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Things to do in Cebu

  • Biking - Go to Tops, which literally sits at the top of the Mt Busay for an unobstructed view of the entire city at night. A few shops and restaurants stand along the way for a short stop. At one time taxi drivers charged a whopping ₱500+ for the ride to Tops but the price has doubled to a ridiculous non-negotiable ₱1000, the best way to experience Tops is by mountain bike. This is a world class climb and on any given day, Cebu's bikers are humping the 45 minute to 1 hr trek filled with switchbacks and views better than you see actually at the very top. Ask your hotel where you can rent a mountain bike. They will have to ask around a bit, but it's worth it.
  • Drink, Eat, Laugh and Party - Cebu city is one of the cities which won't miss the party scenes at night, being a major city of commerce and finance in the Philippines; the development of bars, clubs and other commercial establishments are at a fast rate. Take a break from the hectic busy urban life... take a laugh, comedy bars are common in the Philippines and usually Sarcasm the lowest common of wit as most people would say is the common specialty of comedians, don't get pissed at them if they make fun of you, smile back and just get along. Comedy and disco bars, coffee shops and restaurants are found in Gen. Mexilom Ave., Fuenta Rotunda and Osmeña Blvd.
  • Ride a Tartanilla - Head to Cebu's old quarters in Carlock St and try riding a horse drawn carriage called a tartanilla. Remember to negotiate with the driver before taking a ride.
  • See the scenic view of Cebu City's skyline - The Marcelo Fernan Bridge orSecond Mactan Bridge offers some interesting views of the city at night, and is even picturesque from below. Arrange for a taxi to take you there.
  • Shop - Cebu City is well known for two spacious and modern malls outside Manila. SM City Cebu and the Ayala Center Cebu are the most famous and luxurious shopping centers at the heart of the city. Boutique shops, mini-malls, themed malls, fine and alfresco dining include ParkMall, Banilad Town Center, among others.
  • Sinulog Festival - The island of Cebu gets especially busy on the third Sunday of January due to the Sinulog Festival. It is the local way of honouring the Child Jesus. Main thoroughfares around the city are blocked for an all-day and all-night loud and colourful street party. Don't forget your dancing shoes!
  • Swim and Sun - Mactan is actually the popular place when it comes to beaches which is just minutes away from Cebu City and is where the Airport is located. But despite its popularity, Mactan is a poor choice for travelers who are looking for a real beach experience. One would be hard-pressed to call any beach in Mactan a "paradise"...that is unless you enjoy fenced off, for-pay, mostly man-made muddy swim holes. Two ironies are at work on Mactan. Number #1: If you really like beaches, you are only about 90 minutes from great beaches, world class beaches ( examples include Moalboal and Alona in Bohol)... those are closer to the ones you see on postcards from the Philippines. Number #2: most people who enjoy Mactan absolutely hate the sun (count the number of umbrellas opened on any given day in Cebu!) ) and have a slightly less strong aversion to the water...and instead are enjoying mactan as the result of a someone else's generosity or purchased time, or bought a package deal back in Korea without knowing any better, or as furloughed cebu city workers who take some pleasure telling co-workers and friends they were at the so and so 3 star hotel for the weekend but do little else than take picture of the event rather than simply enjoying the experience.

For a real beach experience, visit nearby Bantayan Island. It is accessible by chartered plane from Mactan Cebu Airport or through Hagnaya Port (3 hr by car from the city) where it is around an hour ferry ride to Sta Fe port of Bantayan Island. Day trips to Virgin Island can be arranged with your resort as well.

  • Snorkel, bird-watching and scuba diving - The island of Olango and its 6 small satellite islands are ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving as well as observation of migratory birds.
  • Xtreme Rides - Just adjacent Robinson's Mall is the Crown Regency Cebu which is the tallest building in the city. Adventure seekers may head to the top floor to experience a breathtaking view of this modern city and its environs. You may also opt to join in the Xtreme Rides that literally puts you on the edge of the city, or you may walk around the edge of the building (don't worry, safety cables are attached) to experience this once in a lifetime experience. All of these you can enjoy for a small fee.
  • Backstreet Academy (Backstreet Academy), Capitol Site, Cebu City, Philippines.,  +63-9772033565, e-mail: . 9AM-6PM. An alternative tour experiences platform, they enable locals to offer authentic and unique activities to tourists such as street food tours, weaving workshops, landscape painting classes, Lechon feasts with locals and various types of Filipino Martial Art lessons with masters. A social enterprise, they work with many underprivileged people who either serve as hosts or facilitators. The facilitators will be your medium of communication with the local hosts. Transport is provided for some of the activities. $10-$25.

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