Travel location: Boracay, Philippines
When I went: October 2014
I travelled to the Philippines for a dear friend’s wedding in Manila, followed by a week in Boracay. I wanted to write this list for those who plan on visiting the beautiful island.
What was awesome about Boracay:
- “Boracay is a small island in the Philippines located approximately 315 km (196 mi) south of Manila” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boracay). The Island averages temperatures of over 27 degrees Celsius all-year-round, making the destination perfect for vacationers.
- Travel and Leisure magazine voted Boracay the World’s best Island in 2012. The white sandy beach was gorgeous!
- The sunset was stunning!
- There were not a lot of insects when I visited.
- According to Wikipedia, as of 2010, “Boracay has in excess of 350 beach resorts”, which includes the 5-star Shangri-La’s beach resort.
- The excursions were inexpensive compared to excursions in the Caribbean that I have been to. For $20 USD, I was able to get an hour of snorkeling with several stops around the island.
- There was an outdoor mall called the “D-Mall” that had tons of souvenir shops and restaurants, including The Hobbit House.
- The main strip by the beach had a buzzin’ night life full of restaurants, bars and markets.
- There were tons of restaurants with a beautiful beach view.
- There was an abundance of fresh fruits being sold.
- There were many buskers on the street singing popular cover songs, and every one of them could sing well!
- The massages were inexpensive for tourists. For $25 USD, customers can get a full hour message on the beach.
- Manny Pacquiao’s vacation home was located in Boracay.
Some “not so awesome things about Boracay”:
- People were trying to sell merchandise like selfie sticks, waterproof camera holders, souvenirs, and excursions along the beach strip. I could not walk more than 1 minute without being approached by someone. I was hassled way more than any other Island I have been to in the Caribbean.
- Many of the young kids were asked to solicit for money. One evening during dinner on the beach, we were thoroughly impressed that kids around our table made a beautiful sandcastle that said “I love Borocay”. As we looked down the beach, there was a row of the same sand castles! The kids were really talented though and deserved recognition!
- I found that there were few lawn chairs available at the prime spots, so it was important to go early and claim a spot. Many people laid their hotel towels on the sand directly if they could not find a chair.
- Like many tourist destinations, it was important to watch your belongings often. One lady who sat near us at the beach had gotten her phone and camera stolen from her bag.
- As the city is developing and there are thousands of visitors daily, unfortunately this means tons of garbage and construction outside the resorts and beaches. It was not a pretty sight.
- Although there were tons of people out at night on the main strip, the last call for alcohol was 12 pm (at least the places that we had visited).
I still loved my experience and miss the gorgeous beach!
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