Hotels in Bacolod City, Philippines
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Bacolod - The City of Smiles
The biggest city on the island of Negros, Bacolod is a forward-thinking urban centre offering the inquisitive visitor many delights if they stick around to explore. In its heyday, the sugar industry created enormous wealth in the region, but now the city is transforming itself into a centre for education and environmental awareness. Bacolod has been through hard times, but the resolute cheerfulness of Bacoleños has earned this place the nickname of the City of Smiles. With tourism still developing here, you can find a wide range of affordable hotels in some of the city’s most desirable districts.
Discover Fascinating Heritage Around the Centre of Bacolod
Bacolod has passed through the hands of many foreign colonists, including the Spanish, Americans, and Japanese, while people from all over the East Asia region and beyond have settled in the city. It has a cosmopolitan and multicultural feel, with English spoken widely at attractions, shops, hotels, and restaurants. Down by the water and the port is the traditional centre of the city, and this is where you’ll find the magnificent San Sebastian Cathedral, built from coral stone in 1882. The Negros Museum is just a short ten-minute walk from the cathedral, where you can find out more about the history of Bacolod City and the whole of Negros Island. For a walk beside the water, you’ll need to head towards the Bacolod Baywalk, which offers the perfect spot to watch the sunset while enjoying some street snacks and a cold beer. For some quiet time surrounded by greenery, both Yulo’s Park and the Bacolod Public Plaza are top choices.
Hike Up an Active Volcano at Mount Kanlaon Natural Park
To get out of the bustle of Bacolod City for the day, head into the wild natural world of Mount Kanlaon Natural Park, the centrepiece of which is an active volcano with a peak of 2,465 metres. It’s a popular site for mountain climbers to test their mettle, but there are also well-beaten trails that lead all the way up to the summit, so if you’re up to the challenge attempt the hike! Surrounding the volcano is almost 25,000 hectares of forest to explore, teeming with exotic wildlife which can be hard to spot but very rewarding if you do. The civet cat, hawk eagle, bleeding-heart pigeon, and leopard cat all call the park home. From most hotels in Bacolod it takes just over an hours’ drive to reach the entrance to Mount Kanlaon Natural Park, but you can find a hotel close to the park if you want to surround yourself with nature for the night.
Dance in the Streets During the Annual MassKara Festival
Bacolod City is renown all over the Philippines and beyond for its vibrant and fun-filled MassKara Festival, held on the third weekend of October each and every year. First held in 1980 when the city’s economy was going through a painful downturn, this festival was held to pull Bacoleños out of the downbeat and depressing atmosphere that shrouded the city. Each year the festival gets bigger and better, but the most prominent feature is everyone wearing smiling masks (a nod to Bacolod’s nickname as the City of Smiles). Street dancing, Latin music, food stalls, garden shows, sports events, and much more, the MassKara Festival truly is a sight to behold. The number of tourists in the city really does swell on this weekend, so if you want to visit and take part in the festivities make sure you book a hotel room well in advance.
Taste the Delectable Local Bacoleño Cuisine
No visit to Bacolod is complete without feasting on the sweet treats and regional dishes that this corner of the Philippines is famous for. Once a centre for sugar production, Bacoleño cuisine has many delicacies to tantalise your taste buds. To get started try the pinasugbo , thin slices of banana covered in brown sugar then fried. Next sample some kalamayhati , it’s a combination of coconut milk and glutinous rice, cooked until sticky then served as a sweet dessert. Another snack to try is piyaya , a type of biscuit with fillings like caramel or yam. Now over to some savoury dishes, and if there’s is just one you have to try it’s lumpiang ubod . It appears like a translucent spring roll, served fresh, not fried. Inside the thin wrapping is a combination of pork and shrimp mixed with coconut palm heart and shallots. You’ll need to leave your hotel and visit a food market to find these delicacies, so start exploring!
Price rangefrom ₹855to ₹12,480
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