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Exploring – Bohol Island, Philippines – a river cruise and chocolate mountains

7 Feb

As the first part of our much anticipated Chinese New Year trip to the Philippines, we spent two nights in Cebu, which left us a full day to explore.  Instead of visiting Cebu proper we decided to take a boat to nearby Bohol Island and arranged a one day trip with a driver to see the island’s many sites.  It turned out to be a nice slide into vacation mode – still with lots of things on the agenda, but in a warm, tropical climate with an air conditioned car to ferry us from point A to point B.

We started the day at the Luboc Ecotourism Adventure Park – but our adventure was definitely not of the zipline or speedboating variety.  Instead we opted for a staid river cruise with an included lunch buffet.  The blue sky, water and continuous music were a welcome change from the busy Shanghai every day. 

Our sister ship - floating by

As we were sitting eating lunch we were serenaded by a band who were waiting next to us on the pier and then on the boat we had our own live music provided by a talented guitarist who sang as well. Then, after lunch as we floated down the river, we even witnessed local people on barges doing the pole clapping dance, once again with live musical accompaniment.  Our table sang along to some of the songs and I even got in a couple of mini-head bobs.  Perhaps I could have another career in the Philippines – this one musical – but unfortunately the bar may be too high!

Bohol’s famous “Chocolate Mountains”

After lunch we went to see Bohol’s “Chocolate Mountains.”  Since the rainy season had just ended, the mountains were shades of green and brown.  It really looked like little kids had gone crazy in the sandbox with miniature hills that covered the interior of the island’s landscape.  Our tour book said that this is the only place in the world with this type of hill formation.

 

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After the mountains we headed back towards the coast to view some other wildlife and finish our day on the island.
 
Where have you taken a river cruise?  The one we took in India in Cochin was one I’ll never forget, this one was pleasant – any other places where you can float and eat?
 
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