People craving for Vietnamese cuisine will have their fix in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. I love Vietnamese food, and I was just so happy that in Puerto Princesa, tourists can have a taste of authentic Vietnamese dishes.
Of course, Vietnamese cuisine are also available in Metro Manila, but the price is a bit too unjustified. In Puerto Princesa, you can fill your hunger for Vietnamese food for less than a hundred pesos. Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) costs around 60 pesos in Puerto Princesa Vietnamese restaurants.
What’s good about it is that the food is prepared by Vietnamese migrants or second-generation Vietnamese, children of those who came to the island of Palawan after fleeing Vietnam by boat during the Vietnam War.
Some Vietnam War migrants made Puerto Princesa their home. One of the city tour attractions in Puerto Princesa is Vietville, a community of Vietnamese migrants created by the city government to welcome the refugees. At present time, there are only a few left of the original settlers, after the United States offered them an opportunity to permanently reside in America. Some of them have fled back to their home country. Still, some of the migrants chose to stay in the Philippines as they have grown to love the Puerto Princesa community.
We didn’t get to visit Vietville due to time constraints, but we tried Rene’s Saigon Restaurant, which is located within Puerto Princesa city proper, near our hotel. Rene’s Saigon Restaurant is also only a few minutes away from Puerto Princesa airport.
Food served at these Vietnamese restaurants are comparable to the pho with herbs and spices, French baguettes, spring rolls, rice meals, and other Vietnamese cuisines that tourists enjoy when in Vietnam. In a way, this was reminiscent of my visit to Ho Chi Mihn, Vietnam, and an interesting and pleasant detail of the past friendly relationship between the Philippines and Vietnam.