Free travel home page with storage for your pictures and travel reports! login GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community
 You are here: Member pages
 Forgot password?
sign up

Top 3 members
wojtekd 40
pictor 30
Member snaps
tokyomike Panglao - A travel report by Mike
about me      | my friends      | pictures      | albums      | reports      | travel log      | travel tips      | guestbook      | activities      | contact      |

Panglao,  Philippines - flag Philippines -  Bohol
9687 readers

tokyomike's travel reports

A week on Alona Beach, Bohol, Philippines

  15 votes
Anybody who knows me knows that I'm all about beaches. And Alona Beach is one to remember. It's a bit pricey, and there's not much for the solo traveller to do. But I found that time slows and the beer flows on Alona!

Life's a beach!
Life's a beach!
Most people who have been to or thought of visiting the Philippines have heard of the Chocolate Hills on Bohol. The typical deal is for people to find their way to Cebu Island, then take the Supercat boat over to Tagbilaran City, Bohol. They spend 2 nights, with one day doing the Chocolate Hills tour. That's one way to do it.

Personally, I don't like losing holiday time just getting from point A to point B, so I chose to skip Cebu entirely and spend all 7 nights on Bohol. I flew directly from Manila to Tagbilaran, then hired a taxi for 500 pesos (about $10) for the 40 minute drive to Alona Beach on Panglao Island, which is connected by a short bridge to Bohol.

Favourite spots:
Panglao travelogue picture
The beach is beautiful, with powder-like white sand and coconut trees leaning out toward the blue-green waters. Although I'm usually not a fan of beaches crowded with boats, I love the outrigger style white and blue boats they use in the Philippines, so to me, it just added to that tropical feeling. And the sunsets. Wow!

What's really great:
Tourism students
Tourism students
As much as I love being at the beach, I rarely spend any time just sitting in the sun. In fact, one of my goals in visiting the beach was to get some work done, so I spent a lot of time just sitting in the restaurant working on my laptop.

This was not, however, always an easy thing to do. The Philippines is a decidedly friendly place, and people, both Filipino and foreign alike, will stop by for a chat. In most cases, people just stopped to ask about how I was getting a wireless connection (I wasn't), or about the size of my super small Toughbook laptop (no jokes, please).

At least two times, that resulted in an afternoon of chatting over beers with some very interesting travellers. And one time, as I was sitting there working, I was approached by a group of Tourism students from Mindanao, in the south of the Philippines. We talked for ages, and finally took a few pics together. Not that I needed any to remember: experiences like that are the ones that I always remember.

Not one photo I have does justice to the beach.
Not one photo I have does justice to the beach.
Sights? The beach IS the sight. I never tired of just staring at it, or sitting and watching the stars sitting on the beach at night. But if you want to adventure out, you can rent a scooter for about $2 an hour (or about $8 for a full day) and just go exploring. I also did the tour around Bohol Island, which I'll be writing about soon. It's an absolute must!

Lost Horizon is the only resort with espresso -- a necessity for any writer!
Lost Horizon is the only resort with espresso -- a necessity for any writer!
On this trip, I spent my first two nights at the Alona Kew White Beach Resort. Although it is well landscaped, it is a CRAP place to stay. It is way overpriced -- 4,000pesos a night for a room that is falling apart. Basically, they took a budget bungalow, put in an air conditioner and a hot-water system, and raised the price by 500%. I don't have a good thing to say about the place.

For the next 5 nights, however, I DID have a great place to stay. I was lucky to find the Lost Horizon resort, (losthorizonresort dot net) just a minute walk down the beach. The owners, Duane from the US and Mennie from the Philippines, are fantastic people and they have raised the bar in terms of service and quality on that beach. The room I had was spacious, clean, everything worked, and the walk-in shower was a treat – all for about $50 a night. The bar was great, the food was good (try the babyback ribs), and the tables by the beach made working a pleasure.

