Sawadee Krab, Hi guys....
(I have to apologize for the delay.)
Finally, now it comes the 'Ep.3' which is the ending episode of this long and full review.
C e b u, P h i l i p p i n e s: It is so Great that I Fall in Love with it
. . .
The First Episode:: Ep.1 ǀ Cebu, Philippines, It is so Great that I Fall in Love with it
(Let's enjoy Canyoneering together!)
The Second Episode:: Ep.2 ǀ Cebu, Philippines, It is so Great that I Fall in Love with it
(Let's swim with the whale and relax at Sumilon Island together!)
. . .
I'm more than willing to give any recommendations if you like.
Welcome to talk to me at >> https://www.facebook.com/hungrytraveller :)
Day 04 ǀ Travel to Panglao Island
Today we must leave Oslob and go to Panglao Island.
The most time saving way is to use the service of ' pump boat' which is straightforwardly go from Oslob to the opposite island. It takes about 1-2 hours. It is the shortest time and route found. Otherwise, you could take the bus back to Cebu and take the ferry to Bohol Island and take the taxi to Panglao which is time consuming and farther.
You can't book the pump boat in advance, nor does it run everyday. You can ask the resort to help you contact the boat (I also try really hard to contact the pump boat as I got different answer when I asked people around - -")
Well, for me, at 10 a.m., I hire the tricycle from my resort at Oslob to 'Oslob Cemetery'. Or we can simply tell them to drop us at Oslob Municipality Heritage Park. We three people with our luggage are in one tricycle which give us quite a Philippines feel and it costs us 100 PHP in total. It is about 20 minutes ride and the wind is so cool along the way.
This is the tricycle that takes us to the port.
The driver indeed takes us to the closest port to the cemetary. It's such a local port (well, in fact, let's not call it a port but the beach where the boat comes to stop, haha). We are lucky to find the driver of the pump boat of which two have now parked in the sea. So we pay and book the seat in advance for 1000 PHP each.
The location of the port: 9.521515, 123.435823
Well, usually the pump boat is near the Alona Beach of Panglao Island. In the morning, it will take those who are interested to dive with the whale to Oslob and wait there until noon and take these people back. For those who want to stay overnight, you have to ask the driver of when they will come again so that you could back with them later. For us, we buy a one way ticket.
After booking the boat, we still have about an hour left so we roam around Oslob Municipality Heritage Park. It is a fort and old church which give us quite vintage feel. I think it'd be a great place for pre-wedding shooting location.
In front of the garden is a very beautiful sea which has the color that goes from light to dark. Just beautiful!
Then, we need to take a small boat to that pump boat as it can't come to the beach. The pump boat is quite alright (from the review, it said it's dangerous but I find it quite comfortable. Its similar to the boat going to Sumilon Island where life jacket is provided so you don't have to worry). The driver said if we are lucky, we might see the whale chasing our boat.
We are looking for the whale in case we are lucky like what the driver said. But of course, we didn't find them, haha. When we about to reach, we see the Balicasag Island on the right with such a white sand beach and we know that we are near to Panglao Island. They said this island is beautiful and best for snorkeling and diving. But we didn't get to visit in this trip (we will come back again). We reach the Panglao Island about 14.00 pm....getting all excited now!
The boat slowly approaches the beach and the water is also getting shallower. Everyone is so exited about how clear the water is, we can see the starfish and other....but...the unexpected thing is about to happen.....
I can feel some energy. When the boat reaches a reasonable shallow area, the driver asked all the males to the head of the boat to give some weight as this is the closest the boat can get to. Everyone follows until the boat can no longer moves. Well, now we clearly see the sea grass, sea fish and it's about our waist deep. The boat stops but everyone is still excited about taking photo and yet now disaster is approaching us. Suddenly, the driver said we must walk as the boat cannot move further. Everyone looks to the beach, well, it's quite far, at least a km long. Most people didn't prepare to get wet. We all thought to have a harbor for us to walk to the shore. Now we must change or get wet. We have to change right on the boat (with no bathroom). We literally need to change there, oh well, this is life!
I and my friend grab our backpack which has camera and valuable things. For other bags, we let the staff help us to drag there. Then, everyone is walking through sea grass, star fish, and porcupine (it looks like a mine). We are walking in he bright sun at noon without lunch and our sugar in the blood is getting low. Well, it's quite fun actually. We can't walk fast due to the sand (mud) keep sucking us in and we are also afraid of stepping on the star fish and porcupine.
