Mabinay

Mabinay (stress on middle syllable) is a municipality covering a large area of hills and valleys near the center of Negros Island. There are many caves in the region and the town's small tourist industry revolves around organizing trips to them and kayaking in the Ilog river and its tributaries.

Understand

According to the locals there are literally hundreds of caves in the area but they are reluctant to reveal their locations lest they are padlocked shut to prevent harvesting of birds nests and bats.

In 1989-1990, a Belgian-Dutch-Philippine Caving Expedition undertook a survey and identified 45 separate caves. Two copies of their research and documentation were given to the town and very quickly disappeared.

Get in

Mabinay is on the main road linking the capitals of the island's two provinces, Dumaguete in Negros Oriental and Bacolod in Negros Occidental. There are several road slips in the hills on the road from Bais and, as is usual in the Philippines, these are neither adequately signed nor lit at night. Broken down vehicles often drive off leaving the large rocks that they had used as wheel chocks behind them in the middle of the road so this is not an enjoyable road for driving after dusk.

Mabinay is easily reached by bus from either city.

Get around

by pedicab or offer to rent a scooter from a local if you want to explore with natural air conditioning.

See

Swiftlet nests ready for steaming (the lower nest shows a view as it might be attached to the wall of the cave, while the upper shows the interior).

Do

Enjoy a dip in the natural spring pool, 200m past Andrew's Diner on the way to Bais on the left hand side. Waterfall and shade trees. ₱10 admission for adults, ₱5 for kids. ₱50 to hire a kayak with paddles and lifejacket for 1h. Zipline is ₱100 and kids may get a free ride if it's quiet.

River kayaking & rafting in the Ilog river, one of the longest rivers in the province. Water levels are usually low in July, August and September.

Buy

Birds' nests. You'll make a huge profit in places like Hong Kong and Macau.

Eat

Sleep

Since accommodation options are rather limited, visitors might consider staying in Bais City some 100 minutes away (reduced to 50 minutes if the highway is ever repaired).

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, July 22, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.