Our first Cebu day tour was Sirao Garden. It is also called Little Amsterdam in Netherlands. It was a bit of a drive uphill, but the view was amazing.
This farm was very colorful and organized. It’s pretty spread out that you can go any directions you want to, but not chaos. We arrived in Manila when summer just started and the weather was perfect that day.
I was not expecting the garden to be that big. I thought it was going to be like a garden in the backyard of a house, but I was wrong, it was huge!
People were very friendly, waiting for their turn to take pictures, and offered to take some pictures. Anyone can take their time to walk around, but since we were on a tour, we were there for about 1.5 hours.
We arrived in Cebu around 12pm. The ferry took about 2 hours from Tagbilaran, Bohol. I didn’t book any tours or driver ahead of time, but they were people waiting outside offering tours.
As we were walking outside a lady came up to me and offered me a driver and a car. We talked of what we wanted to do and we ended up with a price of 5,000 pesos ($96) for the car and the driver for 6 hours.
The car arrived, we got our stuff in the car and was ready to go, but the AC in the car wasn’t working at all. The driver claimed he picked up the car that morning and haven’t gotten a chance to figure how things works. My husband and I were sweating like crazy in the back seat and we were getting irritated, opening the window didn’t helped at all. On top of that, I didn’t know we had to pay for gas, too. That was additional 1,000 pesos ($20).
I felt like I was ripped off, but the driver was nice and I’m sure he was just making money for living. Since we were on a vacation, I expected things like this to happen, so I let it go and I just wanted to enjoy the day.
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First stop in Cebu —>>> Sirao Garden Little Amsterdam
After our day tour in Bohol, we were dropped off at our hotel. We stayed at Belian Hotel. It was a small, cozy hotel. The price per night wasn’t that bad and breakfast was included.
They also had restaurant inside the hotel. We were tired from the tour so we ate dinner there and the food was really good.
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This was one of our favorite lumpia ever, Cheese lumpia! Never had it with cheese and this one was very good.
After we had our dinner at the hotel. We went to a spa and massage right across the hotel, Masaje de Bohol. The people were very nice and helped us figure out what we need. With all the traveling and time changed, it helped us relax and made us sleep great that night.
We woke up the next morning around 6 am to have breakfast and relax. We had to catch our ferry at 10:40 am at the Tagbilaran Port. Good thing the ferry was just down the street.
Funny, we were expecting a small breakfast table with bagel, cereal, or pancakes, but we were surprised with what they prepared for us.
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Belian Hotel was by the ferry and it took us about 5 minutes or so from the hotel to the ferry. We could of walked, but with 2 luggages and the weather was hot, the hotel offered us a ride for free.
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We book our ferry from Bookway and it costs us $27 for 2. Travel time was 2 hours.
Here is the Man-made forest. According to our tour guide, the man-made forest was planted by students and was part of their curriculum in school. They planted trees every year for over 30 years. These trees are Mahogany Trees and local fungi, mammals, birds and insects are unable to live and reproduce themselves. They do not belong to the native plants and tress in the Philippines.
This is the Lobo River where you can cruise and eat lunch at the same time. We did not go on the cruise, though our time was a bit crunched.
The Baclayon Church was a beautiful church and in a quiet area, but one thing that made us leave earlier than we planned, was the people outside selling their stuff. I had one guy who followed me around begging me to buy his bracelets. I was very uncomfortable because he was blocking my way and was right in front of my face the whole time. Finally, our tour guide saw me helpless from this guy and he got the seller out of my way.
The church was destroyed by the 7.2 earthquake. As you can see on the picture bellow. The bell tower is new, it collapsed in the earthquake.
They also have a museum right next to it. They have so many items from the early 16th centuries. Cameras are not allowed inside the museum.
Our last stop was the Blood Compact Shrine. This was part of the Philippines history. It was where the Spanish and Philippines sealed their friendship.
If you are not paying attention to the area you might able to miss it. From what I can recall, it was on the side of the road. Our tour guide/driver parked on the side of the street and we ran to take pictures. We were there for about 5 minutes or so. As I was walking back to the car, a man came up to me and showed me a printed picture of myself from 2 minutes ago. It was a little bit scary how quickly he can take and print a picture of me without my knowledge. I know they were just trying to make money, but I was a little uncomfortable with it.
After we paid at the entrance, we had a tour guide person waiting for us. Everyone gets 1 private tour guide, per group. The tour guide, guided us to where to start. The guide was very friendly and he was letting us take our time. He was also our photographer haha. As we walked in the garden, the garden was covered by big net so, the butterflies are free to fly around inside the garden. The only thing I didn’t like about the tour guides, they were shaking the nets to force the butterflies to fly around people. I think it stresses them out.
There was a gate that we exited out that was extended to the other side of the garden. This one was a garden full of beautiful flowers and there were some areas that has frames and preserved butterflies inside the frames to show around.
I would say the tour was about 30 minutes. The garden wraps around and when we were done, we exited out just across the entrance door.
They have a small gift shop right next to their restaurant and we ended up not eating at the restaurant.
First stop was the Tarsier. This place only accepts cash and smaller bills. Upon entering the sanctuary. Everyone had to be quiet and be respectful to the Tarsiers. The Tarsiers were very small, I couldn’t see them, but I’m glad they had people that works there standing right next to it, otherwise I wouldn’t find them. The weather was hot, but there were trees everywhere to give us shades.
The Tarsiers eyes are so big that it looked like it will pop out if they get squeezed. Ha-ha! All they do was sleep, they’ll open their eyes for few minutes and they”ll get back to sleep. The workers told us that they are used to people as long as they’re not being touched.
It was a small place that looked like a garden in the backyard of a house.
We exited out at the souvenir shop. A lot of cute stuff, but I only bought a magnet as a souvenir.
All in all the place was great. It had a positive vibe. There were other animals in the property that are free to roam around wherever they want to and they looked happy.
Chocolate Hills was awesome! It was a little bit of walk. Well, actually steps, but there were little stop area if you need a break. I took my time going up the stairs. It was hot and my legs were starting to hurt. ( I need to go work out more often! haha) it is also challenging For someone like me who has diabetes. My blood sugar was going low and that wasn’t a good sign. Good think I have some snacks in my back pack and water. I had a pack of mentos and that helped a lot with my lows.
Ones you get on top of the stairs, it was all worth it. The view was amazing! I could stay up there. It was very relaxing. The hills was not as brown as I expected although, it could be the season?