Top 10 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Palawan

1. Get drunk with the staff of the pension house you’re staying in on your first night in town in a nondescript, hole-in-the-wall bar only locals know about. Beer of choice: Red Horse Grande.

2. Walk along Rizal Avenue at 4am and help out a random inebriated stranger who passed out on the sidewalk (while you’re also wasted as hell yourself).

3. Take a trip to Viet Ville, the former Vietnamese refugee camp, in a rickety non-aircon bus that has 60 passengers inside and 40 more on top. Talk to the last remaining refugee while you’re there; he’s got interesting stories to tell.

4. Walk from Viet Ville for more than a mile along a deserted road at dusk to get a tricycle back to the city.

5. Take a tour of the Iwahig Penal Colony in a tricycle with a local you befriended who actually grew up in Iwahig.

6. Score a free firefly watching tour in the Iwahig River courtesy of the local you befriended whose cousin works there as a boatman.

7. Talk to a pimp. He’ll give you a lowdown on the local rates: from a low P1,000 (hindi mo matingnan pag umaga) to as high as P5,000 (maganda talaga).

8. Have a drinking/jamming session with a bunch of brawny, tattooed guys and their wives. Beer of choice: Red Horse Grande.

9. For your food trip, devour fried isaw, botchi and barbecued pig’s ears sold on food carts in the palengke. Wolf down Lucky Me pancit canton at 3am in a karinderia beside the nondescript, hole-in-the-wall bar you got drunk in a few days ago.

10. Go to Palawan alone. No sane person is willing to do these things with you.

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