When I was planning our B.I.G itinerary, I was quite hesitant to include a Lakawon Island daytour since I read a lot of not-so-good reviews about it. Also, we have a tight schedule but a friend, who is traveling with me, pushed me to include it. I was able to include only a day tour which is fine since it’s also what’s the reviews recommended anyway.
TRAVELLING TO LAKAWON ISLAND RESORT
On our last day in Bacolod, we woke up at 8 AM which I thought was early enough for the day tour. (Turns out, you should leave at 5 AM) We checked out at White Hotel Bacolod at 8:30, ate breakfast at Jollibee at 8:45, and rode a taxi (100 PHP) to Bacolod North Bus Terminal at 9:15. It only took us less than 15 minutes to arrive at the gigantic bus terminal. It was easy to find the buses to Cadiz City and we are lucky enough that one is about to leave. We paid 105 PHP and asked the driver to drop us at Martisan Crossing. 1.5 hours after, the driver announced that all passengers going to Lakawon Island can now alight the bus. We did and another group of friends. From the crossing, we rode a tricycle (120 PHP/ride) to Cadiz Viejo Port, the drop-off point for the visitors of Lakawon Island.
Transportation Expenses: 20 PHP (taxi) + 105 PHP (Ceres bus) + 24 PHP (tricycle) = 149 PHP
Here’s a photo map from Lakawon Island Resort’s website:
WAITING AT CADIZ VIEJO PORT
I was first confused if our tricycle driver brought us to the right place when he dropped us at a normal-looking port. HE DID. I was just expecting something more, or maybe a little fancier since they claim to be a luxury resort. The driver ushered us to the Lakawon Ticketing Office, which is like a municipal hall or tourism office of any other municipalities I’ve visited. The ticketing office is a small air-conditioned room with a cashier and 4 desktops. I registered ourselves online and printed a queue number (which is pointless since there are no people at 11 AM Wednesday). I paid 310 PHP for the day tour, P250 for Tawhai Entrance, and P600 (good for 6 pax) for the mandatory hut/tent.
Lakawon Entrance Expenses: 310 PHP (daytour + boat ride) + 250 PHP (Tawhai Entrance) + 120 PHP (Umbrella Hut; 600 PHP/5pax) = 680 PHP
The process is fast and easy, and maybe even just took 10 minutes. I asked the staff what time is the next boat trip and he told me that they’ll just call us. They have no waiting area so we bought some halo-halo in the store beside the office so that we can sit and wait. There’s already another group (around 8 people) with us and a couple arrived 20 minutes after. BUT WE STILL WAITED FOR 1.5+ HOURS! It turns out they have a quota of 25 people per boat instead of a boat schedule. But how do they expect to fill up the boat with 25 people on a Wednesday noon?! I hope they’ll come up with a boat schedule someday so that their guests can plan their time and also will add some good service points on them.
Finally, Let’s start our Lakawon Island Daytour!
We finally arrived at the island around 1 PM. We wasted almost 2 hours waiting and hungry since there’s no available lunch in Cadiz Viejo Port. So we hurriedly looked for an available umbrella hut since it’s on a first come first serve basis. And went to grab lunch at Sunset Bar which, again, I expected to be fancier but, again, it is not. It’s an open hall with wooden tables and chair and the foods are sold canteen-style. The food is pricey. We spent around 1300+ PHP for a plate of liempo, pancit, a whole chicken, 5 cups of rice, and 1.5 Coca Cola for basic tasting food. Also because it is an open place, there are flies everywhere making it a struggle to eat.
Despite the off start with Lakawon Island, I can’t deny how gorgeous the front beach is. The fine sand, cold clear blue water, the swings and huts around, and their iconic bridge are all gorgeous and I think is worth it the 310 PHP entrance fee. We spent a whole hour taking photos and soaking in the sea to freshen up ourselves from the hot April summer.
There’s still a lot of activity (with its corresponding prices) offered by Lakawon but since we were late, we didn’t avail any. Here are all the activities they have: Click Here! 🙂
Chilling and a little jumping at Tawhai Floating Bar
At 3 PM, we experience the famous floating bar in the Philippines – Tawhai! We walked across their iconic yet long bridge to get to the drop off point. A small speedboat picked us from the port to transfer us to the floating bar. Tawhai is a unique experience to begin with. The bar is surrounded by day beds and bean bags where you can relax and chill while staring at the open sea. Aside from the Instagram worthy corners, I also enjoyed jumping at their available inflatables. Paul keeps dragging me to jump and play until we were carried by the huge waves that the lifeguard have to toss the life saving floats to us already. HAHAHAHA It was crazy but enjoyable. There were no legit party when we went (because it’s a weekday) but still the bar is so alive with good music and pricey drinks.
I love my Tawhai experience that it made me forgot the bad start I had with Lakawon, and that I even forgot to take blog photos! I slightly wish we have another day in this island to rest or chill more.
The Bathroom Chaos
We head back to Lakawon Island to take a shower but it was a shared shower room with no doors, only curtains. I mean, I don’t mind the curtains if it’s an all girl shower room and I don’t mind the shared shower room if it has lock doors. THE SHOWER ROOM DISAPPOINTS ME.
There are a lot of showers available and we don’t have the luxury of time to guard each other’s curtains. So imagine how shocked I am when a kid, being playful, opened my shower curtain and I’m completely naked on the other side. I was able to close it fast but I was so mad. I didn’t mind the kid but I heard his father scolding him and I don’t want to think that he got to peep but I was really really mad. It’s an accident, I know, but this won’t happen at all if they have doors!! Lakawon should take a lesson about privacy.
IS IT WORTH IT?
I have told you all my not so luxurious experience in Lakawon. It was not all bad, just a little setbacks. The resort might have a lot to improve but the front beach is gorgeous to explore and to experience. And I think it’s better and cheaper to bring food and pay the corkage fee of P50/head than to eat at Sunset Bar. So for 340 PHP day tour rate (150 PHP for the boat ride, 20 PHP for the terminal fee and only 170 PHP for the resort entrance itself), I think the price is okay for a basic island resort. And go at 8 AM so that you’ll have more time to enjoy your money.
As for their overnight, I didn’t experienced it for me to say something about the rooms. But I saw on the website that the cheapest room starts at 2,500 PHP and goes up to 12,000 PHP. (without the entrance and Tawhai fees pa ah!!) The resort has crazy overprice room prices given their amenities and service. I think I got a fair amount of luxury resort (look at my one of my first posts, Anvaya Cove) to say that Lakawon Island Resort is not a luxury resort hence the room prices are unreasonable.
Will I be going back? Maybe, sure someday! But until they don’t improve their services and amenities, I think I’ll stick with Lakawon Island daytour with the Tawhai Floating Bar.
Have you been to Lakawon Island Resort? or maybe planning to go soon? Let’s talk in the comment section below!