white sand and many more
Favorite thing: Many different parts in Bohol that love most especially the white sand beaches, the blue clear water and the green river. I love tarsiers as well:=) Chocolate Hills is one of the tourist attractions and its in the top of the hill. Its really nice when you can see the views around the area especially when you are already in the top of the hill.
Fondest memory: The big snake, I couldnt imagine how my sister tried to put the snake in her shoulder...its funny her reaction but scary things, its a good experience anyway.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Enter the twilight zone
Favorite thing: The best sunset in Bohol I had in Baclayon - that's small town very close to Tagbilaran which is famous for its old church from coral stone (one of the oldest in Philippines) and it's also starting point for watching dolphines.
Fondest memory: The best time to be in Baclayon is for sunset but you shouldn't miss the church before (or later) - before it's better because there will be beautiful light shining through colored glass of the windows and you can take some very nice photos inside then.
I loved that golden color of the sky just few minutes before sun disappeared. There was plenty of other people who enjoyed the same view from the pier in front of the church - but it wasn't too crowded.
green for eyes and soul
Favorite thing: Green is prevailing color of Bohol. Its many rice fields and forests have good feel for your eyes and soul; in the rice fields you can see plenty of birds searching for food; when there's water in the field they reflect the sky or neighbouring landscape.
Fondest memory: I loved going away from the coastline into interior of Bohol. Plenty of beautiful sights begin between Loay and Loboc. See these rice fields on the photo - on overcast day they look so fresh. Bohol is full of idyllic scenes when you move between towns. It's easy to explore them because you can use public transport to get around.
One feels very good in environment like that - I hope they will keep future Bohol green - it can be place for excellent eco tourism sites.Related to:
Favorite thing: The place is of full of amazing place (Loboc river & chocolate hills) to visit unique creature (the tarsier), protected beaches and tha relaxing BBC.
Fondest memory: Bohol a place to visit. The destinations are endless and the day would end up without noticing it. Everyday there’s a new place to explore and exciting things to discover. My 6 days stay at Bohol was full of fun and memorable experience. From day one, city tour (this includes the Tarsier and Bee farm) our day two is spent on dolphin watching; Balicasag adventure and the BBC visit. On our fourth day, we have the Magaso falls & Hinagdanan cave. For the fourth day we visited Cebu City, on for the sixth we decided to revisit the Bee Farm and BBC.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
Bohol in one day
Favorite thing: Bohol is such a small island you can go around all it's major tourist land attractions in one day. of course its beaches and diving areas is another thing...this probably needs a weekend for you to enjoy the wonderful beaches, reefs aand dolfins :)
Favorite thing: Hi, been in Bohol just last week and I'm having so much fun with my friends and colleagues. I would have to say that 8k is good enough though.. because we stayed at Bohol Beach Club. Yes it's quite expensive but i think it's worth it. The place is SWEET! The beach is FABULOUS!
We had a great tour guide/driver for our tour, Spencer. We actually got his number from one forum in the net and his got the best recommendations amongst all and he really is! I don't know if I'm allowed to post numbers here but you may visit his website. It's www.boholspencertours.com.
You may also get some driver at the airport and may probably get a cheaper ones but i think it would be very risky. Taxis are also available in the City but you have to pay double of the meter if you go outside the City. Tricycles are also cheap but it's going to consume a lot of time because they run slow.
I Say Bohol is blessed with nature and of good, friendly and hospitable people but... NO NIGHT LIFE. Enjoy though!
Paradise in Bohol
Favorite thing: If you want to truly experience Bohol, you should stay there for 3 days. On the first day, take the countryside tour. This will take you to see Blood compact site, Baclayon church, Tarsier sanctuary, Chocolate hills, hanging bridge, Loboc river lunch cruise, python, higdanganan cave, souvenir shopping. On the second day, wake up really early (about 5am) and go whale and dolphin watching then go snorkeling at balicasag island. If it's low tide, you may also go to other islands. Pamilican island is farther away but if you have the time, you might want to go there as well. The boat ride is 1500 to 2000 pesos. You may opt to come back to Panglao island before lunch then leave for another countryside tour and see the other half of Bohol. Go to Bohol bee farm, Mag Aso falls, Sagbayan peak, Punta Cruz watch tower. On the third day, you may want to just stay put and enjoy the beach. It is better if you stay for 4 days so that you have more time to enjoy the beach or go snorkeling or diving. Please do not pollute Bohol. Throw your trashes properly. Do not bring home live sea creatures. Respect the environment.
