Bohol is located in the south-central part of the Philippines, right in the heart of the Visayas. Although Bohol is known primarily for the Chocolate Hills, the Tarsier, and as an ideal spot for diving and snorkeling, there’s one other attraction that Bohol can boast about, and that every vacationer on this island should try— and that is the floating restaurants along the Loboc River.
Each floating restaurant can hold about 20-25 people each. The boat ride starts at the Loay Bridge, just 20 kilometers from Tagbilaran City. A motorboat maneuvers a large bamboo raft upstream through the Loboc River, and the buffet begins.
This extensive selection of tasty, native dishes positioned in the center of the raft makes for an extremely pleasant dining experience, which one can enjoy buffet-style for approximately P250 per person. Dishes usually offered are soup, grilled seafood such as squid, prawns and fish, and barbecued chicken, pork, and vegetables. For dessert, a variety of fresh fruits are available, as well as overflowing coffee and tea. While dining, a small group of singers serenade you with everything from folk songs to local pop songs.
Another reason that makes dining along the Loboc River so enjoyable though, is the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the raft. The lush greens all around the raft are captivating against a perfectly blue sky which adds tranquility to the ride. As the boat goes further upstream, one cannot help but notice that the river is full of life.
Locals go about their business on small boats and canoes, carabaos are wading and drinking the river water, while children are everywhere, swinging from tall coconut trees and jumping into the river. Sometimes, the children swim up to the boats and try to catch the tourists’ attention, performing random stunts in the water. Other tourists and locals call out to you, wave and smile at you, as their restaurant and yours cross paths.
The boat takes about 45 minutes to reach a small waterfall called Busay, where it will stop for a while in order for those aboard to enjoy the view. Afterwards, the boat turns around and makes its way downstream the river.
During the summer, the river is clean and green, while during the rainy season, the water is rather brown. It doesn’t really matter what time of the year you decide to go here though, because either way, you’re still in for fresh air, scrumptious food, and a completely unique experience.