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Polaroid Of The Week: The Chocolate Hills Of Bohol, Philippines

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polaroid of the week philippines bohol chocolate hillsI came to Bohol for exactly two reasons: tarsiers and chocolate hills. Bohol was the only island in the Philippines that I wasn’t drawn to for its beaches, but for nature and wildlife. Tarsiers are some of the smallest primates in the world, and can easily fit in your palm, that’s how tiny they are! In my opinion, they look like little gremlins, with big heads and big round eyes, and I had been dying to ‘meet’ one ever since I’d seen a picture of one of these rare creatures. They are, similar to sloths, both cute and ugly at the same time.

The other thing I came to Bohol for, the Chocolate Hills, took a bit more effort to see (including a wild ride through the fields on the back of a stranger’s motorcycle), but it was well worth it. I couldn’t believe the sight of hundreds of cone-shaped hills sticking out of the ground as far as the eye could see! In total, there are over 1,300 of these hills spread out over 50sq km (20 sq miles), all between 100 and 165 feet (30 and 50 meters) high. The hills are made of limestone and covered with grass, and because they are seen as a ‘superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance’, they have been submitted for UNESCO World Heritage status as Natural Monument.

Because nobody can really explain how these hills were created, local folklore has several legends about the formation of the hills. One says they are tears of a heartbroken giant. Another one says that there were two giants, fighting each other, throwing huge rocks at each other – which are the chocolate hills. Two other legends indicate that these are in fact feces left behind by giants!

While I wasn’t sure why these lush green hills were named after chocolate (other than that they reminded me of Hershey’s Kisses, would you agree?), I later learned that this is because they are brownish, chocolate-colored during the dry season when the green grass dries up.

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Tags : boholphilippinesPolaroid

10 Comments

  1. I loved Bohol! Alona Beach definitely didn’t live up to the hype, but I was so taken with the island’s interior that I forgot all about beaches. That landscape really is one of the coolest I’ve ever seen. And that “wild ride” to see the Chocolate Hills was one of my most memorable experiences in the Philippines!

  2. So glad you made it to Bohol – I agree about the tarsiers looking like gremlins. But they’re still so cute! Can’t wait to read your thoughts on Siquijor!

    1. Marbree – so cute.. and so tiny!! I want one 😀 Siquijor was amazing; I’m so glad that I went! It was a last-minute addition to my itinerary.. so happy about that! 🙂

  3. Bohol is one of my favorite islands in the Philippines; glad you made it there. I loved the tarsiers and the chocolate hills, found the locals to be warmer, and the lush interiors were spectacular!

    If you’re still around, I highly recommend stand up paddle boarding on the Bohol river by night to a spot where fireflies create a magical show on the trees! It’s amazing. I’ve written about it here, incase you’d like to know more – http://the-shooting-star.com/2014/04/09/7-reasons-why-bohol-is-my-favorite-island-in-the-philippines/

    1. Vegetarian food!! You found it in Bohol – I somehow didn’t 🙁 And now I wish I would’ve gone SUPing there, it looks amazing!! I guess I’ll have to go back 😉

    1. The tarsiers are soooo cute!! Visiting the sanctuary was a rather short affair but sooo worth it! I was so tempted to smuggle one out but the guide didn’t leave my side 😉

  4. Oh cool! My boyfriend was born in the Philippines, and I’m heading back there with him and his family for what will be my second trip. I believe we already have a full itinerary, but I’ll have to put Bohol down on the list for a future visit!

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