I often ate and had beers at the Alona Vida Resort. The owners, Thomas and Brenda from Switzerland are VERY cool, and the head barman, June, runs the bar with a professionalism you rarely see. All of the waitresses were so friendly and nice, it was hard to say goodbye. Definitely worth a visit to the bar there, even if you can't get a room (it's usually fully booked).

On either side of the Alona Vida are bars, including the Oops! Bar, that tend to get lively and even have live music or discos on the weekends. But it's still pretty tame. Basically, the unwritten rule is if you want rowdy nightlife, you stay in Cebu. If you want to chill, you head to Bohol. I chose to chill.

The REAL reason I got very little work done ;)
The REAL reason I got very little work done ;)
Although there's not much going on at night, you still find yourself just sitting at the bars, striking up conversations either with the ever-friendly staff, or with other travellers. It seems that Alona draws divers in droves -- mostly of the Scandinavian persuasion. So if you want to find the dirt on the best dive sites, then having a few brews at night is a good idea.

(The ultimate catch-22: You're not supposed to drink the night before you dive, yet you need to sip a few beers to get to know other divers).

This is the bar. The beachside tables of Lost Horizon are shown in the top photo.
This is the bar. The beachside tables of Lost Horizon are shown in the top photo.
I liked the food at the Lost Horizon restaurant / bar. I usually had Filipino food -- either adobo (kind of a stew served with rice) or pork inihaw (skewered, grilled meat). Their chicken adobo was great. And as far as western food goes, the babyback ribs are worth a second mention ;)

Alona is also a great place for BBQ, sizzling meals. If you walk up the beach near sunset, you'll see plenty of places firing up the grill. You can just point to what you want, then go sit over a cold beer and wait for your meal to arrive.

If you get tired of beach food, then walk up the street toward the highway and you'll see an open-air Italian restaurant on the left (only open at night). It's usually full of Italians, so you know it must be good!

Other recommendations:
Panglao travelogue picture
Alona is definitely one of the more expensive beaches in the Philippines. And if you're going to the Philippines for the nightlife, then Alona is not what you're after. But if you want a few days in beautiful surroundings, Alona should be on your travel plan. It has one of the best beaches in the area, the best infrastructure, and some great places to chill by the beach. I highly recommend it.

Published on Wednesday March 7th, 2007

send travelogue via e-mail    Publish on Facebook  

Fri, May 18 2007 - 02:54 AM rating by solita

I liked your article very much. This is the part of Bohol that I haven't experience yet and I'll surely check this out the next time I'm there.

Tue, Mar 13 2007 - 08:53 AM rating by jenyenh

good report Mike

Sat, Mar 10 2007 - 05:52 PM rating by eirekay

Mike, I always love the irony of crowded bars in diving resorts! Terrific Report!

Fri, Mar 09 2007 - 03:20 AM rating by quikflikchiq

hi mike. i'm a beach lover too. great to hear you got a few beers in - did yoou do any diving?

Thu, Mar 08 2007 - 10:39 AM rating by rangutan

Great "beach bum" story! Just reading the report makes me relax and dream.....

Wed, Mar 07 2007 - 05:14 PM rating by trekkerman

i like your style of writing mike, you bought the little oasis alive, i havent yet been to the Philippines, but im now thinking about it.

Wed, Mar 07 2007 - 02:19 PM rating by esfahani

congratulation! I am proudly giving you five stars, and next time a beer at "Alona Vida" - with June of course...

Login if you are a member, or sign up for a free membership to rate this report and to earn globo points!

   Panglao average user rating for this report
   Puerto Galera average user rating for this report
   Bangkok Metropolis average user rating for this report
   Mui Ne average user rating for this report

Publish your own story!
 More on Philippines

   Samal - dtcwriter average user rating for this report
   El Nido bacuit average user rating for this report
   Tubod - horace123 average user rating for this report
   Batangas - wondrous22 average user rating for this report
   Sitangkai average user rating for this report

  Terms and Conditions    Privacy Policy    Press    Contact    Impressum
  © 2002 - 2024 Findix Technologies GmbH Germany    Travel Portal Version: 4.2.8