Whale Shark, Magnificent Time at Cebu
There's more than just the Whale Shark....
For this trip, we are still in ASEAN like usual, we are now at Cebu, Philippines. It is our first time in this country. And the first time is always exciting. What attract us to travel to Cebu include whale sharks, sardines, sea turtles and canyoneering activities which has gain a lot of reviews lately and makes us wanted to try it once. Thai people and Filipinos look similar, sometimes we are indistinguishable. Food is also not much different from our home and the cost of living is cheap too. This place might not be in many people's interest yet, but we will make it a trendy place, haha. Now, let's come and enjoy together with us!
This trip, we travel from 15-19 Feb 2019. There're 3 of us altogether, in fact, I've tried to get more people, but this is what we got, haha. From what we researched, public transportation in each city is not so convenient, sometimes it's so packed on the bus and we as tourists carry a lot of things along too like luggage, camera bag. So, we decided to solve this problem with money!!!! We contact a local guide from https://www.islandtrektours.com/. You can find a very detailed tour on the website. In case you don't like the program they offer, you can also plan as you wish. We use this company service since the day we arrive until the day we depart at the airport. I think we've made the right decision. However, due to it's only 3 of us, each of us have to pay more than when we have more people. The more people, the cheaper it gets when we divide our share. For the expenses, I'll list it below.
We book a private tour by sending them an email. The tour includes a transfer service to every city we go but excludes the 4 nights hotel as we wanted to book ourselves and just let them know later. This also includes lunch on some days when we go as a full day tour and all entrance fees.
Rate for group of 3 persons: 16,050 PHP per pax (discounted rate)
- Feb. 15 - Bohol Countryside Tour
- Feb. 16 - Whale Shark + Sumilon Day Tour
- Feb. 17 - Pescador Island Tour
- Feb. 18 - Osmena Peak + Canyoneering
- Feb. 19 - Half Day City Tour
Not including zipline, ATV, and swimming with whale shark when out in the sea, it is additional 500 PHP and each boat get to have 30 minutes.
For more information, please click: https://www.islandtrektours.com/
Our exchange rage is 1 PHP = 0.62 THB or 100 PHP = 62 THB.
I recommend you to buy international SIM card from Thailand as all operators offer this service. For me, I buy it from here because it's cheaper. We reach here 6 a.m. and I find a counter of Globe but with long queue in the airport. I then decided to buy it outside. But it was too early that morning, so I couldn't buy it anywhere.
- Oslob 2 nights : Ging-Ging Hotel & Resort, near the main road, easy to travel
- Moalboal 2 nights: Moalboal Beach Resort, away from main road but with very private atmosphere
I recommend you guys to spend a night at Bluewater on Sumilon Island.
Dried Mango 7D is what most recommended and I think it's quite delicious too.
Expenses (per person)
- A round trip ticket from Philippine Airline is 9,000 THB.
- 5 days 4 nights private tour is 10,900 THB.
- Moalboal Beach Resort 2 nights is 700 THB.
- Ging Ging Hotal & Resort Oslob 2 nights is 880 THB.
- MSIG travel insurance is 230 THB.
- Pocket money is 7,000 THB.
Total is 28,710 THB which is considered very high.
Day 1 Bohol Countryside Tour
We fly from Suvarnabhumi Airport with Philippine Airline at 01.30 a.m. and reach Cebu early morning. Once getting out of the airport, we look for our driver holding our names. Our driver changes every day. Each one only drives us a day. The tour company will give us the driver name and the contact number one day in advance.
From the airport, we are going to the pier in order to cross to Bohol Island. Along the way, we try to look for SIM card shop and find none. The driver takes us to the port and then will come back to get us later this evening to go to Oslob tonight. One we reach Bohol Island, another driver is waiting for us there, what a good teamwork, haha. For the ferry ticket, the tour guide already bought it for us and sent to us via email. We then need to show staff the ticket and print it out there. However, we must pay additional 20 PHP each for the port terminal fees.
In between, we deposit our bags at the counter and plan to get it when we come back so that we can roam around freer. It takes about 2 hours on the ferry ride.
Once we reach Bohol Island, we didn't feel anything. We simply look for the driver and start our tour. The first stop is Baclayon Church (the oldest church in Bohol).
Next station is the Butterfly Garden which has more than just the butterfly.
Then, we are going through tree tunnels where a lot of people getting off to take photos. But please be careful of cars which drive quite fast too.
