Sunday, June 12, 2016

5 Things You Should Know Before Travelling to Sambawan Island


Getting to Sambawan Island for us was quite the adventure. I have already blogged about my trip before on my old blog but I think it deserves another entry because it is on my top 5 most beautiful islands.

For Toby's 24th birthday (last year) I wanted to surprise him by bringing him to a secret place. Back then, no one has ever heard of Sambawan Island. But now, it's been getting more popular. I've seen a couple of my friends on Facebook posting their pictures there. At least more people can appreciate now what an incredible island it is.


Getting There
It will take you at least half the day of travelling to get you there but the journey is worth it. From Manila, it's an hour and two minutes flight to Tacloban. From Tacloban, take a van to Biliran. Travel time is two and a half hours. Take a ferry from the Naval port to Maripipi (One hour). A total of 5 hours. 

Where To Stay
I booked our stay at Napo Beach Resort in Maripipi. The deluxe room for 2 is at P2,500 per night. I found the resort on Google and just kept researching to look for their contact number. Now they already have a website to make it more convenient for you. You can check it out here.


View from Napo Beach Resort 


Sites To See
The primary reason we went to Biliran was to visit Samabawan Island. From Maripipi island, it was just a 20 minute boat ride away. But if you're coming from the Naval port, it will take you at least an hour and a half. 


Things To Remember
There weren't a lot of travel blogs about Sambawan Island last year so here are a few things that I wish I knew before I travelled.


1. There are no ferries on Sundays. You'll have to rent a boat to go back to the Biliran port which is quite expensive. The boat costs P2,000 one way. We were only two. If you're more, you can divide the costs. Or try to look for other people going to the port and share the costs of the boat. 


2. Make friends with a habal-habal driver. A habal-habal is similar to a motorbike except it is longer. We met a habal-habal driver when we arrived at the port. He offered to take us around. I got his number and he became our personal chauffeur! He was also the one who found us a boat to rent when we found out that there were no ferries. If it weren't for him, we might've been stuck on the island.

3. Base on my research, Napo Beach Resort was the nearest to Samabawan Island which is why I booked us there. But now after learning from my experience, I suggest that you book your stay at Biliran city. At the main city, there are more places to see and things to do. Maripipi is isolated which is why there isn't a big source of electricity and it is hard to get food. We had to order our meals in advance for the staff to buy the ingredients in the nearby town. 

3. Lights on the island are turned off by 7 pm. We had to light a candle at night which made it a little bit romantic. 


4. Bring snacks and entertainment. We got hungry later towards the night but we couldn't order any food because it would be too much of hassle for the staff to drive all the way to the other town just to get us food. Also, since there's no electricity past 7 pm, you will have to find ways to entertain yourself. Toby and I didn't bring anything. Not even cards. So we just ended up talking about the most random things. But hey, I learned more about him during the trip!


5. Keep an open mind. Biliran island isn't developed like Boracay and Palawan. Life of the island is really simple. There are no fancy restaurants or big hotels. Nonetheless, the place is still something worth visiting. 

















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