A former US Naval Station, Subic Bay has transformed itself into a premier economic zone and entertainment complex in the Philippines. With a multitude of natural and modern attractions, this city located north of Manila is a holiday destination for residents in the region as well as international travelers. There is also the usual complement of malls, restaurants, bars, and hotels to make anyoneâ€™s stay as memorable as possible.
Here are some things to do while in Subic Bay:
Admire marine life in Subic Park Ocean Adventure - The two shows worth seeing are the dolphin and false killer whale show and the sea lion exhibition, which gives a more personal experience. There are also 10 aquariums which recreate marine conditions around Subic Bay.
Go wild inside the Zoobic Safari – A recent addition to the area, this collection of 5 separate attractions has a Serpentarium, Savannah, Petting Zoo, Crocodile Sanctuary and Tiger Safari.Â One of the highlights of the crocodile section is a man who, while dressed like a chicken, walks over the reptiles along a small walkway. The 25-hectare Zoobic Safari is located in Forest Adventure Park.
Soak in the sea along Half Moon Beach – Fine sand and cool waters allow visitors to relax in this prestigious beach. The more restless types can engage in several water sports and activities.
Swim for shipwrecks â€“ 25 Japanese ships were sunk during the war years, and while some were removed in salvage operations, a number can still be inspected by scuba diving, such as the Oryoko Maru, Seian Maru, USS New York and USS Rochester. The remains of a few Spanish-era galleons are also present near the bay.
Pay respects to the Mangrove Graveyard â€“ A casualty of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption during the last decade, these mangrove trees did not survive the volcanic ashâ€™s high sulfur content.
Go kayaking inside the Mt. Pinatubo crater â€“ A lake which formed inside the crater of this active volcano allows for a variety of water activities. Visitors can also see the devastated towns in the wake of the last eruption.
Enjoy a stroll along the Waterfront Boardwalk â€“ located along the Waterfront Road, the Boardwalk is the life of Subic Bay. This strip of restaurants, bars and clubs will make for a pleasant evening of entertainment. There is also the Subic Bay Resort Casino to satiate your risk-taking desires.
Duck for cover inside the Bat Kingdom – This is a sanctuary for 10,000 or so golden crowned flying foxes and Philippine giant fruit bats, the largest bats in the world. It is also the home of the bamboo bat, the smallest bat in the country. The bamboo bat leaves their roosts at night, and is best viewed during sunset.
Play a couple of rounds at Subic Golf Course - The original golf course were designed by US Army Engineers in the 1950’s and were pretty straightforward. In the 90’s, the course was radically redesigned with additional lakes, canals and bunkers.
The best time to visit Subic Bay would be during the summer months, from March to May. There are several ways to get to Subic Bay from the capital city of Manila. There are regular flights that takes 35 minutes. There is also a relaxing 50-minute ferry ride which departs from the Cultural Center of the Philippines along Roxas Boulevard and heads directly to Subic Bay Free Port. The ferry is very modern compared to other ferry services in the country, but it may not operate during bad weather. Finally, air-conditioned buses regularly ply the route to Subic, with a travel time between 2 to 6 hours.