tarsiers and chocolate hills of bohol

Bohol in a day CollageI’ve finally gotten into writing more about the adventurous trip I took in January alone with the kids: when the China pollution was getting out of hands and our moving date was getting closer, we decided to hop on a place and clean our polluted lungs in the rainforest of Philippines. We spend two weeks in different resorts and did some excursions, of which the most memorable was this one from Cebu to the Island of Bohol!

Hello tarsier
Hello Tarsier! Bohol has a tarsier sanctuary for these nearly extinct little cuties

There are few things Bohol is known for: the little monkey-lookalikes called tarsiers (n endangered species which actually are not monkeys) and chocolate hills – a geological phenomenon where the bottom of the sea formed over a thousand hills that look like chocolate  treats from afar.

There is a lot more to see in Bohol, but the island is about two hours boat ride from Cebu, and as the roads are typical Philippines roads (not so great) one cannot travel that much on a one given day.  So in hindsight I would recommend staying here a couple of nights, but a day is always better than nothing!

[See our little Youtube video clip on the tarsier encounter here]

Tarsier necklace
Welcome presents for the children – tarsier necklaces

There are different options for travel to the island – a private tour, group tour or exploring yourself (but then you need to hire a scooter or similar to get around). Since it was just me and the kids and the standard trips depart at 5am I picked the private tour options where your driver takes you from the hotel to the ferry and another one picks you up in Bohol. It was a great choice – the car was new and air-conditioned and we were able to tailor the agenda on the spot when kids got hungry and fell asleep…

Bohol 2 Collage
Ferry, car tour and river boat – kids just love this kind of trips!

All in all we didn’t have that much time for visiting places – but little bit is better than none! We started off the journey towards the tarsier sanctuary and stopped on the way to see some historical sights such as the Baclayon Church pictured above, the oldest church in the island.

Busay Falls, Loboc River
Busay Falls, Loboc River

After the tarsier encounter it was lunch time, which was enjoyed in a river boat cruising along the Loboc river – it’s very rainforest-y and lush around there. You can also spot a little waterfall and enjoy a local dance performance as well as there is singing entertainment on every cruise boat too.

Dancers at Loboc river
Local dancers performing at Loboc River

This river cruise is a very touristic thing to do, but still enjoyable, especially if you are looking for a lunch place anyway. The price is also right and the food is typical Filipino food starting with fresh coconut juice and ending with a popular Halo-halo dessert of fruit, coconut milk and crushed ice.

Local life Bohol
Local life – a peaceful moment

You can observe some everyday life on the river cruise also. What we noted was that Filipinos are very happy people, always willing to help and they all seem to speak really good English too!

A bit of adventure
A bit of adventure…

This trip was a very safe and peaceful as a whole, but the children tried to add some excitement to it, whereas I am not to keen on any sort of hanging bridges or too high places…

Chocolate Hills
Chocolate Hills – and yes, there go on forever!

I spy them chocolate hills. Just moments after we arrived the warm sunny weather turned into a tropical rain and a fog started rising (see below). I made it to the top of the viewing platform right on time to enjoy the never-ending view of these amazing hills.

choco hills Collage

The landscape is so green and lush everywhere with rice paddies, palm trees and beautiful fauna spread out. A heaven for the eyes and calming for the mind. If in Philippines do try to add Bohol in your agenda!

Flower in Bohol
Say it with flowers – goodbye from beautiful and colourful Bohol!

If you want to read more about touring Philippines take a look at these older stories: The magnificent underground river in Palawan, review of the Sheridan Beach resort in Palawantime stops in Philippines,  rainforest break from blogging, curious Friday – the water buffalo way and first farewell.

Leave a Reply