We walk about an hour, repeat, an hour, to reach the shore. Such a fun life, isn't it? Then we wait to collect our bag. There, the monopolized Song Taew is waiting to take us to Alona Beach for 50 PHP each. We can't walk now so we must pay. At this point, everyone is so torn and anything will do.
At 15.00 p.m., the Song Taew drops us at Alone Beach. Then, we continue to search for our hotel from Google Map. I try to imagine our luxurious room tonight as it keeps me walking. Finally, after 20 minutes walk, we found our luxurious hotel. I almost burst out with joy for this long journey to finally reach somewhere.
We are staying at Villa Kasadya Resort which is quite a luxurious one. It's so great and very peaceful. Only 4 houses are offered with private pool in the middle. At night we can clearly watch the stars from here though it's not near the beach, we need to walk about 10 minutes to reach Alona Beach. The staff greet us with welcome drink which taste strange but weird enough, it's strangely tasty.
Then, we go see our room. It's so wonderful, it's like we are sleeping in the hut. The room is so spacious that 10 people can fit in. We have a bed for 2 people with an additional bed which the resort turns the sofa at the living room into it. It's very comfy bed. The bathroom is also huge. Here is probably the most expensive hotel I've ever stayed (I booked it with agoda).
After that, let's go find something to eat. We walk to the Alona Beach first. This beach is full of boats, restaurants, and bars. It's unorganized, chaotic, and full of trash (it's not as peaceful as Oslob, I personally don't like here so much).
My friend searches to find the famous pizza that everyone must eat when they're in town (well, at this point, anything will do as it's already 16.00 p.m and we didn't even have lunch yet). I stop to have a fried chicken on the road side first.
We continue walking now. But it's so far, about 3 km walk. Finally, we find this famous pizza shop called Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast. We finally can have our lunch and dinner at 17.00 p.m. My tear is almost out with joy.
I think the pizza tastes ordinary or this is the authentic taste? I'm not sure. Anyhow, it's quite a big crowd here so they must be famous. If you like pizza, you can come and try it out. For me, I prefer the local food.
After that, we just roam around. I see lots of Korean restaurants, probably many Koreans are here. Many of them are BBQ or seafood of which you can choose to enjoy.
Then, we just enjoy our time walking on the beach. A lot of diving shops are here and the price is inexpensive but I don't remember the exact price. The famous island for diving is Balicasag Island or you can also enjoy a one day snorkeling tour there. Then, we go back to swim at our villa (we haven't yet enjoyed our luxurious villa). That night we sleep right away in order to prepare for Bohol the next morning.....
P.S. If anyone plans to have the same program with me, I recommend you to stay another night at Panglaso so that the next morning you could buy a tour to enjoy at Balicasag first and go to Bohol the next day. I thinkmy program is too tight so it's not so good.
Day 05 ǀ One Day Tour in Bohol
I wake up early to enjoy the walk at the beach and take the sunrise shot at Alona Beach.
After that, I enjoy my free breakfast from the villa. We need to fill up energy as today is going to be a long day.....
I book the car with the driver at boholrentcar.com by email and we don't need to make any deposit but send a confirmation email one day prior to our travel date to inform that we are actually coming. It's easy and convenient. We requested to be picked up from the hotel on Panglao for 2000 PHP which includes the gasoline and the driver for a day. It's quite ok for three people. We can go wherever we wish as this is our car now.
The driver picks us up at 9.00 a.m. to Bohol. Panglao Island is nearby the Bohol Island. We asked to go buy a ferry ticket at Tagbilaran Port on Bohol Island first so that we can plan the travel time on the island.
There are several ferries at the port. We choose to go with Ocean Jet at 17.30 p.m. The fare is 500 PHP and we also need to line up and pay for terminal fee (20 PHP); otherwise, we can't come back. After that, it's time to start our journey!
Cruising and Enjoying Lunch on Loboc River
Once we go for a while, the sky turns dark and about to rain so the driver takes us to cruise and have lunch first as there's no way else to go. Actually, it's only 11 a.m. and we are yet hungry. Well, since there's no way to go so we have no choice but to follow what the driver suggested.
Again, many ferries are here as well as different kinds of food for us to choose. We buy the 450 PHP ticket and get on board to enjoy the nature at Loboc River.
This river is one of the main destinations for tourists to enjoy lunch. This boat cruises along the river where the people still maintain their traditional way of living. The nature has yet been disturbed from the outside prosperity. It is a buffet food (so please take whatever you like because it will not be refilled....we warn you!).
The food is eatable. It's not that delicious. Well, we are here for the atmosphere more.
And there's also a stop for the tourists to see the performance. It's the local dance. If you like it, you can also tip them at the box.
