Ever heard about Manjuyod Sandbar? No? My friend, you're missing this wonderful place. Familiar with Maldives? Yes? Then you're getting the picture. As many utters, Manjuyod Sandbar is somewhat the Maldives-like destination of the Philippines. You read it right, but, there's a BUT - it's minus the luxurious accommodations in it.
I won't be giving you false hopes and high expectations, I will be really frank about Manjuyod Sandbar's features. A first tip for you, visit soon before it gets really crowded. Specially now that social media is a very powerful tool in giving out information's for travelers . 🙂
So here's a quick look and DIY guide on our recent trip to the wonderful MANJUYOD SANDBAR.
DIY Guide to Manjuyod Sandbar
Manjuyod Sand Bar is a 30-minute boat ride from the Manicipality of Manjuyod, Bais City, province of Negros Oriental.
There are numerous boat rentals you can find in the web for this fast famous moving Maldives-like spot in the Philippines. It usually costs, Php 750.00 - 800.00 per person depending on the season for a joiner day tour boat rental. Day tour usually covers, Manjuyod sandbar, dolphin watching, choice of floating restaurant or snorkeling.
As you know for a fact that we are most of the time on a budget friendly-trips, I'm sharing with you how we avail same package with only Php 550.00 per person of a group of six. This deal covers the main attractions mentioned above, PLUS a buffet lunch! How's that for a cheap Manjuyod tour travelers? 🙂
It's not that easy to find and create cheap travel itineraries, however, since I love traveling and I love what I do, I certainly didn't have any problem doing it. Researching, calling boat rental owners and comparing their prizes was really time consuming.
Finally, I came to close a deal with Ms. Marifel of Mbcat-Pagulyagho Manjuyod Boat Rental.
Our negotiation ended to Php 1,800.oo boat rental (original price Php 2,500.00). Moreover, they offer catering services too! We came to an agreement of Php 1,500.00 buffet lunch for six. Our lunch menu were crabs, buttered shrimps, grilled fish, grilled pork, fruits, sodas and water. There were still additional menus but we were already happy with our choice. To our surprise, the food were sumptuous and plenty. It even covered our snacks. 😀
Total day tour with buffet lunch cost was Php 3,300.00/6 equals Php 550.00 per person. I'm telling you, you cannot find this deal anywhere else.
Even though we were served with sufficient foods, we didn't hesitate to try the fresh sea urchins and oysters sold by the locals at the sandbar. It's amazing that they, travel their goods to the sandbar and sell them to visiting tourists. A small bucket of sea urchins cost only Php 250.oo, very, very cheap! We even saw a sari-sari boat store, hence, if you want to munch on chips, candies, biscuits or even drink alcohol beverage, you can get them. 😀
We spend the whole afternoon exploring Manjuyod Sandbar, taking pictures, snorkeling, enjoying the scenery and just chilling. No pollution, no traffic and definitely no work. Hahah! It was a perfect vacation!
Another tip I can offer is make sure to check or inquire the low tide time and day before visiting. It's most noteworthy as during high tides, the sandbar is not visible and you don't want that. Furthermore, it's advisable to come early in the morning as the dolphins are usually out between 8 AM to 9 PM. Unfortunately, for us, it was too late since we arrived Dumaguete City 10 AM and traveled 1.5 hrs to Bais City. This leaves us a half-day tour only at Manjuyod. However, still, it was a one well spent day for us especially we're adding more memories and stories to share. 🙂
Please note that there's only two public bathroom in the warf. They charge Php 20.oo per person for using it. If the line at the warf is long, head on to the nearby houses, some offer their bath rooms for the same fee. 🙂
GETTING TO MANJUYOD SANDBAR from MANILA
Two big airline companies caters Manila - Dumaguete flights. You can chose at your preference between Philippine Airlines and Cebupacifc. Cebupacific offers various time selection per day while Philippine Airlines flies only twice a day.
From Sibulan Airport (Dumaguete Airpot) we rented a van going to Bais City where Ms. Marifel's husband our contact boat owner met with us. You can take a bus going to Bais City and tricycle going to Bais Warf, much cheaper than van rentals. But I highly recommend renting a van when traveling in groups as to not waste time waiting at bus stops. Remember, every minute of atravel is important. 🙂
Travel time when in a private vehicle is 1.5 hours. For only Php 584.00 per person for a group of six, we are able to travel to Manjuyod and back to Dumaguete comfortably. Additionally, we can have stop overs at choice and convenience. It's the best mode of transportation when visiting Dumaguete and Manjuyod for groups. 🙂You can contact QUANTUM DLUX TOURS on their facebook or call them at 0917-8416684. They'll definitely happy to serve you.
10:00 AM - Arrival at Sibulan Airport, Dumaguete City
10:30 AM - 12:00 NN - Travel to Bais City Warf, meet with boat rental owner
12:00 NN - 12:30 PM - Boat ride to Manjuyod Sandbar
12;30 PM - 01:00 PM - Lunch
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM - Siesta by the boat
02:00 PM - 05:00 PM - Explore Sandbar, Snorkel, and enjoy the view
05:00 PM - 05:30 PM - travel back to warf
05:30 PM - 06:00 PM - Bath time
06:00 PM - 07:30 PM - Travel back to Dumaguete, Check in at Sola's hotel
07:30 PM - 09:00 PM - Dinner at Lantaw Restaurant
09:00 PM - 10:30 PM - Explore Dumaguete's Rizal Boulevard at night
10:30 PM - 11:00 PM - Travel back to hotel
11:00 PM - LIGHTS OFF
As you can see from my itinerary, there were Dumaguete side trips, hotel accommodation and dinner must try's. I will be blogging about them separately, so stay tune for that. That's a wrap for our Manjuyod Sandbar DIY guide. I hope this gave you an idea when you come visit. 🙂
By the way, I mentioned above that I will be frank about the features of Manjuyod right? Base on online reviews and experiences of my friends who have been to Maldives, the comparison really were the floating cottages. Both of which have, however, Manjuyod's cottages are not that luxurious. There's no electricity and water, no kitchen utensils and are poorly maintained.
An overnight stay will cost Php 6,000.00 but if you check in 1 PM onwards they can give it at only Php 4,000.oo. This includes the cottage, water fit for numbers of person staying and rechargeable light. Two boatmen will guard you during the night, so security is not a problem. It's a bit pricey for it's condition, hence, we only availed day tour.
If you plan on renting these cottages, you may contact the Bais Tourism Office as they are the one handling the cottages. I hope they restore the cottages so that more tourist will visit and stay. 🙂
But don't be discouraged, the white sandbar, coral reef snorkeling, dolphin watching and floating restaurant are still must see and do! 🙂 Enjoy!
Disclaimer: This blog is not sponsored. Everything written here are my personal opinions. If you find it derogatory, hit me a message and I'll see what I can do. 🙂