Philippines
Alona Beach

Here you’ll find travel reports about Alona Beach. Discover travel destinations on the Philippines of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

16 travelers at this place:

  • Day124

    Day 124: Southwards to Bohol

    October 17, 2016 on the Philippines

    After a very interrupted night's sleep, Shandos made it up and out the door in time for her 6:30 meeting at an airport hotel. I dozed for another couple of hours, but eventually got up and had my traditional Jollibee's breakfast before heading for the airport.

    Despite being the main airport for a huge capital city and a regional hub, terminal 4 at Manila Airport (the domestic and low-cost carrier terminal) is basically a shack, where I spent a couple of hours killing time until my flight. I had arrived very early because Manila traffic as we've discovered this week is among the worst in the world, and no matter how long you think you need for a road journey - it's not long enough. Except today, anyway.

    My flight was uneventful, and after an hour and fifteen minutes we touched down in Tagbilaran City on the island of Bohol. I'd booked a hotel at a place called Alona Beach, technically on a separate island from Bohol called Panglao, though the islands are only 100m or so apart and connected via several bridges. Negotiated a van fare to my hotel which left shortly afterwards with just one passenger - me! Go figure.

    The hotel drive was about 40 minutes mostly through countryside - Bohol is far less built up than Boracay or any other islands we'd visited so far. My hotel seems nice enough, about 5 minutes walk from the beach and pretty handy to shops, restaurants and so on. Though I had to move rooms within half an hour of arriving, as the air conditioner in my original room wasn't working, and I got covered in ants within a few minutes of sitting down on the bed.

    No such problems in the next room, though I was now out of range of the wifi unfortunately. It wasn't supposed to work in the rooms (I was lucky and could get signal in the first room), but oh well. It'll be good for getting me out of the room and doing stuff! I went for a brief explore and had a burger overlooking the beach as a late lunch (it was now getting on for 3pm). Sated, I went back and changed into my swimmers before heading to the beach.

    Spent the next few hours at the beach until it was nearly dark, before I went back to the hotel and had a quick dip in the pool there as well. Relaxed in my room and then ducked out for a small dinner as I wasn't very hungry - a couple of pizza slices and some iced tea! Day 1 of flying solo had been passed with flying colours!
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  • Day125

    Day 125: Beach Day in Bohol

    October 18, 2016 on the Philippines

    Good sleep and not too much noise which was nice! Out of bed and ready for the day by 9:30, so I had a hotel breakfast before heading to the beach. It's not very built up here, and one consequence of that is that there's nowhere to rent sunloungers or anything like that. You're just on a towel on the sand which is obviously fine, but it would be nice to have chairs for lying in. Alas!

    I spent most of the day here, sunbaking (though carefully applying sunscreen), listening to music, reading, and of course swimming. After an hour or so a pair of English girls parked themselves right near me and immediately set to sunbathing topless, so I naturally stayed in place for the next few hours. Had a cheap burrito from a Mexican place on the beachfront, then returned to my earlier activities.

    Later in the day I retreated to the hotel and had a swim in the pool, before heading upstairs and having a brief snooze and relax in the air con. Later in the evening for dinner I just picked a random restaurant and had a chicken schnitzel with chips and curry. Staying off alcohol for a few days, let's see how long that lasts! Also booked an island tour for tomorrow which should be interesting - there are a few sights to see!
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  • Day126

    Day 126: Bohol Island Tour

    October 19, 2016 on the Philippines

    Island tour today! Started with another hotel breakfast (mango pancakes - yum!), then meeting the van at the tourist information office around the corner at 9am. It was a surprisingly full van - myself, a pair of Chinese women, a young hipster American guy, a semi-bogan Australian girl, an older English guy, a Spanish couple, and an Italian couple. We all piled into the van and headed off.

    First stop was the python sanctuary which most people declined but I headed in - it was only 45 pesos which is like $1.20 AUD! The largest python in the Philippines apparently, which is perhaps noteworthy? It was a giant snake though! They had a few other ones which the workers kept trying to put around my neck but I kept declining - I'm sure they're very tame but I don't see why you'd want to put an animal perfectly designed for strangling around your neck. Asking for trouble IMHO.

    Next stop was the Chocolate Hills; an area of central Bohol where there are hundreds of these large conical mounds. They're so named because in the dry season the vegetation dies off and the hills turn brown, making them look like Hershey's Kisses. It was the end of the rainy season though, so they were lush and green. They were an impressive sight, though perhaps smaller than I was expecting from photos. And they have the problem that once you scale the viewpoint, take a few photos, that's basically it. Hope it was worth an hour in the van :)

    Next stop was the Tarsier sanctuary. Tarsiers are the world's smallest primate, roughly the size of a large mango. They're incredibly small, and have giant eyes (the same size as their brains!). Apparently they were the inspiration behind the design of ET for the movie. They're also entirely carnivorous, eating tree insects and sometimes bats, snakes and spiders as well. Very cute little animals, though depressing to find they're heavily endangered and difficult to photograph as well (small, hiding under leaves, not much light etc). Good stop though.

    Penultimate stop for the day was the Loboc River, where we had a cruise for lunch with a buffet and some light entertainment from the locals. Thankfully it was non-karaoke singing and dancing, and it was on a dock so the boat didn't stick around long. Nice food, and it was good to have a long chat with some of the others in the group!

    Final stop was Baclayon Church, the oldest in the Philippines. Or at least it was, it's currently in ruins following a devastating earthquake in 2013. Reconstruction work was happening though which was good, so hopefully they get it back up and running.

