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Published: March 26th 2014
San Juan Beach
I'm glad I bit the bullet and made my way here, motorbike rental notwithstanding. Indeed almost as "perfect" as LP described. Undisturbed stretch of quiet, white sands lapped by the gentlest of waves.
Leaving Tagbilaran and the Chocolate Hills and tarsiers of Bohol, it was a 3h+ ferry ride to the small island of Siquijor, southeast of the Negros. Immediately upon arrival at the port in Siquijor town, I was back in capital-preservation mode, refusing the waiting tricycle drivers offers to send me to touristy San Juan beach, for an exhorbitant (?) PHP200-250 (USD5-6) fee for the roughly 10km ride.
Instead I thought I would skip the overpriced tricycle ride, plonk myself somewhere in town near the port, and subsequently figure out a cheaper way to get to San Juan beach. Guesthouse pickings were slim in town however, and I ended up in Das Traum which was essentially a homestay in a huge bungalow that had, however, obviously seen better days a long time ago. LP had said the beaches here in Siquijor were worth the journey, but having spent a demoralising first day being unable to figure out a cheaper way to get there, doubts about LP's recommendation about the beach, and nervy encounters with several oversized toads on the walk along the dirt path to the guesthouse, I was wondering if my stay here was fated to be shorter than I'd
Siquijor Coastal Highway
Yes, motorbiking around could be more stressful.
And so the next day I decided to bite the bullet and rented a motorcycle to explore the island on my own. And how glad I was! San Juan beach turned out to be indeed almost as "perfect" as LP described. Coming so soon after my disappointment with Koh Samed in Thailand, this was indeed a pleasant surprise. San Juan wasn't a particularly long stretch of beach, perhaps just 2km or so, and it wasn't particularly wide either, but I guess it was the combination of the beautiful Visayan sunshine and weather, the relatively low number of tourists, the value-for-money midrange resorts, and the low expectations that made me absolutely psyched about the apparent change of fortune.
And motorbiking the western side of the island was fantastic too. It had been some time since the last motorcycle day trip that I recall enjoying (Luang Nam Tha in Laos in Sep last year perhaps?), so tooting along the lazy coastal road, flanked by padi fields, coconut trees and local schoolchildren, provided me with a well-timed reminder again of the some of the simple joys that I think I've started to appreciate more since the start of this
Stayed at Das Traum Guesthouse and Coral Cay Resort.
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