TF Flashback: Pristine White Beaches, Turquoise Seas, Snorkelling & Horse Riding In The Crown Jewel Of The Philippines (2008)


Times were very different in the late 2000s when I would pretty much go abroad every time I had at least four consecutive days off. Of the eight countries I visited in 2007, my trip to Palawan in the Philippines was perhaps the most enjoyable. Subsequently I decided to return to the country the following year to see a different island and my girlfriend-of-that-time joined me too for our first trip together.

Boracay island is considered to be the crown jewel of the country thanks to the beautiful White Beach on the west coast but we had to be patient in seeing it as the first day was mostly taken up with getting to the island via a five hour flight to Manila, a domestic transfer to Caticlan and a boat over to Boracay with a couple of tricylce rides thrown in for good measure too.

It was all worth the effort though as our first full day was glorious and we went on a boat tour of the island which included snorkelling, caves, bats and some stunning beaches.


Our second full day included horse-riding up Mount Luho which was quite windy at times  but 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! It had 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, guidance, paperwork (signing your life away!) and so on but such things are of trivial importance in the Philippines!! I always thought it looked easy but was sure there must be more to it than meets the eye. I was wrong as it was rather uncomplicated, and was indeed quite exhilarating.

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 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 touristy but not in a way that made it feel like we weren’t in Asia!


It has to be said that things are fairly simple for the locals. Their ever-smiling faces and the slow, relaxed pace of life is very different to that of Tokyo, and so this was another enjoyable adventure in a part of the world I long to revisit again.

Click on the following links for more details about previous Philippines trips:

Pt I: Manila   Pt II: El Nido   Pt III: Subterranean River   Pt IV: Puerto Princesa

Wanna go to Palawan? Get Php500 off of your adventure trip by going to and enter the code TokyoFoxC034

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
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