Fondest memory: The whale & dolphin watching was the highlight of my trip. The loboc river cruise will be the second highlight of my trip.
NOVEMBER 2006: LOW SEASON, LOW TIDE SEASON
Favorite thing: Just like any other tourist destinations, August to November is considered a low season for Bohol. For Bohol, it actually means low turn-out for local tourists as I noticed that there are still foreigners, mostly Europeans, in Bohol, more specially in the beaches. I suppose that they are more into diving than beachcombers. Besides, local tourists do not constitute the bulk of Bohol visitors even during peak season. Most of the time, the local tourists are part of corporate sponsored seminars/conferences.
This month, I went to Cabilao and re-visited Loboc and Panglao and I would say that that it is less crowded but it could hardly be considered a low season.
This is also the time of the year considered as low tide season. Even from the plane, I could see the receding water revealing the white coast line of Panglao Island. With the low tide season, it means less clean sandy beaches. The small rocks which usually are kept hidden by the water and can only be felt when venturing far from the beach are not exposed. The garden of sea weeds are not protruding leaving the image of unkempt sandbars.
I was not disappointed though as I have learned to appreciate and love Bohol as a whole. As I discovered in this recent trip, I was able to explore and enjoy certain things, with or without the beautiful fine white sandy beaches.
It was never my intention to present a negative side of the "dirty" beaches. Rather, I hope to impart that whether we like or not, it is only nature which can control nature.Related to:
Something to bring home
Favorite thing: Peanut Kisses is one of the favorites from Bohol, you can buy it cheaper at BQ Mall than other places in bohol, for me i bought Star Kisses at BQ Mall, the small ones costs only P7.
Remember your family and friends, bring home something for then!Related to:
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: A lot of reviews has been said about Bohol. But I like to acknowledged also Tata Rabe and her company for the warm welcome and service they rendered during our stay in Bohol. Tata Rabe became synonymous when it comes to Bohol travel (especially here in VT).
She constantly get in touch with me (thru Chikka and email here in Doha) and with my wife ( thru SMS in Manila) while preparing and finalizing our accommodation and country tour. She also updated us with the current weather of Bohol prior to our departure.
Actually her real name is Lilibeth Rabe. She is famously called by the name of TATA.
I would definitely recommend her for your travel needs in Bohol.Related to:
- Family Travel
Sand, Wind and Waves at Alona
Favorite thing: I have read contrasting reviews of Alona beach and wondered how come others see it as almost equal to Boracay while others see it as rough and dirty. Now I know...
With my four days at Alona beach, I can say the beach changes face relative to the tide+weather. When we arrived, it was low tide but the wind was blowing hard that big waves hit the shore. The beach has turbid waters, the shore rough with shells and dead corals and the water unfriendly to the feet of swimmers (rocky, rough bottom).
The next day was the same windy day with the tide high in the morning and we didn't try swimming (good thing there was the pool to swim in) until late in the afternoon when the tide was low and the wind a little gentle. That was when I saw the beach with sand so fine, white and clay-like when mixed with water...beautiful!!!
It was almost the same the next afternoon too bad we had our countryside tour that day and was too tired to swim. The beach was so enticing for the water was calmer and the sand fine.
The fourth day was our last day. The winds were strong and the tide was high but and I can't leave the beach without taking a dip for the last time! It was then that I learned that with high tide+strong wind, the sand beneath the water is quite foot-friendly since the waves threw the dead corals and shells up the shore. We had a nice swim playing with the waves!
Fondest memory: The good thing about Alona beach is that you'll find things to do whether the tide is high or low. The beach is relatively short, you can stroll the beach and see the other resorts and restos when the water is not good for swimming. While during low tide, there is still enough water and can look for spots to swim or at least wade in.
Its widely known that the eastern side of Alona has the best beachfront. Alternative to this, other parts of the strip with good swimming/wading area is the one between Bohol Divers and Isis and the other is between Charlotte and Kalipayan.
At low tide, I would suggest you go to the western tip of Alona beach towards Kalipayan beach resort. There were shallow waters, fine and relatively wide sand and rock formations good for picture taking.
