Philippines Trip to Bohol and Cebu

I went on vacation in the Philippines for a week.

After landing in Manila, I booked a domestic flight to the island of Bohol, a quiet farming and tourism island.

The whole island is beautiful.

The government is serious about sustainable tourism development on the island, and all the roads are new (better than downtown Manila!), and sites are partially or fully wheel-chair accessible for those who need that.

I stayed at the Bohol Tropics Hotel. Very nice hotel, pretty grounds with 3 swimming pools, wifi available, one free PC at reception, and restaurant open late at night. There is a free airport and port shuttle bus.

Just outside the hotel is a minimart and laundry. There’s a port tank farm next door to the hotel, but walled off from the hotel.

The hotel is building a conference and wedding center, so it might lose its charm once it gets busy.

We took a look at the Bohol Resort hotel. They normally charge admission to enter the grounds if you don’t already have a reservation (!), but we were allowed 20 minutes to take a look. It has nice grounds and a white sand beach … but $200 night.

Down the road is the new Eskaya hotel. Same deal as the Bohol Resort. We didn’t feel like paying to enter, so we just left.

After Bohol, I took a $10 90-minute OceanJet high-speed boat to Cebu for the afternoon.

The Cebu port area and downtown looked like a grimy toilet. There aren’t many tourist attractions in downtown Cebu aside from a handful of monuments and churches.

I tried to fly back to Manila for my return flight home, but 2 typhoons moved into Manila, so I ended up buying a last minute one-way ticket for $1688 back to SFO via HK. Expensive, but I would have needed a fair amount of luck, and a few days sitting around at the Manila airport to return on a free rebooking.

Cathay Pacific requires rebooking to be done with your travel agent or local office where the ticket was purchased, so they were of no help. I’ve never heard of an airline policy like that before, and I’ll certainly keep it in mind next time I book a flight to Asia.

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