So the obligatory tourist attraction at Palawan is the Puerto Princesa Underground River and we didn't want to pass up the chance to check it out while here. So we made the effort to wake up early and only manage a quick breakfast despite the pretty delightful buffet to catch an early boat to the location. There were only a few other guests from the resort who went with us for that morning trip, which is just as well since I wasn't feeling too sociable given the hour.
I didn't quite know what to expect from the experience beyond its a river that has carved out a cave system, which is just as well as it made the whole experience all the more special.
It's hard to describe the experience itself as it was certainly different. If you told me that I'd enjoy exploring a pitch black cave via paddle boat, I wouldn't believe you. But that's exactly what happened. Traveling mostly in silence with only a helpful audio guide narrating the trip via an earpiece with your boat man occasionally pointing out features of interest is surreal.
There's a point in the trip that the boatman closes his flashlight and leaves the group in total darkness. I found myself grabbing Tobie's hand as our devices were the only sources of light. And then it really dawns on you that you are more than a kilometer down a river with a whole cave system looming over you. And this whole thing is the product of hundreds of years of erosion to result in something truly unique.
We'll that's something we'll never forget.