Nalusan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Visited 11th May 2008
A long weekend for Buddha's Birthday and the Cheung Chau Bun Festival and to celebrate Naomi and I headed to the Philippines for a tropical break. Our destination, Cebu City, was a pleasant surprise. As the nations second biggest city it was remarkably relaxed, especially when compared with the filthy chaos that is Manila. Saturday we explored the old town, visiting historical sites like the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Fort San Pedro and Magellan's Cross (the Portuguese explorer introduced Christianity here in 1521 and died as a result of his efforts).
Sunday was all about soaking up a little tropical action on an 'Island Hopping' tour. Exploring Cebu's coastal waters between Mactan and Bohol Islands we visited lush reefs and beautiful islands. The diversity of marine life was fantastic with spectacular corals, a huge variety of fish and plenty of interesting critters like sea cucumbers, huge starfish, abundant sea urchins, a sea snake and a turtle. Lunch was at the Nalusan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary. Run as an eco-tourism venture, this tiny island resort with just eight bungalows and a beautiful reef also caters for the lunch rush
Location, location, location and not many locations are as special as sitting under palm trees on a tiny tropical island with ocean views in every direction. Lunch was a 'simple' barbecue that consisted of mountains of food served on banana leaves. The piles of king prawns, crab, fish fillets, pork sticks, baby cuttlefish and chicken drumsticks were served with rice and a homemade chilli vinegar dipping sauce. The food was truly delicious and even better for being sustainably caught. The fresh pineapple and famous Filipino mangoes to finish completed a perfect meal in a perfect location. We visited Nalusan Island as part of a tour organised through our hotel and Tharsis Marine Sports. For PHP3500 ahead, all inclusive, it really was good value when you include hotel transfers, a boat to ourselves, drinks, lunch, snorkelling and a tropical break to escape Hong Kong's polluted skies and crowded streets. Cebu City, Tharsis Marine Sports and Nalusan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary all come highly recommend, unlike work Tuesday morning which really was a bit of a disappointment.
Visit restaurant website.