Yay or Nay: Bais and Manjuyod Sand Bar

High tide at the sand bar
Every year, my girl friends and I make sure that we have at least a weekend all to ourselves. This year, our destination was the Manjuyod Sand Bar and Bais in Negros Oriental.

A quick one-hour flight to Dumaguete and a two-hour drive brought us to Bais, a city located off the east side of the Negros Island. The city is home to the most successful azucareras in the country.

We stayed in Casa Sandoval, a pension house along the main highway in Bais. The rooms are a bit small and old but clean. For its low price, you get what you paid for. The owner was very kind and accommodating, however, the receptionist at the time of our stay was useless and inefficient to say the least. I feel like it's either he did not undergo proper training, or he did but just refused to be an efficient staff while the boss is away. He was always on his phone but when you have concerns about the room, he couldn't timely address them. Requests were ignored... not not fulfilled but totally ignored. Other than this staff, the place is okay.

Our tour commenced early the following day with a dolphin watching activity on Bais Bay. At first we thought we wouldn't be able to see a single dolphin but the moment we reached the spot where they all congregate, we were left in awe. It was as if an entire population of dolphins went our way--it was fun!

Dolphin-watching on Bais Bay
After hours of enjoying the sight of the dolphins jumping here and there, we moved on to Manjuyod Sand Bar, a supposedly 7-kilometre stretch of cream sand that dot the North Bais Bay. On the island you can find wooden houses built on stilts, a la Maldives, which, during high tide, appears to be floating on the water. These cottages are for rent should you wish to stay overnight.

On stilts
Estimated to have a strip area of 600 hectares, the Manjuyod Sand Bar is a perfect place to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. I suggest you go here during the summer months and on weekdays so you will have the chance to see the entire expanse of the sand bar during low tide, plus, you will be able to beat the crowd. There's quite a crowd on the sand bar; some even on big boats fully equipped with loud sound systems. We were quite disappointed when we learned that except when it's the peak of summer, the sand bar does not really show up even during low tide.

There is also a spot for snorkelling near the sand bar. However, the boats usually do not have gears for rent so you'll have to bring your own. The snorkelling area is suitable for beginners.


Water is waist-deep

Fresh buko and uni for sale

Lunch is served!

For lunch, my husband went early to the market to buy fish and pork and we had it grilled aboard our boat. There's another boat selling steamed crabs and another, selling buko and uni. Food was fresh as it could get!

The only piece of visible sand bar we saw during our visit
So is it a yay or nay? Yay for the cheap and fresh food that landed on our table onboard; yay for the easy snorkelling spot; yay for the friendly boatmen; and yay, of course, for the troop of dolphins that made our day.

Nay for the many boats crowding the sand bar; nay for seeing a potential to be a party island; nay for the loud music (yes, Tita here, hello?!!!); and nay for coming here not in the peak of the summer--we did not see the beautiful and expansive sand bar we've been seeing on social media posts.

Here is a video that sums up our experience in Bais and Manjuyod Sand Bar. Enjoy in HD!

Overall, it was a good experience for us. We were most especially grateful for the chance to recharge, relax and bond together as friends. Cheers to our next escapade for 2018! Sicogon, here we come!


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