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Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

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Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby davewe » Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:02 am

I just left Boracay and the Philippines and thought I would give a quick report.

Now I know that for most this is not the first destination in PI. Its a tourist area, not cheap, and who knows about the girl situation. But Boracay is consistently rated as one of the top beaches in the world, so I spent a really nice week there.

Why did I go? I took my gf who had never been there. This is probably the best reason to go to Boracay, as a vacation with a wife or gf.

So here goes:

Cost: certainly Boracay is more expensive than most of the PI so you don't go there for the cheap prices, but it's not as bad as I thought. Its certainly cheaper than vacations I've taken in Hawaii or the Caribbean. During hi season I was paying less than $80/night for a decent hotel room, close to the beach. Food and drink costs are also reasonable, though again more than in other parts of PI. You will hav no problem spending $10 max for dinner. All you can eat buffets line the beach at dinner for $7. Other prices of interest that I paid: a half hour massage for $4; private sailing tour for two - $35; private island hopping tour for two - $50. Bottom line, I set myself a budget for the week, as I always do when I travel. The difference is that this time I kept to the budget with ease.

The one cost that did suck is airfare. Perhaps it was because this was Holy Week but the normally cheap Cebu Pacific airfares from Cebu to caticlan were a bit spendy.

Food: lots of restaurants of all styles and tastes. Good quality and mostly good prices. My only complaint was that I had a hell of a time finding a Diet Coke! many restaurants had both western food and Filipino food on the menu, which worked out great for me and my girl.

The beach: the powdery white beach is why people come to Boracay. It is really nice and cleaned and swept every morning. Thr water was warm and clean, although there is a bit more seaweed and algae than expected. In addition to the famous white beach, there are many other smaller beaches to meet your needs. The ocean is very calm, so poor swimmers and kids have no problems.

The heat: in April it is brutally hot. The morning and late afternoon were OK, but mid day was a bit much for me, at least in direct sunlight. We'd usually adjourn to the hotel for a midday romp lol!

The crowds: it's a famous resort area so yes, Boracay is crowded. Tourists for all over the world. I was amazed by the hundreds of Chinese visitors who dominated the place.

Girls: lots of pretty filipinas. No I'm not gonna get into an argument about whether filipinas are attractive or not. Obviously I think they are. And again, as my previous visit to PI, many middle aged white guys were accompanied by younger filipinas. But in this case clearly the majority were wives or gfs. Since I was not there for this purpose, I cannot say whether there were many girls available for picking up or for p4p.

There were other attractive girls, but not that many, and those that were there we're clearly with their husbands or bfs. I was a bit dissappointed at the number of attractive Chinese and Korean girls I saw - they were few and far between.

The scenery: if your into a beautiful locale, Boracay is one of the most beautiful places around, and not just the beach itself. We barely scratched the surface. You could easily spend a few weeks there and not see or do everything.
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Postby momopi » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:49 am

Which resort did you stay at?
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Postby davewe » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:18 pm

momopi wrote:Which resort did you stay at?


I didn't stay at a resort. A small basic hotel, the island jewell. It was well reviewed and has the basics I most want: good wifi, strong aircon, a decent sized room, and ok bed. In addition, the staff was really great and took excellent care of us. But if you want resort style accommodations you're gonna pay more.
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Postby FreeYourMind » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:26 am

Nice report. Palawan is another great beach and tourist destination to take a filipina honey to.
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Re: Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby Winston » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:35 pm

I'm planning a trip to Boracay now and found this thread. After doing some research online though, I found out that Boracay isn't that expensive if you know where to look. For example, there are plenty of accommodations that start at $12 or $14, and these are nice rooms, cottages or bungalows too. Go to the links below and you will see.

Here are Lonely Planet's recommendations of places to stay in Boracay:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/philippines/the-visayas/boracay/hotels/best-places-to-stay-in-boracay

List of hostels (which include private rooms) in Boracay on Hostel Bookers:
http://www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/philippines/boracay-island/

From the Lonely Planet list, it looks like this one called Frendz Resort is rated the cheapest yet nicest one.

http://www.frendzresortboracay.com/

It has nice low price bungalow rooms like this:

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They are minutes from the white sands beach in Boracay.

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And good food at night too.

