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Philippines Tour Part 4: Bohol, the Chocolate Hills and Ananyana Boutique Hotel

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Bohol is one of the more important touristic Philippine islands. Its most famous attraction is the “Chocolate Hills” in the island interior. From there, however, it is not far to the most beautiful sandy beaches…

If on this tour (to Part 3) we had the chance to admire numerous beaches, it continues here in Bohol and just as attractively. In the Philippines, they differentiate between four kinds of sandy beaches: Coral (slightly rough sand), sugary (like their local brown muscovado sugar), cream, and sand white as snow. Here, “snow” is of course my interpretation, for it is actually simply “white.” The Chocolate Hills are not that high, after all…

The Chocolate Hills

The Chocolate Hills are a rise composed of many small hills in the island interior. They are considered one of Bohol‘s main attractions and can be reached easily by car. However, to get to the overlook, you have to drag yourself up a thousand steps – without any intermediate landing.

Chocolate Hills on Bohol

Chocolate Hills on Bohol

All right, maybe it just seemed to me that it was a thousand steps and there actually was a landing. But you really start wheezing, and you are sweating the whole time because of the high humidity.

The hillocks got the “chocolate” name, by the way, because in summer they turn brown during dry spells and look like they’re made of chocolate. All right, yes, we Swiss are used to something different for both chocolate and hills. Hence, this “attraction” did not exactly knock my socks off. And yes, in Switzerland we are quite spoiled ;-)

How these hills were created incidentally is not quite clear. And as always when there are differing theories, adventuresome fairy tales with giants and such inevitably circulate.

The Loboc Children’s Choir

In Loboc, we had the chance to hear the Loboc Children’s Choir . It was still impressive all right, what the girls and the lad performed. But they do get daily practice, after all…

Travel writer Bernard Pichon thought the whole thing was charming and he, in turn, played something for the young ladies as well, using his special technological skills ;-)

Loboc Children's Choir with the travel writer Bernard Pichon

Loboc Children’s Choir with the travel writer Bernard Pichon

Ananyana Boutique Hotel

Southwest of Bohol, another small island tags along: At the farthest-removed westerly tip of Panglao Island two beautiful hotels have sprouted.

Hotel pool and Owner's Suite

Hotel pool and Owner’s Suite behind it

The small Ananyana boutique hotel impressed with a comfortable, open lounge and attractive design.

Open hotel lounge by the beach

Open hotel lounge by the beach

The spacious rooms are furnished rather simply. You will look in vain for a TV; guests come here to relax and not to chase after the latest news. Accordingly, WiFi is also only available in the lounge.

The Owner’s Suite is furnished a little less simply: A rattan canopy bed standing in the middle is its gravitational center. Supposedly Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt spend the night in this very same model bed!

"Canopy bed": Sleep like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

“Canopy bed”: Sleep like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

Can anyone confirm this or perhaps just ask the couple? Anyway, as we Italians like to say, “Even if it’s not true, it’s a good yarn…”

The bath that’s open to the room certainly also makes a statement!

Owner’s Suite bathtub; behind it is the shower.

Owner’s Suite bathtub; behind it is the shower.

And what Chef Richard can dish out in the open restaurant, once again makes a statement … The courses are all outstanding, with the fish plate definitely first class.

Very well prepared fish course

Very well prepared fish course

And with dessert another “final fireworks” is ignited at which everything that is hot and dangerous is dished up. His pyromaniac bent certainly seems to be well developed …

Truly flambé!

Truly flambé!

Bellevue Resort Bohol

A stone’s throw from the Ananyara and adjacent to it is a larger hotel, the Bellevue Resort Bohol.

Lobby luminaires in the Bellevue Resort on Panglao

Lobby luminaires in the Bellevue Resort on Panglao

Despite its large dimensions, the hotel manages to come across as quite elegant.

Floor lamp and sofa in guest room

Floor lamp and sofa in guest room

Especially at night, there are some attractively illuminated areas like the bar or the hotel pool.

Bellevue Resort pool at night

Bellevue Resort pool at night

The beach in back of both hotels is very quiet. Anyone more interested in “loud and crowded” should look for a hotel along Alona Beach: It is lined with scores of restaurants, bars, and music clubs.

Oh! And I almost forgot: yes, Bohol is, of course, also the home of the world’s smallest primates, the tarsiers, those cute, fist-sized critters.

Tarsier Sanctuary

Tarsier

In the fifth and last part of this article series we take another ferry, this time to the island of Cebu.

 

This trip was made possible and arranged by the Asia specialists at tourasia and by Singapore Airlines.

Thank you for a fabulous tour!

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About Author

Walter Schaerer’s extensive background in the travel industry, passionate enthusiasm for photography and a firm belief that luxury destinations can also be affordable; were some of the main factors that motivated him to create the travel blog travelmemo.com. In his day job Walter is an online marketing manager based out of Zurich, Switzerland.

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