It’s my first time to visit Cebu and it has become my favorite travel destination in the Philippines. Cebu is one of the top destinations to visit in the Philippines. It has everything you are looking for, from instagrammable spots to beautiful islands and beaches, and tall skyscrapers. One of the best places we’ve visited in Cebu is the Sirao Garden also known as the little Amsterdam of Cebu.
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How to get there?
Sirao Garden is located in Busay which is on the mountainous side of Cebu. It is a bit complicated getting there especially if you do not have your own vehicle but here are three options.
Option 1: Hire a Habal-Habal or Motor Taxi
- From SM City Cebu, ride a jeep heading to Lahug (route code: 04L) then get off at JY Square Mall. Fare is around 7PHP ( 0.13 USD).
- After arriving in JY Square Mall, you can ride a Habal-Habal, also known as motor-taxi. You can easily spot them since they will be shouting “Sirao” or “Temple of Leah”
- Make sure to agree on a price first before riding with them so you won’t be overcharged. Fare is usually 100 – 200 PHP per person (2 – 4 USD) for one way trip to Sirao. They will ask for an additional fee for roundtrip and if you ask them to wait for you.
- To save more money and time, I suggest you also visit nearby attractions such as the Temple of Leah, TOPS, and Cebu Taoist temple. Fare is usually 500PHP per person for all these attractions.
Option 2: Hire a Taxi
For a safer and more convenient way of transportation, hiring a taxi is much better. It is a more expensive option too. Some taxi drivers take advantage of and overcharge tourists. Make sure you agree on a price first before getting in to avoid spending a lot of money. I have a friend who visited Cebu before and she met a friendly taxi driver who toured her to Sirao Garden, Temple of Leah, Cebu Taoist Temple and other nearby places for only 2000 PHP (40USD) for the whole trip. She gave me his name and phone number but I was not able to use it because I took the 3rd option. If you are traveling to Cebu and want a convenient and hassle-free trip, you can message Kuya Boy (+639325479927).
I highly recommend booking a Private Car Charter if you want a safer and more comfortable way of transportation without worrying about being overcharged. We booked the 8 hours car charter within Cebu and Mactan City. If you visit places outside the areas covered such as Sirao and Temple of Leah, there will be an additional charge. We started at 7 A.M and by 11 A.M, we have already visited 3 destinations. We have explored Sirao Garden, Temple of Leah and Cebu Taoist Temple without feeling rushed.
TOPS of Cebu was originally on our list of places to visit for that day. However, the driver suggested that it is much better to visit there during night time. The views are more beautiful during night time and the price is not worth it if we visit there during the daytime so we skipped that. The driver also toured us around the city and explored sites such as the Heritage Park, Ancestral Houses, Fort San Pedro, Magellan Cross and many more. Booking this private car charter is one of the best options and the price is worth it.
We arrived at Sirao Garden around 7:30 A.M and we were the third visitors. There are already two cars parked when we visited. It looked like me and my mom were the only ones on the farm though since we did not see them. We had the whole place to ourselves.
The giant hand is the most photographed in this farm and it is similar to the ones in Indonesia or Vietnam. This is one of the top instagrammable spots in Cebu. There’s usually a long line of people waiting for their turn to take a photo with this giant hand. Since we went there early, we did not have to wait since we had it all to ourselves. There are actually two hands on this farm, the first one in the photo above. It is much bigger and taller than the second one. It was a bit scarier going up there than the second one too.
I preferred this Giant hand over the other one since it was smaller and not as high. It was a bit windy when we visited. Even if I am not usually afraid of heights, it was a little scary going up the hand.
Little Amsterdam of Cebu
Sirao Garden is also called ‘The Little Amsterdam of Cebu’ because of the windmills. It is similar to the Keukenhof Tulip Garden in Amsterdam. Since the Philippines have a tropical climate, tulips are not easy to plant and grow here. Instead of tulips, the Sirao garden planted celosia flowers.
I did not really have any high expectations but I was a bit underwhelmed when I saw the windmills. I’ve seen some beautiful photos of the windmills on Instagram and Pinterest. It was not as beautiful in real life though.
Five years ago, Sirao garden actually started when farmers planted some flowers to sell on All Soul’s Day. Locals discovered this farm when there were so many beautiful flowers. More people discovered this place when this place suddenly became viral through social media posts. Since a lot of people visit the farm, the farmers decided to not cut the flowers anymore.
Since there were too many tourists visiting the farm, a lot of the flowers are damaged. Some tourists pluck the flowers and some accidentally step on the plants. Because of the damages, the owner of the farm decided to close the farm for a while. The place was just not ready for tourists during that time. Months later, Sirao Garden opened again with more attractions and this time, it is ready for tourists.
One thing I did not like about our visit to this garden is the lack of proper walkways. It was raining for the whole day the day before we visited the garden. The narrow path was mostly moistened from the rain. When you plan your trip to Sirao Garden, I highly suggest avoiding visiting on a rainy day.
It was sunny and the weather was great when we visited but because of the rain from the previous day, the paths were still moistened. I suggest choosing proper footwear since the paths will be slippery. Lots of mud stuck on our feet and sandals. But if it was not raining the previous day, the lack of proper walkways won’t really bother us.
You can also take some photos of the Bali inspired spot in the garden. It feels like you are in Bali instead of Cebu.
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Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading about my visit to Sirao Garden. If you want more content like this, subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram 🙂