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Boracay Philippines

Introduction

Boracay is in the middle of the Philippine Islands. This island is a favorite destination for both the Koreans and Taiwanese tour groups. Other foreigners come here as well but usually not as a group. In general this is an island to relax and enjoy life.  For the tour group members they come here for banana boat rides, sail rides, driving ATV on paved roads ( I found that to be ridiculous - but for them that is fun) , snorkeling and of course shopping and massage.  Boracay is roughly 1 KM wide and 7 KM long with a beautiful White Sand Beach on the western side of the island. The sand in this beach is amazingly fine, white and beautiful to the touch and feel. You can walk out a hundred feet into the ocean without wetting your T-shirt. The beach slops very gently into the ocean with hardly any waves.  In the summer this beach is shielded from the wind.  It is a wonderful place for kids to play around. It you are artistic you should definitely build a sand castle, and start collecting money because anybody who takes a picture of your castle will pay you P20. I do not know who set this price.  On the east side there are a few beaches as well but it is windy.  Here the most popular thing to do is either kite surfing or wind surfing. Usually one do not see so many Koreans or Taiwanese here.  The highest point of the island is Mt. Luho at about 100M elevation. There is an observation deck at the top of Mt Luho.  It cost P50 to get into the viewing area.  The cost includes a visit to the bird and animal cages lining along the path way. Upon reaching the top of the platform, one has a good view of the whole island and the surrounding areas. There are supposed to be good snorkeling in the more remote area but the tour group operators will take you to a place or two near pier 3, and the Elephant (Crocodile?) Island if the weather is good.  There are plenty of hotels, massage and SPA operations, clubs, music at the beach, shopping and restaurants.  Seafood is good and not expensive. If you are not here for relaxation, then the most existing thing for adventurous people is to visit the Bat Cave and may be some forest hiking. There are also many dive shops.

 

Information and comments:

Americans do not need a visa to get into Philippine.

In February 2011 the exchange rate is about P40 per US$1.

Standard tipping is P20 for the hotel cleaning lady, bell boys, taking a picture of a sand castle (if they put your name on it, pay P50), P100 for masseur if the massage is 2 hours or more, 5% to 10% for waiter.  If in doubt give P20.

Weather is always warm and the rainy season is from April to the end of the year.

I found the people here are very friendly and the street vendors are not aggressive like some other tourist area. They know that Koreans and Taiwanese are good negotiators and will bargain with you with a sense of humor.

For the motorcycle converted tricycle (I thought they call it to-to) P20 from pier 3 to pier 1 (there actually  is no pier 1 or pier 2.  It is just the name for the locations).  Pier 1 is roughly the middle section of White Sand Beach.