To cruise along Loboc River with lunch on board, we can also upgrade our meal with additional 60 PHP. It will come with shrimp and crab and we get to sit in a boat with turtle-shaped roof that look more classy, haha.
Turtle boat and regular boatAtmosphere while cruising, very nice and chill
When going down to the end, there will be people dressed in tribal costumes for tourists to see and take pictures.
After that, we are cruising back.
After lunch, we go on to see an animal that look just like monkey called Tarsier.
And then, we go to the highlight of this island, the Chocolate Hill.
We actually have a drone but cannot fly as it's only allowed before 8 a.m., so sad T_T
After that, we go back to the pier. But since we still have some time, we look for SIM card and finally found a prepaid Sim. It is 40 PHP for 3 GB of internet. After it's gone, we can refill from 7-11.
When it's time to take the ferry back to Cebu, the driver manages and prints the boat ticket for us. Again, we need to pay 20 PHP for port terminal fees.
Once we are back to Cebu, I see people walking out of the port and no one goes to pick up their deposit bags. We are so curious and go in to ask. It turns out that now 3 of our bags are at Bohol and no one left it there like us, haha. And the worse thing is, we've just taken the last ferry for today. The earliest one is tomorrow morning, but the thing is we must go to Oslob tonight. Finally, we decided to ask the driver to contact the tour company and help us deliver our baggage to Oslob and we are ready to pay extra. The driver then informs us that his friend will bring our luggage to Oslob tomorrow around 3-4 p.m. which means that we have no new clothes for tonight and tomorrow morning. No toiletries too, OMG!!!! After setting the deal, we continue our journey.
After 2-3 hours nap, we now reach Oslob. It's 11 p.m. We say goodbye to the driver by emphasizing our bag issue again. He confirms that we will get it back for sure tomorrow. Then, we go check in. Lucky that the accommodation sell toiletries and underwear too although underwear is a bit too small, haha.
Day 2 Whale Shark + Sumilon Day Tour
We got the mail last night that the new driver would pick us up at 6 a.m. Actually our hotel also provides breakfast but we didn't get to eat even one day, haha. Our breakfast this morning is a mango with rice which has already included in the tour package.
Well, Thai version is much more delicious. Tour guide told us that the queue to see whale shark is very long, so he said we'd better go chill at Tumalog Waterfall first. We can either walk in or ride a scooter. We see some westerners walking in but since we already paid for the tour, why walking, right? haha. Also please remember the car plate number as we will need to take it when we are out.
There're a lot of Koreans. I wonder if it's a long holiday day there or what.
After the waterfall, it's time to dive with whale shark.
Now, it's our queue, let's go!!!
Of course, everyone wants to get pictures with whale shark, me too. But this is all I can get, haha, not so clear.
As we all know, whale shark come here due to people here feed them to make it an attraction site. In fact, we'd better leave them find their own food, otherwise, the ecosystem will lose its balance. But we can't do anything too except keeping on taking photos.
After 30 minutes, the tour guide calls us back on the boat. Then, we go to the shore and prepare to go chill on Sumilon island further. While waiting to cross over, the view at the pier is really great.
It takes about half an hour from the shore to the island. The view from Sumilon island looking back to Cebu is crazily beautiful.
The water is so crystal clear.
We have time on this island until 4 p.m.ish. In between, we are free to do whatever activities we like, such as swimming, cycling, canoeing, or taking nap along with buffet lunch.
We are now in Bluewater Hotel area. The zone is divided between the guests staying here (this swimming pool is for them),
and the one for a one day trip tour people. So sad that we are only a tour guest T_T
There're also kayaks and pedal boats too.
After all these activities, we have to fill up energy so we have a quite heavy lunch.
Now, it's time to go back to the shore. We also got a good news from our driver saying that our luggage will arrive here tomorrow morning, wait what!!!! Didn't you say that we will get it this evening? Oh well, a day late is better than never come - -
We reach our hotel 5 p.m. ish.
High angle of our hotel
At first, we were planning to eat out and find some clothes. Finally, we were too lazy and just ate at our hotel. Our hotel is right by the sea, the atmosphere is so great!
Day 3 Pescador Island Tour
We got a mail confirming that our driver will pick us up at 6 a.m. to travel to Moalboarl city. This is like we are on certain mission that we got a daily mission, haha. Today is a half day trip. Oh well, can't do a full day tour everyday, we must spare some time to relax and enjoy too.
The minute we see the driver, we ask about our luggage. He then said that he will take us to get it from the company. This tour company has a branch office in each city.
