An Extensive Guide To Prepare for your Dumaguete Itinerary – Philippines

An Extensive Guide To Prepare for your Dumaguete Itinerary – Philippines

Dumaguete City, a 3,362-hectare seaside town and capital of Negros Oriental in the Philippines, is one of the most surprising tourist destinations in the country. Also known as the “Land of Gentle People”, this beautiful destination has only recently caught the attention of international travellers who are now busy preparing a Dumaguete Itinerary.

However, Dumaguete Philippines has long been known as the number one destination for retirement in the Philippines, thanks to its low cost of living, excellent quality of life, friendly people, an absence of big-city traffic, and great food to name a few.

Dumaguete and its nearby towns have also attracted divers from all over the globe who come to enjoy world-class dive sites not far from the city. Dumaguete is recognised for being a top university town where students from other parts of the country and the world come for affordable yet good-quality education.

 

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Dumaguete

Witness the breathtaking scenery in Dumaguete.

 

Over the last few years, intrepid travellers and outdoor enthusiasts began trickling into the city, lured by unique travel experiences that no other place in the Philippines can offer. It’s hard to describe what makes Dumaguete tourism stand out; it means something different to everyone who has fallen in love with this city.

It’s no surprise that a Dumaguete trip is slowly becoming a top off-the-beaten-track destination for local and foreign tourists – many of whom have become so enamoured by the city’s charm and laid-back vibe that they have decided to stay for good.

Despite gaining popularity as a tourist destination, Dumaguete is void of mass-tourism. Also, while it’s a progressive city, there are no skyscrapers nor are there too many hotels, yet the best places to visit in Dumaguete are only a few minutes away.

With so much to do and see, where do you start during your trip? Well, let this Dumaguete travel guide take you the rest of the way in inside the incredible Philippines destination. 

 

Check out this fantastic Heritage tour in Dumaguete with Klook and save heaps!

 

Dumaguete attractions

Your Dumaguete Itinerary will include the gorgeous beaches a little out of town.

 

 

Dumaguete Itinerary – A Guide to the Popular Philippines Destination

 

Where to Stay in Dumaguete

Dumaguete hotels run the gamut. Generally speaking, everything on this island is affordable compared to other destinations in the Philippines.

The most famous luxury hotel here is Atmosphere Resorts, which is a dive resort in Dauin. It’s renowned for a reason: it’s beachfront, has a world-class spa, critically-acclaimed facilities, and a beautiful pool.

The best mid-range hotels in Dumaguete City include Hassaram Courtyard, La Residencia, and the Bricks Hotel. For those on a budget, check out Flying Fish Hostel, Gabby’s Bed and Breakfast, and Hotel Essencia.

 

Looking for short time Hotels in Dumaguete? Find incredible rates at Booking.com!

 

cheap accommodation in Dumaguete city.

Find cheap accommodation in Dumaguete city.

 

Historical and Cultural Tourist Attractions in Dumaguete City

Dumaguete has a rich, colourful history spanning centuries and gets its name from “dagit” a Cebuano word that translates to “snatch”. Dumaguete, or swoop, became apt as a name long ago since Moro pirates would frequently raid the coastal town.

Here are some of the prominent historical and cultural places to go in Dumaguete:

Rizal Boulevard: Named after the Philippines’ national hero, Dr Jose Rizal, the Rizal Boulevard is the most distinct and iconic attraction in the city. It’s a vast stretch of road by the sea, framed by swaying coconut and majestic acacia trees. The locals sure love the boulevard; by dusk, it’s buzzing with activity as people come to watch the sunset or enjoy a bite to eat while taking in the breeze.

Silliman University: Silliman University is what placed Dumaguete city on the map. It was established in 1901 by American protestant missionaries, and today is a top school in the Philippines. The campus grounds are beautiful and have lots to offer a traveller: the school’s elegant yet old architecture is gorgeous, while the museums feature exciting exhibits.

Bell Tower: Another iconic landmark, the Dumaguete Bell Tower was built in 1811 as a means of warning the locals when pirates were approaching. It is also the oldest belfry in the Visayas region of the Philippines.

