Week 1: Panglao and Bohol

September 9, 2008 - Filed under Weekly Report

After 18 hours of traveling we finally arrived in Cebu. Despite a relatively decent flight, we were both hot and tired and just wanted to sleep so we took a taxi straight to our hotel. We’d decided to stay just one night in the city, get over our jet lag and then head off to Panglao, a small island off the tip of Bohol.

We woke up quite early the next morning and decided to get a jump on things and take the first ferry of the day. Two hours later we arrived at the port of Tagbilaran. The ferry terminal was surprisingly un-caotic and we were able to grab a taxi with relatively little hassle. A short 25 min ride and we were on Alona beach, the busier tourist area of Panglao Island. I’d done a bit of research on hotels before we arrived and after dragging our heavy bags even a short way down the beach in the hot sun, we were happy to arrive at one of the ones on the list.

Alona Pyramid is a cute little resort with traditional style ‘nipa’ huts surrounding a nice pool, the only thing lacking was no swim up bar, but, seeing as we were only steps from the beach, we figured we’d survive.

The beach of Alona was a little bit disappointing as it’s mostly made up of resorts, restaurants and dive shops dotted along the shore, with relatively little actual beach left in front. The east end of the beach proved to be much nicer, and all-in-all It was still quite beautiful even if a little overrated.

The next few days were mostly spent chilling by the pool and enjoying the local San Miguel beer.  We rented a motorbike one day and explored the island, and the following day Mike rented another one while I went diving.

On our last day on Panglao we decided to take in some of the local sites and hired a guide with a van to take us around for the day. First stop was the Chocolate Hills, a sea of grassy bumps that get their name from the chocolate brown color they turn during the dry season. We climbed the 214 steps to the top of the viewing deck for a 360 degree view and although interesting, if not a bit strange, due to the rainy season they didn’t quite look like the chocolate drops they are said to resemble.

For lunch we headed down the hill to Loboc, and boarded one of the many floating restaurants that ply the Loboc River. After a traditional filipino buffet we cruised up the river while being serenaded with such favourites as “Labamba” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. We met a nice french couple who shared not only our table, but also our amusement at the situation.

After lunch we headed for what is sure to be one of the most unique experiences we’ll have here in the Philippines. We followed a bumpy dirt road lined with tiny village huts to the Tarsier Visitor Center.  A Tarsier is the worlds smallest primate and kind of resembles a mogwai like creature from gremlins crossed with a bit of Yoda. This crazy, yet cute little guy is on the Philippines endangered species list due to habitat destruction, hunting, and sadly the pet trade. Because of this reason we opted to visit the center rather that stopping at one of the many roadside tourist traps to pet the poor, caged animals.

The center itself if quite small, but the guide took us on a short walk through the forest and we were able to see 6 of these little guys, up close and personal. A few of them were hiding because of the rain, but we saw more than I expected.

At the end of a busy day we headed back to the beach for a much needed beer, and to pack-up and get organized for the ferry to Dumaguete the next day.

(For more pictures don’t forget to check out flickr)

Posted by: Kelly

2 Comments so far

  1. powkie July 2, 2011 11:06 pm

    the chocolate hills are beautiful and also the tarsiers are looks like funny. this post is nice. thanks for posting.

  2. Aanya Shaw July 10, 2011 5:14 am

    Mike and Kelly .. Must say that it does take a lot to actually decide on selling everything and start on a worldly tour :-) Truly living the life! Lovely pictures btw :-)

    Aanya Shaw
    Visit Us At: Jura Coffee Makers


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