My 40th Birthday: Review of Bona's Chaolong in Puerto Princesa, Day 6

Day 6- April 16, 2011. We took the Eulen Joy Bus again but this time we were charged P350/each because the conductor said the former fare was only for promo. So the bus ride took longer this time from 9am to 4:55pm because of the numerous stops of cargo being carried on top of the bus.  We checked in again at the cheapest and friendliest Bundal Inn (aircon room with twin beds P700) and tried to prepare for dinner. Across the Bundal Inn was the Wild Rock Travel and Tours which I thought interesting to prep for the next day's itinerary. I planned to go visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River once again. Four years ago, we did not book to any travel agency and went on our own way which is half the price of the travel agency's fee. Simply get a jeepney ride to Sabang port and tricycle to the wharf, ride the boat to the Underground River and pay the entrance fee of P75/person. This time, I booked at Wild Rock Travel and Tours because the guy who entertained in the office was really entertaining and convincing. Besides, there were more to explore and I really needed an expert advice from a local. He told me of trivial stories about the gold found in the Club Noah that led to its closure and the trivia of how Rico Yan died until I told him of my hunger. I've asked him how many chaolong places were left in the city since the Vietnamese in Puerto Princesa had migrated in other countries leaving only this wonderful noodle dish to Filipinos. 
The Vietnamese refugees who stayed in Puerto Princesa Palawan during the war left the town this wonderful and delicious noodle dish called, "chaolong". They said it's made of rice noodles in a meat-flavored soup with Vietnamese spices garnished with mint leaves and bean sprouts. Some people prefer the spareribs of pork or beef instead of the most loved "beef stew".  We went to Bona's Chaolong at Manalo St. in Puerto Princesa. Among all the chaolong houses in the city, this place is always crowded by the locals and the foreign tourists. I've tried other chaolong places and they just didn't have that special taste I've found in Bona's. Besides, they would give you the mint leaves and the bean sprouts generously unlike other places. I ordered Beef Stew with Noodles Special (P45) and two orders of French Bread with Pork (P25/each).
They have put the mint leaves and the bean sprouts separate with calamansi for other diners preferences.
The French Bread was not similar to the French Bread in Manila because it wasn't too chewy, it was like any ordinary local bread but the presentation of the bread served smoking hot and really crunchy outside and soft and chewy outside was really remarkable. The pork slices were thin dressed with mustard, mayo and banana ketchup which made the sandwich truly unforgettable. I haven't tasted any sandwich like this before although I've had chaolongs in Palawan in the past and I really loved it.
The Beef Stew Chaolong (P45) in a big bowl was a bit sweet, meaty, crunchy (because of the vegetables), tangy(with the mint and calamansi), and really flavorful because of the Vietnamese spices mixed in the soup. The meat really melted in my mouth and the rice noodles was really delicious and filling. I thought it would be one of those "pangtyuhin" mami houses where most diners would be working men or construction workers but the customers were families and mostly women enjoying the great delicious chaolong soup. It's really perfect with the French Bread and I was so happy and full with just one piece of the French Bread with my Beef Stew Chaolong. The exhaustion from the long ride from El Nido to Puerto Princesa was relieved with this refreshing and delightful chaolong and french bread. We only spent P95 (one Beef Stew Chaolong Special (P95)and two French Bread with Pork P25). Dirt cheap but really very very delicious!
Bona's Chaolong is located at Manalo St. Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
Stay in Bundal Inn, for reservations and inquiries, contact Mrs. Helen Dela Cruz Bundal
Landline: (6348)434-7626
Mobile Number: (6309088928206)
Email: h.bundal@yahoo.com
Book with Wild Rock Travel and Tours, for information, please visit their multiply site at http://www.wildrocktours.multiply.com/

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