Tag Archives: Hiking

Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines

Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines

Let’s discover the “Chocolate Hills” in Bohol Philippines. They’re a collection of more than a thousand limestone Hershey Kisses shaped hills, spread over 20 miles.

Firstly, I’ll answer why they call them the Chocolate Hills. Secondly, I’ll explain how many hills there are and how large. Further, my favorite part, I’ll share the romantic legend behind it the name. Finally, I’ll also include some photos. Let’s begin!

What are they? Scale – by the numbers

There’s a collection of more than a thousand (1,247-1,776, depending on who’s count you go by) limestone haycock hills spread over 20 miles on the island of Bohol, Philippines. In other words, that’s a lot of hills!

Why do they call them the Chocolate Hills?

While the name sounds like something out of Willie Wonka, it’s not nearly as fun.

During the dry season in Bohol, the green grass turns brown and looks like endless rows of Hershey Kisses. This is why they call these the Chocolate Hills.

Apparently “Muddy Hills” just doesn’t have the same ring to it – or tourist draw.

Bohol Chocolate Hills - Philippines
They look like mini mountains in Bohol. The hills are cone-shaped or dome-shaped hills. These hills are actually made of grass-covered limestone.

The domes vary in sizes from 100-160 feet. The largest ones grow to nearly 400 feet. Trees grow on the base of the hills but the rest of them are bare. They rest of the hills fill with grass, which turns to dirt in the dry season.

Bohol Chocolate Hills - Philippines

The romantic legend behind the name Chocolate Hills (and how they formed)

Next we’ll introduce the legend on how they formed. It’s certainly more fun!

There’s a romantic story of a giant named Arogo who was extremely powerful. Arogo falls in love with Aloya, who was a simple mortal. Aloya’s death caused Arogo much pain and misery, and in his sorrow he could not stop crying. When his tears dried, the Chocolate Hills were formed. Full story of the legend can be found here.

Bohol Chocolate Hills - Philippines

See photos of us jumping over the Chocolate Hills on the island of Bohol, Philippines.

Bohol Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines - me, Victor, Grace

I didn’t think they were quite as impressive as the hype, but they were certainly interesting! Perhaps they would be more intriguing if they were actually chocolate. We’d settle for chocolate-colored.

Imagine coming up with the branding. It’s great marketing by the Philippines government! There’s hills of dirt and they make tourists excited about them!

Wikipedia does a good job summarizing the science behind Chocolate Hills.

Learn more:

Finally, there is a wealth of good resources to learn more. Here are 4 other good websites. Each has additional facts and photos.

Bohol.ph, Bohol-PhilippinesPhilippines Travel Guide, TripAdvisor.

Bako National Park Borneo – wildlife rainforests

This post is about the wonders of Bako National Park on Bako Island Borneo. It’s a 10.5 square mile island that’s packed with awesomeness! It’s a can’t miss stop on any Sarawak western Borneo trip.

Bako National Park highlights

Bako island includes rainforests, secluded beaches with sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, jungle streams. It also includes lots of wildlife. The star of Bako is the rare proboscis monkey. There are about 300 long nosed proboscis monkeys throughout the island.

proboscis monkey at Bako national park
Rare Proboscis Monkey – relaxing on a low branch | Bako island in Borneo, Malaysia

Wildlife in Bako National Park

Monkeys are everywhere. The most common are mostly Long-tailed macaques, the most common monkeys in Asia. There’s also silver leaf monkeys. Of course the highlight is seeing rare proboscis monkeys . You can also lizards and bearded pigs.

monkey in Bako Borneo

Bako island coastline

The coast line is beautiful. Millions of years of erosion of the sandstone have created a coastline of steep cliffs. You’ll notice brilliant colored patterns formed by iron deposition.

sunset at Bako National Park on Bako island in Borneo

Getting to Bako National Park

Bako is located in western Malaysian Borneo. It’s in Borneo’s Sarawak region. Head to the ferry terminal in Bako village via taxi, shared van, or bus. Then upon arrival, take a boat to Bako Island Bako National Park.

island in Bako Natonal Park in Borneo

Bako island biodiversity and vegetation

Bako also has nearly every type of vegetation found in Borneo. There’s 25 distinct types!

In a couple of days of trekking through the jungle trails, you can see Beach vegetation, Cliff vegetation, Kerangas or heath Forest. Also Mangrove Forests, Mixed Dipterocarp Forest, Padang or Grasslands Vegetation and Peat Swamp Forest,” according to the official site.

coastline in Bako with mountains in the background

Hiking around Bako might become a highlight of your Borneo trip. I recommend it!

enjoying the view at Bako island in Bako Borneo

Do you love learning about monkeys?  I’ve had lots of experiences with primates in the wild.  For example, the week before I accidentally photographed monkey sex in Bali. Then, I wrote about Monkeys with huge noses, the largest you’ve ever seen. Finally, a story on when a monkey stole a camera and took selfies.