Aside from these exciting historical and cultural attractions that appear in every Dumaguete tourist spot, many of the city’s streets feature homes, buildings, and other establishments that remain relatively unchanged. That’s why it feels like you’re taking a step back in time when visiting certain areas, and that’s one of the many fantastic things about this place.

 

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places to see in Dumaguete

The Bell Tower in Dumaguete.

 

Dumaguete Sightseeing

If you want to make the most of your Dumaguete itinerary, it’s best that you have at least three days and two nights. The city itself, as well as numerous nearby destinations, have a lot to offer without requiring you to travel more than an hour.

Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao: A significant tourist attraction in Dumaguete, the Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao and Danao are two natural bodies of water perched on top of lush forest-covered mountains. Considering how popular it is as a tourist attraction, it has remained pristine and untouched all these years.

Manjuyod Sandbar: Touted as the “Maldives of the Philippines”, the Manjuyod Sandbar off Bais boasts of a white sandbar through the middle of the ocean. Although Philippine beaches have many sandbars, the qualities of this are unique primarily because of its proximity to land and the colours of the sand as well as water. You can find great day tours with Klook to Manjuyod Sandbar.

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Pulang Bato Falls: Located in Valencia Dumaguete, Pulang Bato Falls, appropriately named after its rustic, orange-red stones from which a majestic set of falls flow through. There are small cafes and picnic sites nearby, and it makes for a pleasant afternoon trip, especially if you want a respite from the tropical heat.

Casaroro Falls: A real Negros Oriental gem, Casaroro Falls is a breathtaking natural attraction. You’ll need to go through a challenging hike over boulders and rocks, but it will be worth it. The cascades are jaw-dropping.

Forest Camp: Forest Camp in Valencia is one of the beautiful places to visit in Dumaguete for family travel in the Philippines. It features swimming pools, forests, valleys, a camping area, wall climbing, and a zip line.

Siquijor: The Island of Fire is a tropical paradise just a 40-minute boat ride away from Dumaguete. Though it’s possible to take the first boat in and the last ship out to spend the day in Siquijor, the best way to experience its stunning white sand beaches, fiery sunsets, and the mystical superstition that surround it is by staying at least one night. Find great tours in Siquijor with Klook with this link.

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Dauin: A haven for underwater photographers and divers, Dauin and its nearby reefs are abundant with rare marine life, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world. From the Dauin resorts’ house reef to the turtle sanctuary located in Apo Island, there’s more than enough underwater excitement to fill up several days of your itinerary here.

The entire coastline of Dauin is one dive resort after another, so whether you want ultra-luxurious or an affordable stay, you can have your dream dive holiday your way.

 

Dumaguete tourist spot

The Manjuyod Sandbar in Dumaguete.

 

Dumaguete transportation available to the tourist

The main form of transportation in Dumaguete City is the tricycle, which is a lot like Bangkok’s famous tuk-tuk. The fare starts at just AUD 0.27 for nearby destinations within the city, though it can get more expensive the further you go.

Adventurous and skilled travellers prefer to hire a motorbike for the day. If you have a license and know how to drive a motorcycle well, then it’s advisable to do so. Dumaguete is mostly a motor-run city, sharing the roads with tricycles. However, driving a motorbike allows you to get to the outskirts and many other destinations out of town with ease. Just make sure always to wear your helmet.

If you’re travelling with a group and intend on seeing many sites outside the Dumaguete travel guide, then you should consider renting a vehicle. These are generally affordable and provide you and your group with a much more comfortable way of getting around. Dumaguete’s roads are well-paved and maintained, and traffic isn’t a problem.

Alternatively, you can also book a tour, hassle-free with the many travel agencies found throughout town. It’s the preferred way of sightseeing for many travellers, especially those who want to sit back and relax while a friendly tour guide takes the lead.

 

Dumaguete transportation

Motorcycles are the best way around Dumaguete, but hire one if you know what you’re doing.

 

Where to Eat in Dumaguete

The diverse array of cheap and delicious restaurants in Dumaguete City also make it a top foodie destination. A large expat population means that you’ve got access to authentic European food in delis and restaurants, but the local cuisine is compulsory eating.

