Boracay

Boracay Trip

First I want to thank BigBadBob for his tips and advice for my trip. It really helped and took away some of the unknown of doing this on my own for the first time.

To help others I put this together to show how I did it and at the same time share my experiences during the trip. I tried to take photos of everything so you have a visual of Boracay. Personally I am a visual person so seeing pictures helps when I am about to do something new.

Disclaimer: This is just my first trip so it is by no means complete.

Getting There

For getting there I used Seair. I bought my tickets through Action Travel with no problems. While in Angeles I talked to Action Travel through MSN Messenger (action_travel@hotmail.com) in my hotel room. Then walked to the office and paid so they could buy the tickets. I suppose I could have just done it myself at the Seair office, but I was feeling lazy and I really like the convenience of using MSN Messenger. There are only 2 direct flights a week from Clark and to use both I would need to stay 6 nights. I only wanted to stay 4 to 5 nights so I was only able to take advantage of the direct flight for my return.

Note: The photos for this section were as I was leaving Boracay.

The flight to Caticlan connected through Manila. For those familiar with Seair, for the first leg the usual small plane (Czech plane seats approx. 16 passengers) was used. For the second leg they used one of their Dornier 328 which is new to the fleet.

The Dornier 328 are the planes being used to get you to Caticlan in 35 minutes as advertised by Seair. On this plane they have a CR and provide snacks unlike the smaller planes in their fleet.

Since I paid a terminal fee (P100) in Clark I did not need to pay another in Manila.

For those catching the connecting flight there was someone from Seair waiting for us outside as we left the plane to guide us to our next flight all the way to the waiting area. Unfortunately, the connecting flight was delayed. At the end of my trip the flight was delayed too. An employee in the Seair lounge in Caticlan made a comment that would indicate this is common. I don’t know if that is the case with other carriers as well since things usually run on Filipino time (late) in this country.

Asian Spirit is another choice for getting to Caticlan.

While in Caticlan I saw a banner for another carrier I have not heard about. It is called Interisland Airlines. While leaving I did see one flight from this airline land so it is currently up and running. According to their website they are using jets which gives it an advantage over Seair and Asian Spirit in that regard.


Something I like about Boracay is how easy it is to get there with little or no problems once arriving in Caticlan. There is one set fee to minimize the odds of a tourist getting scammed or being overcharged. I suppose this is one of the benefits of a destination having commercialized tourism.

When you arrive in Caticlan buy a trike ticket for P30 and go to trikes nearby. The trikes go directly to the boats headed for Caticlan.

Enter the building when the trike drops you off. First there is a table to fill out a tourism form. Then buy boat ticket for P19.50 at the booth.

I am trying to remember, but I think this is the boat stub for the boat going to Boracay. It says P20 so that might be the price, but I thought it was P19.50.

Follow the hall to outside and sign-in before getting on the boat. The boat goes to Boat Station #3.

Here are some shots taken from our boat while leaving Boracay

Tip: Make sure you at least wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet. It’s even better to wear shorts too. I wore sandals and shorts.

To leave Boracay basically perform the process backwards, but without entering the building. Last boat leaves Boracay at 5:30 PM from Boat Station #3.

On departure, Asian Spirit and Seair have lounges just outside the airport terminal. I did not see the Asian Spirit lounge, which is not visible from the street, but the one for Seair is outside in front. Since it was May and very hot I would recommend sitting at one of the tables in the restaurant area if available since it has fans. I first sat at one of the tables out in front of the restaurant and found it unbearably hot.

HK and I really liked the face on this one. She works there so that gave us something to do while waiting.

On occasion she would stand next to me because I was next to the fan. Since she was near the ice cream freezer and it being as hot as it was she would open it up and fan the cold air towards her or even put her head inside. After she did that, the next time she stood next to me I reached over and opened the freezer. Everyone had a good laugh and she got a little shy and unfortunately sat somewhere else.

Here are some shots from the plane leaving Caticlan. I was bored and went a little crazy with the quantity of shots. I will put the rest in my gallery.

Looks like a little hut or something by the runway in that shot. Weird, huh?

Where to stay

For this trip I did not make reservations at any of the hotels. I regret not using this strategy for my trip to Palawan because I could have saved a lot of money had I used it. This strategy was a little tougher in Boracay due to its popularity and it was the tail end of high season.

Regarding my starting point, before getting on the boat to Boracay I asked if it was going to Boat Station #2 and he said it was. Not sure if he was just saying yes or if it was going to #2 after #3. I suspect it only goes to #3, but did not verify after this happened.