As I have read in another VT member's page, we have to accept the seaweeds at the shores of Alona. It may be an eyesore at times (including the grass leaves floating in the water) but they are part of its ecosystem. If I'm not mistaken, the "flowers" of the seaweeds when they dry-up becomes white and adds to the sand of the beach.Related to:
- Family Travel
SUGGESTED BOHOL ITINERARY: DAY THREE
Favorite thing: You will notice that the two nights, there are no suggested activity after supper. At night, Bohol is a quiet place and the province sleeps by 10 pm. There are some entertainment establishments in Tagbilaran City and Alona Beach but they usually close before 12. For me, it is no big deal if I sleep early or just enjoy the silence of the night. I want my vacation that way.
If you take the afternoon flight, there is still time for some dolphin watching and snorkeling. But before you anything else, watching the beautiful sunrise. You have to leave Alona Beach minutes before 6 am and the boat ride will be for 20-30 minutes or depending on the dolphins. You can stay dolphin watching as long as you see them. They somewhat disapper when the sun is up.
Since you are in the middle of the sea, you can choose to visit the nearby Pamilacan or Balicasag Islands and do some snorkeling. I suggest Balicasag because it is nearer Alona Beach and the travel time is about 30-45 minutes. Your snorkeling may last for two hours or longer so long as you leave Balicasag at 10:30 to reach Alona Beach before 11:30.
Check out time at 12:00 pm, you can ask and they always oblige, to leave your luggage at the resort office and take your lunch. Make sure that you leave Alona Beach by 2pm on your way to Tagbilaran Airport.
Fondest memory: RECAP:
For three days, we were able to do the following:
1. see beautiful, pristine and unspoiled white sand and beach
2. swim in clear and clean blue water
3. if you did some snorkeling, the colorful marine life
4. see the geological wonder, the Chocolate Hills
5. take a river cruise, a river so clean with verdant mountains as background
6. observe the charmingly rural, rustic and bucolic Bohol
7. see some old churches
8. see the tarsiers, one of the existing smallest primates
9. get in a cave with underground fresh water pool
10. watch dolphins
11. enjoyed fresh seafood or even organic food
and most probably, meet some friendly Boholanos.
If you want to see and experience more, come back or stay longer and there are still so many wonderful things in Bohol waiting for you.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
SUGGESTED BOHOL ITINERARY: DAY TWO
Favorite thing: Day two will take you to the major Bohol destination, the Chocolate Hills in Carmen.
For this trip, I suggest you travel by hired van. You may also opt for a cheaper mode and hire a jeepney or multicab. The van is more comfortable and faster, though. The trip to Carmen is about 2 hours from Panglao thus better start the trip at 8 am. You may skip the first two stops, i.e., Blood Compact site and Baclayon Church or you may spend 10 minutes each. At the Baclayon church, you will see the oldest church in Bohol. There is a museum but you have to leave your camera and cellphone at the front desk. Next the towns of Loay, Loboc (dont stop there yet and do it on your way back), Bilar (see the man made mahogany forest) and Batuan. There is a long and winding road between Loboc and Bilar.
You will reach the Chocolate Hills by 10 am and stay there for an hour. On your way back, another trip under the mahogany forest then ask the driver to take a detour to Sevilla if you want to see the hanging bridge, if not straight to Loboc. Take your lunch at any of the restaurants lining the main road or pick Loboc Riverside restaurant or the floating restaurant. Hire a boat for a downstream Loboc River Cruise. It will end when you see Busay Falls then the boat will take you to the restaurant with caged tarsiers. There are around 10 tarsiers there and take a look or picture but do not stay long. Ask the driver to take the interior road, instead, and you will pass by the towns of Sikatuna and Corella. The interior road has some portions still under rehabilitation, hence some rough roads. You will see the rustic and bucolic side of Bohol, the lush mountain and forest and the laidback community.
When you reach Corella, insist on seeing the Tarsier Sanctuary where you can see tarsiers in their natural habitat. This is a must.
Fondest memory: You will then pass by Tagbilaran City on your way to Panglao. Ask the driver to take the Bingag route and have a short stop at the Hinagdanan cave. If you have kids, pass by Daks Zoo.
By 4 or 5 pm, you will be back to Alona beach. Take a dip or simply rest by the sea.
If you can arrange it and you fancy organic food, have your early dinner at the Bee Farm, near the gate of Bohol Beach Club.