Oh wow, we finally see our luggage, I thought we have to wear the same clothe every day, haha. Immediately, we go change. The ride is about 2 hours before we reach Moalboal.
The driver drops us off here and will take us from here to our hotel later. Then, there's a local guide who takes us to register and give us a briefing.
Getting on the boat and heading towards Pescador Island to watch corals!
The boat was so loud along the way that I have the sudden hearing loss once we land, haha.
If you are ready, let's go!
After that, we go to the Sardines.
And finally the tour guide wants to take us to swim with a sea turtle but after a long time, he still cannot find it, what a bad luck today. No, your bad luck started since the day you forgot your luggage! Once we are back on the shore again, the driver is already waiting for us there. Since we haven't eaten anything since the morning, we ask the driver to stop us for food before taking us to the hotel. And here we are, at McDonald's.
After lunch, we go to Moalboal Beach Resort which takes about 20 minutes. It's quite deep from the main road and the road is still a dirt type. But once we reach (about 2 p.m.), the location and the view is so private and such an ideal place to relax.
High angle again
At 4 p.m., we are out to swim at swimming pool. Then, we saw some other guests checking in. I thought it's only us as it's really quiet. It's only 3 of us at the swimming pool.
For dinner, we simply eat with the resort.
We eat at the lobby which is quite dark. We have to read menu for along time as it's really dark.
Day 4 Osmena Peak + Canyoneering
Today offers one of the must not miss highlights, canyoneering.
The driver comes to pick us at 7 a.m. to Osmena Peak. The road towards this peak is quite dizzy so I take nap instead. At first, I though we can drive up towards Osmena Peak, but no.
Once we are here, a female tour guide leads us up.
Actually, it's not that far, only about 30 minutes. Along the way, people are selling stuff too.
It'd be great to wear hats and a long sleeve shirt.
We are almost there.
And this is what we will see after getting up here.
After this place, we are going for Canyoneering. First, let's get our equipment ready.
Our tour provides all equipment for us, including shoes if you have none. For cell phone, it's wise to bring a water-proof plastic, otherwise, you can also buy it here. For a big camera, I don't recommend you to bring along as it could get damaged. I actually also wanted to bring to take photos at the waterfall, but I'm afraid that it could be damaged so I bring GoPro instead.
After registration, we need to take the scooter further which is quite far. Each scooter takes up to 3 passengers including a driver. They ride so fast.
After that, we need to register again and then to the briefing.
We need to walk on foot for about 30 minutes and now the sun is so strong.
Then, starting Canyoneering...
Along the way, there's a resting area and food which we have to buy ourselves.
The highlight is a 12 meters and a 10 meters jump. I mean whoever come here must want to jump. But if you are really scared, it's ok not to jump.
3 of us and only me jumping so I asked my friends to take photos for me, haha.
Last stop for food is at Kawasan Waterfall. For regular tour who didn't come for canyoneering would get to play in the water here.
We finish our tour today at around 3 p.m. After that we go back to our hotel and like yesterday we have our dinner at the resort too.
Day 5 Half Day City Tour
Today is our last day for the trip. We ask the driver to pick us up at 9 a.m. to go back to Cebu to roam around city a bit. It is a 2 hours ride from here.
First destination, Magellan’s Cross, the cross that Spanish explorers had enshrined in 1521, which marks the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines.
Walking in further, it is Sto. Niño Church. This was the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Philippines which was built in 1565.
After that, we go to Fort San Pedro, which was built in 1565.
We didn't spend time in each destination long as it's really warm and didn't know what photos to take. Then, we go to Heritage Monument, which was built by the national artist named Edgado Castrillo.
And last but not least, we go to Taoist Temple.
Actually, there's nothing much to see in downtown. Finally the driver takes us to buy souvenir. He said dried mango is delicious and so we buy a lot of it.
Then, we ask him to take us to eat and finally drop us at the airport at 5 p.m. which we will fly at 9 p.m.
In the airport before departing from the country, everyone must pay the terminal fee of 850 PHP or about 500 THB. We didn't know beforehand but luckily that we still have some PHP left to pay for this fee.
In conclusion, I say it's worth the money we pay to the tour. We paid more due to we came in less people. A private ride and tour package everyday, let's think of it as buying the convenience. Also, we forgot our luggage at the island, I can't imagine what would happen if we didn't have a private local tour guide. I highly recommend you guys to come here once, it's so fun! Let me say goodbye with this photo!!!
Thank you so much for reading until this line and enjoying our trip together, please kindly share and give us a like.
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