It may not be on your bucket list yet but the Manjuyod Sandbar is definitely a must-see attraction here in Negros Oriental. Known as the “Maldives of the Philippines”, Manjuyod White Sandbar is truly a white gem to visit. It is located geographically in the municipality of Manjuyod along the Bais Bay in the Tañon Strait. There are a few cottages in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by fine white sands.
Here’s the first tip for visiting Manjuyod Sandbar: Check the tide chart for the white sand can only be seen during low tide. A trip to the remote and relaxing white gem is usually associated with the dolphin watching in Bais (a must NOT miss chance).
Getting to Manjuyod White Sand Bar
There are different ways in getting to the Manjuyod White Sandbar. Some would hire a tour operator or a guide, but trips like this won’t necessarily need if you can do it yourself. As mentioned before, the Manjuyod Sandbar is ‘geographically’ located in the town of Manjuyod. However, there are two ways in getting there! There is the Bias port and the Manjuyod port. One can stop at its neighboring city of Bais about an hour’s drive from Dumaguete City. The easiest way to reach Bais City is by taking a Ceres Bus at the terminal for an approximate fare of Php 60.00 (USD 1.17).
After arriving at the market area of Bais City, take a public transportation called ‘trikes’ to Campiñahan Wharf or Canibol Wharf. Rental boats are usually available especially in a good climate for dolphin watching and the visit to the sandbar. Depending on the season and the number of people, a boat rental is about PHP 3,500. 00 (USD 68.54), PHP 4,000.00 (USD 78.33) good for 15 people and Php 5,000.00 (USD 100) good for up to 20 people.
One can also go to Barangay Campuyo of Manjuyod, where a designated port for the sandbar is available. Prices are similar to the one in Bais. However, prices may change without prior notice.
Another tip: Buy and bring your own food and drinks, there are no restaurants nearby!
Dolphin & Sandbar – A Great Combo
Dolphin watching in Bais can be really fun especially during the right time of the day and the year. They are mostly playful and are curious to see what a boat is. The combo trip will start as early as six or seven in the morning for the registration, filling of gasoline and finally for departure. It usually takes about an hour before the boat approaches the dolphins, who are usually out during the morning.
The Dolphins of Bais
Note: Swimming with the dolphins or feeding them are strictly prohibited.
Unlike other dolphins in some parts of the world, Bais dolphins are not trained to swim alongside human beings. Swimming with them may cause a life threat and could injure you in many ways. The dolphins in Bais are also considered as wild (but not as in wild) animals who live peacefully in their natural own habitat.
Dolphin watching usually takes about one and a half hours (imagine how tiring it is to jump here in there for human amusement). The dolphins are made to rest as the traveler pack heads forth to the Manjuyod White Sandbar. Just a few hours before lunchtime, travelers arrive at the white sandbar. It’s time to relax!
Relaxing in White Sand
Feast your eyes on the majestic and relaxing beauty of the Manjuyod White Sandbar. The attraction is a great sight and a picture-perfect scenery (skies ever blue as the clear waters that reflect white rays from the white sand). There is nothing more to do but to relax and swim about. The fine granules of white sand are so soft to the touch that it feels heavenly when stepped on. Floating sari-sari stores or shops passed by selling chips, drinks, fresh coconut water, oysters, sea urchins and etc.
Different cottages can be used as overnight accommodation or daytime house rent. The boat parks as the tourists enjoys their peaceful time. There are also some rides available such as dragon boat ride, and banana boat rides. Prices range from Php 100-150 per head. Lunch break and swimming are arranged until 2 in the afternoon or depending on your boat arrangements. After the deserving lunch, it is time to slowly back the bags and go ashore.
On the way back, a quick stop and chat around the Mangrove Forest can be made. As the boat passes the forests, travelers would often hear different historical and geological stories from the boatman (or from the tour guide onboard). The forest can only be visited during the right tide. If the tide is too low, there is a good chance that the boat will only pass by. Nevertheless, take the time to enjoy the green environmental fresh air. By three in the afternoon, the boat will be back at the shore as the drained travelers find their way home happy from their trip.
A day with Dolphin Watching in Bais and the Manjuyod Sandbar is always a nice little weekend holiday for both friends and families. Whether it is a trip on low or high tide, there are different pros and cons that one could surely enjoy. And if one is still not uncertain of the great experience, there is only one way to find out: just go for it!