Friday, April 8, 2011

Bohol Trip Day 1: Alona Beach, Panglao

Bohol is one of the top tourist destinations in the country. Aside from the beach, the countryside of Bohol has a lot of sights to offer. The tourism industry in the province is also highly developed. The people are aware of their Bohol's place in the tourism market. Transportation and communication are easy. In fact, the major tourist spots in Bohol are already modernized without losing its natural beauty. This means, you can still see the beauty of its natural resources along with modern conveniences.

My fiance and I went to Bohol last November for our anniversary. Our first stop was in Alona Beach, Panglao. According to the locals, a Filipina actress named Alona shot some scenes in that place. After that, the locals began callng it Alona beach. Wow! Imagine, a beach strip named after you.

We left Manila at around 9 am and arrive at Tagbilaran Airport around 10:30. Tagbilaran is Bohol's capital. We were supposed to be met by a shuttle from the hotel but I think they forgot which isn's a problem. In front of the airport are many transportation services. We rented an Adventure to take us to Tawala, Panglao. This is where the famous Alona Beach is located. This costs P500 for two. If there are 4 or 6 of you, you can avail it at P700. These are standard prices. There are also habal-habals which you can rent for P250.

It took us more than an hour from the airport to get to our hotel- Paragayo Resort. The hour-long trip gave us a scenic view of Bohol countryside. What I noticed with this place are the big houses with spacious yards. The driver said that since Bohol is not frequently visited by typhoons, the locals can invest in making their houses grand.

sand and sea at Alona Beach, Bohol

We arrived at Paragayo Resort at around noon. We made online reservations. The staff quickly helped us settle in our room. For a more comprehensive description of the resort: We rested for a few minutes before walking towards the beach front of Alona Beach. The hotel is about 5 minutes away from the beach. This is where we ate lunch. Note that food in Alona Beach is pricey. If you're on a budget, eat at the restos along the street. Also note that drinking water is not free even in restaurants. We had to buy bottled water even when we dined in their restaurants. We allotted around P300-P500 for each meal. This is good for 2 to 3 people only.

After lunch, we explored the beach line on foot. The shoreline is a bit disappointing because the hotels and resorts are too close to the beach. Boats are also scattered along the shores. There are also a lot of sea grass and weeds. But the sand is white although a bit rocky.

view from the rock at the right end of Alona Beach

On the right side of the beach strip , facing the sea, is a small cove where there is more privacy and no hotels in sight. Locals tend to swim in this part of the beach because there's an uphill path that leads to the highway. On the other end of the beach is the Alona Tropical Beach Resort. Another resort is the area is the Lost Horizon Resort.

the other ed of Alona Beach, near Alona Tropical Resort

We stayed at the beach until 6 pm. Sunset is a colorful view in Bohol. We went back to the hotel to fix ourselves  for dinner. Dinner in Alona Beach is a quieter event in comparison with Puerto Galera and Boracay.  We ended our first day with star gazing along the beach shore.

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