Bohol may be best known for its Chocolate Hills, but did you know that the province also harbors a verdant man-made wonder? Aptly dubbed the Bilar Man-Made Forest, this long stretch of road between the towns of Bilar and Loboc is flanked by 2 kilometers of planted mahogany trees.
The site came about thanks to a reforestation project undertaken by the locals more than 50 years ago after the practice of kaingin, or slash-and-burn farming, had emptied the surrounding area of its previously naturally grown trees.
The Man-Made Forest is said to be a beloved tourist attraction for the province as it’s flocked to by both Filipinos and foreigners alike—most of whom hope to take IG-worthy photos in the middle of the road. Visitors have been reminded of its dangers, though, considering the speeding cars that drive past.
Aside from the fact that the sentinel of tall trees surrounding area makes it feel like you’re entering a magical forest straight out of a Disney fairytale, travel bloggers often speak of the stark drop in temperature felt upon driving through the forest. This is owed to the canopy of leaves overhead covering the road from the sun.
Pro tip: Make a day out of your visit to Bilar Forest and stop by the Tarsier Conservation Sanctuary and Chocolate Hills while you’re at it. (Once it’s already safe to step outside and travel, of course.)
So how exactly do you get there? Travel blog The Poor Traveler writes “From Tagbilaran, you can join a group tour offered by various tour operators and hotels. You may also rent a van or motorcycle to get here. Taking public transportation is okay but getting out can be a problem since the bus won’t really wait for you. You will have to wait for the next bus to move to your next stop, which is more stressful and time-consuming.”