Advantages paradise beach, party isle
Disadvantages fare away
Boracay is a small six kilometres long and one kilometre wide Philippine island, situated in the north of the big Visayan Isle Panay.It is a tropical beach paradise with white beaches, coco palm trees, bamboo huts and sun all over the year. Boracay has lost its innocence, but not its beauty.
Some backpackers discovered the paradise thirty years ago. They mentioned it in an alternative guide and more and more people were coming. Now Boracay is the main tourist place of the Philippines, with many restaurants, pubs, accommodation, dive bases and within reach from Manila by plane in two hours.Tourism was taken down when I visited the island in March 2002. The reason was the abductions of the Abu Sayaff the year before. Prices were low and discos, pubs and restaurant were nearly empty. But the risk of an abduction seemed to me rather low.
To get to Boracay is very simple. A flight from Frankfort (London?) with Kuwait Airlines costs about 600 Dollars. Take a taxi from the International Airport in Manila to the nearby National Airport and book a flight for 50-70 Dollar one way to Caticlan or better ask for Boracay. I Caticlan a tricycle ( moto-riksha) brings you to the ferryboat and after a 20 minute boat trip you will arrive at your destination. You have to walk only a few meters.The ferryboats are small outrigger boats, for embarking or debarking you have to balance over a small footbridge and to wade through water.
Money changing to reasonable fees or exchange rates was no problem. There is tourist info, where you can hire a deposit box for your valuables.Accommodation was available in each category; cheap places were about 7 to 20 Dollars per day in the off-season.
The most attractive sport in Boracay is diving. The price of a diving course of four days is 300 Dollars, the same price as everywhere, but it is not a bad surrounding to learn diving in the Philippines. You also can book a taste of a one-day dive for 100 Dollars. There are also opportunities for tennis, surfing, horse riding and boat trips.
But the best bet is to idle lazy at the beach. If your back is hurting a wonderful massage for 5 Dollars brings your spirits back to life.
Breakfast starts from 2 Dollars, but is not very opulent.There are two beer brands. San Miguel is the more popular beer. It is tasty, but Red Horse is good, either. The Philippines don’t cultivate wine.
There are some discotheques, the most known is the Beachcomber at the northern part of the White Beach. A lot of prostitutes wait for men; many of them are "Lady boys", men in women clothes. It is not easy to decide, who is man and who is women. A Spaniard told me: Very often they promise you the sex of your life, take your money and give nothing. If you make fuss, they allege, you try to rape them; you get arrested and free after paying a bail of 500 dollars to the police.There are some Internet Cafés (1 to 2 $ per hour). Ferries and flights could be booked in a travel agency.
If you get sick, go to the Baptist Hospital in Caticlan. The doctors there should be cheaper and should have more experience.You can fly back (daily) or take a ferry (12 Dollars/ 2-3 times a week) to Manila. You also can go by small boats to Mindoro, where you can make a stop over in Puerto Galera, also a popular beach resort. In Middle-Luzon you can climb the volcano Taal or visit Pagsanjan, the area where the film Apocalypse Now was shooted.
Better than the Lonely planet is the travel guide from Jens Peters (he was the author of the lonely planet from 1997) “Philippines”.Commentary, also on grammar and orthography are welcome!!
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