Monday, August 15, 2011

Chocolate Hills

Imagine a thousand of giant chocolate kisses laid on a flat surface. That's exactly how Chocolate Hills would look like  - well, during summer that is. For in rainy days, the grassy vegetation growing on the hills would turn everything green.

The Chocolate Hills is probably the most famous tourist attraction in Bohol. Ask anybody from the Philippines about Bohol attractions and they probably would tell you about this natural wonder right away. On a recent survey, it was said that the hills total 1,776 in number. That number spans inside three towns in Bohol namely - Carmen, Sagbayan and Batuan. The first two have viewing decks on top of one of the hills where one can see a 360 degree panoramic view of the surrounding hills.

Starting my elementary days, my curious mind would always wonder how this Natural Geological Monument was formed. Several years have passed and I still haven't read any accepted scientific explanation as to the occurrence of this karst hills. There is also a legend about two giants battling with each other, throwing boulders and rocks on the direction of the other.Eventually, the fighting ended, and they became friends however they forgot to clean up after their clutter and thus, the chocolate hills. This ofcourse is a product of the rich Filipino culture. :) But one thing is certain. The hills are made of marine limestones with fossils of shallow mollusks, corals and algae.

When we went there, we climbed the 214 stair steps in Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen, Bohol to reach the peak. It was the rainy season but that day is extremely sunny and hot that I had a terrible headache. I suggest you wear a hat and bring a bottle of water when you're planning to visit, it would surely come in handy. There's also a huge flock of tourists that time that it wasn't easy to have photos without capturing other people on the background. Nevertheless, the view is a sight worth the effort. Seeing a great number of hills scattered around me is some sort of a wonderful experience. It is far different than just merely seeing it in pictures. Most of all, it is a grade-school dream fulfilled.

Getting to Chocolate Hills

I won't be able to share how to go to this place via commute since this and all the other attractions I've visited in Bohol is a part of the itinerary for the whole day countryside tour I designed. We rented a vehicle with a driver that served as our tour guide as well. This is a a family get-away and not my typical backpacking trip so comfort is one of my top priorities arranging this trip. If you need information on who you can contact for renting vehicles, please check this link: Cars/Vans for Hire in Bohol.

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