After 6 months spent here, we’ve come to realise that Negros Oriental seemingly has it all! Great beaches, endless waterfalls, amazing food… and even a sunflower farm! If you’re looking to up your Instagram game a little while you’re in or around Dumaguete, Reef’s Farm in Tanjay is the place to go. Keep reading for our complete guide to this ultra IG-worthy spot.
HOW TO GET TO REEF’S FARM
The best way to get to Reef’s Farm is by scooter or motorbike, which you can rent for $8 USD a day but if you’re not comfortable driving a scooter, you can rent a car for $40. Alternatively, you can get a public Ceres bus going to Tanjay City then take a habal habal (motorcycle taxi) or tricycle from the town centre to Reef’s Farm. If you have your own transport, it should only take around 45 minutes to get there from Dumaguete.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT
It goes without saying, you’ll need a bright and sunny day to make the most out of Reef’s Farm. You’ll also need to check their Facebook to make sure the sunflowers are in bloom. Aside from that, we recommend going on a weekday to avoid crowds and getting there early. Very early. We arrived at 6am when the sun was just peeping over the tree line. That golden morning light is the difference between epic photos and average. By the time we finished it was already a lot brighter and not as dreamy as that sunrise glow.
OUR EXPERIENCE AT REEF’S FARM
The sunflowers at Reef’s Farm really are picture perfect. They were overhead which was great for photos, as it can look a bit awkward if you’re towering over the flowers. There’s a path between two rows of sunflowers which leads you to the back of the property where there’s a larger field of flowers. It’s not huge, but it’s more than enough to get good pics. The owners mentioned that in summer they replace the rice fields with even more sunflowers. For only a $1 entrance fee, you’ll get bang for your buck here.
We sent the drone up for a different perspective of Reef’s Farm and the sunflower field. If you have a drone, it would be a wasted not to fly here. If you’re wondering what kind of drone we use, it’s the Mavic 2 Pro which we recommend to anyone looking to get into aerial photography.
Aside from sunflowers, Reef’s Farm also has an equally photogenic old VW Bug parked in a rice field. It makes for another great spot to take photos! We actually ended up getting even more photos here than in the actual sunflower field. Our photo tip? Wear white. You don’t have to go all out and wear a long dress like Zowie (she just likes to be extra), but white will make you stand out against all the green, yellow and red.
After waking up at the crack of dawn, Zowie needed a coffee to be able to function for the rest of the day as a living, breathing human and not just a ball of grumpiness. We were in luck, since Reef’s Farm is more than just a pretty place and also happens to serve up some delicious Filipino drip coffee for only $1 a cup. The A-frame structure at the entrance is a two story seating area where we sat and enjoyed our cuppa.
Reef’s Farm turned out to be one of the most picturesque places we’ve been to in Negros Oriental. Sure, it wasn’t like our usual adventures, but sometimes it’s nice to slow down and smell the sunflowers. If you get there early enough, you’ll still have the whole day to adventure if you feel like it, so why not head inland another 30 minutes to Palaypay Falls. You can find our travel guide here or continue reading below to discover the best places to stay around Dumaguete for every budget.
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WHERE TO STAY NEAR REEF’S FARM
Most people who visit Negros Oriental are told to stay in Dumaguete, but what they really mean by that is stay around Dumaguete. True, Dumaguete City has plenty of tourist inns and budget hotels, but it’s the surrounding towns of Dauin and Zamboanguita that offer the best spots to stay. There’s not a whole lot to do in the city itself, so when you stay in the nearby municipalities there’s plenty of nature to explore whilst still being nice and close to Dumaguete City. Check out our top picks for accommodation near Dumaguete City.
LUXURY: Atmosphere Resorts & Spa, Dauin
Atmosphere Resorts & Spa in Dauin is the resort to stay at if you’ve got a big budget and fancy the finer things in life. Atmosphere has hosted its fair share of local celebrities and deep pocketed divers looking for the best beachfront luxury in Dauin.
MIDSCALE: Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort, Dauin
If you want to stay by the ocean without breaking the bank, Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort in Dauin is a comfortable midscale accommodation option perfect for diving enthusiasts. If you’ve never dived before, you can get your certification at Mike’s, and divers of all skill sets can enjoy the abundance of macro diving opportunities in and around Dauin.
BUDGET: Bongo Bongo Divers, Dauin
Bongo Bongo Divers is one of the most popular hostels in Dauin for backpackers looking for cheap accommodation in a convenient location. The rooms are simple, without any glitz and glam, but the vibe is fun and welcoming. They have a variety of room styles to choose from, ranging from couples rooms to AC or fan only dorms.
AIRBNB: Villa Amani, Zamboanguita
Villa Amani in Zamboanguita is the perfect holiday home for small families or groups of friends looking for privacy that a traditional resort or hotel can’t offer. The main house sleeps 4 with additional space for 2 in the guest house, or you can book the guest house separately if it’s just the 2 of you and you’re on a budget. The property has a swimming pool, an unbeatable view of Apo Island and kayaks to use whenever you want.