has more volume than my previous bag (up to 50 liters). It fits as a carry-on with any airline, keeps things very organized and is remarkably sturdy (even has ultra-strong skateboard wheels). So, this is my new luggage of choice and I’m loving it so far!


Accommodation

Travel favorites - Riad d'Or

Riad d’Or – Meknes, Morocco

Riad d’Or is just silly beautiful, with unique rooms scattered around an old labyrinth-like mansion right in the heart of the old market.

Mango Beach House – Zanzibar, Tanzania

It doesn’t get more chill and impressive than Mango Beach House, especially if you want a beachfront room away from the crowds.

Merovigla Studios – Santorini, Greece

Mmergovigla Studios just might be the best value on the island of Santorini, with unbelievable views from good-sized rooms and a great location…all for a fraction of what most hotels cost here.

Jaiwana Haveli – Udaipur, India

I’ve been using the excellent Jaiwana Haveli on the India tours I lead and with their new renovated rooms, along with their rooftop views, awesome breakfast and lakeside location, this place has become even better.


Food and Dining

Orivy – Hoi An, Vietnam

I could eat Vietnamese food at Orivy every day. Everything on the menu was award-worthy.

Fish and Zelenis – Novi Sad, Serbia

We found this tiny place by accident while wandering around and we were blown away by the local appetizers and seafood they served. It’s also run by super kind people that treat everyone like an honored guest.

Soy – Berlin, Germany

We went to Soy three times in one week during our stay. Let’s just say that doesn’t happen often.

Argo Restaurant – Santorini, Greece

Argo just needs to be visited if you’re ever on Santorini – the traditional Greek food, the view, the atmosphere, the staff, it’s all something special.


New Country Visited

Travel favorites - Morocco

Morocco

It was my first time to this country and just the landscapes alone were enough to keep me in awe for two and a half weeks. My favorite parts were the seldom-visited, but spectacular, Dades Valley and spending a night out in the Sahara Desert. I loved the experiences so much that I’ve put together another Wandering Earl Tour to Morocco for 2018 in case you’re interested in an unforgettable adventure <img src="https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/2.3/72×72/1f642.png&quot; alt="

How To Get An Airbnb Discount (a quick, simple trick)

Wandering Earl

Airbnb discount - Mauritius

About two years ago, I started doing something that pretty much guarantees I get an Airbnb discount every time I book accommodation with Airbnb (the website that allows you to book rooms, apartments and homes all around the world).

It wasn’t some crazy secret that I had uncovered or some complicated trick that I figured out over time. It was simply an idea that came into my mind one day.

Here’s how it works:

I send a message to the host before I make a booking.

Yes, I write the host a message, and as you’ll see below, there’s a good reason for it.

First, while Airbnb does try to keep the blue “Contact host” button quite hidden, it does exist and is usually right there on each listing page, just under the property description.

So all I do is click that “Contact host” link and write my message.

In my message, I simply ask for a discount. This really does work and it works even better if your arrival date is less than a month away. Why? At this point, the host will naturally be more motivated to rent out their place for fear of not renting it at all during that period of time.

With that said, this little Airbnb discount trick still tends to work no matter how far in advance you are making your booking, which is why you should always give it a try.

What I typically do is come up with an amount that I want to pay for my stay and I write something such as, “I see your apartment is listed at $500 for two weeks. If you could make that $400 I’d book it right now.

And then I also provide some details about myself so that the host feels more confident in me as a renter. I’ll include something like “we’re clean, laid-back, we work from home and we don’t party or cause any issues.

Basically, the idea is to explain to the host that they don’t have to worry at all about you or their apartment/house, making the deal even better for them.

In addition, I’ll also try to use some of the local language as it shows some respect to the host and lets them know that you are an experienced traveler.

An overall message might look like this:

“Dobry den Eva,

I hope you’re doing well. We’re coming to Prague from September 10th – 20th and your apartment really caught our attention. I noticed the price for 10 days is $410 USD. If you could offer us the place for around $330 USD, we’d book it right now. We’re laid-back, we’ll definitely keep the apartment very clean, we actually both work on our laptops from home most mornings and then we like to just wander around the city in the afternoons. We’re not party people and we’ll always respect all the rules of your place. Let me know when you can and we look forward to hopefully staying at your beautiful apartment!

Regards,

Derek”

What happens next is that I’ll usually receive a reply from the host followed by a “Special Offer” email from Airbnb. These emails come in when a host has changed the listed price and is offering you a stay at a discounted rate.

Airbnb discount - Ubud

I just went through my last six Airbnb stays (Gran Canaria, Prague, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Athens and Mauritius). Sure enough, a discount was received on all of them. The smallest discount was 6% and the largest was 25%.

And it all happened by sending one quick email to the host. That one message creates a human connection which is something that a normal Airbnb booking, or any accommodation booking, lacks if you just book it right away.

When we make a personal connection, everyone involved tends to worry less and feel more confident in whatever we are trying to do. In this case, a host will feel more inclined to give a discount and trust their incoming guests if those guests reach out and give a good first impression.

At least that’s how it’s worked for me!

For those wanting to give this Airbnb discount trick a try, here’s an Airbnb link that will also give you up to $40 off your next booking.

Have you ever tried the above? Any success? Any other Airbnb discount tricks to share?


Life of Travel: Episode 2 (Bundi, India)

Wandering Earl

It’s time for the second episode of my “Life of Travel” video series. This episode was filmed on the rooftop of the wonderful Dev Niwas Hotel in the magical town of Bundi, India.

Bundi is one of my favorite destinations in all of India and as you’ll see in the video, it has a lot to do with its setting. With a massive palace dug into the side of the mountain and a huge fort covering the summit, with a maze of lanes full of old, charming, pastel-colored homes and a population that is perhaps the warmest and most genuine in the country, there’s a reason why travelers have a hard time leaving.

In this episode, I talk a little about Bundi before answering some more of the travel questions that you’ve submitted to me over the past couple of weeks.

I hope you enjoy!

If you have any questions about Bundi or India or anything else travel-related, simply leave a comment below, send me an email or get in touch with me on social media. I’d be happy to assist in any way I can!


Life of Travel: Episode 1 (Gran Canaria)

Wandering Earl

It’s video time.

From here in my living room in the Canary Islands, I’ve put together a video this morning.

In Part 1, I provide a short update on exactly where I am, what I’ve been up to and what’s next as I continue my 18 year adventure around the world.

In Part 2, I answer some of the interesting travel questions I’ve received from readers over the past week. Topics include

how to access funds while traveling

how long it takes for a blog to start earning money

would I recommend the Maldives or Seychelles for snorkeling/diving

getting the most out of a short trip

dealing with friendships and relationships while constantly traveling

finding work while traveling

how I handle bribes

the best ways to meet people in new destinations

and more.

I hope you enjoy the video! (All feedback welcome.)

Any travel questions?

If you have any questions you’d like me to answer on the next episode of Life of Travel, just reply to this email and let me know. The next video will be from India in about a week.