    Finally after a long day of driving, we arrived back at Alona Beach around 3:30pm. A few of us who'd gotten on well (myself, the American guy, the English guy, and the Italian couple) agreed to meet up for dinner a bit later, since the American guy knew a good seafood place on the beach which was quite cheap.

    I retreated to my room for an air conditioned rest followed by a swim. Evening rolled around and I headed into town to meet the others. Just as we met up, the American guy yelled out of his hostel window. It was the hostel's first birthday and they were throwing a party, complete with free food and drink, and we were all invited, so up we went! Had some very tasty suckling pig and a couple of other Filipino dishes, plus the requisite birthday cake. Didn't stay out late as most of us booked for a snorkelling tour tomorrow, leaving at 6am (!!). Early to bed, and still no alcohol for me.
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  • Day127

    Day 127: Snorkelling Tour

    October 20, 2016 on the Philippines

    Super early start this morning to make it in time for the snorkelling tour! Up at 5:30am and munched a crappy breakfast of some biscuits I'd bought the night before, gathered my stuff and out the door by 5:50.

    Annoyingly, our van took ages to arrive, and we didn't actually end up leaving town until around 6:40. It was a pretty short drive to where the little boat was "docked" (read: washed up on shore), and because of the low tide we had to wade about 50 metres out into knee-deep water to board. It was a tiny little trimaran with a noisy generator for an engine, but once the two local guys had pushed it out of the shallows (a process that took 20+ minutes) we were off on our way.

    I'd thought we were going to see dolphins or whale sharks, but apparently not as the boat went directly across the channel to a small island called Balicasag. This island was basically a few acres of sand in the sea a few kilometres offshore, and it was here we transferred into even smaller boats to start snorkelling.

    Once we'd paddled out a bit over the reef we jumped in and straight away spotted a whole bunch of turtles. Some were swimming around, others were just chilling out on the sea floor nibbling at rocks and whatever turtles do. Beautiful sight, and I got some great footage with the GoPro, using it for the first time since the elephant sanctuary.

    Back into the boat and down to the other end of the island where we snorkelled over a coral reef. The coral wasn't in great condition, and none of us were impressed to see our local guide walking directly on it! The fish were OK, though not that populous. I did manage to find Nemo though!

    Back to shore where we transferred back to the larger boat, and then started heading back towards Bohol. On the way we stopped on a tiny sandy atoll called Virgin Island - it looks so small that it would disappear at high tide, though there was a sign and what looked to be semi-permanent structures there so who knows. Unimpressed to be in the middle of the sea, several kilometres from dry land, and having locals try to sell fake pearl jewellery to us! Even saying that I had no money wasn't a problem - I've got a boat sir! It's very fast. Sigh.

    And before we knew it, our time was up and we were back on Bohol. Another wade to shore, and van ride and the tour was all over by 12:30pm. A bit shorter than I'd expected, but snorkelling definitely tends to be tiring so not that disappointed. Had lunch on the beach with the American guy, and agreed again to have dinner with the others - this time we'd definitely have seafood on the beach!

    Spent the afternoon lazing in my room and around the pool before heading out in the evening. Our whole group was there, plus a couple of German backpackers tagging along for fun. We found a good seafood place on the beach where we all filled up - not quite as cheap as I was hoping for but still a good meal. Entertained during dinner by a local troupe of drummers and fire dancers which was pretty good.

    After dinner everyone else was starting to kick on at a local pub, but I stuck to my no alcohol thing and bailed around 10pm. Last night in Bohol - it's been interesting travelling without Shandos for the week! Definitely glad I managed to make some friends, as it wouldn't have been the same without them. Very much looking forward to reuniting with my wife again though!!
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  • Day164

    Panglao, PHL

    February 10, 2017 on the Philippines

    Nach einem gemütlichen Strand und Badetag haben wir uns wieder einen Roller gemietet. Zuerst ging es zu einem Rückzugsort für Kobold Makis, dabei handelt es sich um den kleinsten Primaten der Welt. Die waren echt zum Knuddeln.

    Danach ging es weiter durch einen künstlich angelegten Wald, bekannt unter dem Namen „Man Made Forrest“ bis zu den „Chocolate Hills“. Außerdem waren auf dem Weg noch viele schöne Reisfelder zu sehen. Wir hoffen, dass die Bilder den Rest erklären ;).Read more

  • Day49

    Siquijor und Bohol

    December 30, 2016 on the Philippines

    Weihnachten verbrachten wir ganz entspannt in einem Strand Bungalow unter vielen Palmen und feierten tagsüber mit den einheimischen am Public Beach, es wurde gegessen getrunken und karaoke gesungen. Da siquijor eine Hexen und Heiler Insel ist machten wir uns auch mal auf den Weg zu einer Heilerin und Wurden traditionell behandelt mit auch und Kräutern.
    In Bohol erwartete uns wieder mehr Leben, der Ort war etwas touristisch aber das war okay da die letzten Tage sehr ruhig waren.
    Ich machte Island hopping mit dem Boot und genoss die tolle Unterwasserwelt beim schnorcheln. Wir besuchten die berühmten chocolate Hills und die tarsiers. Leider bekam Ich mit dem Handy kein tolles Bild hin, die ca 15 cm kleinen Primaten mit übergroßen Augen leben auf Bäumen und Sträuchern und sind Nacht aktiv.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Alona Beach

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