July 16, 2014

Bohol Tour in One Day

Bohol has always been in my "must" visit place in the Philippines: I have always wanted to see the Chocolate Hills in Bohol ever since I read about it when I was in grade school; I've also been curious to meet the Philippine Tarsier; been wanting to visit my maternal grandparent's birthplace, etc, etc.

This year I made the trip to Bohol happen.

Since Bohol is also famous for its beaches, I booked our accommodation in a resort. We stayed at South Palms Beach Resort in Panglao. I wanted to stay by the beach and at the same time be able to visit the nearby beautiful places easily.

I knew hotels/resorts offer different tours so I did not book any tours in advance. In South Palms, there were several tours to choose from. I chose the one day Bohol tour which covers most of the places we wanted to visit.

The tour costs P2,900/adult (child is free). It includes: private transportation, tour guide, lunch at the Loboc River cruise and entrance fees.

Our guide, Anna, was the perfect tour guide. She knows her stuff, she was patient and she knows when to be quiet :)

~@~

We left the resort at exactly 9am. Our first stop was the Philippine Tarsier at the Tarsier Conservation Center. It was about 30 minutes drive from the resort.

{Tarsiers are so cute!}

Did you know that Tarsiers commit suicide when they are stressed? They don't live long when they are kept in captivity because enclosed space, noise, camera flashes, among others, stress them out.

Tarsiers are nocturnal creatures so they are naturally asleep during day time. But hubby got a lucky shot when one of the eight Tarsiers inside the Conservation Center opened its eyes for a second.

~@~

Our second stop was at Simply Butterfly Conservation Center. It was only 10 minutes aways from the Tarsier Conservation Center.


In my opinion, you can opt to skip this part if you're not really into butterflies. But since EJ is interested about the butterflies' metamorphosis, we went inside. EJ enjoyed seeing the caterpillars, chrysalis and butterflies but was scared to touch any of them.

Trivia: Beautiful/colorful caterpillars and chrysalis turn out to be plain butterflies while plain-looking caterpillars and chrysalis turn out to be the most colorful/beautiful butterflies.

~@~

Our next stop was the famous Chocolate Hills!


There are 1,776 hills scattered around in 5 towns of Bohol but the most concentration of hills is located in the town of Carmen. It was just so amazing to finally see those hills in person. 

~@~

Next was our late lunch while cruising along Loboc River.


The cruise took about an hour, more or less. The food was buffet style with Filipino cuisine like seaweed salad, pork bbq, bam-i (fried noodles), grilled fish, etc. We had a live performer on board serenading us the whole time with classics like "it might be you". We also stopped for a Filipino show in the middle of the cruise. EJ got to see the Tinikling and was impressed.

~@~

After our relaxing lunch, we headed to Baclayon Church.


Baclayon Church is one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines. It was declared a National Historic Treasure because it has been preserved well. Unfortunately, the church has been damaged during last year's earthquake and is now undergoing restoration. There are no masses held at the time being but visitors can still go inside.

After Baclayon Church, we were supposed to go see a python but we did not see the point in going, so we went to a souvenir shop instead. On hindsight, I should have suggested another church visit. We passed by several beautiful churches on the way back to our resort. Our tour ended just before 4pm.