Some people write that there is not much to do in Sipalay, Negros Occidental. I found the opposite true. When you are paying this town a visit with the idea of having a great night-life, than you have come to the wrong place. There is nothing to do in Sipalay after 8-9 o’clock pm. But during day time? there is lots to discover and to do. Here are my 5 tips, of the beaten path of spending time in one of the many dive resorts, for when you visit Sipalay. For there is more to do than dive and get yourself a tan at one of the gorgeous beaches here.
Visit Tinagong Dagat
Walk the bamboo bridge and the hanging bridge across the lagoon and visit the former La Isla Bonita on the Island of Tinagang Dagat. There is a viewpoint on top of the little island in the middle of the lagoon that will reveal all the Sipalay Islands and coast to you as a reward after climbing those endless steps.
here is a video impression, but I tell you: seeing it live is so much better!
Eat Crepes at the Mixed Food Restaurant.
Meet Fred and Anne, owners of the Mixed food Restaurant. He is french and cycled all the way from France to the Philippines. Photo’s f his trip are decorating the walls of the nipa restaurant. The menu offers a good mix of Filipino and western dishes with a French touch. Try the crepes, or the home made potato croquettes.
it is a good affordable place to eat in Sipalay that offers not many restaurants.
Visit Candoni, a mountain village
Candoni was derived from the native phrase Kan Dune meaning “belonging to Dune”, the legend of beautiful girl named Dionesia who committed suicide after being forced by her parents to marry a man she did not love.
the municipality of Candoni was also the first ‘zone of peace’ in the Philippines. (source: Wikipedia)
To visit the peaceful village of Candoni you take a Ceres bus that leaves from the Ceres Busstop opposite of the Public Market in central Sipalay City. The bus ride gives you a good impression of rural life in the Philippines with breathtaking views over the river and countryside, passing by barangays and scattered houses in rice fields. The road is partially concrete, but most of your journey will be bumpy while traveling over a gravel and dirt road through the hills (januari 2016)
Once in Candoni: make sure to let the dispatcher at the Ceres bus terminal know that you are going back to Sipalay so he can give the driver of the bus a call. Otherwise the bus from Kabankalan to Sipalay will not stop at Candoni. Last bus back to Sipalay leaves around 4-4.30 pm.
Travel time: depending on how many stops the bus has to make 1-2 hours
Price: 53 pesos single fare
Take a Boat Trip from Punta Ballo and go Island Hopping
At the Punta Ballo resorts you can rent a pump-boat to go Island Hopping. For 1800 pesos you will get a lovely view of the coastline of Negros Occidental, Campamanos Bay with the Marine Life Sanctuary Project and fish pools and finally the cave at Maasin Island that has openings on both sides of the island so you can look through it.
Here are two one minute video’s of the trip:
Visit the Farmers Market on Monday
Every Monday life stock, fruits and vegetables, dried fish and clothing is sold at the Sipalay Farmers market. A colourful spectacle. Buy some fresh cut and cleaned fruit and taste the real Filipino lifestyle while wandring among the vendors and visitors.
Click here for more pictures of the Monday market.