Exploring Puerto Princesa on a cloudy Day

posted in: Palawan, Philippinen | 0

Well, my first full day out of four. But the weather was more than cloudy. Dark and deep hanging clouds! And first of all I had to change my hotel.

So I could not really start the photo day before 13:00. Basically I wanted to drive to one of the more interesting places outside the town, but the weather forced me to stay here. I did not dare to drive fifty kilometres through the countryside without shelter when I could expect heavy rainfall any moment. In such situations you have no other choice than casting a glance on the daily life in a foreign country with different cultures. And the best places to do so are usually the markets. That´s why I was heading to the main market in Puerto Princesa.

On my way there I caught a glimpse of a blacksmith at the roadside. I stopped, turned round and went into the workshop introducing myself as a German photographer and asked whether I could take some pictures of the workers. As expected they were all just happy to be captured at work.

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Unfortunately none of them had a mail address. Otherwise I would have sent them some photos.

When I arrived at the market I first went down to the fish market. At that time nothing was going on anymore. But it was interesting to see a small community living in stilted houses. The houses looked all pretty run down and the whole place was covered with garbage. Obviously very poor people! I talked to a group of locals hanging around nearby. They told me that the people had been relocated to a remote place but some of them resist and stay here. Others have just returned.

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These are the remains of the stilts on which the wooden houses were based.

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The market as such was nothing special. Just a typical Southeast Asian market. Lots of stalls selling everything you can imagine. If you really want to get a feeling for a foreign culture and take a deep breath of their way of life I can only recommend to always go to the local markets. There you find the real life of the people you visit.

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In the late afternoon I returned to the area in which my hotel is located. It is a very interesting vicinity. More or less in the middle of the town you just leave the main roads and find yourself in a kind of peaceful rural life. It is needless to say that the people living there are apparently poor. The roads are not plastered and the houses are simple and basic. Many of them are wooden constructions. But they live in a natural environment. And, maybe I repeat myself, but as poor as they are and as simple as they might live, they all seem to be much happier than the people in the industrialised countries. The social environment is still intact and takes place on the road. By now I have been to so many different places around Southeast Asia, but I still love to watch these sceneries of daily life.

An important member of the family!

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The supermarket!

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Socialising on the road. Communities here are still alive in the truest sense of the word.

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And the children can still find joy and happiness playing with the most basic objects they can find.

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As an aside:

When I travel around Asia over a period of usually six to eight weeks I have to change hotels every four or five days. I would suppose, that everyone understands that the accommodation plays a vital role in your level of happiness during such a trip.

When I book my hotels I have three criteria: 1. Location, 2. Price, 3. Reviews and quality.

It did not happen very often that I was really unlucky with my choices. But on average, one also has to concede, that it is a kind of burden staying  mainly at places you do not really like. That is part of the game, and you have to accept it and take all the miseries you encounter with a good sense of humour.

But this time I really booked the wrong one! The hotel was cheap at only 21 € a day but had the highest scoring on booking.com and tripadvisor. And I also knew that it was a relatively basic hotel. But having:

  • a bathroom not exceeding 1,5 sqm with a shower not separated by a cabin nor by a curtain and therefore flooding the whole tiny place
  • not even a mirror in the bathroom
  • room no. 1 on the ground floor just next to the reception where the television is running at full volume (Asians do not know the word noise!)
  • no minibar, no fridge, no complimentary water, no wardrobe
  • a mattress that is so soft that you, as a 78 KG Western guy, will sit on the blank within a few seconds of a soft landing after sitting down
  • only a sheet as a blanket
  • a deafening loud air-condition
  • no internet as a photographer
  • and finally no sleep as the roosters and the dogs outside just in front of your window will wake you up at 5 am

Having all this together is just too much for me and I decided to move taking the risk of paying twice. Fortunately I only had to pay for this one night although i booked for five nights. And my new hotel is just 6 € more per day.

Click the slide show above the post to see more images.

 

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