Boracay On My Mind



Travelling for the first time to Boracay? Let me tell you how my experience was. 

beach, blue, boracay




"You picked the wrong date!,  I was told by Kitty, a tourist from Shanghai, China, whom I've met while waiting in line for our check-in at the Kalibo International Airport. I'm a local tourist and it was my first time visiting Boracay. I was sharing with her how my stay was ruined due to the storm and I kept telling her that I'm not coming back. Don't get me wrong, Boracay, really, is beautiful, with its pristine white sand beach, clear water, the beautiful sunset, clearly, it is a tropical paradise.



The trip

I wasn't supposed to be on this trip, my husband who is going on a business trip to Kalibo and Boracay thought of  taking me along on his trip since he knew that I haven't been to Boracay. We travelled by plane and spent the night at Kalibo and the next day, we took the Joy Long van going to Caticlan Port. It took us about an hour and a half before we reached the port. Then, we rode in an open boat, a 15 minute ride and then transfer to a  tricycle which was another 10-15 minutes travel,  before reaching our destination. As a first timer, I was so excited with the trip, with what I had heard and read about Boracay, I was thinking that I'll be in paradise for the next four days of my life. It was a peak season, Chinese New year, to be exact, so there were a lot of tourists and the resorts are all fully booked. We have no room to stay at, fortunately, after making a few phone calls, a friend of mine was able to get us a room at Station 2. Upon settling down our things in our room, we immediately walk around the resort.


The Sand

sand, boracay, white
























My husband was doing fieldwork on that island, so we spend most of our time walking from Station 1 to 3. I tried walking barefoot from Station 2, 3, 2 then 1, in that order, and that's when I noticed the difference between these 3 stations (aside from the type of resorts), the sand! Station 3 has a much coarser texture and a bit off-white color, while Station 2 have a much better texture and feel to the feet and Station 3 has a pristine white color and the finest texture,  It feels like flour, I was almost tempted to make pulvoron, lol! I love walking and scrubbing my feet with the sand, Oh! How I wish I could take home some of it.


The Beach

beach, water, clear





















It was a good day to spend time at the beach, the weather was nice, the water was clear and not so deep. You can walk a few meters away from the shore going to the sea and yet the water was just a little below my knees  (and I'm just 5 feet tall). We were not able to try out most of the activities at the beach since my husband has work to do. Finally, when all his work was done, we were able to go  Paraw sailing, I was a bit scared because when we were sailing so fast because of the strong wind, but still, I enjoyed the ride.

The View


boracay, day, clear


During daytime, the horizon was a sight to behold, with the clear blue sky as the backdrop, just by sitting on the sand, under the tree, I enjoyed watching the boats sailing, people building sand castle... and when sunset came, it was amazing!

sunset, boracay, amazing
























Almost Perfect ...

On our last night, it was reported on the news that a storm was coming. The typhoon had arrived by dawn and by morning, there was almost no tourist by the beachfront except for a few of us, who were wearing our rain gear. Even with the rain, we managed to spend time and have fun at the beach.  

beach, storm

We were scheduled to leave  that day, but all the boat trips were cancelled. By lunchtime, we were told that  it was resumed, but will be cut off  again by three in the afternoon. Everyone was in a rush to get out of the island since most of us have flights back to Manila that day. It was chaos at the port when we arrived, no one was guiding some of the tourists flocking at the port, except those that are riding on a closed boat which I presumed tourists from high end resorts. We made our way into the heavily crowded port and luckily, we were able to ride just before the 3pm cut-off. Our van ride from Caticlan to Aklan town proper was a breeze, I was able to sleep  due to exhaustion. I thought my dilemma was over, but when we got to the Aklan Airport, there was a long line of tourists waiting to get inside. Due to sudden power failure, the airport staff had to manually check all the bags and suitcases of every tourist that are coming in, so you also could imagine the long lines at the check-in. We waited in line for almost two hours for our check-in, when it's our turn, all the seats are already taken for the 7:45pm flight and we were bumped  to a 9:30pm flight. I thought, it wasn't that bad, but to my dismay, while we were waiting for our plane coming from Manila, it was announced that our plane will be delayed because of the bad weather... talking about having a really bad day! Finally, before midnight, a small plane had arrived to pick us up. 


