St. Paul Subterranean River

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16 travelers at this place

  • Day5

    Underground river

    February 28, 2017 on the Philippines ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Absolutely breathtaking! The Puerto Princesa Subterranean river is nature showing off at its best, the water at the entrance of the cave is pristine and there is no trash or traces of man. They do a magnificent job to keep the area protected, this unesco world heritage site was only opened in 1999. Today it is the one of the new natural wonders of the world, the stalagmites and stalactites are millions of years old creating very unique statues that actually don't require any imagination to recognize. The audio guide was brilliant making sure its a tranquil experience, you can only hear the water dripping from the ceiling and the sound of the oar. A spiritual presence overwhelmed me, the magnitude of God's creation is truly glorious. Happy we get to experience this.

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  • Day5

    Puerta Princesa Subterranean River

    February 28, 2017 on the Philippines ⋅ ☀️ 3 °C

    No skyscrapers or crazy man made structures can take your breath away quite like nature can.

    To be honest we did not expect much of the underground river. When Bernie told us on the weekend its much like the crystal caves in Bermuda without the lights in the cave, we sort of thought maybe we should give it a skip.

    I am so glad we didn't, this was so much more than a cave. It felt like we entered a different world a lot like when we do when we dive.

    This world filled with so many creatures that we don't really know too much about. Scientists claim to know a lot but can we really understand what its like living in a deep dark part of the earth. I was constantly thinking, why would I ever want to explore space if there are so much beauty on our planet, we can spend a lifetime and still not see it all.

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  • Day16

    Río subterráneo de Sabang

    April 20, 2018 on the Philippines ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Una de las nuevas siete maravillas naturales del mundo. El río subterráneo de Sabang contiene 24km en total de túneles donde habitan números especies de animales, principalmente murciélagos y pájaros 🦇 🐦 🐍. Formado a lo largo de millones de años con origen tectónico y posteriormente por filtrado de agua y calcita las estalactitas, estalacmitas y columnas.Read more

  • Day140

    Day 140: Underground River and Disaster

    November 2, 2016 on the Philippines ⋅ 🌙 11 °C

    Another early start today, though thankfully not as early as the previous day! In our van by 7:30am, this time on our way to see the Puerto Princesa Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World. We were part of a group tour as usual, but this time we were the only foreigners out of 12. A single Filipino girl, a mother & daughter, and a large family group, plus our tour guide Michelle.

    The journey started with a quick prayer (unusual for us but normal for this heavily Catholic face), though I was more concerned with the driver not talking on the phone than whether God was or wasn't watching! Michelle reassured us that he was one of the best drivers in Palawan and had been trained by an American named Paul Walker. Though not the Paul Walker who starred in the Fast & Furious movies, she joked, just a guy with the same name. Just as well, since that Paul Walker had been ironically killed in a car crash.

    Thankfully our drive 2 hours north to Sabang Bay was entirely uneventful, though it was overcast and occasionally showering so not much to see. On arrival at the wharf we waited our turn, and eventually boarded our little boat for the journey across the bay where the cave entrances were. Just before boarding, I took my phone out of its Ziploc bag and put it into my pocket, so that I could take some photos of the sheer limestone cliffs towering out of the water and so on - a fateful mistake.

    The boat set off into rolling but not dangerous seas. About 10 minutes into the journey, I moved my legs slightly (I was a little cramped in the tiny boat), and as I moved, I felt my phone slip from my pocket. I grabbed for it but was too slow, and I turned around to see only churning water behind me. Yes, my phone was gone. The boat captain stopped briefly, but worried about an incoming rainstorm and after pointing out the water was 30 metres deep here, set off again. Sigh. A stupid mistake, but absolutely nothing I can do. At least everything had been backed up a couple of days earlier (while travelling I'm in the habit of backing up my electronics as much as possible).

    Our journey took about 25 minutes and during the latter half we got absolutely drenched with hammering rain. There was a tarpaulin covering the passenger area of the boat, but between splashes, the sea swell and the wind it made precious little difference. At the cave entrance we had to jump off the boat into knee-deep water (thankfully we all wore thongs and not shoes!), running and hiding under large trees. From here there was a brief scurry along a footpath to the cave entrance proper. We grabbed helmets, were outfitted with headphones and audio guides and piled into small 6-seater boats with no motors, all in the pouring rain.

    Finally we set off across a small lake, into the cave entrance. And honestly, there's not much I can say about the caves themselves - they were amazing! Lots of rock formations, some enormous caverns, bats everywhere, stalagtites and stalagmites, the works. This is the longest navigable underground river system in the world, and it shows. There were passages branching off left right and centre (that obviously we can't explore), and there's even a 250-million year old manatee-like fossil discovered in one of the deeper chambers. The entire river hasn't been navigated yet, as the cave walls and so one are very delicate, and further exploration would likely damage them. It was good to hear conservation being taken so seriously for a change, when in many parts of this country (indeed SEA in general) it's a definite after-thought to profits.

    After about 45 minutes we emerged blinking from the cave into the heavily overcast skies and more rain, though it didn't dampen our spirits. That said, I did keep replaying in my head the moment when my phone slipped!

    Our boat was nearby so we waded out and made the journey back in the rain, docking at the wharf and heading directly to a nearby restaurant for our included buffet lunch. Good food this time, quite a few choices and some very tasty banana bread style treats for afterwards.

    Eventually we all piled back into the minivan for the long 2 hour drive back to Puerto Princesa. I'd made the mistake of wearing mostly cotton clothing, so I was still quite damp unfortunately! Arrived back at the hotel around 4pm, where we luxuriated in a hot shower, then commenced vegetating in the room.

    I started trying to figure out what I'd need to do about my phone - some initial research revealed that iPhone 7 doesn't get released in the Philippines until November 11, and I'm not that keen on the idea of buying a black-market one (there aren't any Apple Stores here). So I'll probably have to wait at least a couple of weeks until we get back to Kuala Lumpur. And I started looking into making a travel insurance claim to cover the replacement costs. Lots of paperwork in my future I think!

    For dinner we were both extremely tired, so went back to the hotel's cafe for dinner where we shared a lovely pizza. Another early night tonight, as our transfer to a remote island was picking us up "before 8am".
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St. Paul Subterranean River

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