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I was slowly making my way south from the famous Boracay Island to Siquijor Island.
Bacolod was my next stop on the way.
I was glad to say ‘goodbye’ to Iloilo City; I didn’t like it.
HOTEL TO ILOILO RIVER WHARF:
The fast boats to Bacolod leave from Iloilo River Wharf which has recently moved from the south side of Iloilo River (Ortiz) to the north side of the river (Lapuz).
The Riverside Inn was on a main road; Tribikes are (apparently) not allowed on that road. So, I made my way to the Wharf by taxi; the distance is about 1.5kms and the cost was PHP50 for the taxi and PHP12 for the temporary parking fee (for the taxi to enter the Wharf parking area).
I left at 9:30am and I was at the Wharf within 10 minutes.
SUPERCAT TO BACOLOD:
I was approached immediately by a steward who asked me where I was going.
I was told that the next fast boat to Bacolod was 10:30am and I was directed to the 2GO ticket counter. There are 3 or 4 companies operating fast boats from Iloilo to Bacolod; most leave every 2 hours during the day.
2GO has a good name in the Philippines, so I was happy to go with them. The 2GO price was PHP230 for an open-deck non-aircon seat and PHP260 for an inside seat with aircon. The open deck would have been perfectly OK but I bought the latter. You are given a seat number which they write on your ticket.
Ticket in hand, I entered the Ferry Terminal; the Terminal Fee is PHP30 which you queue up for to buy at a small kiosk. The terminal has seating and aircon.
They do not announce the departures; you have to keep your eyes open. My boat started loading at 10:20am.
They had given me a good seat with lots of legroom; which was nice of them. To my left was an old lady. To my right was a young lady with a baby. That baby had the most gorgeous smile and insisted on smiling at me most of the way to Bacolod. I spent some time gently stroking her toes to keep her happy whilst she was feeding.
The SuperCat took 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Bacolod.
BACOLOD FERRY TERMINAL TO MY HOTEL:
As you exit the Ferry Terminal you have the usual array of taxis and Tribikes waiting.
My Hotel was 1km from the terminal. My rule of thumb told me that a Tribike should cost PHP20. I asked 2 tribikes for a price; both wanted PHP100.
I do not like fueling locals over-charging tourists. If I pay this inflated price, they will over-charge the next tourist and it perpetuates. If I do not, perhaps, they will think twice next time and ask a fair price. I decided to walk.
BAD DECISION … the wheels fell off of my suitcase! It was a bit of a struggle to get to my hotel without wheels, but I got there in the end. 🙂
MY HOTEL – THE SUITES AT CALLE NUEVA:
I was only staying for a total of 3 nights, so I booked all 3 nights in advance.
I found the best priced hotel (The Suites at Calle Nueva) on AGODA.
I paid a ‘discounted’ rate of PHP922 / night for a Single Room including buffet breakfast.
A ‘Single’ room in S.E. Asia usually means a Double bed or Twin bed room – but it has been discounted for single person occupancy.
The Calle Nueva is on a quiet side street near the central park and is within easy walking distance of shopping and restaurants.
The room, itself, was the best value for money that I have found since arriving in The Philippines (other than the Blue Pirates in Boracay).
It was a good sized Twin room that came with aircon, desk, cable TV, toiletries, in-room wifi, complimentary bottled water, hot water ensuite, and a large wardrobe.
The ensuite was clean with plenty of water pressure (which made a pleasant change).
The buffet breakfast is excellent with many things to choose from.
MY FIRST NIGHT:
I spent the afternoon shopping for a new suitcase. There is a big SM City shopping mall near the ferry terminal. Lucky for me, there was a 3 day sale on. I got my suitcase at half price.
I was back to the hotel by 4:00pm. After resting for an hour or so, I had an SSSS and hit the streets to find a cold beer …
There are several small eateries around the Calle Nueva hotel. I chose the Food Hall at the Terra Plaza. I grabbed a 1 litre bottle of Red Horse (PHP95) and started working.
30 minutes later, a free live band starting playing. They were very good. I stayed for a 2nd Red Horse.
I prefer Bacolod over Iloilo already …
The trip from Iloilo City to Bacolod is an easy one.
Door-to-door it took me 2.5 hours. My total cost was PHP352.
I left my Iloilo hotel at 9:30am and I was checking in at my Bacolod hotel by 12:00 noon.
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