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Other good accommodations that are nice, simple and inexpensive are:

http://www.oceanbreezeinn.info
http://www.trafalgarcottages.com

Ocean Breeze Inn has nice cottage bedrooms, like this:

Image

Image

See their guesthouses here:
http://www.oceanbreezeinn.info/pageID_5116838.html

And their cottages:
http://www.oceanbreezeinn.info/pageID_5116839.html
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Re: Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby newlifeinphilippines » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:36 pm

my gosh winston youve never been to the real philippines. Seriously. You bounce from one tourist trap to the next. Your worse than even me.
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Re: Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby Mr S » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:36 pm

These two blogs sum up Boracay pretty much, yes I am not a fan and would not recommend visiting, a tourist trap and waste of time. There are better beachy places in PI. It's maybe tolerable if you bring a gf or wife along but it sucks if you're by yourself, also aggressive ladyboys everywhere!

http://annaeverywhere.com/boracay/
http://devianttraveler.com/2012/11/why-i-hate-boracay-bora-aklan-asias-best-resort-philippines-ladyboys-atis/
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Re: Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby Ghost » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:21 am

Never went there, but was planning on it at one point. Went to Tagaytay instead. I don't like touristy areas aside from the natural beauty they usually have, or the old architecture.

Anyone ever been to Palawan? I've been told it's pristine and beautiful, but that "development" is moving in. In a few years it'll probably end up an over-exploited tourist spot.
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Re: Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby starchild5 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:26 am

Mr S wrote:These two blogs sum up Boracay pretty much, yes I am not a fan and would not recommend visiting, a tourist trap and waste of time. There are better beachy places in PI. It's maybe tolerable if you bring a gf or wife along but it sucks if you're by yourself, also aggressive ladyboys everywhere!

http://annaeverywhere.com/boracay/
http://devianttraveler.com/2012/11/why-i-hate-boracay-bora-aklan-asias-best-resort-philippines-ladyboys-atis/


That Anna girl, needlessly wrote so much BS just to get page views. She is from Poland and another Polish blogger wrote a lot of negative about Philippines in general. She is way too disrespectful, Arrogant....Typical traits of many western travelers. Poland is way more ghetto'ish...Rude, bad customer care, bad roads, bad food, bad weather than Boracay...

Her post has been debunked countless times by other bloggers. Here is our very own Reekey from Life Beyond the Sea..whose views matches with the forums a lot...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q33jc3yPTLg[/youtube]

Watch his all videos on Boracay and be amazed by the TRUTH...He is Mexican-American..more down to earth guy and even the negative he says on Philippines is with respect, calmness without offending anyone.

All these white trash back packers come to Philippines on a shoe string beggar budget and then expect to be treated as Princesses ..Get the F outta here.....You have 2 dollars in your torn out jeans and you expect the world to treat you like a queen ....

Boracay is great....if you are a down to earth guy, simple, know that the world does not revolve around you...If you keep your Princess attitude at home...You would do great in Boracay....
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Re: Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby davewe » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:18 pm

Interesting to see my almost 3 year old post re-opened. Also interesting because my wife and I are going back to PI in April and strongly considered visiting Bora, though finally decided against it. Here's what I will add or repeat with 3 year hindsight.

Yes, it's a tourist destination or trap; that shouldn't come as any surprise. I doubt anyone with half a brain goes to Bora for peace and quiet or as a peaceful place to retire. There's lots of tourists there of all nationalities. if you like busy with the bustle of a tourist spot, then Bora's great. If you want to be alone on a beach - not so much.

To address the cost issue. The biggest extra cost is airfare. Cebu Pacific's flights 3 years ago were 2-3 times more expensive than any other flights they have in PI. Guess what - this week was exactly the same. Round trip for the 2 of us to go Cebu to Bora would have been over $500. RT airfare for the 2 of us to go to Camiguin (where we ultimately decided to go - <$170.

However, I do agree with Winston. While there are many expensive hotels, there are cheaper ones, though I would be reticent to go the $10-12 route. Dinner and restaurants are more expensive than many other places in PI, but not horribly so.

I did read that woman's blog and thought it was exaggerated. Most of her points could be made of other highly traveled tourist areas.

In the end I still like Boracay, but you have to be in a certain mood for it. if you're in the mood to be alone on a beach, it ain't the place for you.

As far as picking up girls, clubbing or general mongering - don't know. My guess is that there are easier and cheaper places to do that.
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Re: Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby momopi » Sun May 31, 2015 4:45 am

Winston wrote:I'm planning a trip to Boracay now and found this thread. After doing some research online though, I found out that Boracay isn't that expensive if you know where to look. For example, there are plenty of accommodations that start at $12 or $14, and these are nice rooms, cottages or bungalows too. Go to the links below and you will see.


If you go to Boracay and walk along the beach, look up and you might find businesses and residents offering cheap rentals on the second floor. Since I stayed at a resort, I cannot speak to the quality of the cheap rentals.

Same in Beijing, if you walk around the streets you'd find ads for cheap rentals, but you need to read Chinese.

