Palawan is elongated in shape. I’ve only covered three destinations in the northern part. Since the flights are relatively expensive, it is better to explore and stay longer. Ideally, two weeks or so.
Here is a short narrative on doing nothing in Port Barton but relaxing in Moon Deep Resort. This first appeared on my travel column Down South on Interaksyon.com
I left El Nido with migraine pounding my temples and eyes that throbbed like an open wound. Sitting in front, I already warned the driver that I might throw up. Ready, the driver handed me two red plastic bags. He thought though I had the typical motion sickness, not a fancy-sounding, often recurring, illness like migraine.
If I had not had said yes to a collaboration in Port Barton, I would have stayed for one more night or two in El Nido to witness a fellow travel blogger’s intimate beach wedding. But I consoled myself—I already witnessed their Kenyan wedding ceremony, a glimpse of a culture from a faraway land. The wedding involved a lot of dancing, singing, laughing, and goat metaphors. [I take wedding photos for an affordable price!]
Five nights in El Nido was rippled with adventures, food, and surprises. I did not know I needed some downtime until I reached Port Barton’s Deep Moon Resort at past ten in the evening after a two-hour muddy and expensive tricycle ride from San Vicente’s junction.
But it was all worth the trouble.
Port Barton is a quiet town along San Vicente’s coasts. Unlike the downpour of tourists in El Nido, Port Barton remained peaceful and quiet. Surprisingly though, all rooms in Deep Moon Resort, formally known as Deep Gold Resort, was all packed. Often, this beach town is the destination among travelers before heading to El Nido or before flying out in Puerto Princesa. And just like me, they headed here, expecting nothing but some quietude on the beach. No maddening beach parties. No throngs of tourists taking selfies along the beach. No endless rows of restaurants and resorts.
Places needed to breathe.
Just like me, the travelers I have met in the resort are contented with the slowness of everything, often with a book or phone in hand. Most of them stayed in the comforts of their bungalows. Or in communal spaces like the restaurant.
Ah, the bungalows.
When a staff ushered me to my own bungalow, I grinned like an idiot. I had this dream of living in a tiny house for years, and there was my chance. Deep Moon Resort’s bungalows are nothing but charming. The roofs are triangular, almost pyramid-like. Aside from my spacious bed, my room has a little attic room equipped with a single bed and a canopy. On the left of the small room is the door leading to the balcony. It is worth noting that the materials used in the room are mostly organic. The roofs are made of cogon grass, the walls of woven bamboo splits, the floor of bamboo splits.
Without the ruckus of tourists around, the place grew in me. I found myself relaxing with, not in, the place. Walking barefoot on the beach and on the grass was a therapy of sort. It made writing much easier, the words were fluid, finding themselves written across the page.
That being said, I devoted my time in Deep Moon Resort in writing. In my own balcony. In the very spacious wooden restaurant. Writing about a different place in a different time.
hMy lovely bed in my bungalow in Deep Moon Resort
QUICK TRAVEL GUIDE TO PORT BARTON, SAN VICENTE, PALAWAN
How to get there
From Puerto Princesa airport, ride a tricycle (Php100-150, depending on your haggling skills) to San Jose Terminal. From San Jose Terminal, vans to Port Barton leaves at 7:30am, 9am, 11am, 2pm, and 4pm. The ride takes around 3 hours for Php350 pesos per person. If you wanted to be picked up from the airport, it is Php500/person. Contact Recaro’s van transport at +63 909 351 3037 (Smart) and +63 905 485 8597 (Globe)
From El Nido, there are four direct van transports to Port Barton at Php800.00. Van schedules are 7am, 8am, 1pm, and 2pm. It is really wise to make it to these schedules, otherwise you would be spending way more. Unfortunately that happened to me. I left El Nido around five in the afternoon, took the van to Puerto Princessa for Php500.00, got off at San Vicente junction, and tricycled to Port Barton for Php800.00. Yes, it is costlier but I had a schedule to think of.
Things to do
If you can squeeze a watetfall adventure in your itinerary, trek up to Bigaho Falls, Caramay, and Papawyan Falls.
Port Barton might not have as many islands as El Nido, but it has some hidden gems. Cacnipa Island, German Island, Paradise, Boayan, Ausan, Lowly, and Exotic Island.
Palawan is a paradise of divers. If you haven’t tried diving, you might want to try it here in Port Barton.
Or simply enjoy your time by beach
Unapologetically, I did this. Three days of lounging by the beach, in the restaurant, in my own little bungalow.
Where to stay in Port Barton
I would really highly recommend Moon Deep Resort. Room rates start at Php1000.00 Rooms are all equipped with spacious bathroom. Electricity runs from 6PM to 12MN. The resort has its own restaurant. WiFi is only available in the restaurant area. They accept cash and Paypal payment.
For reservation and more information: Tel. +63(0)9778521978
You can also follow them on Facebook.
Are there other things to do in Port Barton that I forgot to include? Let me know, so I can update this post! Thank you!