Here are some culinary experiences you shouldn’t miss while you are preparing your Dumaguete Itinerary

Painitan: The painitan of Dumaguete, which translates to “a place to go to warm up”, is as authentic and traditional as you’ll get to local eats. It’s the furthest thing from a restaurant, though; in fact, it’s just an outside portion of the public market.

However, the superstar here is the suman budbud, or budbud kabog; both are varieties of rice snacks, sometimes with a bit of cacao mixed into it and wrapped in greasy banana leaves. Ask for a cup of hot cocoa and some sweet mangoes on the side, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate Dumaguete snack.

Sans Rival Bistro: If I could say that Dumaguete travel could do just ONE thing well (though that would be a lie because they do many things brilliantly!), then it would be their sweets. Trust me; this city knows their desserts. Can you blame them? Negros Oriental and its neighbour Negros Occidental were pioneers of the sugar industry eons ago.

Remnants of this fact are still very much evident in the abundance of dessert shops throughout town. However, among them, only one is king, and that is the Sans Rival Bistro.

They are responsible for inventing the famous buttery, sugary delight that is the Silvanas cookie, and its cake counterpart, the Sans Rival. Sans Rival Bistro is an old ancestral home-turned-restaurant, once home to the lady who invented these sugary treats long ago. It’s also conveniently located right at the heart of Rizal Boulevard, so come in the afternoon for a coffee and cake.

They also offer a wide array of savoury dishes including salads, soups, and portions of pasta; every single item on their menu is delicious.   (Tip: after eating at Sans Rival Bistro, pass by their dessert shop attached to the restaurant. It’s where you can get the Silvanas for takeaway and don’t be surprised if the lines are long. Yes, it’s a cult-worthy dessert that you’ll understand, after you’ve sunk your teeth into it.

Hayahay Treehouse Bar: If you love seafood, don’t miss out on Hayahay Treehouse Bar. At night it comes alive with pumping dance or reggae music, but from lunchtime onwards it’s an excellent seafood dining joint.

A coastal town like Dumaguete would naturally have lots of seafood to offer, and this is one of the best places to get it fresh. The restaurant even has several aquariums where you can choose your fish and ask them to cook it for you the way you want. Otherwise, you can select from what’s already in the menu.

There’s just so much to talk about concerning the food scene in Dumaguete. Maybe we’ll leave that for another article entirely. Only trust me when I say that you should come with an appetite.

 

best food in Dumaguete City

Indulge in the best food in Dumaguete City.

 

Where to go in Dumaguete for Shopping

Dumaguete surprisingly has lots of great buys considering it’s a province with lots of little-known discount shops at really affordable prices.

For the best shopping in the Philippines, many will tell you to visit big cities such as Manila or Cebu. Now if you like a grand bargain, you’re in for a real treat in Dumaguete. Thrift shopping is enormous here, with large markets found in certain areas in the city. An authentic Roxy backpack for AUD $1? Yes, those are some of the great finds you can expect here when having a Dumaguete food trip.

For other kinds of bargains, head over to Lee Plaza. A famous department store in the central part of town, you will be shocked at just how cheap clothes, furniture, and other handmade goods are here. That doesn’t mean they aren’t of quality artistry. You’ll be surprised at the many cheap finds here.

For all other needs, you can visit Robinson’s Place Dumaguete. This chain of shopping malls is well-known in the Philippines, so you’ll find what you need here.

For souvenir shopping in Dumaguete, look no further than Subida Souvenirs and Handumanan, you are bound to find a great bargain or ten.

 

There you have it, a rundown on the Dumaguete tourist spot that has many incredible things to see and do when seeking that brilliant Philippines holiday.

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Dumaguete travel guide

Purchase a souvenir of your time in Dumaguete.

