Cebu Travel Review: Why I Would Not Return to the Philippines…Without Proper Research

Hello there! On my recent trip to the Philippines, I spent one week in Cebu and in this post, I want to give you an honest cebu travel review and talk about why I won’t return to the Philippines any time soon..not without doing proper research first! I have to start this blogpost with mentioning that I absolutely loved my time in the Philippines. But I also want to state that I wished that I knew about certain things in advance and would have done better research before going.

First of All

Before I start this post, I want to make my intention clear. I loved loved loved my stay in the Philippines. I would even go as far as saying that I made some life-changing memories there and can’t wait to explore more islands of this breathtaking country. Nevertheless, certain things about my stay simply caught me off guard. And I want to save you from making the same mistakes as I did!

What to Keep in Mind when Traveling to the Philippines

When planning my trip to the Philippines, there were a few things that I wish I had known in advance. And while I would probably still book the trip in the same way, as I did, there are a few things, that I now regret after coming home and would do better in retrospective.

The Traffic

One thing that I tend to not research enough (it happened to me before in Cambodia) is the time it takes you to get from one point to another during a trip. We wanted our trip to Cebu to be as relaxing as possible. So what we did is that we went to and the wonderful Down South 118 Resort, where we had the best time. The only problem? From Cebu airport, it took us a solid 4 hours to get there! Which is not the perfect way to start a vacation if you ask me. In general, this is the thing that bothered me the most. Traveling around the island will take up a lot of vacation time. From Cebu to Oslob, you can estimate about 4 hours driving. Afterwards then you drive 3 hours from Oslob to Moalboal to snorkle with the Moalboal sardine run and from Oslob to the Sirao Gardens 5 hours. Of course, this is not the worst, just something to keep in mind.

The Solution? Planning a Cost Effective Vacation or the Best Way to Explore Cebu!

The other downside to the traffic and the long hours it takes to get from one point to the other? Well it comes with a price tag! One way from Cebu Airport to Oslob was 70€. And we also only learned later, that if you want to learn how to Scuba dive, the cheaptest way to do so is to stay in Cebu City and do it there. So if I was to plan a cost efficient trip to Cebu, I would start my stay in Cebu City, see the famous Sirao Gardens and other local sights. And then I would do my Scuba diving certificate (that I didn’t get to do in Oslob, because I caught a cold). Then I would head to Oslob, where I would stay two nights to snorkle with the whale sharks and visit the Sumilon Sandbank, before I head to Moalboal for the canyoneering and snorkling adventures. This way, I would have the least amount of driving back and forth which also means less money spend on sitting in a car.

Life is the Philippines is Very Different Than it is in Europe and Than Instagram Paints it

This paragraph here is hard for me to capture. As someone who grew up in Germany, I am privileged in a lot of ways and are aware of that. Yet I can’t deny that traveling the Philippines came with a bit of a culture shock. When I wrote my brutal honest review about Bali, I wrote that it felt like the resorts were all dreamy and beautiful. While behind their fences, trash was piling up. In Cebu it kinda felt the same. The areas for tourists felt cleaner and kept nice, while around you can see how the gap between the rich and the poor is wide open. Trash and waste piling up is also not helping that impression. It is something, I didn’t think about before going to Cebu. It is also very different from the picture Social Media paints of it. That’s why I want this post to encourage you to prepare yourself.


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Hi There!

My name is Paula and I love to travel and explore our beautiful world. Stamps in my passport and adding countries to the list of places I have visited is what makes me truly happy. With this blog, I want to help you explore our world too.

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