"WILL I GO BACK TO BORACAY?"

photos, boracay































After looking at the pictures and reminiscing all the memories (good or bad) that we have taken from that trip, I would say, Yes!, I would definitely go back to Boracay, but this time it will be well planned!


Are you planning to go to Boracay for the first time? Here's an easy guide  on how to get there:


TRANSPORTATION


boracay, transportation











Manila - Kalibo/Caticlan

Plane

The cost of plane ticket ranges from P3,000 to P6,000, depending on the season. There are budget airlines like Cebu Pacific and Air Asia that offers lower fares. It is a 1 hour flight, you can bring your own snacks because some budget airlines do not provide free snacks.


Kalibo to Caticlan 

Van/Bus Ride - P100 - U$2.25

I would suggest you take the Joy Long Van ride, very spacious van, 14 seater capacity and travel time is much faster compared to buses. The travel time is 1 hour and 30 minutes.


Caticlan Jetty Port to Boracay Port

Open/Boat ride (10 minutes travel time)

Terminal fee          -P100/ U$2.25
Environmental fee  -  P75/U$1.69
Boat                      - P25/U$0.56


Boracay Port to White Beach 

Tricycle 

(10-15 minutes travel time)


P25/U$0.56 - per person
P100/U$2.25 - solo/group ride

ACCOMMODATIONS/BOAT STATIONS


boracay, stations







Boracay has 3 boat stations:

Station 1 - has the best and the finest white sand. This is where the luxury resorts are, much quieter than Station 2, but I've noticed that most of the tourists that are staying at this station, flock to Station  2 during the night. If you have a big budget and you want a peaceful retreat, then, this is your station. Resort price range: P5,000 (U$115) and up per night

Station 2 - this is where the party is! You can find the D'Mall here and a lot of restaurants, mid-range to budget resorts and hotels. It's a bit crowded because everyone flocks here. So, if you like the nightlife and want to party, you should go here. Resort price range: P2,000 to P5,000/( U$45-U$115)/night

Station 3 - mid-range, but mostly budget accommodations are expected here. The sand is not as fine as 1, but you can walk barefoot and still be fine. It is much quieter and less crowded than station 2. There are also good restaurants and spa located here. If you're on a budget but still want to enjoy Boracay, then choose this. Resort price range: below P2,000 (U$45) and below per night

For me, it doesn't matter what station should you choose to stay, as long as you're ready to walk the long stretch of Boracay, you can still enjoy the fine white sand beach whether you're at Station 3.


FOOD

food, boracay


Boracay offers a lot of  dining experiences, from budget, casual dining and fancy restaurants. There are a lot of food kiosks and restaurants that serves food from morning until late night. If you're craving for breakfast at McDonald's, you go to Station 2. They also have Master Siomai, Leylam Shawarma and for freshly baked breads, there's Julie's bakeshop. If you really want to experience the island food, try their seafood, you pick the seafood you want and they will cook it for you. Then there's Budget Mart, supermarket conveniently located at D'Mall, along the road. In case, your budget is tight and don't want to spend that much on food/snacks, then  you can buy your groceries here before heading to your station.

Tip: Food prices in restaurants are a bit expensive, to save money on food, bring your own snacks before going on a trip.


ACTIVITIES




There's a lot of things to do while you're in Boracay. If you are the shopaholic type, you may shop till you drop at the D'Mall. For the adventurous people, you can try diving, snorkeling, ATV, motorcycling, to name a few. For those who want some relaxing activities, you can do sunset cruising or island hopping, have a massage or have your hair braided by some locals while sitting by the beach. And, for those who want to party and get drunk, there's a lot of bars and special events  to go to and you can party until the wee hours.

Tip: You don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy Boracay. You can swim, soak in the sun, build a castle or just sit at the beach front and enjoy the beautiful sunset, that's priceless!

But before you plan that trip, here are some reminders:


DON'T TRAVEL IN PEAK SEASON

Peak season in Boracay is from December to April, expect to see a lot of tourists during Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, Holy Week and Ati-Atihan. During these seasons, most resorts room rates are a bit higher and it's usually fully booked,  make sure you book your reservation as early as possible, so you will not end up like me. We went there on a super peak season, Chinese New Year of this year. I tagged along with my husband who is on a business trip to Kalibo and Boracay, we got our tickets two days before our flight. We thought everything was already settled since the company secretary arranged for our trip. But to our dismay, a day before we travel to Boracay, we got the news that we didn't have a room in Boracay since every resort is fully booked. I had to ask help from my friends, luckily, one of them was able to get a room for us on a budget resort, that's our only option, or else, we'll be sleeping on the sand (if that is allowed) or we'll be travelling back to Kalibo on that same day, we chose the first.


