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Rio Verde Floating Restaurant

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Rio Verde Floating Restaurant is the 'other' Loboc River Cruise, starting from the Laoay end of Loboc River. We decided to try this one out, as it's newer, offer better food (apparently), and runs on either a giant turtle or a calamay boat, which is Bohol's delicacy. Minus the tarsiers by the dock, it was a pretty peaceful ride.
From the main coastal road, you could easily see the floating restaurants as you cross the bridge, near the Laoay pier.
Buffet Rate. Walk-in is accepted. There are several travel agents handling foreign tourists. Just fall in line, pay, and you're off to the next boat. Lunch hours are from 11AM to around 2PM.
After getting your ticket stub, walk on the pathway leading to the boats.
Opt for clear skies for better cruising
The ones with giant turtles as roof have the more expensive menu - High End Buffet: Php500/person
We chose the Regular Buffet: Php392/person. Taxes apply. The staff will initially sit you next to other guests, even if you're not with them, especially if there are only 2-3 pax in your group - even when there are vacant seats/tables. You can transfer to vacant chairs when the cruise starts.
Very smooth sailing, lush greenery, folk singer on board, and a nice buffet to keep you occupied.
We had 1 stop-over. This tribal-like village seemed specially prepared for the tour.
These are locals who perform for guests' amazement and amusement. Tips are very welcome. Mostly dollars and foreign currency, or peso. Or you can just take photos for free. But photos with them requires tipping.
I felt kinda bad for some kids who are part of this. They're now used to receiving tips, but sort of heartbreaking to see them disappointed when they don't receive any. Children should probably wait till they're old enough to experience daily disappointments.
Souvenirs Php100 each
After about 20-30 minutes, we all boarded back. This lovely dog patiently watched everyone. There are fishes nearby though, if you throw a few crumbs, they surface.
We cruised with this boat (High End menu) and allow them to always go first.
There's a photographer onboard, and will make rounds asking guests if they want their photos taken. Am not sure how much per photo as we declined the offer.
Some locals boating along

Remarks:
  • You can help yourself with the buffet anytime, and staff will clear your table as you finish.
  • It's a very relaxed cruise, no fuss, no annoying programs, just a folk singer.
  • After the ride, staff will ask for a 'tip' for the singer. They will approach each guest for this.
  • All in all it was very organized and swift. You can have an impromptu lunch here, perhaps on weekdays. You can try their dinner cruise and witness endless fireflies against the dark river (higher dinner rate, around Php700+).
  • Recommended? Yes, must try at least once.
Poblacion Loay Bridge, Loay, Bohol, Philippines
Tel: ( 038 ) 538-9196 / ( 038 ) 501-8895

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