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October 13th 2007
Published: October 13th 2007
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Puka BeachPuka BeachPuka Beach

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.
Our BoatOur BoatOur Boat

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 NetTaking Down the NetTaking 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
Fish Out of WaterFish Out of WaterFish Out of Water

A pufferfish?
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!

Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


Blue Mango Inn Blue Mango Inn
Blue Mango Inn

The entrance to my deluxe room at the Blue Mango Inn.
Blue Mango Inn InteriorBlue Mango Inn Interior
Blue Mango Inn Interior

The interior of my room at the Blue Mango Inn near Station 3. Since it's low season, I managed to get this for 1,500 pesos (around $35) per night.
View from Crafty'sView from Crafty's
View from Crafty's

Looking out from the roof of Crafty's Resto & Bar
Capturing the MomentCapturing the Moment
Capturing the Moment

A girl that likes to take pictures as much as Saai? This Taiwanese girl was definitely into taking pictures...I'm sure she took over 100 on the boat trip.
Fish at Smoke Restaurant (Before)Fish at Smoke Restaurant (Before)
Fish at Smoke Restaurant (Before)

My fish steak being cooked at the authentic Filipino (and reasonably priced) restaurant "Smoke"

13th October 2007

for sharing the pix, it is beautiful! It is cloudy and rainy here in the great Northwest! :)
14th October 2007

so does this change your opinion of your move?
with everything thats happened in the last few weeks/months, do you still think you made the right choice? (dropping everything and going to Asia)
17th October 2007

Hope you're enjoying your stay in Boracay. We did. Simply can't beat the prices there. Great pictures, by the way.
19th October 2007

Did you try the balut(?). Its a steamed duck egg. Looks tasty and heard its the national dish. Glad to see you are doing well.
26th October 2007

I am impressed with your writing. I thoroughly enjoyed your blogs on travel in the Philippines. You include all the things most travelers want to hear about. Brilliant!
5th November 2007

Your photos're awesome!
I like your photos a lot. Wow Mr. Dave. You did a great job. Have you ever worked as a photographer before? :-p
25th June 2008

I enjoy reading your blog... I am glad you liked Boracay... I myself fell in love with the place.

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