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Biking Bantayan Island

Our ferry docked at Santa Fe pier when we got to Bantayan island. The pretty blue water looked really inviting. I started to walk slowly down the pier towards town not really knowing where to go. This is probably my least favorite part of traveling solo- when you get to a new place all the uncertainty just stirs up in my belly. A guy approached me & offered to take me to my hotel. Yey! He says "padyak"? I'm like- ok! I don't get harrassed by touts much cause I blend in, which is really awesome. They also don't get too many tourists here at the island. So folks are not aggressive at all. We walked over to his pedicab to start our hotel hopping.

Highlights: The quiet simplicity of island life just slowly sinks into your system as you absorb the environment. I think biking the island is the top thing to do around southern Bantayan. I haven't been to the northern part of the island. I hear its relatively more commercialized, with a shopping malls and stuff.
Cast of Characters: just me & my bike
Logistics/ Links: n/a
When: I went early December, 2011. Luckily the weather was nice. El Nino seems to have extended the rainy season till the whole December.
Location: I biked the southern part of the island, from Santa Fe beach area to Bantayan nature park. Thats as far as I went before heading back.
- Php150/ $3 for whole day bicycle rental
- Php20 pedicab from the pier to your hotel one way
- When I got to the island I gave the guy Php60 to go hotel hopping on his pedicab (no clue on what rates were). If you know your hotel, it would only be Php20.

Trip Report: It was very nice riding a bicycle down these small, coconut tree lined streets. The roads are not busy at all. Its just the perfect place to ride a bike. You'll see what island life is all about just going down these small roads. I biked around the small village of Sillon & then back to Santa Fe. It took about 3-4 hours in the afternoon. I don't recommend venturing further out unless your ride is motorized or you don't mind all the effort (for most likely the same scenery). A good trip would be biking only up to Ocoy beach & then spending the afternoon relaxing on the beach there before heading back.

Quiet, shady streets

Most people I've talked to haven't seen a papaya tree. That't it on the lower right corner next to the coconut tree. There's also some banana trees in the background. Philippines is blessed with coconut, papaya & banana trees growing everywhere like weed.

There's always village kids walking up & down the streets on their way to school. They all seem pretty friendly. I'll bet they would swarm all over you if you were obviously a foreigner (non pc translation: if you're white)

Bantayan Island, Philippines

When traveling on my own, I try to be invisible- dress like a boy, wear a permanent scowl, hide the camera, wear a baseball cap. Everything else worked except for the baseball cap, it drew more attention to me cause nobody else around wears one. Next time no more hat & wear my eyeglasses too! hah!

If you're trying to avoid resort fees, there's plenty of little paths that offer free access & beach space for everyone

peaceful, simple communities

The beach! A few of the fishermen offered to take me to the Virgin island for Php400-450 or something like that, seemed like a good deal but they also charge entrance fees which just kills the deal.

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