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Thursday, January 17

Plan Your Subic Tour: The Bay Guide

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A boat sailing on the waters of Subic Bay, Philippines.

The Subic Bay Freeport Zone may not be your rugged nature hideout but it’s one of the tourist destinations frequented by travelers because it offers wide range of nature trips with a twist—ride a jeepney with tigers outside (Zoobic Safari), trek a forest with a special number by the indigenous tribe of Aetas (Zoobic Safari), see the sea lion show (Ocean Adventure), watch dolphin exhibition (Ocean Adventure), witness fruit bats and monkeys roaming around (outskirts), zip line, rapel, survival demo show and a lot more. Subic is one of my favorite places ideal for a city tour other than Baguio City. It’s plain nature, resorts and the wonderful landscape of high mountains over the waters of Subic Bay just add to the feel. Subic tour, that is.

Part 1 of Guide to Subic Bay: Tourist Edition

Boardwalk Subic
Last time I posted our do-it-yourself tour to Subic, together with a simple glimpse of Camiling, Tarlac and another zoo and go kart experience in Clark. For now, these tips and things to remember are just so touristy, and this may help you in planning your trip to Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

THE BAY. Subic may not be Bolinao that offers caves, golden sand beaches and rocky formations though except for a lighthouse (Cape Bolinao Lighthouse versus The Lighthouse in Subic) but I find this place ideal for a family trip and group tours. Subic has hotels and resorts which have beach fronts though the seashore doesn’t have any white sand of any sort. Ships are also along the wharfs, parks are maintained and if it happens you have kids with you they will surely enjoy the sightseeing.

Water sports like parasailing happen here in Subic.
THE ACTIVITIES. Subic may not be Sagada that offers activities like spelunking, trekking, hiking and the like but you will never regret Subic if you try water sports like parasailing and jet skiing, along with riding on a yacht and an island tour. When we went there like seven years we were offered an island tour (to nearby islands) but unfortunately we haven’t tried it yet. Maybe next time.

Fruit bats hanging by the twigs and branches of the trees. (Subic, Philippines)
THE FOOD. Just like Baguio, Subic also varies from food to restaurants. Its nearby Olongapo City main never runs out of carinderia (canteen) and restaurants. Restaurants also got their nice ambiance and the like. And you will appreciate it.

The bunker once was used in the Second World War. But now, bunker like this was turned into a restaurant in Subic.

THE NATURE. Subic is definitely lusciously tropical. It’s thick canopies, surviving fruit bats and monkeys freely roaming around are a must see (well luckily we’ve seen them, and mind you, once you get to see the monkeys, quickly take pictures because all in a matter they can vanish out of your sight!). During our trip, we were also informed by the tourist guide about the canopied bunkers which were used during the Second World War.
Subic Bay, Philippines

THE BUSINESS. Subic is a “city” with so many things to see. We were supposed to visit a shipping industry there but unfortunately we were informed we cannot at that time. Anyway, Subic is alive because it’s got big malls and shopping centers like Royal (duty free), Pure Gold (duty free), Harbour Point (Ayala Malls) and SM City Olongapo (near from the Harbour Point). So if you are mall rat, Subic is one of the best places for you!

THE GROUP TOUR. If you are newbie about organizing a group tour to Subic, I tell you have to inform their Tourism Department before you can actually hold a group tour in Subic. Only tour guides accredited by their Tourism Department are allowed to tour you in the place. Even guides coming from Manila are not allowed to do so. And if you plan to visit the different industries there, you have to inform them weeks earlier prior to the schedule to the trip. They do not definitely entertain “walk-in” group tours.
Fish feeding by the bay of Subic. (Camayan, Subic)
OTHER NOTES. Certainly, Subic is not a one-day-trip tourist destination. The last time we went there, we were just able to visit Zoobic Safari and Tree Top Adventure. The second time (the next posts) we visited, we were able to get a bigger view of Subic via Subic tour. It only means to say that you have to organize your tour and choose among suggested tours to Subic. Putting Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure is possible for one-day itinerary but it is not guaranteed that you can still add city tour in it.

This Subic tour is more of a city tour. Maybe next time we’ll try to visit JEST Camp and Ocean Adventure.

Guide to Subic Bay: Tourist Edition Travel Series:
Part 1: Plan Your Subic Tour: The Bay Guide
Part 2: Holly’s Restaurant Subic: Eat-All-You-Can Style
Part 6: A Jump Shot to Subic!

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