Bohol is located in the Visayas region of the Philippines (middle islands) and it is the tenth largest island. It takes about one hour and fifteen minutes from Manila to Tagbilaran (this the closest airport to reach Bohol) and another 30 minutes to reach Bohol by Taxi. There are other ways to get there but I think the flight from Manila to Tagbilaran and a taxi is the fastest and most efficient way. One of the reasons why I visited this island is that I have never been to any other islands in the Philippines other than Luzon (the main island). Here are the Five Fun things to do in Bohol:
1. The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon (or Baclayon Church) is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Beside the church is an old convent and a museum with centuries old artifacts and relics. An interesting characteristic about this church is that there is an image of Padre Pio (an Italian saint) who mysteriously appeared on one of the side pillars after his death. (See the middle pillar – an image of a man with mustache).
2. Island Snorkeling – There are lots of snorkeling locations in Bohol (Balicasag, Virgin Island, Panglao, Pamilacan, etc.) because of the clear water and diverse marine life. The resort I stayed at, Isla Hayahay had a snorkeling activity as a part of their package. The location was in Pangangan island, we had an accompanied snorkel trip around the bay reefs that included a boat ride. The under water life is just so beautiful and colorful, its quite hard to describe it in words, I wish I could show you photos but I didn’t bring a water proof camera.
3. Chocolate Hills – One of Philippines’ National Geological Monument, there are about 1260 hills around the area. I have been wanting to see these hills since I was in Elementary school because they were on my text books and the name ‘Chocolate Hills’ just sounds very catchy. During the dry season, the hills turn brown (and they look like chocolate and hence the name), however I took the photo on January so its a bit green. It’s quite a hike to see the hills, as you have to take a long stair case but it is worth it once you see the view.
4. Visiting the Tarsier Conservation Area in Loboc Bohol. The Philippine Tarsier is one of the smallest primates in the world as it is only 85 to 160 mm in height. It is also considered an endangered species. They are nocturnal so they sleep during the day and hunt for prey at night. During my visit in the Tarsier conservation area, it was a bit rainy but I got a chance to see them, I must admit that they are indeed super cute! And they are so tiny.
5. Loboc River Cruise Lunch buffet – In between our excursions in Bohol, this was one of my favorite – the lunch buffet on a river cruise. It’s not the fancy lunch but its an enjoyable treat because there were performers in the cruise and around the river as well. The meal was plenty and good, totally love the local dishes and fruits.
Overall, I totally enjoyed my trip in Bohol. I wish I had stayed a bit longer to visit the other islands. My trip was part of a ‘resort-package’ so everything was included, some of the people I’ve met along the trip rented vans (even tricycles) and visited which ever places they wanted. Since I wasn’t familiar with the island I opted for the all inclusive resort package.