Sawadee Krab, Hello everyone......
After the mini review of "Cebu, Philippines: What is so good about this island?"
Now, it's time for a "full review" on this island.
(Please accept my apology for the delay.)
If you have any question, please feel free to contact me, I'm more than happy to assist with anything I can about this trip.
Or you can stop by to chat with me at https://www.facebook.com/hungrytraveller :)
This is my first trip to Philippines. I was looking for information about Philippines a while but seems like not many people write reviews about it. It seems like Philippines is not very popular among Thai people, probably due to security reasons. But from my six days trip in Cebu, I think everything is safe (probably I look just like the local people there). It has such an unexpected beautiful nature.
This is a 6 days 5 nights trip with 3 members including me. We went to three main islands. The first three days we stayed at Cebu Island and the next two days at Panglao Island and Bohol Island and returning back to Cebu Island again in order to go back to Singapore on the last day.
I intend to write a detailed review with a lot of photos because I want to have this review to serve as a good information sauce for someone who want to visit here (well, I really recommend you to visit here). Anyhow, I will gradually write the review and I will divide them into 3 episodes.
Ep.1 ǀ Cebu Island (Canyoneering & Kawasan Falls)
Ep.2 ǀ Cebu Island (Whale shark watching & Sumilon Island)
Ep.3 ǀ Panglao Island and Bohol Island (A One day trip)
The cost of living there is similar to Thailand and probably cheaper. 1 PHP is 0.76 THB, let's say whatever we buy there is about 30% cheaper in Thailand.
P.S. These beautiful photos in this review are taken by Sony Alpha a 6000 with 16-50mm Lens and a waterproof camera Olympus Tough TG-3.
Approximate Expenses for this Trip (The more detailed expenses will be summarized at the last episode review.)
- A round trip ticket from SIN-CEB ǀ 4800 THB
- Transportation (Van/Ferry/Tricycle) ǀ 4370 PHP = 3320 THB
- Hotel 5 nights ǀ 4700 THB
- Tour packages and entrance fee ǀ 4525 PHP = 3440 THB
- Food ǀ 1800 PHP = 1380 THB
- Airport fee ǀ 750 PHP = 570 THB
- SIM card ǀ 300 PHP = 228 THB
- Overall is 18,500 THB (Excluding souvenir expenses)
Details of 6 Days 5 Nights Travel to 3 Islands ...
Day 1 - 01 May 16
09:25 a.m. ǀ Depart from Singapore Changi Airport (I and my friends staying at Singapore so we didn't fly out from Don Mueang and also Tiger Air offers a direct promotional flight from Singapore to Cebu so we got it in a price of about 5000 THB.)
13:15 p.m. ǀ Arrive at Mactan-Cebu Intl' Airport
14:00 p.m. ǀ Pick up by the van at the airport and travel to Oslob
15:00 p.m. ǀ Lunch at Lechon Pork Belly
18:30 p.m. ǀ Arrive at Oslob and check in at Brumini Resort
Day 2 - 02 May 16
08:30 a.m. ǀ Depart for Badian
09:30 a.m. ǀ Arrive at Badian and get ready for Canyoneering
10:00 a.m. ǀ Register for Canyoneering
10:15 a.m. ǀ Start Canyoneering, the extreme activity
12:30 p.m. ǀ Lunch at Kawasan Falls + Relax
14:30 p.m. ǀ Go back to Brumini Resort by the van
Day 3 - 03 May 16
06:30 a.m. ǀ Oslob Whale Shark Watching, diving with big Whale Shark
08:00 a.m. ǀ Back to the hotel, take a shower and have breakfast
09:00 a.m. ǀ Take the van to the pier in order to go to Sumilon Island (A One day Trip)
09:30 a.m. ǀ Depart for Sumilon Island
10:15 a.m. ǀ Sumilon Island Sandbar + Snorkeling
12:30 p.m. ǀ Lunch at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort
14:00 p.m. ǀ Cool down at Infinity Pool + Relax
17:00 p.m. ǀ Take the boat back to the shore
17:30 p.m. ǀ Arrive at Brumini Resort
Day 4 - 04 May 16
10:00 ǀ Check out at Brumini Resort
10:15 ǀ Take a tricycle to the pier near the Oslob Municipality Heritage Park
10:45 ǀ Arrive at Oslob Municipality Heritage Park for a walk and the pier is nearby
11:30 ǀ Take a pump boat to Panglao Island (get off at Alona beach)
14:00 ǀ Arrive at Panglao Island and take the van to Alona beach
15:00 ǀ Check in at Villa Kasadya Resort
16:00 ǀ Chill and relax at Alona beach and enjoy a late lunch at Italian restaurant (starving)
20:00 ǀ Sleep
Day 5 - 05 May 16
09:00 a.m. ǀ Check out and the van pick us up for a one day tour at Bohol Island
