If you’re a Southeast Asian traveler, you’ll probably think that the featured photo above is that of the great Mekong River where river tours are popular among tourists in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. But this is just in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines in the coastal village of Barangay Bonbon. Locals refer to it as Kanipaan due to the numerous nipa palms (Nypa fruticans) found in the area.

Local boatmen have been conducting motorized banca tours in the area for a fee before but after the Sendong tragedy, the tours have significantly decreased.

As shown in the photos below (courtesy of Angel Bert Jabiniar), there’s actually not much difference between Mekong and this inlet of Cagayan de Oro River … they’re both exotic and picturesque. Others say this could substitute a trip to Vietnam for a special photoshoot.

You can feel nature while the negotiating the river channel.

Nipas are mangrove palms and are used traditionally as a roofing material by Filipinos – the Nipa Hut.

The boats used for the tour are small which could fit 4 people including the boatman. You can spend as much time as you want just to take the perfect photo you need.

The area is just near the river mouth. It is actually part of the much longer Cagayan de Oro River Tour which also leads you upstream near City Hall area.

Here’s a not-so candid photo of Julius Anthony of The Weekend Break Video Blog.

The jump-off point for the tour is on the opposite side of the river in Macabalan just at the back of the Barangay Hall. Just inquire from the barangay staff.

More photos below.

You may notice a few houses nearby. They’re actually awaiting for relocation already.

Compare this with the Mekong River Tours (see below) which is popular among tourists in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. See any difference? except the conical hat of course…

photo from luangprabangriversidehotel.com
photo from https://www.gate1travel.com

Check out this video clip below by


Hopefully, this river tourism will be revived.


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