While enjoying the food and atmosphere, the musicians are also playing guitar. It's such a chill time.....A great time indeed.
Searching for Tarsier......A tiny primate which is the origin of furby.
After having a full lunch at Loboc River, our next mission is to find the tarsier at
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary. The entrance fee is 60 PHP each.
The tarsier or mamag in Tagalog is a tiny mammal; it is a primate that could be seen on Bohol Island. At first, I was imagined it to have the same size as a monkey but it's so tiny when I actually see it. It's only 80-150 g and 5 inches long (excluding its tail). We can comfortably put it on our palm.
The tarsier has such a big eyes which looks quite like furby, the familiar toy of us. It goes out to eat at night. Insects are their main food. In the daytime, they are quite drowsy and will sleep at the hollow or the fractures of the big tree.
I visited here in the afternoon which is their sleeping time. We have to carefully look for them in the bush. Also, you need to have a super zoom lens to capture them. The normal lens or the telephone's camera won't do the job, haha. More importantly, we can't be loud nor use the flash as it'll disturb them. The staff said if they are frightened, they would beat themselves to death! So we must be quiet when visiting them. The tarsier is almost extinct nowadays....
At the exit, you will find the soveniur and food.
Bilar Man-made Forest
After watching tarsier, we are going to Chocolate Hills. Along the way, we find another spot that tourists must stop for photo, it is Bilar Man-made Forest.
The forest is located between two cities: Loboc and Bilar. It is a nearly two kilometers forest filled with white mahogany and red mahogany trees.
That it is a man-made forest, every trees have the same height as well as the expansion of their branches. It gives us different way of beauty and quite shady. It also gives us the classic feeling like that in the Lord of the Rings.
We pull over and get a cool post in the middle of the road. But please be careful of the car as they come quite fast..
Chocolate Hills, the great thing on Bohol Island that we should not miss!
Finally, we now arrive at ' Chocolate Hills', one of the world's famous natural tourist attractions.
The ticket booth is at front, it is 50 PHP each for Chocolate Hills. It is endless dome-shaped mountains stretching for as far as one can see on Bohol Island, Philippines. It is said that at least 1,260 mountains are here, probably it is as many as 1,776.
That it's called Chocolate Hills due to all of them turn brown in the summer, looking like drop of chocolate. Anyhow, while I visited, it's all green, so let's call it green tea hill.
It's not so easy to get up here. Once we arrive here, we need to walk up about 214 stairs which takes about 10 minutes to reach this viewpoint. There's resting area along the way. But it's really hot and not shady. Anyhow, it's still worthy for this amazing view.
Cooling Down at Butterflies Garden
Since Chocolate Hills is very hot, the driver takes us to cool down at the nearby butterflies garden. The entrance fee is 45 PHP.
At first I thought it'd be boring and I just wanted to get the cool air here. But when I walked in, they exhibited it very well and quite informative. Once we are in, the volunteer guide would come to every group automatically. A lot of photography corners are offered. If you wish to have a butterfly wing, you just have to stand at the designated area and you will get it. This idea is quite great. Since we're very impressed with our guide, we tip him too.
After that, we go enjoy the homemade ice cream here. It's easy to eat as it's packed in the plastic tube. I had two. It could ease out the hot a bit. Well, actually, this is what I enjoy the most, haha.
Sevilla's Twin Hanging Bridge: A Cool Twin Wooden Bridges
After the butterfly garden, we go to another famous tourist attraction in Bohol Island, Philippines, which is ' Sevilla's Twin Hanging Bridge'. It's a 40 m long bamboo bridge crossing over the below emerald green Sipatan River. The entrance fee is 20 PHP.
In the past, only the bamboo and robes were used to build this bridge. Nowadays, the cable is added to strengthen it. However, we still feel somewhat 'unsecured' by its sound and when the bamboo touches each other, quite a bit scary while walking.
Although we got more beautiful corner for photo, it's quite scary, haha :P
Blood Compact Monument
And our last destination on Bohol Island is Blood Compact Monument. It was built to commemorate the friendship in a blood oath among Portuguese and Spanish explorers and the Bohol governor in the year of 1565.
We have to look for it vert carefully as this monument is hidden under the hotel. If we don't aim for it, we might miss it.
But the more important thing is the souvenir sold by local people in front of it in a cheap price. We got cheap colorful handmade key chains (4 for 100 PHP), so good.
It's time to say goodbye to Bohol Island.
Around 16.30 p.m., the driver takes us back to Tagbilaran Port, where we bought the ferry ticket this morning. We tip him 500 PHP for his excellent service. Then, we go check in. Oh, any bag that is larger than backpack must be loaded for 150 PHP each (well, there's no bag storage at the seat; it's unlike the airplane like we understood).
