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First time...

Singapore
6 posts
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First time...

Hi, I've booked flights to Cebu on the 2nd of February for my family (3 kids - 5, 9, 12). I am thinking to go to Bohol but am just starting reading about the Philippines now. I would be very happy if I can get recommendations for places to stay. We don't need a fancy place (and anyway we cannot afford the expensive ones:-))

I guess it is the high season and not easy to find places?

Is it necessary to stay in a resort with a beach or is it easy to get to a beach anyway?

Can we do snorkling in Bohol?

Should we split the one week and go to other places beside Bohol?

Apologies for asking so many questions. I'm very excited about this trip!

Ophir

New York
Level Contributor
121 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: First time...

Dear Ophira,

you picked the right country for your holiday. Bohol does not have plenty of snorkeling options. If you wish to stay in Bohol, most of the resorts are situated on Panglao Island (part of Bohol Province). In Panglao, for a economy to mid-priced resort, try Alona Kew. It has a nice restaurant and cottage-style rooms. To answer one of your other questions, it's far better to stay in a beach resort in Bohol.

Alternatively, you may opt to go to take your holiday in Boracay as well. There are direct flights from Cebu to either Kalibo Airport or Caticlan Airport (Caticlan is preferred, as it is more convenient, with a shorter travel time to Boracay). In Boracay, you will find considerably more options/activities than Bohol, and Boracay is consistently considered among the top beaches in the world. There are also a lot of accommodation options ... from economy to first class.

Either way, please enjoy your holiday in the Philippines!!

GeoVan

Singapore
6 posts
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2. Re: First time...

Dear GeoVan,

Thanks so much for your reply. I hope it is OK to ask few more questions...

I'm not sure if we want to take another flight after flying to Cebu.

Is staying in Cebu itself worth it? We have one week, so does it make sense to stay 2 days in Cebu and then go to Bohol? Is there any other place to go near by that doesn't require flying?

I have to admit that we don't like the "touristic" places usually and prefer the more authentic ones even on the expense of being pumpered...

btw, Alona Kew has no vacancy already, probably because of the high season :-(

Thanks!

Talia

New York
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121 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: First time...

Dear Ophira,

(1) Sure, splitting your time in the Philippines between Cebu and Bohol would definitely be well worth it as well. Cebu City is a fantastically modern city with a stable infrastructure (electricity, roads, bridges, public transportation, and internet), excellent dining options, and two western-style malls (Ayala Center and SM Mall). Cebu is like a second home for me.

Please note that “Cebu” is a province, consisting of various cities and municipalities, with Cebu City being the most cosmopolitan and the provincial capital. Mactan Island is part of Cebu Province, and this is where the international airport is located and where you will be landing. It is only a very short drive from the airport to Cebu City. Mactan Island is divided into Lapu-Lapu City and the municipality of Cordova. In Cebu City, you will find plenty of nightlife, great malls, and good restaurants. There are no beaches in Cebu City. The beaches are located on Mactan Island.

Bohol is a neighboring province and can be reached from Cebu via a fast-ferry (about 1.5 hours from Cebu City to Tagbilaran, Bohol).

(2) Other places to stay nearby? Yes, you might want to split your time between (a) Cebu City, (b) the beaches in Mactan, and (c) Bohol. Or you can head north to Bantayan Island (which is part of Cebu Province). There are regular buses that can take you from Cebu City to the norther tip of the island of Cebu, and then you can board a boat to go to Bantayan. The better beaches/resorts are located in the town of Santa Fe.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to let me know. Happy to help…

GeoVan

Singapore
6 posts
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4. Re: First time...

Dear GeoVan,

I really appreciate your detailed answer. I feel that it is silly to ask further questions before I put a hand on the "lonely planet" and learn more. I really don't know anything about the Philippines and so curious. I can't estimate distances from place to place and so on.

We're not city persons and we usually don't like malls and these kind of activities (though we do LOVE good food). We might just stay the last night in Cebu to make sure that we get on flight on time :-)

However all your suggestions sound very appealing.

Most of the places that I contacted in Bohol are fully booked. One of the places, the Bohol bee farm can take us. As I mentioned in my previous email we don't usually like to feel too much as tourists and prefer to know the real places. Still we have to satisfy the kids as well...

Hopefully I get the book today and can ask few more questions?

Again, thanks a lot for sharing with me your knowledge. Do you live in the Philippines?

Ophira

hk
Level Contributor
18 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: First time...

According to some Chinese forum , the Cebu is not wothy to stay, comparing with the Bohol because cebu is old & crowded ...

The following chinese forum may be useful

backpackers.com.tw/forum/forumdisplay.php… version may be useful :

manila
Level Contributor
16 posts
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6. Re: First time...

hey kindly help me this is my first time going to cebu.i'll be arriving around 12noon via cebu pacific feb.2, 2008 and leave the next day at 10am feb 3 ,2008 going to bohol...what are things or places i must see in a short span of time? kindly give me some itineraries? and fares i may encounter or pay? and your recommended hotel to stay, a bit cheap but good room? and kinda near to pier because i'll be going to bohol the following day and what ferry i should ride and how much? and hotel recommended to stay just for two days? 1 day in cebu and 2 days in bohol? is it recommended to hire a car or van? just be adventurous and just commute?

7. Re: First time...

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