The Manjuyod White Sandbar in the Philippines has gained a lot of popularity in the media lately and it has been dubbed as the “Maldives of the Philippines”. If you are dreaming of a powdery white sand, crystal clear water, fresh ocean air, beautiful corals and fresh seafood then this is the place.
I grew up in the beautiful and peaceful island of Negros Oriental where the Manjuyod White Sandbar is located. The past few years I have been planning to go back home to visit my family. This summer I, fortunately, got to visit them and also had the chance to visit this wonderful place that everyone has been talking about.
How to get there?
My family flew from Manila to Dumaguete City; it was a short flight, about one hour and 20 minutes. The Negros Oriental province is in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. The capital, Dumaguete City, best known as a University City because of Silliman University, the first American University established in the Philippines and in Asia. The city is also known as the City of Gentle People!!! If you are looking for something a little more off-the-beaten-path, this island won’t disappoint you.
Where to Stay?
There are a lot of accommodations to choose from in Dumaguete City and surrounding towns, depending on your budget and preference. My family stayed at the Bethel Guest House, a favorite of ours when in the city for a quick visit. Nothing fancy but it’s clean and amazing customer service. It is located on Rizal Boulevard, a famous place where locals and tourists stroll and relax. The hotel is also a walking distance to restaurants, shops, and local landmarks.
Our room got the ocean view
Where to eat?
Jo’s Chicken Inato… you can’t visit Dumaguete City without trying out the original Jo’s Chicken Inato. This is my personal favorite and a national favorite eatery. Well… actually my husband is also a big fan of this place. They serve local farm-raised chickens and fresh ingredients from the local market. Their grilled chicken is a MUST!!!
Reaching the Manjuyod White Sandbar
It is easy to get to the Manjuyod White Sandbar from Dumaguete City. Most hotels and resorts offer day trip packages at affordable rates or you have the option to do it on your own – take a bus or rent a car. We drove there on our own one early morning and rented a boat from the Campuyo Wharf. A friend helped us get a boat and if you are planning to come visit this place, let me know and I will be happy to help you plan and arrange your ride.
THE WHITE SANDBAR
When we arrived at the White Sandbar, it was so beautiful!!! The water was what I was expecting, crystal clear. There are local vendors selling fresh seafood caught in the surrounding waters that you can order ahead of time and they can prepare it for you at your convenience.
Tip: Check the tide forecast since the White Sandbar is best visited during low tide.
This area is also a popular place to spot wild dolphins. The best time to swim with dolphins or to see them depends on the season. According to local boatmen, the dolphins around the Manjuyod Sandbar and Tanon Strait normally appear in the morning hours just after sunrise. And we were so lucky to see a lot of them during their playtime. What an AMAZING experience!!!
OMG!!! It was an extraordinary experience. Happy to share it with family:)
After dolphin watching, we went back to the White Sandbar. There we had lunch and enjoyed swimming and diving off the boat. Our lunch was all fresh, from raw oysters, sea urchins, scallops, fish and fresh coconut juice. It was definitely one of the best days of our lives.
By the way, there are cottages on stilts available for daytime use or overnight use but don’t expect luxury, these are simple and basic accommodation.
People ask if it’s worth going to this place, what do you think? 🙂