Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Treasures of the Microtel Puerto Princesa Beachfront

Microtel Puerto Princesa is a refreshing 50-room hotel on the beach, some 9 kilometers away from the cluster of other hotels in the city.  Lucky location, since none of the other hotels in Puerto Princesa City are on the beach.  

There it is on the right - the blue roof on the white sand between the beach and the lagoon! 

Upon entering Emerald Playa, the van takes a short drive along the lagoon.

Here is how it looks like when it's full of water (at dusk)...

The van stops at the entrance.

Guards in navy blue shorts smile warmly and lead you to the lobby with several furniture lined with mangrove twigs. 

Here are some mangrove trees.

Blue and white wooden and glass doors open to the beach...

The calm, blue-green sea is just a few steps away.

In April, the tide is high during the mornings.

Elise and Nacho love to sit and let the waves splash against their backs. 

The tide is low during the afternoons until the evenings.

During the wet season, it's the other way around: low tide in the mornings and perfect for a walk while the sun is rising.  Here is my brother-in-law taking a well-deserved break...

photo by L.C.S.

... Elise in a pink dress that matches the early colors of dawn...

photo by L.C.S.

...and my father-in-law greeting another day!

photo by L.C.S.

We love it when the tide is low, and the kids can safely walk, examine and explore things.  There are several sandy pools, each is where another little universe exists. 

There are cone-shaped shells with hermit crabs inside.

Be careful when collecting those shells! 

These beautiful shells also have hermit crabs in them.  They were slowly crawling away as I tried to focus the camera. 

Crabs abound.  They dig into the sand and stay there, making holes in the sand.

In some parts of the beach, there are tiny holes for about ten feet around! Imagine how many crabs made them!

This blue crab is about an inch in diameter, and is very quick to disappear.

Rene said that if you wake up early enough, you would see swarms of them crawling so fast together back to the sea, making tiny clicking noises. He followed a swarm once, and couldn't stop wondering about a sudden turnaround attack! 
These things were made by the sand that was pushed out by the crabs that came out of their holes.

They look like you-know-what that smells and starts with "p".  But some look like works of art, like this one:

And many holes, mean many works of art. 

Then there are the starfish! This one is has gray and white stripes.  Several lie beside each other in the pools, maybe about six inches apart- small ones, big ones, baby ones...

...and when the sand partly covers it, you just see the star-shaped outline. 

Here is one that was carried by the waves and got stuck on top of the rock. 

Sometimes there are colored ones.

Here is a weird black one that slid very fast on the wet, slippery sand.

And here is a starfish print on the sand... very nice. Now, how often do you see that?

Speaking of prints, I thought I saw a huge bird's footsteps.

They were each about have the size of my hand.  And they were pressed against the sand in pairs randomly around us, with no specific direction.  I wondered if the bird stepped on the sand, then flew away, then alighted again, then flew away in another direction.

Then I saw Nacho and Elise doing this:

They were scratching the sand with both hands, making a sand ball, and throwing it as far away as they could!  Bummer.

Speaking of birds, there are several herons or tagak, as they are locally called, here at the beach and at the lagoon. They are quite common and seem to be loners, walking on the sandbars by themselves, looking out to sea. 


Aside from sandy pools, there were also mounds of green seaweed and algae on corals.  I was scared to explore them, as there might be weirder living things in them, like small eels or sea snakes, which were said to bite when disturbed.  Maybe when I am wearing rubber boots... 

 Here are some friendly-looking seaweed that remind me of alfalfa sprouts.

photo by L.C.S.

The beachfront here is not pristine white sand where you could lay and bronze yourself in a different bikini for every day of your stay.  It is a place that invites curiosity and offers a different adventure in every little sand pool and green mound.

It dares you to touch and dig and watch how God, in his complicated magnificence, has made a playground!

As the sun begins to set, an occasional fisherman sails by and stops to fish.

The sun shines its final blinding light.

Just before the yellow lights are turned on at the beachfront, an orange-yellow glow shines behind this blessed place!

The moon rises, and it's officially evening.


For those who find all this "ewwww!" and are not interested, there is always the pool.


  1. Nice hotel...what's the address?

  2. Glad you like it!

    Here is the address:
    Microtel Puerto Princesa
    The Emerald Playa Beach and Nature Park
    Barangays San Jose and San Manuel
    Puerto Princesa City, Puerto Princesa
    Palawan 5300

  3. Hello,

    I love your Blog.
    Is the Beach in front of the Hotel good for swimming and is it wide?
    Is the Hotel close to the Town proper? Is it in a convenient location to be able to do the Dolphin watching, Swimming with Whales, Fishing, Fish Market, Viet Ville, Baker's Hill?

    Thank you in advance.