07 Aug Boracay, What to expect.
Things to do, and things to avoid, while on the tourist hot spot island of Boracay. I can only say so much about what I did, but there are a lot of things I didn’t do. Boracay is definitely worth going to, but it is expensive. Don’t get me wrong, you can do it cheap-ish, but where’s the fun in that? I’ll jump from topic to topic, and hopefully by the end of this article you’ll have a better idea on how you want to live it up, or not, in Boracay.
First thing you want to do before you pay for your room, make sure it has AC. I can not stress this enough. I didn’t get an AC room, and my oh my was it miserable. Some people can stand it, I’m not one of them. Isla Kitesurfing Guesthouse has both types of rooms, and the open air restaurant they have is amazingly good. I had one of the best burgers of my life there, like 6 times. The beach is broken down in to three areas; Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3. Everything pretty much happens somewhere between one and two. So, having a hotel near there will save you some walking. Here’s a simplified map for the visual readers:
To give you a scale of sorts, if you walked from Bulabog Beach to Station 1/2 it would only take you max 10 minutes. As you can see, it’s not a big island. That, however, won’t stop you from having the time of your life there. D’mall (shown above) is the place where you will be buying your soap, water, etc. It’s a small shop that gets very busy. The ATMs are located to the right of the building. Behind that you have a couple streets of shopping, and beyond that the beach front restaurants, and of course, the beach.
Be prepared to haggle. If you aren’t loaded, you will want to bargain for any items you buy (excluding meals). There are so many places to shop at that you can usually talk down the seller a couple hundred pesos or more. While this concept isn’t natural to Americans, it is accepted all over Asia. You can’t leave Boracay without being hit up to try some of the many activities they offer. Once you hit the beach area about every ten feet there is someone pushing you to buy sunglasses, hats, or day trips. If you stop to say no they will continue to push you. Just say no a couple times as you walk, and keep walking. If you are trying to do a day trip keep in mind you have the power. There are a ton of people selling trips, mention that someone else offered this to you cheaper and they will come down. If you act interested, but the price is too high, after a couple minutes of this they will drop the price. I got one guy down 500 pesos ($10USD)!
Speaking of day trips, I have a few to review. The first thing we did was Helmet Diving. While it sounds like an awesome thing to do, and maybe it is somewhere, in Boracay, it isn’t. It’s overpriced, and overrated. I guess if you’ve never gone snorkeling or been in the ocean and this is your only chance for a while…maybe. Once you get down on the bottom (20ft depth) they give you food to attract the fish and take pictures. I got bored after 5 minutes, and the area they let you walk around in is about 30sq ft. Meh.
My memory is a little foggy, but I believe we did the island tour after this. Originally, we had plans to go to Ariel’s Point and spend the day there cliff diving, but they have a tour that takes you around the island to a few spots, and snorkeling, instead of just staying there all day, so we decided to do that. 0 for 2 on good day trips. We spent most of our time on the boat going from place to place, not to mention because of the tide we weren’t able to go to half the places we paid for. The only good part was Ariel’s Point, which due to our tour we only had 30 minutes to enjoy. I did get a good picture though…
If you choose to spend the afternoon here you can stay and watch people dive off the different platforms, food and drinks are provided, and unlimited from what I understand. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. I didn’t have time to do much else, but there were quite a few options.
At night things usually get started pretty late, and the crowds don’t show up till around 11 or 12. They have a really good ambiance across the entire beach. Drinks, hookah, music, massages, and even fire dancing shows. It was quite the time. I changed my blood composition from whiskey to mango daiquiris a time or two, delicious.
After a few days, I was ready to move on. The vibrant blue waters and night life of Boracay never lost their charm, but there was much more of The Philippines I had yet to explore. Unfortunately, I lost my phone with all my notes on it right before I left the country…so all my in the moment thoughts and ramblings were lost. Hope you enjoyed what I remembered though! Thanks for reading, rating, and sharing.