BOHOL – THE PHILIPPINES
Clients of Allways Dive Expeditions, Jacqui and Rob recently traveled to Bohol in the Philippines and came back with this fantastic review for divers and non divers alike, thinking about staying in the area.
Resort is new and the dive centre is excellent. Well laid out wash bins, showers, camera cleaning & set up bays, each diver has their own drying rack and bins. The resort is new, so there is a limited number of spare parts, however this will naturally increase. Compressor and tanks are all new. There is a small stock of gear available for guest hire, which looked OK (I had my own gear). More gear etc is coming in from the sister resort in Cebu all the time. There is no computer, but one is planned for photographers to download/edit photos. The staff are excellent. Some are from the island and some have come across from Cebu bringing their experience with them.
The style of boat is a traditional Filipino Bangka, which is a long canoe style boat with out-riggers powered by an outboard. It has a large shade stretched over most of the area. The boat is well stocked with emergency items, and has an easy access ladder. Getting out to the boat from the resort is a bit of an issue: there is no jetty, beach or cleared area. It is a careful walk over some very slippery rocks to get out to the boat. At high tide the boat can come nearer, but this will be a big issue for some. I believe another boat is under construction for the coming season.
Unfortunately for us we encountered the end of a typhoon that had passed over the top of the Philippines the previous week,
so we did not get to do what we had come to do. With the water chopped up most of the diving was muck diving closer to shore. Lots of small sealife that you don’t normally see. With the waters clearing we were able to get to some of the reefs around the south-east end of the island. The reefs tend to drop from 10m to 30/50m with lots of coral and normal coral fish species. There is a turtle nest around the corner from the resort which is a locally well known site, however we only managed to dive this once, but it was worth it. Great macro photography opportunities. Closer in to the walls the current is quite weak and the water clear. For larger fish, Cebu is a better option, however the resort was excellent and the laid back style very enjoyable.
MAGIC OCEANS DIVE RESORT
We (2 couples) stayed late Aug 2015 in chalets 11 & 12 overlooking the lovely pool and the sea.
- Individual, quiet with lovely balcony (chairs, coffee table & drying rack).
- Bed: king size.
- Bathroom: modern, large shower, hot water, ok water pressure.
- Air Con: whisper quiet, efficient.
- Drinking Water: ample, supplied to room daily.
- Daybed, desk, chair, shelves and hanging space, safe, mini bar & fridge, kettle, pedestal fan.
- No TV, radio, clock, alarm, phone. Was slight issue for friends as they did not bring any electronic devices inc. phones so they had no system for alarm or wake up calls.
- Staff: speak English, great service with a smile.
- Food: we paid for ‘Full Board’ (FB) & food was excellent. A La Carte menu for all meals. Dinner you could also choose to be part of a set buffet (entrée, mains, dessert). These were great, different every night and got everyone mingling.
- Cocktails: Great selection at reasonable prices (PHP 175 – 225).
- WiFi: worked great in our rooms, at pool& bar. Slightly less so in restaurant area (patchy).
- Swimming Pool: sparkling clean, large, has very deep part for diving, a ledge for sitting to read or drink cocktails, etc. Deckchairs don’t have umbrellas; is natural mix of shade & sun.
- Dive Centre: brand new, fully kitted out, the diver in our group very happy with set up.
- Bugs: Some little gecko’s (cute), only few mossiesin eve (quick spray fixed), no sandflies etc.
Remote from beaches or towns with amenities; approx. 500m walk up a steep little hill then along a dirt track to main road. Can then easily flag a tricycle for the 7km into Anda town (beach, waterfall, bar, shops).
- Cars, Vans, Motorbikes can get right into resort easily enough if you are hiring one.
BOHOL ISLAND IN GENERAL
- Butterfly Sanctuary – excellent knowledgeable guides, nice gardens.
- Lamonoc Island tour –excellent guides, not spectacular scenery but very interesting with historical significance.
- Cat-Umanted Falls – despite steep climb out, worth the effort for scenery and cool swim. Would depend on time of year how much water is in swimming hole though.
- Swing Bridges – great for a short diversion.
- Chocolate Hills – scenically unique, but a bit of a tourist trap.
- Tarsier Sanctuary – good to see the tarsiers (so cute), but it’s a wonder they’re still alive as some visitor behaviour not good, majority ignoring entry instructions to be quiet, etc.
- Loboc River Cruise – not worth the crowds, food not greatand the entertainment mediocre. Actual river is pretty enough but overall we felt this is a local tourist trap.
The people of Bohol Island and the roadside scenery (coastal and inland with rice fields, etc) were wonderful. A very pleasant holiday all round.
– Jacqui & Rob, Allways Dive Expeditions Clients
For more information on the Philippines, contact the staff at Allways Dive Expeditions on 1800 338 239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org!