This gave us a long walk to Nigi Nigi (at Boat Station #2) to eat and inquire about a room. Before heading out to Nigi Nigi I was approached by a girl (Glenda) when I arrived saying she would help us find a place and wanted us to look at her hotel.

Note: Looking back I don’t think she meant it was her hotel, but instead meant she recommended it.

To the left is another shot during my trip and I don’t think it was from Boat Station #3 and it is the same type of boat. So maybe they do go to other stations or it was a private boat.

Knowing how locals usually want to “help” any foreigner they see I only talked to her a little and kept walking so she would give up which usually works. I was planning on using my Philippines book which also has a map of the hotels, etc. She kept walking with us and I told her I was going to eat first and she said she would wait. HK and I ate and when I finished I left her there to relax while I searched for a place to stay. I asked Nigi Nigi if they had rooms available for the next 5 days. Only available for the next 3 days so I went to the next one on the list from BBB. I thought Glenda was gone, but she saw me leaving and offered to take me to each hotel. I had nothing to lose and agreed. She knew the hotel locations, what prices I should get and how to ask for special prices. Plus she helped a guy that morning so she already had some information from that day regarding prices and vacancies.

Most of the places either cost too much on White Beach (still high season prices), available only for the next 3 days (full on the weekend) or had twin beds rather than 1 large bed. I don’t recall how many places we checked, but it was easily at least 10 and we went past Boat Station #1. During the search she explained how Boracay tourism is run regarding paying commission. Now Boracay pays the commission instead of the hotel directly. This is to prevent bad guides from scamming tourists. The guide gets the name of the tourist when the guide successfully finds the tourist a hotel. The guide gives the name to Boracay and then they call the hotel to verify the tourist is happy there. The guide gets P100 either way so that doesn’t affect the hotel choice. I can’t recall if she said it is P100 flat commission or per night at the hotel.

She was recommending Alice in Wonderland which is not on White Beach. I was about to check it at the end of our search, but wanted to check Lorenzo Main first which is also not on White Beach (or not as close as others) so I have an even comparison. The rooms at Lorenzo were slightly smaller plus were twin beds which were pushed together and had one big comforter on it to make it look like one. I checked with edge of my hand by pushing in the middle to see the bed separation. Plus with the special price Lorenzo was offering it was a little under P2500 with breakfast, 1 free massage and transport paid back to Caticlan. The standard rooms at Alice in Wonderland were only P1500 and no free breakfast, but the price difference easily made up for it plus I would not want to just have breakfast at the hotel. Also the rooms were larger. The deluxe rooms were P1800, but were the same except it was twin beds so I passed. The bed in the standard room was not soft, but was very long. When I use a bed in Angeles my feet are hanging off the end or close to it when my legs are fully extended. On this bed I easily have 1.5 – 2 feet left of bed after my feet. Both hotels have hot/cold water and aircon. I don’t recall if Lorenzo had a TV, but we did not want one. HK recognizes her eyes would be glued to the TV when the dramas come on so she agreed it was best not to have a TV.

Although Alice in Wonderland was not on White Beach, I was attracted to the low price plus the size of the room. Some places on White Beach were just a hole in the wall of a room and at least double the price. I was shocked at how they could ask so much for such a small room.

At first I wasn’t sure if I made the right choice by picking a hotel not on the beach, but HK seemed happy with it and liked how it was quiet, had a swimming pool and nice landscaping. She really seemed to enjoy the hammock on the porch too.

Tip: If staying at Alice in Wonderland buy from the sari sari store just outside of the hotel. It is easily cheaper than any stores on White Beach, but doesn’t have ice cream. My Philippines book said to not even brush your teeth with Boracay water so I was buying my water from the sari sari store. A 1.5L bottle of Hidden Spring water is P35. I think I bought the same water for P105 at the Tourist Center, but didn’t go back to verify. Due to the commercialized tourism in Boracay it pays to shop around.

Since Glenda had gone to so many hotels with me in the terrible heat and was very patient with me being picky, I handed her P500. I know that is too much, but she did a lot of work and I wanted to see how she would react to that much. She said it was too much and refused it. She stayed there to make sure sign-in and payment of the room went smoothly before leaving. I shook her hand and slipped her P200 before she left. She gave me a card for boat rentals/trips and wrote her cell # on the back as the contact.

