Situated around 350 km down south from Manila in the Visayas, Boracay is a fabulous beach destination to discover. Sized only at 7 km long by 2 wide it’s a relatively small tropical island that has lots to offer. Just to see it’s 4km long famous white beach is well worth the trip it but the island by itself has around 30 beaches and coves for you to chose and discover. Some are easy of access by foot while others require a bit of swimming to be reached. Alternatively renting out a banca will take you around all of them and beyond. Virtually unknown 25 years ago it has fast grown into one of the Philippines most prized destination. Boracay comes from the the word ‘borac’ which is cotton in English referring to the texture and color of it’s sand.
The previous nights sleep was short (about 2½ hours) and as we left our hotel in Manila at around 5 am I was still in a dreamy state wondering if on my arrival if the water would be as pristine & if the sand really had that white powder feel like it looked on the pictures I had seen.
The quick one hour flight from Manila to Kalibo with Cebu Pacific Air went well and we were entertained by the crew and their famous on board guessing games. As usual the plane was about 30 minutes late but who would really notice anyways since we’re on Filipino time…
Juts before boarding the flight still pretty much sleepy as can be
From there you’re in for another 90 minutes car or bus ride to the ferry terminal that’s on the northern tip of the main island. It’s actually not that bad since it gave me my first glimpse of Filipino provincial life which is very different from the one of the Capital. You can if you are in a hurry fly directly from Manila to Caticlan flight with Asian Spirit or SeAIR and skip the 90 minutes transfer on smaller 20-30 seated aircrafts. The Caticlan runway is as short as it gets and only these kids of aircrafts would be able to land and depart from.
Now comes the final part of our journey the 20 minutes Banca ride to Boracay which was quite a fun experience to board one of those vessels onto the sea:
Leaving the Banca ferry terminal
As a few other Bancas approach
View of the main island from the sea
View from inside the banca
Land at last ! Here we are approaching Boracay
First glimpse of Boracay is quite impressive
And now after checking in at our hotel time to actually go and take a first hand look (and snap a few pictures) of the famous White Beach.
Final verdict ?
I was totally overwhelmed by its beauty! It’s the kind of place that you would only imagine possible to be true in Martini advertisements… But its booming, Leif who had been there just three years previously could hardly recognize a lot of the places. Every square foot of beach front left seem to have been almost bought and developed. A walk along the palm trees will reveal restaurants serving food from corner of the globe: German, Italian, Greek, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Caribbean, Scandinavian, etc. you name it! The old native style bamboo huts are almost all gone and what’s left is a modern strip of hotels with everything from small bars to all out night raves and discos.
Ah yes this isn’t the worst place to be stranded is it?
More or less in front of our hotel
The other side with me unable to open my eyes due to the blazing sun
More of white beach at station 2 & 3
And now for a bumpy tricycle ride up to the top of the island on Mount Luho which is the highest point of Boracay which is around 100 meters high. The round trip should take you just under an hour.
From where you can an excellent good view of the island and its surrounding
I am finally able to open my eyes a bit at last here
Now for a look all around the different sides of Mount Luho
Monkeys on Mount Luho
Cute looking little monkeys aren’t they ?
Even one peso coins gets them going
Divers returning on White Beach
Now for a White beach station 2 & 1 picture flood…
A feel of walking around the island
White Beach at station one
The extreme northern tip of white beach
Pictures of the sunset at Boracay
Picture from one of Leif’s friend home, a native woman that was one of the first to come in Boracay here 2o+ some years ago living with Bill, an American that left to visit Asia in 1972 and never made it back home.
You can rent one of their rooms here for the year at $2500. The Zone is wi-fi as most staying here make money from the internet working at home.
And after sunset the hostilities start & our first night of two nights out…
My mistake here telling the Canadian owner/bartender that his drinks were a bit light since a bottle of local Tanduay Rhum is 40 pesos in a sari-sari store (PS: 1$ CAD = 45 pesos today).
We Both woke up still drunk hopefully an Australian couple we had met the day before had a hangover cure the next day for us.
Another beautiful day at the beach doing just about nothing…
There are many activities possible though that range from: scuba diving, horse riding, kayaking, island hopping, renting motorcycles, all terrain vehicles and much more, etc.
And here our last night together already well in full gear…
Leif had of course to take over the bar and prepare his own special drinks to our new half Filipino but swiss raised friend that had a little time off while his girlfriend was sleeping.
Ready when you are
Ok light it up !
Job DONE! Now the hardest part inhaling the alcohol fumes
And our last stop at an unnamed bar.
PS: notice the nice girls in the back 😉
These are the Very very obvious trannies you can only see coming out late at night … Others are very hard to differentiate.
Be very careful what you bring back with you. The previous day two Arabs we talked to late at night(one from Dubai & the other from Saudi Arabia) seemed to clueless they were picking up ladyboys. I am sure they were in for quite some surprise…
That was quite the inside joke of the night.
Leif’s forces slowly dying out. Can’t blame him, its after all his last day of his 3rd week in the Philippines.
Last picture took of Leif before he leaves to bed. His flight is earlier than me & he must be awake by 5 AM to be among the first to chose his seats online for the plane to Norway. Gladly I stayed on a bit 🙂
A quick stolen picture of my last day in Boracay having brunch with the lovely presence of Anne Sy (quite a pretty Filipino/Chinese I met the evening before). Leif’s presence has been at last upgraded !
Life is very harsh for some… Raised solely by her grandma and struggling to survive she came 2 months previously to Boracay where the tourism jobs are booming. Still not much to eek out a living for a single mother but they never like to be taken in pity. They accept what fate brings them.. I could imagine a few worst places to be obliged to live while being poor anyways 🙂
A few hours later I was on my way for Cebu city. This time I left from from the small airport of Caticlan with Asian Spirit airlines. The flight was one hour late this time & aboard a tiny aircraft. I was a bit uneasy since instead of the usual English emergency exit writing inside this model was all in Russian. Made me think I was boarding some old USSR Aeroflot aircraft. The speakers also made very a weird sound.