2007 saw me visit 8 (that’s EIGHT!) countries (but I really don’t like to talk about it!!) with perhaps my favourite trip being to Palawan in the Philippines and so I decided to return to the country mid-March albeit a different island and this time with my girlfriend in tow! Boracay island was to be our first trip together and this is considered the crown jewel of the country thanks to the beautiful White Beach on the west coast.
The first day was mostly taken up with just getting to the island via a five hour flight to Manila, domestic transfer to Caticlan and a boat over to Boracay amid a couple of tricylce rides. It was worth the effort though as our first full day was glorious and we went on a boat tour of the island which included seeing some caves, loads of bats and snorkelling as well as some stunningly delightful beaches.
The day after that saw us go horse-riding up Mount Luho which was quite windy up top but nonetheless the views from the top of the island were breathtaking. Back on White Beach a couple of hours later we set off in search of a banana boat ride but I had another idea in mind. Its been my dream for many years to have a go at jet-skiing but I never thought it would be so readily available to me in terms of price and what-have-you-not but such things are of trivial importance in the Philippines!! I always thought it looked easy but thought that there must be more to it than meets the eye. I was wrong for it was easy and exhilarating stuff.
The rest of our days were spent shopping, eating, drinking, viewing sunset and walking back and forth along the beach promenade amid the huge crowds of tourists and repeating the words “no thanks” hundreds of times to the many vendors and touts. Beforehand I was thinking that Boracay might just be over-populated with foreigners like us with very few Filipinos but that was never the case. Sure, it was really touristy but not so as to feel like we were in the western world.
It has to be said that it’s a fairly simple life for the locals which is no bad thing given their ever-smiling faces and the slow, relaxed pace of life which is a million miles different from that here in Tokyo.
You can read about my previous Philippines trip by clicking on the links below:
Pt I: Manila Pt II: El Nido Pt III: Subterranean River Pt IV: Puerto Princesa
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