In Bohol, Philippines, my main goals were to see the famous Chocolate Hills, visit the Tarsier Sanctuary, and walk across the hanging Bamboo Bridge. Most group tours will stop at all the tourist spots, so just ask at the agency to ensure that you will get to see the things you want to!
I paid 300PHP for the day tour, most operators were asking for 400PHP and escorting groups of 40 people! My tour was much cheaper and a much smaller group, only 12 people (the max that fits in a van).
You’ll have to pay for the entrance fees at each location on your own – but that means you can opt out of the over-rated lunch of the river boat (450PHP on its own)…
Chocolate Hills, Carmen
50PHP park entrance fee
Its a bit weird, but just like in a jeepney you kinda just pass your money down to the front. At the toll gate, have 50PHP ready to hand over to the man.
At the top of the hill is the viewing platform, a mediocre and poorly constructed vantage. There are still contruction scaffolding around the viewing platform which is inconvenient during your photographing. But anyway, 214 steps await you, reach the top and you have 360 degree sweeping vistas of the hills and the valley below.
The hills are beautiful, even during the green period. The vibrancy of the greens and the deepness of the chocolate browns are quite spectacular. The hills are scattered all over the valley in every direction – though no explanation as to their formation is given.
60PHP park entrance fee
The Tarsier is an endangered little creature. In the sanctuary, there are 150 of them living in captivity. Being territorial animals, they are all separated into their own areas.
They are nocturnal, so please do be quiet during your visit. There are usually only six in the viewing area – they seem to sleep with their eyes open (kinda freaky).
Bamboo Hanging Bridge
20PHP bridge crossing fee
This is kinda part of my bucket list, though not technically a rope bridge like I specified in the list item, it is a suspended bridge, only supported by either end. The bamboo is cut and weaved into a structure that is flexbile and strong. It can support the weight of many people walking over the bridge at any given time – we had more than ten people during our crossing.
In the summer, you might see children jumping from the bridge into the turquoise water below. Don’t worry, the water is quite deep there, more than five metres!
The Man-Made Forest
This forest was made by humans. Its existence is not natural, although it appears to have been established as a forest for quite some time already. This is not really a ‘stop’ on the tour, but the van will give you five minutes to take photos etc.