This post is a summary of our weekend spent in Cebu, Philippines (we’ve rambled here & here). Though we didn’t cover much ground, we’ll document our practical learnings in this post to help future travelers.
Reasons to visit
Eating Lechon (meat lovers only): This is not an exaggeration and a genuine personal opinion, it is worth flying to Cebu City just to have Lechon (Filipino roast pork). Spicy lechon is one of the tastiest things we have ever eaten in our lives: melt in the mouth, a good proportion of fat & perfectly crisp crackling. We recommend Rico’s Lechon as they’re one of the few outlets that make Spicy Lechon but there are a wide variety of choice to try from in Cebu City: CnT Lechon, House of Lechon & Zubuchon (source: Cebu Republic).
Tip: Get to your choice of restaurant by 11:30 AM. We know it sounds early but it helps avoid any wait plus the service is great!
Kawasan falls: Due to the limited time on offer in a weekend, we picked Kawasan Falls as the only natural attraction we could cover. There were pros and cons with this approach.
Cons: Super crowded on the lowest level of falls when we reached (around 2:30 PM), insane traffic on the way to the falls (bus departed at 10 AM).
Pros: The falls are so very beautiful and much less crowded on the second tier (described below), the trail to the falls is as beautiful as the falls themselves. We’ll let our pics do the talking.
To get to the second tier, go to the left side of the falls via the bridge and follow the steps that go along the falls. This area is much less crowded than the level below on the weekend. You may consider doing the raft shower ride at 300 PHP per person.
Tip: Leave Cebu City by 7 AM to avoid massive traffic jams like the one we got into on the way out.
Tip: The bus to Kawasan leaves from the Cebu City South bus terminal & is the Yellow bus for Badian via Barili, the bus drivers & conductors are helpful and will point you to the right bus.
Tip: If you left for Kawasan early and can spare 1-1.5 hours of daylight, get off at Moalboal on the way back to enjoy its white beach.
Tip: Tickets are bought on board for 140 PHP per person in cash for a 1-way ticket (for the yellow A/C bus).
Shopping: It pains us to even mention this but Cebu was our last stop in the Philippines before flying back home and we knew we had to shop for things to take back as memories / gifts. The SM Super Mall was our shopping destination, it is a huge mall selling anything you’d want to buy including traditional Filipino chic accessories at Kultura.
To sweeten the deal (literally), we had a full complement of Filipino desserts at Cafe Laguna inside the mall before taking a taxi straight to the airport. Here’s our second lunch including purple rice as well as Bebingka, a Christmas rice+coconut pudding.
Additionally, we also dropped by Ayala Mall for dinner after returning from Kawasan falls as it was next to our flat.
Getting in and out
Cebu Mactan International Airport is well served by both domestic & international flights, particularly Cebu Pacific (doh). The airport is pretty swanky & even has a Zubuchon in the terminal for your Lechon withdrawal needs.
To be honest, Cebu City didn’t feel quite safe as we saw many armed men, both uniformed & otherwise. We took taxis everywhere within Cebu City (and to the airport).
Sample taxi fare: Ayala Mall to South bus terminal = just below 100 PHP.
Where to stay
We cannot recommend our AirBnb next to Ayala Mall highly enough. Outside of having just 1 toilet + shower, it was just perfect for 3 people!! It was truly a luxury condo at an affordable price on the 19th floor (16th floor in reality). Getting taxis too was a breeze as the condo reception would do it for you. Click here to get £25/$35 off your 1st AirBnb booking (read our International Travel Tips to read why we’re heavy AirBnb users).
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