Kawasan falls day trip, Cebu (Day 8 Philippines)

 Day 8 Destination

We ended up only having the time to see Cebu’s top attraction, Kawasan Falls. It took 4+ hours to reach the falls and 3 more to get back but it was worth it as the falls are very pretty.

Top tips: Leave Cebu City as early in the morning as possible (7 am) to avoid spending more than an hour in traffic like we did. Do not spend much time at the lowest level falls, they’re tourist traps on the weekend. Find the steps on the left side of the falls to go to the 2nd level falls and beyond. Try to stop at the Moalboal white beach on the way back.

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The (Long) Journey

Before we describe the day, we must give a special shoutout to the luxury condo we stayed in while at Cebu City. All 3 of us were very sleep deprived for most of the trip but slept like babies in this amazing flat. The best part was just calling the reception to ask for a cab & wait 5 minutes for a callback 🙂 We left for the Cebu City south bus terminal by 9:30 AM and got seats on the first available bus leaving at 10 AM.

Within 5 minutes of us setting off, we were stuck in a colossal traffic jam. This gave us a chance to converse with locals. Dalek’s neighbour was a student travelling back home to Barili. Like other Filipinos we talked to, he too supported Duterte & said that they feel safer now than before. He also bought a Buko (coconut) pie for us from a bus vendor. It was hot & delicious! Its heartwarming to see how friendly Filipinos are 🙂

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Buko pie cross-section

The traffic jam also gave Yoda a chance to capture the chaos & spirit of Cebu using her camera. We’re very happy with the results. She stayed click happy through the rest of the journey capturing a selection of daily life in Cebu.

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Simple Christmas decorations

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Woman pensively waits for customers at a local roast meat shop. Little shops like this one are found all over Philippines.

The last thing to know about the journey is what was played on the bus TV on our journeys.

  • Hit Man returns concert. Yoda really liked one part of the video, an All By Myself cover by Charice (who, coincidentally, is of Filipino origin). The girl next to Yoda was singing along through all the songs in the tribute (Filipinos are crazy about music, specially from the USA)
  • Taylor Swift launching her album “Red” (apparently she likes to bake)
  • The movie “The Last Samurai” starring Tom Cruise 😛

The Destination

The bus dropped us off at the trailhead of the falls. As usual, there’ll be people trying to be your guides but you do not need them, especially here as the trail is very well marked. The path to the falls was enchanting, it might even edge over the actual falls themselves on the natural beauty scale. Very photogenic!

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As we said, enchanting

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Thats some view for laundry

Finally we reached the Kawasan Falls. Though the view was beautiful, it was so damn crowded. All the space was taken up by “restaurants” with a charge applied for a table. We politely refused and took some photos while our friend Katara took a shower under the falls! The cost for the raft ride is 300 PHP per person.

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A more realistic lower falls view, there’ll be a lot of people outside the falls too

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Waterfall shower

Once Katara took an exhilarating waterfall shower, we walked up to the second tier of the falls. We were relieved to see far fewer people, encouraged us to finally take a dip ourselves. The setting was quite romantic if we may add. There were a number of small fishes nibbling our feet in the water, that’s good for exfoliation we think. We highly recommend coming up to the second tier and splashing around, even if you can’t swim.

There were quite a few people jumping into the pool from the top, called Canyoneering. Looked a lot of fun but we were fine from our base vantage point. 😀 Here’s the company we saw who looked like they were organized & doing a good job.

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2nd tier at Kawasan Falls, spot the canyoneer

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Lagoon between the two tiers of falls

We started leaving around 5:30 PM to make it out to the main road before nightfall. It was a good decision as the trail is extremely dark at night and we barely made it out in time.  Tip: Carry a torch or a headlamp with you just in case you stay at the falls into dusk. Caught the same bus back to Cebu City with the same conductor, the only thing different was what was being played on the TV. We were super-hungry by the time it got back but luckily Ayala mall was close to our flat, so we had some mall Chinese food to end the day. Here is a pic of the huge NBA store we saw at the mall to reinforce the idea of how basketball-crazy Philippines is (talked about before here).

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Michael Jordan is still in demand 😀

Transport Logistics

Taxi from Cebu City south bus terminal to / from Ayala Mall: 100 PHP

A/C bus from Cebu City to Kawasan Falls: 140 PHP per person

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