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Islands Banca

While Hilton was an excellent hotel, a man-made beach is still a man-made beach. And it is no fun snorkeling in knee deep waters, so I decided to arrange for a little island hopping plus snorkelling trip with a company called, Islands Banca. It was recommended by Brian’s wife, Marini and I am so glad she did.

Banca is the kind of boats in the picture above and it is very common around Cebu. Islands, on the other hand, seems to be a well-established brand in Cebu catered for tourists and their cruises were a new addition this year.

They are a bit more expensive compared to the other tours I checked out but I decided on them after reading reviews about how clean they were and how good their staff were. And they were right. It was only me and Sharon on the boat, so we paid quite a fair bit. The more people you get, the cheaper it is. You don’t share boats with strangers so thats a good thing for me.

Enjoy the view

Cruising around Cebu on a banca is fun. The view you get is amazing. And the fresh air is awesome. It is by far the highlight of my trip, other than seeing tarsiers of course.

Distorted horizon

My trip took me to Olango and Nalusuan and a lunch on a stilt restaurant, before I was taken back to the hotel. It was a half-day trip and we got to snorkel in some of the best stretches of water I’ve seen so far. It was Sharon’s first time snorkelling as well, so that was quite fun for her, until she got a headache.

But after that, we took a nap on the banca while they took us to our lunch destination. On sandbags with the view of the sea before us, and of course, generous dose of wind. It was bliss.

9 thoughts on “Go on a Mini Cruise

  1. wooot! the banca is different from the catamaran in the sense that the catamaran is actually “two boats”

    Anyway, Hilton’s only good for on-the-go businessmen. They have very nice rooms. Too nice that you’d rather stay in the rooms. Their facilities are not that nice. Their beach is only 4/10 in my marks. Their pool looks dirty.

    Good choice on the Island Hopping. Most people choose those pricy Scuba Diving services, but the island hopping is an all time favorite. Olanggo Island is well known to have a lot of birds (migratory) around the month of October. You can even see the rare Chinese Egret in Olanggo Island.

    For me the best Beach resort would be Plantation Bay (which is farther and waaaaay more expensive). Followed by Shang ri La which boasts the best snorkeling and fish feeding sites and with semi-powder white sands.

    If you really want the hidden treasures of beaches of Cebu, Bantayan Island and Ogtong Cave resort are in demand places. Bantayan Sta. Fe Beach resort has POWDERY white sands.

    If you have a chance, best seafood is not found in Fancy restaurants, you can find them in “Sutukil” where there are a line of local restaurants with fresh fish from the sea. The best Sutukil restaurant for me has to be the “No-Problem Sutukil”. But it’s always best if you have a local who’s a friend so that they won’t fool you with overpricing. (tsk tsk, some who’re just desperate for extra cash)

  2. @Carolyn Chan huge ship? there are funny looking mini buses. But if you were in Cebu town, you would miss the beaches. They are like in another part.

    @kitkat yeah its the perfect view

    @meendee soon u have to refrain from seeing the lomo pics :P

    @kurt haha where got money to buy underwater casing :P

    @The Photoblogger now i know. and I did got to No Problem Sutukil. My friend bought me there. Will see if we can catch each other when you are here in KL or I am there in Cebu again

    @Jessen sure you can :)

  3. Okay I am with you focusing and ivriompng Cebu. It is true there has been a good positive changes all over Cebu and the streets are more clean and organized just need more road work especially going North, roads are still so wavey and holes. Our visitors that basically who rated their enters to our land made comments and that our roads really need a special attention. Anything to improve Cebu rational ideas are good just don’t forget our own people who were supposed to be benefit these improvement. Just have little heart thats all I’m asking. As The World Turns!!!!!

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