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A Very Basic Travel Guide to Vang Vieng in Laos

A Very Basic Travel Guide to Vang Vieng in Laos

Vang Vieng in Laos is an area of stunning surrounds that will captivate you immediately as you make your way into the popular tourist town and begin your next adventure in the up and coming Southeast Asia country. It is different to it’s neighbouring city of Vientiane, three-hours down the road, Vang Vieng is a bubbly township, but its lure to the area are the epic mountains that are visible throughout and the flowing rivers are what make Vang Vieng the perfect adventure for those who love the outdoor life and the spice of party life.

In this basic travel guide to Vang Vieng, you will see the major highlights and attractions, that will make you want to get on a bus, tame the bendy roads and make your way to the popular area for what promises to be an epic adventure with thrills and Adrenalin in the country of Laos.

 

Look for hotels in Vang Vieng on Booking.com

 

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Vang Vieng

Nam Song River, Vang Vieng Laos.

 

Travel Guide to Vang Vieng in Laos

 

Where is Vang Vieng in Laos

Vang Vieng Laos is situated in the Vientiane Province and is a good three hours drive north of the Capital City of Laos, also known as Vientiane. Although Vientiane to Vang Vieng is only about a hundred kilometres in distance and seems much closer than you think when looking on the map, poor and bendy roads make the trek that little bit longer and car sickness may creep in during the trip.

 

travel guide to Vang Vieng in Laos

Enter the streets of Vang Vieng in Laos.

 

Where to stay in Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng accommodation is very affordable and can be found throughout the town, whether it is crowded hostel for next to nothing, or a budget hotel for around $25 a night, whatever it is you seek you will find the appropriate accommodation to suit any budget.

I strongly recommend the Laos Haven Hotel and Spa, nice hotel that will cost you around 30 bucks a night. The hotel comes with tidy private room, air conditioning, television and a bathroom. There is also a boutique swimming pool which comes in handy when wanting to keep cool in the Laos heat.

You can look for more hotel options in Vang Vieng on Booking.com.

 

Laos haven Hotel

The swimming pool of Laos Haven hotel.

 

Eating and drinking in Vang Vieng

You will not go hungry or thirsty in Vang Vieng with several great bars and restaurants to drink or dine at that won’t break the bank. Whether it is a local meal at one of the restaurants by the river with epic views, or any random restaurant along the busy streets of the city, you’ll find delicious local and international meal to suit any taste bud.

If dancing, drinking and mingling with other party goers then visiting the Vang Vieng Party town is certainly your forte, with the the Sakura Bar needing to be on top of your list. It’s full on entertainment with crazy music, beer ping pong and cocktails to keep those dancing bodies shaking for a great night out in Vang Vieng. Also, the staff love to hand out plenty of complimentary drinks to keep the party going that little bit longer. Perhaps their free drink offers is to compliment the higher price it cost to purchase an alcohol Beveridge, but heck, it all evens out in the end.

 

Sakura Bar Vang Vieng

Get the party started at Sakura Bar.

Vang Vieng

The Riverhill Restaurant in Vang Vieng.

 

 

Things to do in Vang Vieng

A Vang Vieng travel guide is not complete without discussing the outdoors and this area is a must for any traveller who loves the thrills of  great outdoors. With the stunning mountains and the beautiful Nam Song River at your mercy, these stunning attractions are well utilised with many day trips available in area which can include a little Laos river tubing, zip-lining and kayaking.

You can do all these things at a very affordable price and create many crazy adventures of various activities during your time in Vang Vieng. Let’s check out a list of awesome activities you can do and don’t forget to book awesome Vang Vieng Tours through Klook and save big!!!

 

Here is a list of activities you can do in Vang Vieng

 

Kayaking the Nam Song River

A kayaking session creates stunning views, but the rapid waters give you a kayaking experience to remember on the Nam Song River. At one stage, you are admiring the views around you and next you are paddling furiously through the shallow water and trying to remain upright on the kayak.

Picturesque Vang Vieng

Kayaking the Nam Song River in Picturesque Vang Vieng.

 

Hot air Ballooning

Witness picturesque Vang Vieng with a glorious bird’s eye view of the surrounding area and whatever you do, don’t forget your camera as memories are bound to be made and captured while navigating the friendly skies.

