We elected to arrange a full day tour with one of the tour operators at the Bohol sea port. The tour guide drivers are very courteous, good drivers, and provide lots of information about the different tourist spots. The tour vans are relatively new with aircon which makes the trip more enjoyable as you cruise through the countryside.
We left early in morning at six am as the famous chocolate hills were first on the list. Not only were we the first group there it was almost heavenly as we were surrounded by fog and clouds till the sun came bursting through… giving us an incredible view of the chocolate hills.
We took the 214 steps to the top of the observation hill providing many photo opportunities. They have safety rails, however if you are afraid of heights and not in good physical condition you may elect to stay at the base where they have a restaurant, bathroom facilities and many great views of the chocolate hills..
At the very top is a liberty type bell which I guess they use to call in the gods or to announce important events and holidays throughout Bohol.
Exiting the chocolate hills we headed to the Loboc Eco Adventure Park which has a large reception center, clean restrooms and a magnificent zip line crossing the Loboc river. This is an excellent well-developed tourist destination for the adventurous.
Driving through the scenic mahogany forest and curvy roads we arrived at the Tarsier Conservation Area where we trekked on primitive trails with helpful guides to point out the mostly sleeping Tarsiers. As part of the parks guidelines management requests: if you have a flash camera digital or otherwise to please turn the flash off as this would disturb their sleep sequence. The guides are helpful and will assist with your camera if necessary. Tip! Wear good shoes… if the trails are wet they tend to be quite slippery.
The Philippine tarsier, (Tarsius syrichta) is very peculiar small animal. In fact it is one of the smallest known primates, no larger than a adult men’s hand. Mostly active at night, it lives on a diet of insects. Folk traditions sometimes has it that tarsiers eat charcoal, but actually they retrieve the insects from (sometimes burned) wood. It can be found in the islands of Samar, Leyte, Bohol, and Mindanao in the Philippines.
From there we purchased some native carvings had a snack of the local fruits and drank fresh Buko “coconut water” and headed off to the Simply Butterflies Center which is highly educational as our tour guide told us about many types and styles of butterflies including their reproductive cycle molting stages. As you walk through the screened in outdoor room you are amongst a colorful tropical garden with hundreds of butterflies resting or flying… just waiting to be on Facebook.
We headed to the Bohol Python and Wildlife Park to complete our tour for the day. The wildlife park is a fun place to visit and see some of their different animals, birds, and reptiles and photo the largest snake in captivity in its own cage. You can also purchase homemade cakes, snacks, and souvenirs and take interesting photographs.
We ended our evening by going to the newer shopping mall where we just hung out and took a leisurely dinner.
So there you have it. If you enjoy travel adventure, like to see some of the wonders of the world and enjoy taking photographs… Bohol should definitely be high on your list as a tourist destination.
QUOTE: “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:The Chocolate Hills are probably Bohol’s most famous tourist attraction. They look like giant mole hills, or as some say, women’s breasts, and remind us of the hills in a small child’s drawing. Most people who first see pictures of this landscape can hardly believe that these hills are not a man-made artifact. However, this idea is quickly abandoned, as the effort would surely surpass the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. The chocolate hills consist of are no less than 1268 hills (some claim this to be the exact number). They are very uniform in shape and mostly between 30 and 50 meters high. They are covered with grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate-brown. From this color, the hills derive their name. At other times, the hills are green, and the association may be a bit difficult to make.
Legend has it that the hills came into existence when two giants threw stones and sand at each other in a fight that lasted for days. When they were finally exhausted, they made friends and left the island, but left behind the mess they made. For the more romantically inclined is the tale of Arogo, a young and very strong giant who fell in love with an ordinary mortal girl called Aloya. After she died, the giant Arogo cried bitterly. His tears then turned into hills, as a lasting proof of his grief.
However, up to this day, even geologists have not reached consensus on how they were formed. The most commonly accept theory is that they are the weathered formations of a kind of marine limestone on top of an impermeable layer of clay. If you climb the 214 steps to the top of the observation hill near the complex, you can read this explanation on a bronze plaque.
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Old black and white photo postcards…nostalgia.
ZENTRAVELER SAYS:It’s all in zee travel…get off the couch grasshopper and keep moving…you never know whats around the next curve or corner.
From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.
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