Oslob – the Gateway to Paradise

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I wanted to leave the big cities behind. I had come to the Philippines to find white sandy beaches, palm trees, crystal clear water. Therefore I was in a hurry to get to Oslob. The small town is most known for its whale sharks, and it takes 4 hours by bus to reach it. The bus ride was not exactly pleasent, because the bus was very overcrowded and I could not store my luggage in the trunk. I spent the two hours irritated by the constant honking of the driver and the 90s pop music, which Filipinos for whatever reason absolutely love.

Therefore I was very happy when I reached Oslob. This was a whole different world. Everything was smaller and more relaxed than in Manila or Cebu City. I took a tricycle to my accomodation, the Sharky Hostel, and on the way I could already admire the green lush hills and the deep blue water. I can wholeheartedly recommend the Sharky Hostel. It is situated a bit aside the main road and looks more like a resort than a hostel with its little bamboo huts. The dorms are simple, but clean and very spacious. The hostel also organizes whale shark tours.

First I had a big meal at the Sunrise Grill Haus next to the hostel. I payed 250 Pesos (5 USD), for grilled fish and a delicious mango shake and had a fantastic view over the ocean while eating.

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I wanted to see more of the tropical landscape, so I decided to go to the Tumalog Falls. Under a cloudless sky I walked half an hour on the coastal road, before I turned left to the waterfalls. I declined offers to drive me there for 100 Pesos (2 USD) because I wanted to save money and enjoy the landscape. However, due to the murderous heat and the steep incline the march turned out to be quite exhausting. Hence I was very happy when a friendly Filippino couple offered me a ride in their pick up truck. You can also hire a motorbike taxi for the last few metres to the waterfalls, but it does only take 10 minutes to walk there.

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I found the Tumalog Falls to be one of the more impressive waterfalls in the Philippines. The area might not be as big as the Kawasan Falls at Moalboal, for example, and they don´t offer any Canyoneering Tours. The Tumalog Falls, however, are much higher and it is very refreshing to swim in the cold, clear water. The fee for visitors is 45 Pesos (85 Cents), which is not too much in my opinion.

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I made my way back on foot and by motorbike taxi, and booked my whale shark tour at the Hostel in the early evening. The Sharky Hostel offers not only spacious rooms but also the perfect hostel atmosphere. All in all, I enjoyed my stay in Oslob very much, especially because of the great landscape, the laid-back atmosphere and the friendly people I met there. Definitely one of my favourite places in Cebu.

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