It’s been a while since I posted! I have been in KL for the last few weekends, doing a bit of going out (finally tried Zouk and Skillet!) – but mostly a whole lot of nothing. I am starting to feel a bit restless / irritable in KL…a result of homesickness, probably, seeing as it’s already been 7 and a half months in KL! Haha, so this trip was much needed. I spent some time last week/weekend in Bohol (and a hot minute in Cebu) with my friend Denice! 🙂
For a brief moment we reconsidered our plans, as there was a US travel alert and a terrorist attack just days before our trip….but it was no problem! Another slight issue was that I fucked up my foot last week, so I was in some pain walking at the beginning of the trip…but luckily it didn’t mess up any of our plans. 🙂 It was also Easter weekend so crowds were to be expected. But holidays, injuries and terrorists won’t stop us from traveling together! hah. Anyway – here’s everything we managed to do!
Day 1: Beach time
We both arrived the night before and were a bit tired from travel. So the first day we just ate brunch, relaxed and swam at Alona Beach on Bohol. The beach was super pretty – white sand, very clear water. There are restaurants, bars, and tour companies lining the beach. We checked out the pool as well.
Day 2: Countryside Tour
We hired a car to take us around to see the sights of Bohol on a countryside tour. 🙂 First stop – the blood compact monument. Wiki says this was the first friendship treaty between the Spaniards and Filipinos! It happened on Bohol in the 16th century. Here’s us being cute at the photo op:
Next stop – Baclayon church! This is also apparently 16th century 😮 It was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 2013 but has been rebuilt. We checked it out and saw that, there were some interesting displays of various holy figures inside for Easter.
Next stop – the tarsier sanctuary! Tarsiers are unique to Bohol and just a few other places in SE Asia. They aren’t technically monkeys, but they’re primates – some of the smallest ones out there! They look like a cross between ewoks and yoda, haha, and are super duper tiny – with very cool fingers and giant eyes (fun fact- each eye socket is bigger than a tarsier’s brain).
Next we went on the Loboc river cruise. There was music, dancing, and cool views of the trees and stuff surrounding the river (including some kids swinging from trees!). I got especially happy when the singer played some Beatles stuff 🙂
Next stop – the chocolate hills! I think these look a bit different than pictures since they changed due to the earthquake – bu they still looked super cool to me! They are famous here for being a unique geological feature – and looking a bit like chocolate drops, hence the name. It was a great view with nice colors, thanks to the rain!
Next stop on the tour was a butterfly sanctuary where I held a caterpillar and saw some butterfly fornication (lol). After was another pit stop at a man made mahogany forest!
For dinner we went to an Italian place called Giuseppe’s! It was recommended to me by the people sitting by me on my flight to Cebu. We drank beer and wine and ate a bunch of pizza and tiramisu…and upon ‘billing out’ (filipino term, ya know), realized our bill looked more like it belonged to 4 people, not 2. But it was deliciously worth it!
Day 3: Boat tour
We decided to splurge slightly and got our own private island hopping tour. At 6am we went out for dolphin watching! Off of Alona there are wild dolphins that feed early in the morning. They were so pretty, all swimming together and alongside our boat at some point!
After that was Balicasag island, where we got some water shoes and someone to paddle us to do some snorkeling! We saw a few turtles swimming just nearby us! And then we went snorkeling where there were a bunch of fish and coral. At one point I swam to the edge of the reef and saw how far down the drop was, and just floated and soaked it in the vastness of it all!
Another stop on the tour was at Virgin island which is basically a sandbar in the middle of the ocean. A bit of a tourist trap but quite pretty. We also tried some fresh cracked sea urchins 🙂
After that we spent more time on Alona! It’s really a beautiful beach and wasn’t too crowded even with the holiday. I loved our spot, the sunset, the clear water, the drinks nearby, and especially the conversations Denice and I had, dreaming about our futures 😀
Day 4: Cebu
I had to say goodbye to Denice – she caught a flight, and I caught a ferry to Cebu, where I’d fly back to KL the next morning. Technically I stayed on Mactan island, not Cebu.
Fort San Pedro was walking distance from the pier, so I checked that out. This was built by the Spanish in the 17th century and has been used for various purposes since then. The grounds were pretty and it was nice to walk around (and freshen up) after my ferry ride!
Next I caught a taxi to my hotel – usually I don’t post about where I stay but I really loved this place (Eloisa Royal Suites)! Everything was great down to the little details. I mainly picked it because of its proximity to the airport & free shuttle, but it was such a nice getaway. It was near a mall and supermarket, where I stocked up on dried mango! haha.
Next I got a cab to go to a beach there on Mactan island. I basically just had to completely trust my cab driver since I didn’t know where to go! He picked the beach and waited for me while I chilled, swam and read. I put a picture of the map because I don’t even know what it was called, ha. Plus I just like maps 🙂
I made my early flight the next day and returned to KL! I love the Philippines – especially with Denice. 🙂 Going around with a local friend makes the experience much richer! I feel as though while living in KL and traveling, I’ve been doing a bit of a ‘sampler’ of the region. The Philippines is one of my top choices for where I’d want to return for a longer trip! Korea & Japan too. 😀 Next up is a 2 week Australia trip, after a yoga workshop this weekend. Can’t wait!