If you want to see a lot of girls in Boracay, I have been told that it's a popular destination for girl's graduation trips from high school or college. You'd need to befriend the young, healthy looking Filipino diving instructors to get invites to the parties. Consider this "hearsay".
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Re: Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby Winston » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:51 pm

Here is a map of Boracay Island. It looks small, like you could walk around it. How do people get around it? Do they use jeepneys and trikes? Are the trikes there normal prices or overly high prices like in Angeles City?

Also, does the beach line extend all around the island? If so, can you walk it all? Are there any quiet spots on the beaches? If so, which areas?

Image
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Re: Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby Winston » Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:14 pm

Also, I looked up Boracay on Google Images to see what it's really like, beneath the fake images on travel brochures which shows a white sands paradise with no people around (yeah right). Here is what I found. Apparently, it's quite crowded, not secluded like the travel brochures show. I don't even see any private space on the beach at all. Is there any? Are all the beaches in Boracay like this? Any quiet spots? What if you go during low season? Will there be a lot less people? Anyone know?

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But then how do you find spots on the beach like this?

http://globetrottergirls.com/2015/03/boracay-philippines-paradise/

Image

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Here's what one blogger girl recommends:

http://globetrottergirls.com/2015/03/boracay-philippines-paradise/

And I couldn’t help but relax immediately. White Beach is the most famous beach in the Philippines for a reason after all, four kilometers of white sand so soft and powdery that I wouldn’t mind feeling it under my feet every day for the rest of my life.

The beach is separated in three divisions, Station 3 in the south, Station 2 in the middle and Station 1 in the north. I knew that the further south or north I would walk, the quieter it would get and the less people I’d encounter. So I started walking towards the northern end and soon enough the beach felt less crowded. This was much more what I had in mind for my beach getaway in Boracay.

When you visit Boracay, you can make it exactly what you want it to be. If you’re looking for solitude and quiet beach time, stay in one of the hotels at the far north end of station 1. If you want to party and be right in the middle of it all, stay in station 2. If you want to do kitesurfing, don’t stay in White Beach at all, but stay on the other side of the island on Bulabog Beach (Boracay is still small enough to get from one side of it to the other it on foot, at least on its narrowest part in the middle of the island).


So I guess if you go to the north part of the island, the beaches will be a lot quieter.
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Re: Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby Winston » Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:33 pm

Wow check out Davewe's Boracay 2015 trip video that he posted in his blog:

http://www.marriedafilipina.com/2015/07/our-boracay-video/

Wow it looks nice. Davewe, the beaches you walked on looked very sparse. Not crowded at all. What month did you go there? It must be during low season.

Were you able to get a lower price on the island hopping boat tours? 2000p for 3 hours sounds like a lot, especially in a country where the minimum wage is 300p a day. Doesn't add up. What did the boat driver say about lunch? That it would cost another 1000p? I couldn't hear him clearly.

Also, how come the beach you walked on didn't have white sand? Did you go on the white sand beaches? Were they too crowded so you avoided them?
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Re: Boracay Trip Report - Philippines Beach Island

Postby davewe » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:34 pm

Winston wrote:Wow check out Davewe's Boracay 2015 trip video that he posted in his blog:

http://www.marriedafilipina.com/2015/07/our-boracay-video/

Wow it looks nice. Davewe, the beaches you walked on looked very sparse. Not crowded at all. What month did you go there? It must be during low season.

Were you able to get a lower price on the island hopping boat tours? 2000p for 3 hours sounds like a lot, especially in a country where the minimum wage is 300p a day. Doesn't add up. What did the boat driver say about lunch? That it would cost another 1000p? I couldn't hear him clearly.

Also, how come the beach you walked on didn't have white sand? Did you go on the white sand beaches? Were they too crowded so you avoided them?


Nope - it was summer - May - high season. But most of that video was shot in the morning. I suppose the tourists were out island hoping or in bed hung over. And that beach is the main, famous Bora white beach. Definitely white powdery sand. There are other beaches in Boracay, some less crowded overall, but that is the big white beach.

As to prices, it's a tourist area. The prices are not designed for poor Filipinos making 300p a day. They are designed for Chinese, Korean, European, Australian and American tourists for whom $50 for a day trip (for 2) is a pretty good deal. As I mentioned in the video I suspect that there was price fixing as I found no one significantly cheaper - they all quoted more or less the same prices, depending on the tour.

Dinner on the beach was between $7-10 for an all you can eat buffet.

Boracay does get expensive if you have to have a luxury hotel on the beach. Our hotel was maybe 100 yards off the beach and while more expensive than average Philippines hotels it was certainly affordable for us. It was at Signal 3 which is a bit away from the main party area, but for me that's a positive.

The biggest expense arguably is the flights. Cebu Pacific, which flies all over the Philippines, usually for low costs, it definitely not low cost when it comes to Boracay.
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