Monday, April 18, 2016

Lake Balanan

Lake Balanan in Siaton, Negros Oriental is a freshwater lake surrounded with lush hills and rich greens. Rent a jeep or bring your own ride, best not to commute here. But if you must, you can get off the intersection and hop on a habal-habal to take you to the lake, and perhaps ask the driver to fetch you after several hours.
From Dumaguete City, turn right by this road. It's uphill and could get narrow at times.
Mind the side cliffs as there were no barriers.
Just follow the road signs and you'll get there. Dirt road onwards from this point.
Don't inhale the dust as you pass. The road will get even more narrow.
You have to pay Php50 per adult entrance fee. Balanan Lake Rules: NO smoking, alcohol, littering, gambling, vandalizing.
Facilities Rates
Crossing over this mini river. Staff told us this overflows when rain pours hard and crossing may be tough (even with 4x4).
The hut doubles as event area and restaurant. It faces the lake and has no walls.
View from the restaurant. Floating huts go for Php100-150/hour (small/big). Very peaceful place, you'd feel like time is irrelevant as you stare off the waters.
Lake Balanan Negros map
Pathway to the restaurant hut. Clean and well maintained.
Stone stairs lead to the mini dock for rental boats
Lake Balanan Restaurant
Balanan Restaurant Menu
The long tables cost Php75 rental fee each, and can accommodate about 10 persons per table.
Comfort Room
This stone path leads to a long bridge.
Viewing deck and bridge
This man-made bridge extends to the rocky hillside, overlooking the lake.
These waters are not advisable for a swim. Staff have seen snakes swimming on the surface at times.
Super deep lake. Staff informed us that most of them live nearby and work here as some sort of volunteer. They get less than Php 50 per day. It would certainly help if visitors would offer monetary tip for their assistance.
Beautifully developed resort. Boats await for your trip to the falls.
Staff is required to come in the boat as we head to the falls. One staff told us they all had orientation about handling guests and safety. And had to swim the whole length of the lake as training.
The falls is located on the other end of the lake. The boat ride was 30-45 minutes, and as we anchored the boat, this flat land welcomed us. There was also a carabao feeding.
Red rocks and huge trees pepper the place.
After about 15 minutes walk, you'll reach this beautiful falls.
Clean and fresh, it's probably shower ok.
There's actually a steel-bar bridge/stairs going up the falls so guests can see closer. Or you can just hop on the huge rocks to get to the falls.
Overall, it was an enjoyable trip. We were the only guests that day so it was pretty quiet. The lake is busy on weekends as lots of people come over to unwind. 

  • There's a also a man-made pool in the area, but located on the other side of the hill. From the mini river crossing, you can go straight ahead for the other facilities, including the swimming pool.
  • We were also able to buy pure honey (collected from the lake's surrounding forest). Very cheap at Php100 per bottle. This is seasonal though.
  • There are local people who live near the falls so you might see someone walking or a dog sniffing around. Their access is from the mountainous part of the lake.
  • One boat will be able to fit about 10 people, including the staff who would row. My uncles also helped with the rowing.
  • We all had to wear life vests while on the boat (protocol).
  • Boat was Php200/hour, good for 8 persons.
  • Entrance if free every Tuesday.
Lake Balanan
Siaton, Negros Oriental

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