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Published: October 13th 2007
one of the many beaches on Boracay
It’s Saturday, October 13, and time for a little update from paradise. The weather has been incredible this last week. So what did I do? I decided to stay on the beautiful island of Boracay for the rest of my vacation in the Philippines. It's hard to beat this.
I’ve got a couple more days before I fly to Manila, and then it’s back home to Bangkok.
Island life for me has mostly consisted of relaxing on the beach, reading, and eating. However, I've done a few other things. In my last update, I mentioned a boat/snorkeling trip around the island.
The boat/snorkeling trip was offered by Allan B Fun Tours. On my particular trip, I believe we had 24 customers plus 4 staff. It consisted of a few snorkel stops, a simple lunch, and a ride around the entire island. The cost was 600 pesos (approx $14), but I paid 720 (approx $16) with the extras (2 additional snorkel stops). Although the snorkeling wasn’t very impressive (most of the coral around the island is dead), there were some colorful little fish, and it was good to see around the island from the vantage point of the water.
Allan B. Fun Tours day trip/snorkeling boat
Plus, I was able to meet some other travelers (Germans, Taiwanese, and Filipino). Based on what I’ve seen so far, I would guess approx 80% of the tourists on Boracay are Asians.
There is a lot to do here. There are water associated activities (scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, jet-skiing, parasailing, sailing, fishing). There are beach activities (such as volleyball, frisbee, laying out, reading). There is shopping (primarily crafts, cheap jewelry, and clothing). There are massages (mostly shiatsu, swedish, & thai - starting at 350 pesos per hour (less than $10)). And then, of course, there is dining.
I’m surprised by the diversity and quality of the food here. Most of it is reasonably priced too. I ordered fish with rice for under $3 yesterday. There are even decent all-you-can-eat buffets for under $5. I’m averaging $15 per day on food (and eating well). Obviously you could spend a lot more if you’re going to high-end hotels and ordering lobster or steak. I’ve kept clear of those places so far.
I mentioned beach volleyball earlier. It’s low season so there isn’t much of a volleyball scene. However, there are games going on in the late afternoons. I've joined
Taking Down the Net
Alex using unconventional means of taking down the net at sunset after wrapping up our games of volleyball.
a group of local Filipinos to play a couple of times. They brought the posts, net, and ball at around 4:30, and we played until 6 (dark). What's the level of play? There are actually some pretty good players. The equipment may not be the best, but there are some athletic guys who play quite a bit.
I'm now back at Dave's Straw Hat, but I had been staying at the Blue Mango Inn the last 3 nights. I had to make the move because Dave's was full from the 10th - 12th. Although I'm partial to Dave's (the value is unbeatable), the Blue Mango is another good option. It's got a beach-front location near Station 3. They've got 10 rooms, although they will soon have 17 rooms. Definitely opt for the deluxe rooms since they are significantly better than the standard, and not much more expensive (another $15?). They've got nice staff and a good restaurant too (big fan of their chicken curry). I've been using their lounge chairs on the beach throughout my time in Boracay.
As for Dave's Straw Hat, I don't think this place can be beat for the price. For approx $28, you
get a clean, modern room (built in 2004) with wi-fi, A/C, hot water, frig, and safe. On top of that, they've got the best hotel staff I've ever dealt with. The only disadvantages are that they are not on the beach, their back-up generator isn't strong enough to run the A/C when the power goes out (which is fairly often), and they don't take credit cards. Also, they are almost always fully booked. Plan ahead!
Enjoy the pictures. Look! There goes Dave!
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