Side note: Regarding my attempt to give her P500. This is not just a tip, but a test I do. This was to see what she would do and in some way a honesty test. Had she not passed then to me she would have only been good as any other vendor on the street offering boat services, etc. So for me losing the P500 would have been an investment. For example, there would be instances when I would be in the water and not able to take my money with me. So potentially there is an opportunity for someone to easily take all the money I have with me at that point in time which is much greater than P500. She did pass which means I would happily use her services again if needed and would lessen my concerns about theft which would enable me to relax and enjoy more.

HK and I were just happy to finally be in a hotel. The day I arrived had to be the hottest during my trip. The humidity in Boracay is easily worse than Manila and Angeles. I was absolutely drenched with sweat and fatigued. Towards the end of my search I stopped by Nigi Nigi to let HK know I was still searching. She was in a bad mood because she was bored from waiting so long. I jokingly told her she could be having the same fun I was having running around in the heat. She wouldn’t listen and had to learn for herself and insisted she hunt with us. It didn’t take her long to realize sitting in the shade at Nigi Nigi was much better, especially since she was wearing pants.

I used Glenda’s help later in the trip …more on that later. On my last full day she asked if I could tell people about her. I told her I was planning on posting a trip report on a website and was going to recommend her. She was very happy and also text me her email address before I left Boracay.

Glenda
09187835320
smileyglen@yahoo.com

I am wondering if she would have been quoted even lower prices if I (a foreigner) had not gone with her. She told me about a customer she helped earlier that day. The guy was tired of her following him around so he put her to the test. He told her about a hotel that just quoted him P3000 a night. She went to the same hotel and came back to him with a quote of P2500. From that point he was convinced and took her advice.

I found the crowds significantly increase on Friday and Saturday. If I were to plan it again I would have done it during the week and during low season (starting June). This would give me a choice of hotels due to vacancy and at a much lower price. Maybe then I could possibly find hotels closer to the price of Alice in Wonderland, but I would still consider staying at Alice in Wonderland.

Here are some photos of the room at Alice in Wonderland

What’s that first word? :p

Sign at the front desk. Not sure what this first one is about. But at least this time they spelled “strictly” correct.

Some shots of the hotel grounds

The pool and surrounding area

Tip: Every morning they put chlorine in the pool….or as the manager says “medicine” or “gamut”. She says to wait an hour before it is usable. An hour after ends up being ready to use at 8 AM. So I recommend not planning on using it before that time. HK and I found out the hard way when we got up early in the morning for the sole purpose of swimming in the pool.

As I mentioned, the hotel is not on White Beach so here is how to get there.

When you see this sign when walking down White Beach, turn down this street. This is where Alice in Wonderland restaurant and internet café is located. This is also where you can use the safety deposit boxes for free as a guest of the hotel. The sign will be lit at night and easy to spot….even if you have been hitting the bars/restaurants at happy hour. 😉 The Tourist Center is behind the sign in the photo.
When you see this on the left side of the street then make a right turn. This picture was taken from the street you will turn onto.
It won’t be long before you see this sign at the entrance.

Here is the top of the receipt from Alice in Wonderland with their contact information.

We had some interesting neighbors one day. Across the way there were a couple girls with a couple Koreans guys. HK and I are sitting on the porch and just for fun I am taking pictures in a sly way. I go inside and HK is still sitting out front. She said at some point the guys were away and the girls are flirting with a Korean guy they met at the pool. The girls even gave him their number. HK said the girl working at the hotel saw it too and had a shocked look. HK found it entertaining. She is thinking they are bargirls from Makati. I thought maybe, but there is the possibility they could be local freelancers.

This is another neighbor from a room further down. She was sitting here eating. Very maganda and the picture doesn’t do her justice, but I was trying not to be obvious and had a bad angle. She seemed to have a nice rack which I was hoping to capture.

Other Useful Hotel Information

Part way through my long search I started collecting price lists and brochures to scan and post on AE. Everyone looks for something different from a hotel so I figured this lets other members see something that may be more their style. This is only a sample of all the hotels I went to inquiring about a room. It was a very long day. 😉

Boracay Beach Chalets price list

Crystal Sand price list followed by the outside and inside of the brochure

Hey Jude price list followed by the outside and inside of the brochure

La Carmela price list

Royal Park Resort price list

When Glenda was able to obtain a special price at this hotel I asked the lady at the front desk to write it down. As you can see the price was valid until 2:30 PM for P4500/night plus breakfast. I was not planning on staying there, but it is good to maintain as if you are interested. So to not burn bridges just in case you need it and so the lady at the front desk doesn’t feel as if her work is for nothing.

