Bacolod City, according to some publications, is the "Best Place to Live in the Philippines." This friendly city, which is the capital of Negros Occidental, boasts an airport and a seaport. It also features bus and jeepney terminals, which is part of the reason why it's a transportation hub. Some travelers simply use the city as a jump-off point for other destinations on the island of Negros Occidental and for trips to the nearby islands of Panay and Cebu. The Bacolod attractions warrant at least a day or two, and since this highly urbanized city is home to some good restaurants, hanging around for a while can be extra appealing.
Many of the top corporations in the Philippines have their headquarters in Bacolod City, and the city is also known for its impressive infrastructure. These things contribute to the overall quality of life, which is generally considered to be the highest in the country. Whether visitors are coming for business or for pleasure, the flight to Bacolod City from Manila only takes about 45 minutes. The trip is even shorter for those who are taking off at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Since Bacolod City boasts a major seaport, arriving by boat is also an option. Ferries operate between Manila and Bacolod City, and the trip takes about eighteen hours. Take a ferry from Iloilo City instead, and the trip will only take about 45 minutes. On land, the trip between the two cities takes about three hours.
Once visitors arrive in Bacolod City, they can venture off to other destinations, or they can stick around and enjoy some of the city's attractions. One of the best Bacolod attractions is the Negros Museum, which offers insight into the rich history of Negros Occidental. Visiting the local zoo is one of the other top things to do in Bacolod City. The Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation works to preserve animals that are native to the island. There are around 20 different animal species on display at this excellent zoo, and they include wildcats and birds of prey.
The Philippines is home to a number of fascinating volcanoes, and those who are looking for things to do in Bacolod City can always head off to the nearby Mount Kanlaon Natural Park. This park is home to an eponymous volcano, and hiking on its slopes is a real joy for outdoor enthusiasts. Those who wish to hike in this park will have to get a permit at the Office of the Park Superintendant. When it comes down to it, food just might top the list of Bacolod attractions, so when visitors to the city aren't out enjoying the sights, they can search for something savory to eat.
In addition to local dishes, which include Chicken Inasal, the local restaurants in the capital of Negros Occidental also specialize in international cuisines. Chicken Inasal is a kind of grilled chicken that is flavored with achuete and annatto seeds. Other popular seasonings include vinegar, garlic, and hot peppers. Some of the restaurants in Bacolod allow guests to bring things in, such as shrimp, crabs, and fish. They will then prepare the food. It hardly gets any fresher, and the prices are usually very reasonable.
There is an array of fun things to do in Bacolod City, and since the island of Negros Occidental is home to some excellent beaches, lush jungles, and so much more, exploring the entire island can be very rewarding. The Bacolod City hotels offer something for everyone, and getting around town is easy. It's worth noting that the hotels fill up fast during the annual MassKara Festival. This week-long festival takes place in October, and it is not entirely unlike the Carnival celebrations that one might expect to enjoy in any number of other countries. A street dance competition and the MassKara Queen Beauty Pageant are at the heart of the festival, which also features a number of other fun events and activities.