I think all my western friends in TW are so in love with Philippines.They always told me how amazing this place is, but I never had a chance to visit.
Philippines is my no.26 country. Beach and sunshine, it was definitely one of the happiest trip I’ve ever had.
How to go there?
There are two ways to Bohol : flight and ferry. We chose the ferry – OceanJet from Cebu Pier 1. It took 2 hrs and costs 1100 Peso (return ticket),but it might be cheaper when there are promo tickets available.
On the Bohol Island, rent a motorcycle or take a tricycle are two common ways for travelers. Tricycles are more like local taxis, which kinda reminded me Tuk-Tuks in Cambodia.
As we arrived at the port, a tricycle driver came to us and said “hey, I already have passengers, but you can sit behind me. I will offer a really cheap price. ”
Hmmm…..behind the driver?!
We sat sideways on the motorcycle, the driver was in front of us, and 2 more people sat next to the driver. Crazy huh!?Thats something special you can only experience in Philippines. lol
What to do ?
Instead of villas or fancy hotels, we chose a small hostel – Villa Juana. The price was reasonable and the location is fine. The host there was super friendly. She helped to organize all tours and everything we needed. They also have scooter rental service. During those days, our schedule was like this :
Day 1. Scooter around the island – White beach to Alona beach
The beach closer to us are Alona, Dumaluan and White beach. The host recommended us to go the White beach, since it doesn’t need both entrance and parking fee. For me, White beach is undeveloped, nature and more for locals. There were only few foreigners there when we arrived, and most of them are westerns. lol.
As I jumped into the sea, kids swam toward me and asked lots of random questions.
“Where are you from? What’s your mother’s name? What’s ur grandma’s name? ……”
They were way too cute and did make my day.
Day 2. Land tour with tricycle (Chocolate mountain, Loboc river)
It was not a good idea to go with tricycle. Well.. it did save some money, but the distance was way too far and tried. Loboc River Cruise was like a boat ride along the river and had a buffet lunch. The highlight of this trip was a local performance with ukulele. Really cute one! Except Loboc River cruise, zip line above the river is something worth to try as well.
Chocolate mountains were incredible and cute!! Those mountains looks exactly like hershey kisses chocolate. yum yum. Anyway, our driver told us the name is because the color will turn chocolate brown during summer time. However, the weather was not so good at that time, kinda foggy and raining. I was expecting a better view on top.
The last thing to do that day was ATV around chocolate mountains. It was the worst decision for sure, because I almost killed someone by hitting another ATV accidentally! The accelerator on ATV is exactly the same place as the brake control of my scooter. Well…for safety reason , I will never try it again. 😦
Day 3. Sea tour (island hopping – Balicasag and Virgin island) :
Most of tours depart from Alone beach in the early morning. However, our tour is arranged by the hostel, which made it easier for us. Sea tours usually start from 6am because it is the only time to see dolphins! It was so magical and exciting to see wild dolphins jumping right in front of me.
Balicasag Island is the spot for snorkeling. The stupid thing was I totally forgot to rent a life vest.!! I am the only one on the boat who can’t swim well. I can only grab the side-wood of our boat to survive in sea.
Virgin Island is so-called paradise. This is known by local as the Virgin Island since nobody lives here and the place was not visited by tourists long time ago.
Although there are more places to visit in Bohol, we just stayed chill and tried to do snorkeling in the last day. Since it was during raining season, the weather wasn’t quite well at that time. Still, I really hope to stay longer here, in this paradise. 🙂
What to eat?
My favorite in Philippines is fruit milk shake! All fruits there are so fresh and cheap at the same time. Still, there are some shops added lots of water and sugar inside the drink. Except drink, we also tried BBQ, beef ribs, fish…..lots of choices you can have at this place.
And don’t forget to try Jollibee once you visit Philippines. It’s a local fast food chain store. Well..for me the taste is nothing special, but it still worth a try. Also, coconut water is something must have when traveling to south east Asia. Cheap and fresh!
The last meal in Philippines was at a local restaurant. There was a dish called Kari-kari, which i thought its sth related to curry. Not at all…it was pork cooked with peanut butter. The taste is really weird, a bit sweet, oily and salty in a bite.
My final note..
Philippines has became one of my favorite country to visit after this trip. First, it’s a english speaking country. Second, everything was so cheap and people were so friendly. Last but not least, it’s so close to Taiwan! Flight fares are affordable.
Among so many spots, Palawan is on my top list now. I am amazed by all IG photos people taken there. However, I heard the traffic to there is kinda tricky. Anyway, as a travelholic, I will figure it out soon for sure!