Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bohol Tour via Vest Pension House / Paul Julapong

Upon arrival at Vest Pension House, I arranged our Bohol countryside tour. According to Vest's Web site, the tour costs P3000 if via car, P3500 if via van. I paid P3000 since there were only 4 of us and we would fit in a car, but it was a van that serviced us the next day, so we were much more comfortable during the tour. The entrance fees and other miscellaneous fees were paid directly upon arrival at the different tourist spots.

The countryside tour would last for 9 hours (7am-4pm). We were advised by the Vest receptionist to call the front desk at 6am to have our breakfast prepared early. The following morning after breakfast, our tour operator arrived and we were off to see the sites.

From Vest Pension House, it took about an hour of traffic-free ride before we began seeing Chocolate Hills. The Hills looked magnificent when viewed on a high area, but driving close to individual mounds was exhilarating.

The tour's destinations:

1. Sagbayan Peak
Here you can have your pictures taken with a T. Rex dinosaur, Ironman, and several Disney characters. You also get a good view of the surrounding area, including the Chocolate Hills.
Entrance fee: P30/pax

Sagbayan Peak in Bohol, Philippines
Sagbayan Peak in Bohol, Philippines


2. Butterfly Dome
Entrance fee: P10/pax

Butterfly Dome in Bohol, Philippines


3. Tarsier
A trip to Bohol won't be complete without seeing these little fellas.
Entrance fee: donation only

Philippine tarsier in Bohol
Philippine tarsier in Bohol


4. Chocolate Hills
For a grand view of the Chocolate Hills. There is also a small grotto and a wishing well. There are a lot of steps here, but there are rest stops along the way up.
Fee: P50/pax

Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines
Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines


5. Manmade Forest
Another scenic site, one of my favorite stops here in Bohol.
Fee: none

Manmade Forest in Bohol, Philippines
Man-made Forest in Bohol, Philippines


6. Hanging Bridge
A little scary if you are not used to walking on non-concrete bridges and/or don't know how to swim. You can buy souvenirs and pasalubong once you get to the other side. There are several stalls selling t-shirts, calamay, chocolate tablets, and a lot of other goodies.
Fee: P20/pax

Hanging Bridge in Bohol, Philippines


7. Loboc River Cruise and Lunch Buffet
This is the only stop with a bit of waiting period. The food disappears quickly but is refilled at a nearby stop. Being a tropical river, there are flies here, so you have to be vigilant in shooing them away from your food. A singer belts out English songs. Given the location, I think it would have been more appropriate for the singer to sing classic Filipino or Boholano songs. The scenery brings to mind the Amazon rainforest.
Fee: P400/pax

Loboc River Cruise and Lunch Buffet in Bohol, Philippines
Loboc River Cruise and Lunch Buffet in Bohol, Philippines


8. Baclayon Church
One of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Lots of antique religious statues.
Fee: P50/pax if you go into the museum, none if you visit the church only

altar of Baclayon Church in Bohol, Philippines
altar of Baclayon Church in Bohol, Philippines
Baclayon Church in Bohol, Philippines


9. Python Sanctuary
Not a lot of animals here, but some of them look extremely well-fed.
Entrance fee: P25/pax

giant python Prony at Python Sanctuary in Bohol, Philippines
fat lizards at Python Sanctuary in Bohol, Philippines


10. Blood Compact Site
Fee: none

Blood Compact Site in Bohol, Philippines


By the way, the Vest Web site lists Maribojoc Tower as part of the Sagbayan tour, but we did not go there. I confirmed with Vest later on and they said that they have indeed removed Maribojoc Tower from the tour package. Just an FYI.

About our tour operator

His name was Paul Julapong.

Bohol tour operator Paul Julapong

Paul was nice and courteous. We got to see all the attractions at our own pace, without feeling rushed. Not once did we see him look impatient or irritated while waiting for us. Inside the vehicle, he was pleasant in interacting with two chatty seniors. At each stop, he got off the van to open the door for us. He even assisted the seniors when they looked like they needed help getting off the vehicle. He did not walk with us around the scenic spots, discussing history and trivia about the place (I'm not sure where you can hire that kind of tour guide) but if we had questions, he answered them to the best of his ability. In the Loboc river cruise compound, where he couldn't park in front of the entrance and where there were lots of people and vehicles, he accompanied us to where we could pay for the cruise and the buffet, as well as to the entrance, ensuring that the four of us travelers would not walk around needlessly like lost ducklings.

If you will be in Bohol in the near future and want to see the tourist spots, we highly recommend this guy. Although we met him via Vest Pension House, according to him he's also available even if you're staying in other hotels in Tagbilaran City.



Vest Pension House
Tamblot Extension Cogon District
Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines
Web site
Facebook page


Paul Julapong
Tour Operator/Van for Hire
Cel# 0918-5301211 / 0910-3047242

1 comment:

  1. This past year during the east coast bus tours I visited the Bohol city of Philippine. We stay there at Sagbayan Peak for coffee break. I found it a very relaxing place to visit; the views are quite lovely of the area around Sagbayan including the Chocolate Hills. However this peak is the main center of attraction and offers nice opportunity to enjoy nature photography.

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