PACK LIGHT

Since you're travelling by plane, boat and tricycle, avoid packing unnecessary big and heavy clothing and items.  Don't pack your clothes in trolleys or suitcases, use backpacks, for easy and comfortable travel. I've seen some tourists, arriving on the island, disembarking from the tricycle with their heavy suitcases, and then dragging them to the sand as they go to their destined resort. Your main reason for going to Boracay is relaxation, so don't sweat and stressed yourselves on bringing unnecessary baggage.

CHECK THE WEATHER

Before you leave the house, check out the local weather. Well, I forgot to do this since I left Manila on a very sunny day and there was no weather disturbance reported to where I'm going.  On our 2nd day in Boracay, a storm was reported at a nearby province and moving in towards our direction, The next day,  we woke up with a bad weather, it's a good thing that I brought my rain jacket, we were still able to walk around the beach and enjoy the scenery even in a bad condition.

SECURE YOUR VALUABLES (and your slippers too, seriously!)

This is not a joke! And, we thought that the thieves are only after our precious gadgets, hah! This incident really happened just last week, a cousin of my husband lost her Havaianas slippers when their group decided to stay near the beach front and went barefoot, leaving their footwear on the sand just near where they're staying. My husband even took a photo of their slippers before one of the pairs was taken away. When they are about to leave, they noticed that one pair was already missing. Since they have to walk back to the hotel, they end up buying a lousy pair of slippers for P200.

If you decided to bring your precious belongings to the beach, placed it in a waterproof bag or casing. In that way, you can take it along with you if you plan to have fun at the beach.


BRING EXTRA CASH FOR EMERGENCY

I know someone who got sick while on vacation in Boracay. He didn't have enough cash money for this kind of emergency, so he had to ask a relative to transfer money to his account so that he can have his check-up at a local hospital.  Always bring enough cash to sustain your needs while you're on a trip. You can bring your ATM card or a credit card if you have, so that in case of emergencies like this, you are prepared.

AND TO MY FELLOW PINAY, YES! IT'S OK NOT TO WEAR A TWO-PIECE SWIMWEAR TO THE BEACH


swimsuit, clothing


Several years ago, I have already heard of this, "So, you're going to Boracay, are you going to wear two-piece?" (meaning  a bra top and a bikini bottom), and just two months ago, after I came back from Boracay, I was asked by someone who is also going there for the first time, "Did you wear a two-piece?" Well, I did wear a three-piece, a tankini, a bikini and my beach shorts, and I'm perfectly fine in Boracay. Wear whatever kind of clothing you're comfortable with, there are no restrictions.  Even if you feel that you don't look good in your swimwear, I'm telling you, no one will ever notice. Just remember that you are going there to have fun and to relax, so don't stress over what to wear.

When you get to Boracay, I hope you follow these simple rules: 


rules, beach, boracay


And before you leave the island, don't forget to take a souvenir photo here!


boracay, love

Enjoy your trip!


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14 comments:

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  4. Great Post! Very informative. But seems the weather didn't approve with you, no worries there will be always next time :) I Really miss Boracay.. Where everything was perfect :) I also look for a cozy and relaxing place to stay. I find The Orient Beach Boracay, it was peaceful that I really had a great time stay, it was also affordable with complete amenities like a 5Star Hotel but it was Newly Opened Hotel, everything was new. It was 5 mins ride to D'mall, and from the world famous white Beach, its not hassle anyway because they have a free shuttle Service going to D'mall. You can find great deals in many sites. Plus they serve really great Breakfast and oh, complimentary coffee was available at your room. Staffs are really accommodating and very friendly :) they are the one who help me in booking my activities and had a great deals. I really had a great stay! Cant wait for my next visit in Boracay :)

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  5. Hi Russel, seems that you really had a nice time in Boracay, hopefully when I get back there, I'll have the same experience as you do.

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