09:30 a.m. ǀ Stop by to buy a ferry ticket back to Cebu at the Tagbilaran pier
11:00 a.m. ǀ Cruising along Loboc River and have lunch on board, enjoy the nature
12:30 p.m. ǀ Arrive at Tarsier Sanctuary and search for Tarsier
13:00 p.m. ǀ Stop for photography at Bilar Man-made Forest
13:45 p.m. ǀ Arrive at Chocolate Hills
14:30 p.m. ǀ Stop at butterfly garden
15:00 p.m. ǀ Enjoy 'Sevilla's Twin Hanging Bridge
16:00 p.m. ǀ Stop at Blood Compact Monument
16:30 p.m. ǀ Arrive at Tagbilaranpier
17:00 p.m. ǀ Depart for Cebu
19:00 p.m. ǀ Arrive at Pier I and the van pick us up to Bella Vista Hotel
20:00 p.m. ǀ Check in at Bella Vista Hotel
Day 6 - 05 May 16
10:00 a.m. ǀ Check out at Bella Vista Hotel and take the free shuttle bus to the airport
10:20 a.m. ǀ Arrive at Mactan-Cebu Intl' Airport
12:50 p.m. ǀ Depart for Singapore
Let's start now!!
I and two of my Singaporean friends who just got married are planning to visit Cebu Island since February as we wanted to swim with whale shark.
Then we booked the ticket and hotels. We planned to visit Cebu Island in May as the weather is great. It is sunny and not rainy.
Actually, we can travel to Cebu all year round and it depends on the purpose of travel. From January to the late May is summer time, with no rain, it's suitable for beach and canyoneering. The rainy season starts from Jun to the end of December, this time we cannot do the canyoneering because the water tide is too strong. Anyhow, the season and months are changing accordingly to the Global Warming ( I reference it from friends staying there and you can check for more information again prior to travel.)
At first, I let a travel agent arrange the pick up and drop off van as well as accommodation in Cebu for us but I didn't use it at the end. This is because I said we were going three people but the tour agent thought we were six people so they double the price for everything so I have to cancel (I recommend you to talk in details about number of people and any additional cost). Luckily, we have a colleague from Cebu who has a van business. Also, the resort we are staying is his auntie's so we let him arrange everything for us just a week before departure date.
When everything is ready.... Let's start the journey!!!
Day 01 ǀ Singapore - Cebu - Oslob
Tasting Roasted Pork Belly and Spending a Day Traveling to Oslob
We take a direct flight from Singapore to Mactan Cebu Airport, a small island called Mactan Island. Once landed, we need to go through immigration and filled out the immigration and health form (I didn't see the money brought in restriction as previously). Then, within 10 seconds without photo taken and no question asked, we went through the immigration officer.
After that, we buy a sim card of Smart Globe at the exit. It offers unlimited internet and I think it's enough for five days. It is 300 PHP (228 THB). After that we get on a van and go for Oslob.
It's late afternoon now and my stomach cries as we haven't had lunch yet. So we asked the van to take us to eat something delicious. The driver takes us to Cebu's Original Lechon Pork Belly which is one of the famous food of Cebu people.
It is a wrapped pork belly marinated with spices and then grill and we will have this grilled pork belly with crispy skin. There are two flavors available which is original and spicy (topped with chili pickle sauce). We can either order 250 g, 500 g, or 1 kg. The roasted pork belly is eaten with super salty pickle and sticky rice wrapped in leaves called Puso.
We order both flavors and each in half kilogram. Other than that, we also have Lechon Roll, a spring roll with pork belly. The 3 pieces is 65 PHP. This one is delicious, I recommend you to try it.
Since we are so hungry.........we finish one kg. of pork in no time. The total cost for 4 people including the driver is 890 PHP (676 THB). I think if we can get Thai sticky rice and Namjim Jaew (Spicy Pork Sauce), it'd be terrific.
After that, we take the van again in order to go to Oslob for another 139 km. It is noticed that we need to be very careful when driving here. The road towards Oslob is a road along the sea which only has two lens and it goes through villages and communities form time to time so that we can't drive fast. Along the way, we also see rice field, fish pond. It looks similar to rural area in Thailand.
