By and large, shopping is not an activity that brings tourists into Palawan. Even among the Filipinos, shopping in Palawan is something unheard of, although it is not uncommon to see tourists roaming the streets of Palawan to shop – for souvenirs, that is. If you’re looking for some unique finds in Palawan that you can bring home with you, other than island sands and stones, here’s a list of popular souvenirs you can check out with a short description of where you can find it:
Shirts and Other Apparel. Shirts with prints of Palawan seascapes is one of the best gift ideas to give, they are available at almost every tourist spot with souvenir shops. At Sabang Wharf, every kind of shirt from kids’ shirts to adults’ tops are available. These are also probably available in most gift shops of resorts or hotels you’re staying in. The El Nido Art Boutique in El Nido also has a wide range of choices, including beachwear, and beach scarves.
Freshwater Pearls. A must-buy in Palawan, freshwater pearls from the sea of Palawan are available almost anywhere. You can find freshwater pearls at Tiangge-Tiangge at Lacao Street in Puerto Princesa. They also come cheap at public market stalls in Puerto Princesa. You can find a good selection of bracelets, earrings and necklaces made of pearls. Some stalls will also have jewelry for males. Furthermore, the Jewelmer jewelry store at Busuanga Island has freshwater pearls of good quality.
Handicrafts. Handicrafts are popular souvenir items that all tourists of all races want to get their hands on during their vacations. You can find all kinds of locally-made crafts almost everywhere. Home décor items, decorative wood crafts, lampshades, rattan chairs, baskets, placemats, coasters and all kinds of knick-knacks that you’ll love to bring home with you can be found along Rizal Avenue and Libis Road in Puerto Princesa.
Other Souvenir Items. You also might want to check out the products made by the prisoners of the Iwahig Penal Colony at its correctional facilities. Other places you can check for keepsakes include the New City Commercial Center Mall at Puerto Princesa, Kamantian Handicraft and the various souvenir shops of many tourist sites in Palawan. There are interesting items that are priced at less than a dollar, and might be a good option as gifts you can rain on your friends, coworkers, neighbors and relatives back home.
Food and Delicacies. One delicacy in Palawan that’s famous among tourists is the local cashew. There are plenty of cashew nuts, from roasted to fried, that are available in Puerto Princesa and can be bought from souvenir shops and small grocers. If you’re interested in bringing home preserved and bottled seafood, you might find a few stores selling them. Fresh seafood, which is famous among local tourists, can be found nearly everywhere. The best place to buy fresh-caught seafood is at the wet public markets.
It is best to bring a list of the people you want to give gifts to and then stick to your budget. Finally, if you’ve forgotten to go shopping in Palawan or you ran out of time, you can always check the gift and souvenir shop at the airport. The prices may be a bit higher than at the local shops, but at least you got something that can tell your friends you really came from a paradise vacation site.
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