Diaporama with music
Our stay in the Philippines took place from July 27 to August 14, 2008, mostly in the Visayas (Cebu, Negros and Bohol). We had pre-booked hotels and plane tickets through the Internet as usual. To get there, we took a KLM aircraft from Paris (Paris-> Amsterdam -> Manila and back at the end of our trip).
In Manila, we were at the Bayview Park Hotel on arrival and departure, very well located near the old Manila (intramuros), which has also allowed us to wander around freely and do some shopping. The price of this hotel, a bit outdated, is around 75 dollars a night. By cons, food at restaurant was not very good, and the breakfast very expensive.
Since the Bayview, we discovered with the help of our guide book, two fishes restaurants and shellfish, within 500 meters walk from the hotel. Suffice to say that these two restaurants, the "Sea Food Wharf" and "Harbour View " have become almost our canteen during our stay in Manila (2 days at the arrival and two days before leaving the Philippines).
We have met a loyal Philippine very nice taxi driver named Roberto (tel: 09216984143). He was waiting for clients just near the hotel. But employees of Bayview did not like him because they were not receiving commissions ... Roberto knows Manila as his pocket. He led us in a shopping mall and ultra modern chic called "Greenbelt", very airy with greenery, and beautiful shops. The contrast is striking between this area frequented by the wealthy society of Manila and the streets crowded with beggars and whole families sleeping on the streets, even around the Bayview hotel.
The rest of the trip was spent resting, snorkeling and a few visits. Our first island was CEBU where we arrived the 30 of july with Cebu Pacific Air (Airbus A 320).
We had booked our hotel Serena Club Resort (www.clubserenaresort.com) wich sent us a car to pick us at the airport. This hotel is very nice, clean, quiet, good food, located on the seafront at about 5 kms from Moalboal (about 3000 to 3600 php per night). You can rent a small motobike (750 PHP + 250 PHP for the second passenger), which allowed us to go to the reserve Marine Sanctuary located approximately 3 kms from Serena. For snorkeling, you must purchase a ticket for mayor of Moalbal. The place is full of fish and we were alone, witht beautiful coral, parrot, clowns ...
The crossing by car from Cebu is nice, Cebu City bustling. We left on Aug. 3 to make us on the island of Bohol by ferry with Ocean Jet fast (about 2h). At Bohol, we stayed from the 3 to 8 of august on the island of Panglao in a hotel called "the Pyramid" (3600 php per night with breakfast). As in Cebu, we were in a bungalow with floor terrace (www.alona-pyramid.com) facing the pool and at about one hundred meters from the sea.
On the busy beach of Panglao there are many seafood restaurants ... It's cheap and very good! For snorkeling, the best is to rent a boat with a local fisherman (many proposals on the beach) for the day. He takes us to the island of Balicasag where the snorkeling spot is great. On this island there is only one hotel (www.philtourism.gov.ph), cheap and well located on the seafront with pool and restaurant. The fish are waiting for you with direct access from the beach. Do not miss Virgin Island when returning to Panglao: crystal clear water, white sand ...
Before leaving Bohol, it is essential to make the island visit (taxi for 2 people, 2000 php day): see Chocolate Hills, Tarsier small primates, the church of Baclayon .. and lunch and boat trip on the Loboc river.
We leave Negros Island for Bohol with the Ocean Jet fast ferry (2hrs crossing between Tagbilaran and Dumaguete for 112 php per person), where the hotel car waiting for us on arrival. The hotel Thalatta Resort (www.thalattaresort.com) held by a French is excellent from all points of view. Located on the seafront, it boasts a large swimming pool, a restaurant with great food (Swiss cook). In addition, the hotel is a renowned dive center.
We have been able to go to a real aquarium located on the island of APO (Apo Island) in front of our hotel. The coral is beautiful and colorful fish at the rendezvous including turtles ... At the hotel, you can also rent a small motorcycle to stroll at a price of 500 php per day.
We leave Negros to go to Manila with Cebu Pacific August 12, 2008. It should be noted that Roberto was waiting at the airport to take us back to Bayview Hotel. We must prepare our return to Europe before returning home in French guiana !