So, after going to quiet and peaceful Siquijor we went further South to Bohol. Tagbilaran was the stop of our ferry and after getting our luggage back with the most inefficient system ever we took a long tricycle ride to Alona beach. Expectations where that it would be much busier then Siquijor but that it would be as busy as it was, that wasn’t within our expectations. Lennon’s backpacker hostel, the place we stayed at, had to refuse more then 10 people a day! This and the shitty accommodation at Siquijor made us realize that we should plan ahead a bit to not spend a lot of hours and money to search for accommodations to our liking.
The first evening we went off to Alona beach accompanied by 2 Swedish girls and a British couple. Let’s say that Alona beach was a not really our style. A lot of bars that try too much to get you inside, a lot of expensive food, beach chairs/bums everywhere,… After 3 nights we decided that we should leave. Nothing much to say about that place, except that I did another dive there at Balacusag Island… Absolutely stunning. Saw a lionfish, lots of turtles, beautiful coral,… And got a picture of me while diving from Jay, my Philippino diving buddy for the day!
To leave Alona we took a jeepney from Alona to Tagbilaran and from there onwards to Loboc. At a certain point there where around 40 people in the jeepney, I can tell you that this is A lot. When it was a little bit less crowded an elderly phillipino man took out his ukulele and a leaf… He started to play some cheerful songs by whistling on the leaf and striking some chords on the ukelele, a absolutely beautiful moment that compensated for the heavy rainfall that day.
Arriving in Loboc we still had to get to Nuts huts, a place next to the Loboc river ran by some Belgians which we sadly didn’t meet. We took a Habal – Habal to get there (actually just sitting on the back of a motorcycle). After walking down the stairs we arrived at the restaurant. The contrast with Alona Beach couldn’t have been bigger, the serenity and peace of the jungle surrounded us while eating a huge plate of spaghetti. The next day we saw what nuts huts was really about, nestled in the Loboc river valley a series of beautiful huts accommodate people from all over the world.
There are some must do’s when you are in Bohol, the Tarsier Monkey’s and the chocolate hills. We decided to combine the chocolate hills with a tour around the countryside on our scooter. The roads we did that first day where one of the most beautiful ones we did in our lives, the scenic ride from the inner land to the coast is stunning. I also managed to finally play some basketball against some locals, they (and the drawn in crowd) couldn’t stop laughing since I was at least 20 cm bigger then them. Before the beautiful ride we went to visit the chocolate hills and a butterfly sanctuary, both worth it! They still don’t know how the hills where shaped in the past, so the believe is that it are teardrops from a giant, plausible!
The next day we got a jeepney to go to the smaller ‘Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary’, the ‘Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary’ is bigger and can be combined easily with the chocolate hills, but also attracts a lot more people as a result of that. We considered it but took our time to go to the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary.
Some facts about the Tarsiers Primates:
- They can turn their head almost 360 degrees
- They are as small as a mans hand but need an hectare for themselves
- Their eyes are 150 times bigger compared to humans in relation to their body size
- They can kill themselves if they are under too much stress.
- They are nocturnal animals and hardly move during the day
- They can jump 3 to 8 metres
Ok, I just copied some facts I read in the information centre 🙂
Anyway, hereby a Tarsier monkey:
That was Bohol… We started on the wrong foot with Alona beach (except for the dive and necessary planning) but Loboc made up 10 ten times for that!
Lennon’s backpackers place (Alona): Very vibey place with a very open minded feel to it. Very nice to have a drink with the owner and other backpackers. Clean too, which is not easy with the amount of people passing by. 350 php pp/pn
Nuts Huts: Beautiful place, good food and drinks in the restaurant. Be prepared to do some stairs! You can rent kayaks at 200 php/h, go for a herbal sauna (350 php), get a massage,… They will help you out to fill your day. No wifi available though. We payed 400 php pp/pn for the dorm (4 persons in the room). Downside is the neighbour with very loud music in the mornings 🙂
Getting there and away:
To Tagbilaran: We took a ferry from Siquijor which first stops in Dumaguete. This wasn’t cheap (around 900 php pp) compared to other ferry rides. You also ‘have to’ check in your luggage for around 120 php per bag.
To Alona beach: Take a tricycle from the port to the beach, tell them where you have to be. Don’t pay more then 200 php. The ride should take between 30 and 40 minutes depending on the traffic.
To Loboc: You can either arrange a private tricycle/Taxi/van, but the cheapest option is taking the jeepney to Tagbilaran mall and from there to Loboc. This will cost you around 50 php in total. The habal habal to nuts huts costs 60 php pp.
Nothing special to mention here except for the food at Nuts huts, which is very decent.