For those who don't want to hire a van, you can also get on the yellow bus at South Bus Terminal and let the driver stop you at Oslob. It is cheaper but also takes longer time. Me and my friends don't want to get too tired so we are willing to pay more in exchange for comfort and shorter travel time (the total price of this hired van is 6000 PHP or 4560 THB. It includes the first day airport pick up to Oslob, a round trip of Oslob-Bandian on the second day and from the Pier I at Cebu to the hotel on Mactal Island on the fifth day).
We reach Brunini Resort around 18.00 p.m. This resort is quite big and popular as it's located near the diving and watching whale shark site. It has WiFi (weak signal) and swimming pool. We then check in. We book two rooms (1500 PHP is ordinary room and 2500 PHP is better than ordinary and newer, it is 4000 PHP per night and we stay here 3 nights).
After that, we have dinner nearby the resort which has many restaurants available. Now, our first day which much of it has spent on the road has ended......
Day 02 ǀ Canyoneering @Badian
Enjoying Extreme Activities, Cliff Jumping and Swimming at Kawasan Falls
Morning comes very early in Philippines, it already lights at around 5 a.m. So please don't wake up too late :) After waking up, we go for a breakfast near the resort. It is a ready-made food restaurant so I choose fried rice, fried egg and fried pork. This dish is about 100 PHP. I recommend you to have breakfast first before going to canyoneering as you will use a lot of energy there.
Then, we take the same van to Badian. It is a 45 minutes ride. We need to go to the other side of the island. We reach there around 10 a.m. and the tour guide comes take us to canyoneering. This trip is very exclusive, we each pay 1200 PHP (912 THB) including lunch because we have common friend and we don't have to pay for the ride from Oslob. Usually, you can buy this trip at the resort for 1500 PHP each person.
Many people may not be familiar with the term, 'Canyoneering' and I'm not sure how I should translate in Thai. But it's the activity that we have to climb through the cliff and rocks along clear blue stream flowing from the top to the bottom. The peak is where at certain spot, it is a cliff or a waterfall that we must jump in order to keep going. Or at some point, it's a narrow spot or a cave with stalagmite and stalactite that we must walk through.
After getting life jacket, sneaker, and helmet, the tour guide gives us a small bottle of drinking water. I recommend you to take nothing as it gets really difficult later on. Probably just bring a cash of 500-1000 PHP and put it at the life jacket pocket. The camera must be waterproof. Other than this, do not take anything but make yourself the lightest and most comfortable possible as you need to jump and climb a lot....
Then, we take the motorcycle to the registration area and listen to the staff who gives us a brief of what not to do.
"..Take nothing but Pictures, Leave nothing but Footprints, Kill nothing but Time.."
Here, they focus on ecotourism. We need to register our name and nationality. Then, the staff will stamp on our hand and we are good to go.
After that, we can jump on this motorcycle and they will take us to the canyoneering point. Along the way, the road is like the surface of Mars signifying the adventure is starting now........
The first stop is a small waterfall and a cliff that everyone must "jump". I find it quite high for someone who've never canyoneering before. Oh well, jump is jump, otherwise, we can't move on. Still, it's quite high, haha. But it's very fun. Just the first station already gets me so excited.
We just have to be "
strong!" in order to move on.....
Well, the adventure has begun now. I don't know what more we will see but the guide just told us to get ready.....and gently give us a
Along the way, we have to climb the cliff, go through small space and jump down from several cliffs.
The guide instructs and takes good care of us, we have to strictly follow his instructions for our own safety. Well, the guide knows every stone. He knows where do we jump and will be safe and what stone will get us hurt.
Another very eye-catching scene is the blue and emerald water that is so clean, clear, and cool. Even though we are tired from climbing, we get so refreshed by playing in this water. Additionally, we are embraced by the nature all along the way. I'm just "so super happy".
The guide said this stone is a head of cow. I think it looks quite like it.
After going through the half way, there's a moving 7-Eleven selling Grilled Chicken, Grilled Meatballs (but no Somtum) and other easy food for those who are hungry (of course, everyone is!)
Here is the highest jump spot since we started. If you are dare, you can jump from here. Otherwise, you can go down and jump at a place where it's not as high. Anyhow, you must jump in order to carry on.
Oh well, we are already here, so let's do this. Before jumping, the guide told us to take off the helmet because we are jumping quite high and the strap from the helmet could fasten our throat (I was thinking would I be safe without the helmet?) Finally, I jump anyway and it's really within a second and I'm already in the water.