 

Get an Adrenalin rush with Zip-lining

Get ready for a rush at high speeds with a zip-lining adventure that will get the blood pumping and maybe for a few of you, the lungs screaming. Many hairy moments will come your way while participating in the zip-lining course that is simply amazing, don’t forget to pause for a moment and admire the amazing views that are simply breathtaking.

 

Vang vieng travel guide

Zip-line and witness some thrills and glorious scenery.

 

Adventures in a dark water cave

I hope you are not afraid of the dark as you embark on an adventure that Indiana Jones would be proud to compete in. Swim in cold water, slide down muddy slides and crawl in dark caves as you conquer the darkness with a headlight being your only companion. Beware of all the spiders during your adventure, they are everywhere in the dark Vang Vieng caves, but it’s not as scary as you think.

 

Vang Vieng

Have an adventure in the caves.

 

The Magic of Blue Lagoon

You will fall in love with The Blue Lagoon upon arrival, even if the large crowds may make it a little disparaging. Clean fresh water, welcome shade from the heat and a chance to chill and relax in the refreshing water, makes your time at the Blue lagoon a perfect pit-stop when you need a break from other strenuous activities in the surrounding the township.

That’s a wrap of the very basic travel guide to Vang Vieng in Laos, be sure to get there through your travels in the country and enjoy a new kind of experience in South East Asia. It will be different, but quite memorable nonetheless.

 

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Blue Lagoon, Vang Vieng

Blue Lagoon in Vang Vieng

Check out these Travel books to Laos and other countries in Southeast

Asia

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Travel Guide to Koombana Bay – Bunbury

Travel Guide to Koombana Bay – Bunbury

Koombana Bay is a summer sensation of Bunbury, Western Australia, it gets families flocking, couples romancing and the dolphins splashing around and putting on a show. Whether they mean to or not. The Bay has what you need as the temperatures starts to heat up. You can take a dip in the calm waters, go sailing, fine dine in style just around the corner or the stunning scenery that s around you.

Perhaps you enjoy the jet-skies or fishing off the boat. Playing beach volley ball on an open beach, while the kids get busy making sandcastles. Your day is covered in the Bay, and when one day is never enough, there is accommodation galore just a stone throw away. But more on that later, let’s get into it.

The Bay and the Bunbury Waterfront

The Bay and the Bunbury Waterfront

 

Where is Koombana Bay?

Koombana Bay is in the heart of the Bunbury town centre. Western Australia’s largest regional town, practically city. It is only less than two hours south of Perth, take the Kwinana Freeway, which eventually turns into the Forrest Highway. Soon enough you will run into Bunbury and the Bay. You won’t miss it.

Koombana Bay is a hit in summer with its calm waters.

Koombana Bay is a hit in summer with its calm waters.

 

Dolphin Discovery Centre

Let’s start with dolphins, we all love these mammals of the sea. The Dolphin Discovery Centre is in the heart of the Bay and you have a few choices to pick from.

Dolphin Discovery Centre

Dolphin Discovery Centre

You can visit the centre, learn, see and feed the different creatures of the sea. Study the dolphin habits and check them swim around in the digital theatre. Perhaps it is a coffee you are up for as you rest up in the café, while the kids play around on the playground. And if you are lucky enough, the dolphins will swim up nearby, which is monitored closely by the friendly volunteer staff on hand at the centre.

A volunteer n the lookout for dolphins.

A volunteer n the lookout for dolphins.

The next option is to take a cruise and spot the dolphins up close. Cruises run daily in the summer months and on weekends in winter, click the website for more details. It is a good way at making sure that your visit to Bunbury is complete by checking out the smiling dolphins in the flesh. If you don’t see dolphins, there is a money back condition.

Can you swim with dolphins? If that is your thing, you are all set. From October to April, there are daily cruises that leave early in the morning. Bring your bathers, snorkels and a towel and be ready to swim with the dolphins. It does cost a bit, so once again check out the website for details.

Dolphins in the Digital Theatre.

Dolphins in the Digital Theatre.

