Puerto Princesa, Philippines
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Approximately 4¾ hours
Meals not included
Welcome to Puerto Princesa. Legend says that Puerto Princesa is named for a maiden whose ghost is said to roam the city on certain nights of the year. Pragmatic people attribute the name to the strategic location of the place as a seaport -- naturally protected the whole year and able to accommodate all kinds of vessels -- a virtual Princess of Ports, according to the Spanish colonists.
Today's orientation tour starts with a visit to the unique Iwahig Penal Colony -- a prison without walls. Iwahig is more like a modern farm, where prisoners toil unguarded and are encouraged to promote self-sufficiency.
From there, you will head to the Palawan Heritage Center. This museum showcases the life, rich culture and history of the Palawenos who considered Palawan to be their home and haven.
At the Palawan Special Battalion World War II Memorial Museum, discover five galleries highlighting the profile of the major countries that participated in the war. Each room features a collection of relics, weapons aircraft carrier and other significant relics of World War II. Continue to the Plaza Cuartel -- once the site of a Japanese garrison and now a Memorial Park to honor local heroes and American soldiers who died inside a tunnel during World War II. A few yards from Plaza Cuartel is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Enjoy some souvenir shopping among a variety of proudly Palawan-made items.