My second solo travel this year. Wow time flies fast! where did the months go? For my second solo adventure I chose to explore an island still close to Cebu. Creating a Southern Leyte Travel Guide was a challenge for me as that was the first time I visited the islands of Southern Leyte.
Well I guess that is the purpose of traveling to a new place. You never know what to expect once you step foot on the island.
So why did I choose Southern Leyte to be my second solo destination for the year? First, I wanted my second travel to be a place that is novel to me. Second, my father is from Southern Leyte which made it extra special. Walking the path he once explored when he was a kid for me would be a memorable experience.
Now to kick start my Southern Leyte Travel Guide we start with how to get there. If your place of origin is in Manila then the easiest but long route would be to take a bus from Manila to Southern Leyte. The ride is long but the advantage is you get to see the terrain of Luzon and Visayas including the magnificent Mayon Volcano. This route is a travel goal of mine however…
Since I am in Cebu the route I took was easier and quicker. I hopped on a fastcraft from Cebu to Southern Leyte. The only fastcraft that will bring you to Southern Leyte via Maasin City from Cebu is Weesam.
They have a fixed “float” schedule ( I would have said flight but its a boat not a plane). The trip from Cebu to Maasin is approximately 3 hours. As a constant traveler I find the accommodation to be sufficient for a 3 hour travel which brings me to my first Travel tip.
Erik the Hungry Traveler Southern Leyte Travel Guide Tip 1: Be a TOURIST while floating
Do not go for the economy ticket when heading to Maasin. The economy area is not air conditioned and there is only one fan spread across 30 people ( just an estimate).
The boat schedule is at 6am (no other schedule) thus if you want to reserve your energy for your actual travel then make sure to purchase a business class or tourist class ticket. I paid 700 Php for my tourist class ticket which i bought online. I was also fortunate enough to have the whole aisle to myself. You can buy your fare for the trip through their website.
The 3 hour journey was a breeze for me as I was asleep the whole time. Thus when I woke up from my 3 hour slumber the boat was about to dock at Maasin City.
Aside from that its my first time in Southern Leyte, I also did not research ahead of time. Nope, no itinerary. No hotel reservation. Which I do not recommend. Which brings me to my second tip.
Southern Leyte Travel Guide Tip 2: Do some research about Southern Leyte
Prior to this travel I know little about Maasin City moreover Southern Leyte. Thus upon docking I had no idea where to go. It was 9 a.m the sun was at its sunniest and internet connection on my phone was weak. During that moment I literally verbalized what was in my head… Erik you are completely ****ed !
Thus i recommend doing some research about what to expect upon arriving in Maasin City. Being that I am an extreme introvert I had a hard time asking for directions. So it took me a good 10 minutes roaming around the port deciding on my next move.
Being that the heat of the sun was already painful on my skin, I decided to ride the first tricycle who stopped for me. The driver asked me if the bus station was my destination. Considering I had no destination in mind the only words i could say was: YES
Upon arriving at the bus station i went for a quick walk around the area. A couple of minutes more I decided and mustered the courage to hop on another tricycle and asked the driver to take me to a hotel in Maasin city.
He gave me two options. The first option was a hotel that was far from the main road (ooh off beaten path I said in my head) and was an old hospital (yeah, no thanks) . I did not know what the second option was but I immediately decided to take that option.
Southern Leyte Travel Guide Tip 3: Booking.com, Trivago are your friends!
I do not know about you but I find a hospital turned hotel to be freaky and spooky. Thus I went for the second option.
The hotel where the driver took me as per him is a known hotel in the city. It was found in the heart of the city which for me was also a plus. I said to myself yeah I will like the second hotel option.
Unfortunately, I did not. Which brings me to my 3rd and final point for part 1 of this Southern Leyte Travel Guide. Research the hotels in Southern Leyte. Find what’s best for you and what fits your personality. Well at least you have this blog to advice you on what to do before attempting to solo travel in this place. I however, learned it the hard way.
The hotel that the driver took me was err not a hotel but a transient lodge. Just my own preference but I like my hotels to be clean and smelling good (I bet all of us would want that). The size of the room does not matter. I just need the place where I am staying to look tidy and safe.
I will not name the hotel as it would be unfair for the hotel/ lodge. But if you do plan on traveling to Southern Leyte then I suggest save yourself some time and money and research on the quality hotels the place has to offer.
So did i stay the night at the lodge? Where did I go after? Was the trip worth it? Expect these questions to be answered on the 2nd part of my Southern Leyte Travel Guide blog.