 

Koombana Bay

It is the most popular swimming beach in Bunbury, especially for families and for good reason. Being in the bay the waters are calm. It is perfect for kids to swim, under constant supervision of course, without fear of getting knocked out by a wave.

The pier at the bay.

The pier at the bay.

In the background, there are yachts anchored in the bay, all parked up and ready for sail. The boats are out for a day in the water as adrenalin enthusiasts get their tubes out and go for a spin off the back. While kayakers are out minding their own business and taking advantage of the, most times, excellent conditions. Just be careful of jet-skiers.

Then there are the sandy beaches, it runs for miles. It is perfect for a game of beach cricket or volleyball. The kids are out in their numbers running amok in the sand, building castles and having fun as kids should. It is a perfect spot to get out a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine and enjoy the scenery around you, even better at sunset. Either that, or you can buy a hamburgers and chips at the kiosk nearby.

The yachts anchored in the bay.

The yachts anchored in the bay.

Bunbury Waterfront

No need to get into the car. The Bunbury Waterfront is only a quick five-minute walk from the Bay. Once you get there, you are suddenly hit with a little Bunbury style and it is simply breathtaking.

The restaurants line up at the Bunbury Waterfront.

The restaurants line up at the Bunbury Waterfront.

There are apartments, hotels, cafes and restaurants, even a candy and ice-cream shop. The best part is, that it is situated right on the edge of the Koombana Bay as you overlook the stunning bay, which is full of activity and life as you dine in style with a gorgeous view.

Aristos at the Waterfront

It is perfect for lunch and even better at night, when the night clubs open and the place really livens up. Let’s take a look at some of the restaurants clubs available at the Waterfront.

  • Mash Brewery – Great food and even better beer. The Mash won’t let you own. Perfect for a date or a drink with friends.
  • Dome Café – Open from dawn to dusk, great for coffee and bite to eat. A great place to catch up on some gossip and a little downtime.
  • Taffy’s – It is not a restaurant but it will be the kids favourite place. This candy and ice-cream shop will liven up your kids as they gaze at all the candy, chocolate and fudge available. They can even watch the friendly staff make their famous salt-water taffy in the viewing area.
  • The Bayview Bar – A restaurant during the day, a bar every other time and a popular night spot in the evening. You get the best of both worlds at the Bayview Bar. It certainly is the pick of clubs in Bunbury.
  • Aristos – The best seafood shop, hands down in Bunbury, perhaps one of the best in the state. You will love feasting on the different range of seafood with a glass of white of wine as you hock into the chips.
  • Mesa by Casellas – The perfect fine dining, grill and tapas experience. If it is a quiet evening you are looking for Mesa is right for you. It is perfect for couples seeking a romantic night together, away from buzz of the previous restaurants mentioned.
The Dome at the Waterfront.

The Dome at the Waterfront.

Accommodation

There is a selection of accommodation available in and around the Koombana Bay and Waterfront Area. Anything from hotels, apartments, caravans and tents.

The Mantra Bunbury

Whatever you are looking for you are bound to find it. But let’s narrow it down a little bit.

  • Discovery Holiday park – Across the road from the Koombana Bay Beach, The Discovery Holiday Park is perfect for families. It has a selection of Villas, cabins and Caravans and tent sites on offer and is the most affordable accommodation in the area.
  • Quest Bunbury – Luxury apartments that comes with room service and stunning views. You will love putting your feet up and resting in style at The Quest.
  • Mantra Bunbury – The most glamorous of the lot, with serviced rooms, restaurant and a bar. It is the closest hotel to the popular Waterfront area. It is perfect if you plan on having a night out on the drink.

For more hotels in Bunbury, checkout TripAdvisor

Resting and admiring the Bay.

Resting and admiring the Bay.

 

There you have it. A run down on Koombana Bay at the Waterfront. If you are even in the vicinity of Bunbury this summer, come on down. There is plenty of activities, swimming and dining to be done and it may even surprise you, that a town like Bunbury can deliver so much value and entertainment.

Check out GPSmyCity for for further details on Koombana Bay in Bunbury, Western Australia!

 

Water sports are popular in the Bay.

Water sports are popular in the Bay.

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