Bohol Bike Zipline Adventure
and Other Best Things to do in Bohol
Would you trust your child to ride a bike zipline high in the air above you? Our mettle was tested at the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park on our Bohol adventure where we discovered one of the best things to do in Bohol is the Bohol bike zipline… and that beyond the beaches, most of the best things to do involve having your head in the clouds while your feel your heart pound in your hands…
Look up for the best things to do in Bohol
Pretty much as soon as we touch down in the Philippines we take our hearts into our mouths and look up. Beyond the beautiful beaches, all the best things we find to do in Bohol and Cebu seem to be up in the sky. Like the Cebu skywalk experience – a skywalk and skyride around the outside of a skyscraper in Cebu.
And the canopy walk at the Danao Adventure Park, although for me it’s more of a canopy lie down as I seem to spend most of my time on my belly peering down into the forest world below. But both these experiences seem fairly effortless and relaxing when compared to the adventure of root climbing.
It takes me fifteen minutes of vigorous exertion to climb the twisted fingers of the witches hand the staff at Danao Adventure Park call a tree. It’s not technically difficult but it is a challenge to haul yourself up 15 metres of vertical on ant infested tree roots. Still the exertion is rewarded at the top by the joy of watching others with ants in their pants struggle up after me. And the ultimate joy of abseiling back down. Great Bohol adventure fun. But it’s not the best thing.
The best thing is the Bohol Zipline
As an experienced cyclist I thought I could cope with most biking scenarios. And then I find myself in a queue to borrow a special Bohol bike. It’s not the bike that’s unusual – it’s where you ride it. The Bohol zipline bike is designed to be ridden up in the clouds.
The Rush Bike Zip at Bohol’s Chocolate Hills Adventure Park is the only bike zipline in the Philippines and sits atop a trapeze wire. The tyres are removed so that the bike wheel rims can run along the wire, like this.
The bike zipline is making me nervous
While the rest of the family eye up which bike and which trapeze wire they’d prefer (oh yes, there are two parallel lines), I recall all the cuts and scrapes they used to get falling off their bikes, all the times they crashed into gates, slipped off pavements and slammed into kerbs. I remember the Balkans cycling holiday that began so well on Hvar before turning nervy near Dubrovnik. I remember an edgy day in The Pyrenees where we failed to estimate the distance correctly. I figure if they can’t control a bike on the ground, how can I trust them in the air? I might have watched ET but as far as I know that was all a Spielberg sleight of hand. Aargh, why didn’t we go diving with whale sharks instead?
I watch as one of the riders above us loses their nerve and has to be rescued by the safety team. It’s reassuring how quickly and easily they handle the situation but it does nothing to calm my nerves. I decide that I will not proceed but I cannot dissuade the kids.
The calm of the Chocolate Hills
As the kids climb the tower, I take refuge in the chocolate hills. If there’s anything that can calm my nerves it is the sweet views; Bohol’s Chocolate Hills are landscape eye candy. In folklore they were called the solidified tears of a giant. There was no chocolate harmed in their making; they are filled with coral deposit and locals tell me their name comes from either their warm glow in summertime or their resemblance to Hershey Kisses. But despite the lack of cocoa, they are a wonderful series of over 1700 almost perfect mounds that stretch over several villages. Perfect for cycling over it seems.
Look Mum no hands!
Above the chocolate landscape the boys hop on their zipline bikes and are soon doing a lap each of the bike zipline circuit. And then it’s Hannah’s turn. She easily scales the steps of a tall tower to get to her allotted bike. I close my eyes as any proper mother is obliged to, and when I open them again she is slowly pedalling past Stuart, who is now pedalling on a different trapeze wire. She rolls, suspended above me; a massive smile on her face. “Hello!” she waves. I shout at her to stop having fun immediately. And then I pause.
She is confidently cycling across the sky. She is embracing adventure, and striking out on her own. She is trusting that if she steers a straight course, keeps calm and believes that others have her back then everything will be ok. She doesn’t look down. She doesn’t wobble. She holds her nerve.
The CHAP Chocolate Hills Adventure Park is a safe, well oiled machine. There’s more chance of getting bitten by one of the snakes they keep there than falling off a bike on the Bohol bike zipline. And when you think about it, biking in the air is probably safer than biking on the ground. No traffic. No pedestrians. No obstacles. Just two wheels, the birds and…Dad.
If you’re looking for great Bohol activities on your Bohol adventure, do check out the Rush Bike Zip Wire and the rush it can give you. Watch this video we made and you’ll see what I mean.