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Sulu Travel Guide

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Sulu Overview

Sulu Provincial Capitol | Turista Boy

Sulu Provincial Capitol

The Sulu Archipelago was once one of the most powerful sultanates in the region. Then when it became a province in 1907, it became one of the more remote areas in Muslim Mindanao. The total land area of Sulu is 3,436.99 km² (1,327.03 mi²), slightly smaller than the US State of Rhode Island. Its geographic location is at 5.9749° N, 121.0335° E and these scattered islands are located in the southwestern part of the Philippines. It is bordered by Sulu Sea (North), Basilan (East), Tawi-Tawi (Southwest), and Celebes Sea (South). The Languages / Dialects spoken in Sulu are Tausug, and Sama (major), Filipino, English, Sabah Malay, Chavacano (minor).

Read also: Sulu | Things to do in BARMM’s Last Frontier

Best time to go to Sulu

Sani-Sani Beach Capual Island Omar Sulu | Turista Boy

Sani-Sani Beach, Capual Island, Omar

The Philippines generally has two seasons namely, the wet and dry seasons. The best months to visit Sulu are between the months of December to August. The temperature range in the archipelago is averaging 26 – 30 °C (78.8 – 86 °F).

How to get to Sulu

Since Sulu is an island province, it consists of 11 mainland municipalities and 8 island municipalities. Transportation and going in and around the whole province can be quite difficult and challenging.

By Land

The main mode of transportation in mainland Jolo is the tricycle (minimum fare of ₱ 50). There are also pedicabs (minimum fare of ₱ 20 – 30) and inter-municipality jeepneys (minimum fare of ₱ 50 -100, depending on the destination). They can be mostly found in the town centers of each municipality in Jolo Island.

By Air

The Jolo Airstrip is currently not serviceable to commercial travel. This is mainly used for military operations, aid, and other logistical matters.

By Water

Jolo Sulu Sunrise | Turista Boy

Sunrise upon approaching Port of Jolo

The main way to get to the province of Sulu is by ferry. By riding an overnight ferry (Roll on-Roll off boats) from Zamboanga City, you get to ride for at least 8 – 9 hours and wake up arriving in Jolo Port. Ferry fare usually costs ₱ 850 (non-aircon cabin) – ₱ 1105 (aircon cabin), depending on the shipping line you will be boarding.

Things to know about when visiting Sulu

Tandang Mairan Rock Formation Omar Sulu | Turista Boy

Tandang Mairan Rock Formation, Omar

Cellular Signal (Globe, Smart, Dito) / (Poor, Fair, Good) Fair (in town propers), Poor to None (in between)
Socket Standard, voltage (V), frequency (Hz) Type A,B,C, 220 Volts, 60 Hz
Modes of Payment (Cash / Online Transfer (Maya / GCash) / Wire or Bank Transfer (Debit / Credit)) Cash / GCash
Currency used Philippine Peso (PH₱)

Basic Tausug Words you might need to know

– Beautiful = Malingkat

– Thank you = Magsukul

– Take Care = Kamayah

Famous food and delicacy in Sulu


Tiyula Itum

Tiyula Itum is a spicy beef soup likened to a tinola, with a unique characteristic black color due to charred coconut meat blended into the dish. This is one of the most popular Tausug dishes, mostly available anywhere in the region.


Bangbang Sug Tanduh Beach Parang Sulu | Turista Boy

Bangbang Sug, Tanduh Beach, Parang (L-R) Panggi-Panggi, Putli Mandi, Pitis, Bawlu, Apam

Tanduh Beach Parang Sulu Kahawa Sug Bangbang Sug | Turista Boy

We tried out different Tausug delicacies (bangbang sug) when we had our visit at Tanduh Beach in Parang, Sulu. Here are some of the delicacies we tried.

Bawlu – Tausug egg cake

Apam – Tausug pancake

Panggi-Panggi / Ligut-Ligut – fried swirled dough

Pitis – Sweet, Sticky, Violet in color bangbang sug (Tausug confectionery)

Putli Mandi – glutinous steamed rice cake

Wadjit – tausug version of Biko

Kahawa Sug – Sulu Coffee

Read also: Sulu | Things to do in BARMM’s Last Frontier

*Note that the places, prices, and information written as of publication date and time are true and are given best during my visit. Changes may occur without prior notice. If you notice any changes to the information given above, you can e-mail me here so we can dish things up!*

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