When jumping, I recommend you to have the right posture. You legs must be kept together, one hand holds a camera and the other squeezes your nose to protect the water from running in. For the gentlemen, please do not outstretch your legs, otherwise, it's very painful. Someone also jumps with stomach or belly down. When you hit the water, there'll be a very loud sound like "pae" as your fat hit the water and this also is painful.
Then we keep on canyoneering until the last stop. I'm really impressed with this extreme activity. If you are fond of adventure, this is your answer!
In fact, the guide said we cannot canyoneering all year round. During the rainy season, the water tide is too strong and high which is very dangerous. So please check for more information before you come. I think if you come to Cebu, you must not miss this extreme activity. It's really great (even better than diving with the whale shark).
After that, we just keep on walking in order to go to Kawasan falls. This waterfall has three layers. We walk to the top layer first and it also has a jumping spot at the cliff. But I have to say no as it's too high. Oh well, the water below is really clear.
I see way of life of local people here too. Some are washing their clothes near the stream while some are taking the gallon to get water. The guide said they live on those high mountains (he pointed to a very tall mountain). It is so natural lifestyle.
Then, we walk a bit and reach the second floor. We have our lunch here (lunch is included in the package).
I'm so hungry as we used up a lot of energy. There's French Fried, Fried Chicken, and Grilled Octopus that is bigger than my face, haha. It's so much food that we can't finish.
After that, we go to the first floor of Kawasan falls which is the highlight here. It has the highest jumping spot. It is 15 m. height or about 5-6 story of the building. Oh well, the water below is so super clear......let me call it Blue Lagoon.
Such a high cliff....
Are you dare enough..... #Ask yourself.....
Oh no, it's too high, it's all yours. You can try as I also see someone jumping but I must say no to this one.
When we walk down there, there's bamboo raft for rent at a price of 300 PHP. Someone will drag this raft to the waterfall area for photograph. But we choose to swim there (we are quite stingy). It's quite deep. We either need to be a strong swimmer or wear the life jacket. Once we reach there, we just hang onto the bamboo raft and slowly go up for photography without paying any money, haha. Soon, it's time to go back.
Then, we walk out from the waterfall in order to take the van. You can also use the motorcycle service if you don't want to walk.
It takes about 3-4 hours for canyoneering and I feel like it goes so quickly. This is my first time in life. I think it'd be more fun when coming in a big group of friends because then we will get pressure and cheer from our friends to jump off from the cliff for sure. The guide takes a very good care of us so I tip him 600 PHP (tipping is something we should do here).
Then we go change as we are all wet at the nearby restroom. But it's not that good so I just quickly change and go take a shower at the hotel.
We reach the hotel about 15.00 p.m. and take a shower and take a rest. Tonight we have our dinner while watching the sunset. Let's go big for this meal, we order Grilled Shrimp with Butter and Garlic (price by weight), Grilled Pork Belly, Fried Vermicelli, Fried Vegetable (which has the same price as the Grilled Pork Belly and I'm not sure why vegetables here are so expensive and not so popular which cause me to have constipation for a while). Tonight dinner is 850 PHP or around 650 THB for three people, it's quite a reasonable price.
Tonight we have to sleep early because tomorrow early morning we will go dive with the whale shark.
I remember we passed out since about 21.00 p.m....zZ
To be continued..
I will come back for the "Second Episode" soon...
Ep.2 ǀ Cebu Island (Whale Shark Watching & Sumilon Island)
(This photo is a starter to my next episode review.)
Thank you so much for following until this line.
You can make all the money you wanted...but don't forget to "have time"for yourself too.
~ Hungry Traveller
The previous reviews by Hungry Traveller
[[Samed Island]] here..with Panoramic View of the Bay : https://th.readme.me/p/2372
[[[ Koh Tachai . . that's right ]]] :
Enjoy our time here..... .at.... [[ Similan]] : https://th.readme.me/p/2542
Singapore has something to offer more than the Merlion Ep 1 :: Underground Crossing at Fort Canning Park : https://th.readme.me/p/2459
Singapore has something to offer more than the Merlion Ep 2:: Lone tree at Upper Seletar Reservoir Park : https://th.readme.me/p/2672
Singapore has something to offer more than the Merlion Ep 3:: The Exclusive Expensive View like no other at Marina Barrage Cove https://th.readme.me/p/2794
Cebu, Philippines, what is so good about this island ?? :: https://th.readme.me/p/3271