The driver would also serve as your guide along the way. if you do not speak Cebuano, he will explain everything in English. They take their driver/guide vocation seriously . Take note that it is advisable that you talk to the driver of the van about the additional places you want to see, like Sevilla bridge, Tarsier Sanctuary and Hinagdanan Cave. These are not usually included in the tour and if time would really permit, the driver would readily oblige. If he does, please do not forget to part him with your generosity. For them, it was not the extra income but they take it as an appreciation of what they have done.
Cost: P2,500 for hiring the van, P20/person entrance fee, Chocolate Hills, P250/person lunch, P500 Loboc rivercruise, P20/person entrance fee, Tarsier Sanctuary, P10/person entrance, Hinagdanan Cave. Just about the same cost if you will hire a jet ski and take a banana boat ride for two hours while you are on a beachRelated to:
- National/State Park
SUGGESTED BOHOL ITINERARY: DAY ONE
Favorite thing: This itinerary is recommended for those who avail of 3 days 2 nights packages or would like to stay in Bohol for the same period. This is based on the usual queries received and based on my what I think would be the best way to maximize the time and cover considerable destinations in Bohol
First rule: Take the morning flight going to Tagbilaran and the afternoon flight leaving Tagbilaran.
Upon reaching the Tagbilaran airport it will take just 2 minutes to get out of it (or 15 minutes if you checked in your luggage). From the airport to Alona beach in Panglao is a 30-45 minute ride. By 10 am, you will be in your hotel/resort.
If you want to economize, it is not advisable to avail of the tour packages offered by the resort/hotel as it is more expensive and the schedule is very structured
Rule No. 2 Be friendly..
Make a cursory survey of Alona beach, this would be easy as it is less than 1 kilometer. You will then know if the beach would be suited to your liking. if not, go to other parts of Panglao island. How? You will meet some folks who would offer you assistance and don't hesitate to ask and negotiate. They are nice people and wont take it against you if you will decline the offer. They may even be your friends later. In my case, I met my friend/guide that way. Most of the guides are motorcycle drivers so you can visit their station near the Flying Fish Bar and engage in some friendly chat.
Tip: Alona beach is just one of the places to swim in the island. For me the best part is the shallow parts of the sea several kilometers from the beach.
If you decide that Alona beach would be fine, then you have the whole day settled. Try the beach on the eastern side or near Alona Palm. The beach is wider. If not, I recommend either going to Dimaluan Beach (5 minutes by boat) or visit Pungtod Island and Gakang Island (15 minutes by boat)
Fondest memory: Dimaluan is on the left side of Alona while Pungtod and Gakang, on the right. Both may be reached by boat. The usual rate is P500-800 depending on the size of the boat and for maximum of 3 hours.
Dimaluan is the most popular public beach among the locals and you will pass by the beautiful beachfront of Bohol Beach Club. You will see the almost talcum white sand. Expect to see a number of people on the beach in Dimaluan than in Alona. it is different in Pungtod. Expect no company in Pungtod and Gakang or may be a group or two. Pungtod has fine white sand bars and shallow beach which is good for children. The water near Gakang is good for snorkeling. There are a lot of spots which are chest high deep near the two islands where you can swim to your heart's delight.
Back to Alona, you can relax near the beach or just walk and observe the rustic place. Go to Crystal Coast resort nestled atop a cliff and see the whole stretch of Alona beach. One good thing about Alona is that it is shaded in late afternoon as the sunset is on the other side of the island. But it has a magnificent sunrise.
For supper, try the ihaw ihaw stalls and i recommend the one in front of Oasis.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
POPULAR DESTINATION: LOBOC RIVER
Favorite thing: Loboc river runs from the twon of Loay to Sevilla but the part of the river in Loboc is the most popular. Right after the town proper, the restaurant which lines the road and by the river banks offer boats for rent. The river is green during hot weather and turns to brown during rainy days. The usual route of the boat is downstream which will end at the small waterfalls.
You may choose whether you want the boat cum restaurant type or an ordinary boat. There are boats with restaurant complete with serenading singers. The ordinary boat will bring you to the riverside restaurant after the cruise. The riverside restaurant offers buffet (eat-all-you-can) for P250 per person.
If you want to know more or see more pictures, you may visit my Loboc travel page.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
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