Life of Lai – it’s the Boracay Beaches!
Everyone goes to Bali or Phucket nowadays for a proper beach vacation, I went a different route over the weekend to the Philippines to visit Clark, Angeles City and Boracay.
Boracay has been recognised by Travel + Leisure as the Best Island 2012 (see link). After spending two days at the bone-shaped island, I got to agree on that in terms of the natural state of the place, basically Boracay is not mainstream yet. Mainstream is applicable to Bali and Phuket, and even Koh Samui, the once indie vacation hot spot. The level of difficulty in reaching Boracay itself proves how pristine it is – the harder to reach, the lesser the people, the more organic it feels.
The trip started with a flight via AirAsia from Singapore Changi Terminal 1 (they JUST launched the Singapore to Clark route and it’s been packed with passengers daily) to Clark Aiport. The total flight time is three and half hours. AirAsia’s departure time slot at 10:10AM is perfect, and in Philippines there is no time difference.
After reaching Clark, you need another connecting AirAsia flight to head to Kalibo, another island down Southwards and that’s only about one hour. Once in Kalibo, you will have to catch a van or a bus for a two hour long drive up North to the Jetty. The boat ride to Boracay is only about five minutes maximum, the last part is taking a trishaw or van to head to the resort area within Boracay itself.
I’ve hand drawn a map of the island myself (see first image above) and it briefly explains the whole place. Most people stay at the white beach area where hotels, bars, restaurants and shops gather and the beach stretches 6 kilometers long, lots and lots of boats are being parked there. The water at Boracay is like Maldives, the best beaches on earth have sea water that are not only blue, it’s clear and turquoise-y. Even after sailing off for about 300-500 metres from the shore, the water is still quite shallow and you can see through the water and know whats underneath it. When you dive down it’s another world of coral reefs, angel fishes, sea urchins and many other underwater creatures.
Boat rides are a must at Boracay. If you stay by the beach you’re missing out big time. Getting on one of the boats, which can carry up to 10 people, allow you to island hop in Boracay, snorkel and dive. Puka Beach at the North-est tip is even more beautiful, more stunning than the White Beach.
In the center of Boracay there are a few ATV places (I went to Zorb), even if you’re not an adventurous person it’s worth the ride uphill to the highest viewing point of the island. You really get the best unblock view of the sea, the beaches, the forest, the resorts. There’s also a small zoo/farm and a zip line station, just fyi.
Food-wise the seafood is fresh and amazing, I had three stuff squids in two days. Also try the prawns, the lobsters and most of the food there are grilled for some reason, it’s like their specialty.
If you’re planning to visit Boracay, here’s what I would recommend:
– Travel really light because of the transfers, getting in and out of a boat etc
– It rains on and off during the monsoon season so be prepared!
– Bring sunblock
– Domestic flights within Phillipines doesn’t require you to use your passport but you must keep your baggage tags. Also prepare some money for all the airport fees.
– Boracay is not really a surfing place.
– There’s wifi in almost every restaurant.
– YES like every other resort island there are massage and spas, at really affordable rate. Don’t forget to tip the staff!