Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Palawan, Philippines.

Twenty-six of us arrived by boat at this beautiful beach beside a limestone cliff. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm RAW)

More than half a dozen Monitor Lizards about 1.5 meters (5 feet) in length greeted us inside the rainforest. (EF 70-300 @78mm JPEG)

They were not shy at all as one even licked (or smelled) my daughter's leg. (EF 70-300 @200mm JPEG)

With 8.2 kilometers accessible by boat, this is believed to be the world's longest navigable underground river. The entrance appeared deceptively small from the boat dock until we got closer. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm RAW)

Inside, the river winds through many large chambers containing fascinating rock formations. The largest cavern we entered was said to be about 100 meters wide and 60 meters high. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm RAW)

We saw countless bats hanging upside down from the ceiling of the river cave. The flash caught one flying at the upper left-hand corner. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm RAW)

Water dripped down continuously from these giant stalactites onto us so we all got a little wet. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm RAW)

These pictures don't do justice to the grandeur of this underground river since many caverns were too large to be photographed effectively with the build-in flash. One must experience it to fully appreciate the stunning beauty of the environment. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm RAW)

This photo of us exiting the cave shows the size of the river entrance. (Unknown P&S JPEG)

Banaue Rice Terraces and Sagada Sumaguing Cave, Luzon, Philippines.

Nine of us visited the famous 2000-year-old rice terraces built and farmed by Ifugao people. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm RAW)

This small elevated hut is a typical Ifugao home. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm RAW)

Entrance to the Sagada Sumaguing Cave (SD700 JPEG)

We hiked barefoot through the cave with water cascading down the side of the rock. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm RAW)

In some chambers, we had to wade gingerly through chest-deep water, trying to keep our backpacks reasonably dry amidst dripping water everywhere. dSLR gear was sealed inside ZipLoc bags just in case. (SD700 JPEG)

Seeing these glistering cave pools made all the effort getting here worthwhile. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm RAW)

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