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Moalboal – Beach resorts, snorkelling and diving

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Location : Approx 100 km South of Cebu, west side of the island

Getting there

The easy way to get down to Moalboal is to take one of the regular “BOANG” aircon buses from the South Terminal Bus station. These buses travel at unbelievably hideous speeds that have to be expereinced to be feared for what they are! Total trip, including stop 2/3rds the way there, is about 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive there – a VERY pleasant and highly recommended bike ride with top spots to stop at on the way. Either drive out on the south road (or take the super fast SRP and pick up the south road at Naga). Continue straight until you drive into Carcar (good opportunity to stop off for a snack at the shopping centre on the right as you Drive into Carcar). Park up and walk past then entrance to the shopping centre on your right, to the food cafeteria right at the end. After munching, carry on until you hit the main Carcar roundabout – you might want to get some gas here if you are a little low. At the roundabout take the first right – this will take you up into the “mountains” where you will basically drive across the middle of Cebu, from east to west then continuing down the south side to you hit Moalboal. A GREAT drive on the motorbike as you wind your way up and down the mountain. Try to stop at “Pallalong Place” – for some food and drinks. This is a small lodge/restaurant with a fantastic view high above the bay. You’ll know when you get there as I believe this is the first time you see the sea on your way to the resort – about 15 mins I guess, after leaving the roundabout at Carcar.

When you get to Moalboal, you could pick up a few supplies (drink, sun cream and a few snacks) at the market, as well as a rather small bikini if you need one for your date! On the way into Moalboal you should see two signs on the right. The first one is sign posted “Savedra”. This is the one that will take you to “White Beach” – which is where you want to go to enjoy the beach at it’s best. Follow this road for about 10mins until you get to the HK resort (probably not a reference to “Hunter Killers” from terminator). You’ll know when you get to HK resort as you’ll go over a series of undulations in the road, that last big one, immediately before a right hand turn where the road comes to an end. Slightly after the right-hander, HK resort is on the right. Drive in and park up – no entrance fee. HK is pretty basic, but it’s OK and right on White Beach (which is where you must be). You can stay here for about 1200 peso a night for the basic room with aircon, might be an idea to book in advance during busier periods. Once on the beach, turn right and you will see the restaurant – nice food/friendly staff and cheap enough, although note it stops serving food at 8pm.

Snorkelling

White beach is superb for snorkelling – plenty of corals and fish. Don’t bother with fins, just make sure you have a decent mask and snorkel (you can buy/rent a set in Panagsama). Swim out DIRECTLY opposite the restaurant – plenty of nice fish and corals immediately before where the reef drops off into the abyss . A great place to free dive as well, a red-horse fuelled attempt at my personal best a couple of years back took me to 20 meters one evening here – although probably better not to do this if you are on your own. Also, be careful of passing boats when you are under – if you hear one getting louder fast, probably better to stay calm, save your air and wait for the noise to start getting fainter (the boat has passed), before you surface. Whole thing should take about 20 seconds, better than getting chopped up and minced in the prop! Take your mind off holding your breath, and you’ll be surprised how long you can stay down – just keep everything slow and relaxed. Whilst at white beach, be sure to take a walk to the right of the beach, just follow it around as far as it will go – BUT be warned forenGER, you will get cooked up like a fine sausage if you don’t have sun cream and that cool tan won’t look so hot when it peels off in a couple of days ?

Diving

Moalboal is great for diving – head to Panagsama (see below). When you enter the main square, walk across the square, at the end turn left and you will be looking at the dive shop you might want to use for your dives. There is also a nice diving resort on the way to Panagsama beach where you can stay and dive (unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it, but will get details next time I am there). I think 1750 peso will get you two beds, mini bar, satellite TV, aircon and hot shower. There is also a pool. Much better than HK, but not so convenient to white beach. No need to worry about taking all your kit, a dive here is about 1200 peso including equipment. Best dive will be to boat out to Pescador island, plenty of turtles and other stuff to see. I recall one dive, coming back in on the boat. The girl sitting opposite was surprisingly quiet. After about 15 mins, I felt a little “oddness” downstairs and was surprised to see my “sausage” on full display. The 100 peso cheapo shorts I had bought had split during the dive and my member had flopped out and was sunning itself on the seat as we travelled back – nice!

Panagsama & Moalboal nightlife

When driving into Moalboal you should have seen two signs on your right, the first one signposted “Savedra” and going to HK resort & white beach, the next one signposted “Panagsama”. Panagsama is where all the dive shops and night life of Moal Boal is. There not much of a beach there. Most of the dive shops are around the square as you come into Panagsama. Follow the road which gets smaller and smaller and ends up in a tiny path. Interestingly, as you come into Panagsama Square in the evening you will notice a small bar on the left, often with Forengers hanging around it like flies – you can probably work the rest out.. Anyway, to continue – as you continue down the road (or drive), park up on the left next to the popular bar and pool hall, just before where the road really starts to narrow. Note that the restaurant opposite the bar is particularly good – superb food and nice view over the water if you sit at the end – mixed fruit shake with rum is really good! If you continue again, down the street which now becomes a narrow path, keep going and going – and you will eventually reach Moalboal’s disco, surprisingly busy sometimes. If you are there in the evening, you should be able to follow your ears to find it. Lots of young ladies here, you’ll probably also be in the company of a few other forenGERS that have travelled down from Cebu, often with their Filipina companions.

Accommodation & Resorts

As previously mentioned, I would highly recommend White Beach for its excellent beach. For budget accommodation it’s OK, although you will get better for your Peso in Panagsama – it’s just not quite as convenient. On taking the walk to the right on White beach – I noticed a couple of really nice looking resorts – one quite far on had a big pool and was pretty quiet, White beach can get a bit hectic sometimes on Sundays – but at this end its far quieter. Next time I will try this place out, although I think you could expect to pay around 3500 for the accommodation. After about 15 trips to Moalboal, always staying at HK – time to check out somewhere else!

Overall

Moalboal is definitely one of the top beach spots Cebu island has to offer and a must for any visiting ForenGER – even if you don’t get to go to many other places. In addition, you could also continue south for about another 25 mins and visit the waterfalls at “Kawasan falls”, definitely also worth a visit. Once back in Cebu you will be surprised just how many “Dive Moalboal” T-shirts you will notice – if you pick one up on white beach (you can buy them at the small shack just before the restaurant on White beach), you should pay about 100 Peso. If you have brought Filipina company with you, be sure to score points by buying her one and a couple for her friends/family ?. Although I haven’t been back there for a while, Moalboal is still one of my favourite all time spots, lots of memories..

4 Responses to “Moalboal – Beach resorts, snorkelling and diving”

  1. kem says:

    how much room hall night with aircon

  2. Gecille says:

    Is there somebody knows the number of HK resort in whitebeach moalboal? Please …

  3. Moalboal visitor says:

    Hi, myself and a few other foreign guys are planning a trip to Moalboal soon. Have had conflicting reports about nightlife. Looks like there are plenty of nice places to eat and have a drink. Are there any places in Moalboal where the bar girls can be tempted to come back to your resort for some night time fun?

  4. Salami says:

    great tip, have been to falls a few times, will have to check out the dinving.