I’ve discovered that Boracay’s a bit of a party place. At breakfast in the hostel there were plenty of revellers regaling last night’s drunken antics, sharing photos and attempting to remember people who had sent them messages. Thanks goodness Snap Chat and WhatsApp weren’t around during my prime nightclubbing days!
The hostel was in a great location, almost right in the geographical centre of the island, as well as close to everything to see and do. Two minutes walk away was Bulabog Beach. This side of Boracay is quite windy and is home to lots of kite surfing. It’s not the best for swimming due to these conditions but Bulabog has a few beachside bars and is a good place to come and relax. On the opposite side of the island is the much busier White Beach. This is the main area of Boracay. White Beach is still only a 10 minute walk from the hostel. With the thongs of people it cane sometimes take a bit longer. That said there’s no rush on here. Boracay certainly has a laid back sort of vibe happening.
White Beach is a mile or so stretch of bars, restaurants and shops that are built immediately adjacent to or sometimes actually on the beach. As the name suggests, the sand here really is certainly white. According to the internet this place is highly rated by beach connoisseurs. White Beach is big enough not to be too crowded though. After the crocodile incident in Colombia my sea swimming days are no more. The clear and warm water is tempting though, especially in this hot weather. However even if I wanted to go for a swim I couldn’t without the risk of ruining my new tattoo.
There’s a noticeable lack of touts and hawkers around White Beach. Apparently it’s not allowed at all in the pedestrianised D-Mall. In reality this meant that I was only hassled about once a minute rather than every 4 seconds with people trying to sell boat trips, water sport activities, massages, sunglasses and sea shells.
When researching Boracay some people complained that it’s quite expensive. While it probably is by Philippines standards, I didn’t find it too bad. Some of the fancier places on the D-Mall strip or beach may charge £6-£10. However it isn’t too difficult to find places charging less than half that. Booze is fairly cheap here. A local bottle of beer (including one of the many varieties of San Miguel which I discovered is a Filipino product rather than Spanish) will cost 75p – £1 in a bar. Even in the fanciest beach bar this is usually only about £2. For some reason supermarket beer is similar in price to the pubs. What is crazily cheap in the supermarkets though is local spirits. I saw a 750ml of Philippines rum on sale for 80 pesos (about £1.20)!! Today I bought a 375ml bottle of gin to enjoy on the hostel rooftop terrace. The accompanying can of tonic water actually cost more than the 75p gin. And I lived to tell the tale without any obvious liver damage or blindness!
Tonight was acoustic night on the hostel terrace. Naturally in the true laid-back style of the place, lots of the classics were played; Bob Marley, Carole King, Bob Marley, Tracey Chapman, and so on. Afterwards it was nice to relax with a gin listening to the waves from the nearby beach. Boracay certainly felt a long way from Manila.