I collect stamps, stamps in my passport that is. So for our holiday, I was looking for somewhere we had never been before, was less than 5 hours flight away from Kuala Lumpur, didn’t have sky high airfares and offered more than just beaches. Inspired by AdventureMama’s previous trip island hopping in the Philippines, we decided on a trip to the island of Bohol.
Getting to Bohol Island
We flew into Cebu and then took the 2 hours Super Cat ferry ride the next day, that cost MYR94 each. The port was busy so we were glad we had booked online in advance. With 5 glorious days to fill on Bohol Island, and a family that gets itchy feet if we stay anywhere too long, we split the trip up spending 2 nights at the Fox and The Firefly Cottages and then enjoyed 3 nights at the BE Grand in Panglao.
We loved the Fox and The Firefly Cottages (which was my choice by the way). The onsite restaurant and staff there are wonderful, the accommodation is quirky and well priced, plus they can arrange firefly watching and paddle boarding on the river that’s a stones throw away. We had never seen fireflies before and we loved witnessing them twinkling like fairy lights on a Christmas tree.
Of buggies and mud
Whilst we were there, the hotel booked a driver for us to travel about 40 minutes to visit the Chocolate Hills and enjoy a thrilling buggy ride in slightly muddy conditions. You don’t have to book in advance, just show up. I was so grateful for my, very unattractive, clothes saving, plastic red poncho. There’s also the Bohol Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, should you be looking for more thrills. On the way back we popped in to see the small bodied, big eyed and very cute Tarsier monkeys at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, Corella. The entrance fee is next to nothing and it won’t take you long to get round, this was a good job as we were splattered in mud from the buggy ride. If we went again we would probably have visited here first.
BE Grand Resort
The next stage of our holiday involved a change of scene and hotel, as we took an hour long taxi ride to the BE Grand Resort in the Panglao area of Bohol. It was a 5 minutes tuk tuk ride from the main hustle and bustle of the bars and restaurants in the Alona beach area and had plenty to do during the day. This included two swimming pools, one with a play area for little kids, an inflatable assault course on the sea, glass bottom canoes that you could borrow at no extra cost and a games room for when you needed a break from the sun.
If you only do one thing…
If I was to recommend just one restaurant in the Alona beach area it would be the Bougainvillea Spanish Restaurant and just one activity, I would chose swimming in the Hinagdanan Cave. The cave, filled with a lagoon, stalactities and stalagmites was discovered in the 16th Century by a farmer. Yes, the cave can be busy and has a fusty smell, but you would too if you were that old and it’s not something you can do everyday.
Bohol Island is not the quickest place to get to from Kuala Lumpur but we were rewarded for making the effort with a holiday filled with memorable and exciting experiences, plus I got a new stamp in my passport!
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