Philippines

Bohol

The days leading up to our Bohol trip were a bit frantic so I didn’t have much time to prepare. I didn’t have too many expectations; I was just glad to get away from the city. But after our three-day stay I must say I have fallen in love with Bohol.

Our accommodations were almost at the end of a rough road off the highway. The little cottages were built with native materials and almost all of the rooms had their wn little balconies. Hammocks dotted the gardens and some balconies, providing us with a place to relax and listen to the sound of rustling leaves.

A short walk from the inn was the San Pedro Public Beach. We found locals lounging and chatting amongst the fishing boats on the shore when we first went. During low tide the beach is more for strolling since the water is full of seaweed. But when the tide gets a bit high it covers several more feet of sand, giving us a shallow area to float and wade in. It felt like our own private beach, quiet and free from other tourists. It was a piece of heaven on earth.

A visit to Bohol will not be complete without seeing the tarsier. I first thought they’d look scary, but they’re actually quite cute. 

The Chocolate Hills are one of Bohol’s top destinations. Around the time we were there, they were looking more like matcha hills because it had been a few months past summer.

Lunch at Loboc river was a delight. The food was nothing special but the short cruise on the clean green river was very relaxing. 

The island hopping was probably my favorite, as I’d never pass up an opportunity to see white sands and crystal clear waters. It’s easy to rent your own little boat or find tour groups who can organize a trip for you with other travellers if you’re on a budget. Always check for weather conditions before heading out. Unfortunately the dolphins were a bit shy that morning so we didn’t see any but the fantastic beaches made up for it. Our first stop was Balicasag Island, which is known as a good area for snorkeling.

I liked Virgin Island better. Depending on the tides, it would either appear to be more of an island or more of a sandbar. 

A vendor selling coconuts and banana cue (fried bananas with caramelized brown sugar)

If you don’t have the time to go island hopping, there’s always the Alona and Dumaluan beaches on Panglao Island, which is very close to the main island. I personally prefer the latter because of its more laidback and homey feel. The former is quite touristy and has a lot of  hotels and restaurants which, can also be a good thing depending on what you want.

Alona
Salted honey ice cream from Bohol’s famous Bee farm after a soothing massage by the sea
Dumaluan

It was a five-star vacation only an hour away from Manila, and the cost wasn’t bad either. I would highly consider going back probably to have more lazy time at the beach. ‘Til the next adventure!

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