After that we go wait at the terminal inside and again, the musician is there to sing for us. It looks like Filipinos are born with music. Inside, there's also a minimart where we could get some snack while waiting.
At around 18.00 p.m. we finally get on board. It's a huge boat. We sit on the first floor in economic class (actually the business class is also there but you have to pay more). The boat is a bit old but alright. It also shows us a movie and about 2 hours when the movie ends, we also arrive at Cebu.
We walk out the Pier I at Cebu and go find our van (we hire this van since the first day and already paid him). Then we ask him to drop us at the hotel near the airport. Actually, the taxi are also there so you won't have to worry. We choose to stay near the airport so that we won't have to wake up too early the next morning. My friend said if we were to stay in Cebu, we would have to leave sometimes for the traffic and we must leave very early.
Tonight we are staying at Bella Vista with a room and additional bed. We must deposit 1000 PHP for the key and got back when we return it. I like here because they provide a free shuttle bus to the airport. We have our dinner at the hotel and walk across to the 7-11 to buy snack and something home.
People here love eating pork so it's not surprised to see many pork products like Pork skin in the 7-11 as snack. What I like the most is popcorn which has several flavor like cheese, spicy, coffee. It's cheap and light, such a nice souvenir.
Day 06 ǀ End of Cebu Trip, It's time to say goodbye.....and I'll be back!
We wake up early to enjoy a free breakfast at the hotel. After that, we go check out and got our deposited money back. Also, we ask the staff to provide us a shuttle bus to the airport. Well, the shuttle bus will be at your service upon request and there's no timetable (it's quite good).
Once we arrive at the airport, we must also pay the airport tax of 750 PHP after checking in with our airline (so you must have some spare money, otherwise, you might not be able to go back to your country.....)
For the products in duty free, it's quite expensive so I don't recommend you to shop. Duty free in Thailand is cheaper and offers more choices. The airport doesn't have anything much. We just enjoy our coffee and connect to WiFi at Coffee Bean while waiting to take the flight back to Singapore.
And it's time to say goodbye to you, Cebu Island, and I'll come back again....
It's so great that I feel in love with it.
The Impression on a 6 days 5 nights trip and the first time in Philippines.....
- For me, it's quite alright and impressive.
- I didn't expect Philippines to have this abundant and spectacular nature like the sea, waterfall, and mountains.
- The cost of living here is relatively lower than Thailand, about 25% cheaper.
- I don't think foreigners got charged extra, unlike some countries I've visited. Everything is clearly labeled in a reasonable price.
- I'm amazed of how the government agency strictly manage the eco-tourism like canyoneering or diving with the whale at Oslob.
- The food is similar to Thai food. So I don't have problem eating here but the taste might not be Thai taste.
- We Thai people have similar face and skin texture as Fillipinos so don't be surprised when they start speaking Tagalog with you.
- The communication is not a problem at all because people here can speak fluent English.
- If you heard someone say that it's unsafe to travel to Philippines, I disagree (only for this trip and where I have traveled to. I'm not sure of other locations). Well, it's also not that super safe but you can walk without having to worry. You just have to behave like a tourist should: take good care of your valuables and personal belongings, that's all.
The Approximate Expenses for this Trip
- Round trip ticket of Singapore-Cebu by Tiger Air is 4,800 THB.
- Transportation (The hired van / ferry / tricycle) is 4370 PHP or 3,320 THB.
- Hotel for 5 nights is 5,540 THB.
- A one day trip package tour and entrance fees to several attractions is 4525 PHP or 3,440 THB.
- Food is 1800 PHP or 1,380 THB.
- Airport Tax is 750 PHP or 570 THB.
- Sim card is 300 PHP or 228 THB.
- In summary, it is 19,300 THB per person (excluding souvenir's expenses).
. . .
Finally, we come to an end of the long 3 episodes review of Cebu.
I hope this review is more or less helpful for you guys.
Thank you for following me.
You can make all the money you wanted...But don't forget to "have time" for yourself also.
~ Hungry Traveller
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
Ep.1 ǀ Cebu, Philippines, It is so Great that I Fall in Love with this Sea (3 Islands 6 Days 5 Nights & 18,xxx THB Budget) ǀ Let's have Fun with Canyoneering! :: https://th.readme.me/p/3734
Ep.2 ǀ Cebu, Philippines, It is so Great that I Fall in Love with this Sea (Let's swim with the whale and relax at Sumilon Island together!) :: https://th.readme.me/p/3763