These days, Port Barton is not for those seeking luxury, but rather for travelers who revel in exploring remote, rural villages. The town isn’t as well developed as other destinations of Palawan, and electricity runs on a limited basis, but the charm lies in its simplicity and slow paced lifestyle. It’s a bit of a hassle to get there and away, but the advantage is that there are no hordes of tourists to deal with.
I personally enjoyed our stay here, and thought it was well worth the effort and cost it took to get there and out; I liked that we didn’t have to share the palm-fringed beach with hundreds of other tourists.
It felt like my own private paradise. The glassy bay mirrored the sky and the bangkas, so the beach never looked the same whenever we caught a glimpse of it. The gentle sunrises and fiery sunsets were magnified, producing some of the most dramatic dawns and dusks I’ve ever had the fortune to see. The only flaw was that the bay was filled with giant jellyfish, so swimming is limited to certain roped off areas.
The town of Port Barton is small, dusty and seemingly empty, until school lets out— then kids fill the streets with laughter. Bamboo huts are tucked into thickets of trees, far from the roads, but closer to the beach the houses are gaily painted concrete, bright shades of pink, blue and green. Pieces of cut up bamboo and rusted engine pieces litter each yard, and dogs wander around poking their snouts in everything.
In truth, Port Barton has an abandoned air to it, which didn’t bother me, but it is unfortunate for the resort owners who have had to shut down their places of businesses, and for those who are currently struggling to keep theirs open. Even the bangka owners who have converted their fishing boats into tourist boats are now struggling to keep afloat.