Food & Massage

After completed the job of finding a hotel, BBB suggested I get a blind massage from Renato. I was so exhausted from the task and just wanted to cool off so I put it on my list for the next day. I was ready to eat so we strolled down White Beach for dinner. There are so many choices it is tough to decide. During the trip we basically looked for a place where we could eat on the beach and the menu posted looked good, otherwise we would keep walking.

Being on an island I wanted seafood. The first night we found a place (appears to be named Paradiso Grill in the photo) that grills fresh seafood or other items you pick. I treated myself to Lapu-Lapu. At P120 per 100g my 500g fish cost P600. HK wanted a pork chop which surprised me, but that was what she wanted.

We ate on the beach at a beautiful restaurant.

It was the next day and I was ready for my massage. I have never had a blind massage or even one I would consider a real one. I’ve heard about how someone blind giving a massage can feel things another person cannot. He was finding all kinds of things deep in my back and spend a lot of time on it compared to other people he gave a massage to. Later in the day I felt some muscle soreness in my upper back, but it was gone the next day. He really hit some things that were never hit before. There are many fans upstairs so you won’t be too hot even in the hot May weather. The massage was great and I highly recommend it. The massage costs P500. There are many places on the beach or otherwise that give massages, but I have been told this is far better compared to them.

During my massage I was asking HK if she wanted one. She didn’t and after mine was finished she went downstairs. Previously she told me she had a massage one time and it tickled. I let her know I highly doubt that was a real massage. Renato said he has a female on staff to give her a massage if she was shy about that. I called HK up and told her. She finally gave in and was ok with Renato doing it. She was probably a little curious after seeing me get mine.

Here are a couple shots I took from upstairs while HK was getting her massage.

Getting back to food, there are so many options for restaurants and types of food. Personally I didn’t go to the various restaurants serving food from many different countries, but preferred to mainly stick to seafood since we were on an island and it was plentiful. Blue Marlin seems to be a common fish there it is both cheap and tastes great.

On one night in search of food we walked in the direction of Boat Station #1 and even past it. My PI book mentioned a place called Joni’s and I wanted to check it out. There is quite a lot more down this way than I expected. My book also mentioned Jonah’s Snack Bar which is known for its shakes. It was amazing how many different flavors were available, but they told us the wait for a shake is 30 minutes so we passed.

Here are some shots while walked towards and around Boat Station #1. A nice private home right on the beach and a stature of the Virgin Mary which is visited by tourists and locals alike. There are more in my gallery folder.

A concert on the beach. HK and I recall seeing her singing on TV on the beach while we were in AC.

Here is a couple shots at Joni’s which can be found just north of Boat Station #1. They have a 2 for 1 happy hour starting at 5PM and ending at 7 PM or maybe it 8 PM which you can see I took advantage of. 😉 They serve Mexican food as well. I tried the margaritas, but they didn’t seem to understand the concept of a blended margarita. I just chalked it up to being in the Philippines. This serving of Blue Marlin was large.

Just when I thought a serving of Blue Marlin couldn’t get bigger I found one the size of a large t-bone steak at Bar Grill another night.

As with the other restaurants, we were eating on the beach here as well.

These guys are fans of fish too. I could tell they were just waiting for scraps thrown out to them by patrons.

Bar Grill also has a happy hour. It is not 2 for 1, but many (not all) drinks are at a lower price from 5 PM to 9 PM and all night on Sunday.

Usually when we are done eating on the beach we continue walking on the beach and often see some sand art. The creators of this one were still present and started laughing when I took a shot of it. Kudos to the artist for the details of this sculpture.

We eventually got off the beach during our walk and made it to the main walkway on White Beach. Down by the Boat Station #3 area we walked by and caught this contest in progress. Four ladies seeing who can drink a beer the fastest.

We liked Bar Grill so we ate there again the next night …plus it was Sunday (happy hour all night). 😀 This time I just had BBQ Pork. It is simple, but is one of my favorites in PI. For some reason HK and I ordered the same thing both nights there. It wasn’t planned, it just happened that way.

There is a little place on the road going from White Beach to Alice in Wonderland. Due to it not being on White Beach the prices were much lower. Previously I didn’t eat here and only had grabbed a shake or other drink when walking back to the hotel. The drinks here were almost half the price of White Beach prices. One morning we ate breakfast there and I saw many girls taking that path to walk to work so the scenery isn’t bad. This was the first time I saw their food menu.

Looking a little closer and I noticed something. They seem to have been playing with the words and they were probably thinking no foreigners would catch it. 😉

Look at the 2nd and 3rd items from the bottom. Instead of canton it says cantotn which sounds like kantutan or could very well be a correct spelling in a similar language. The other one says “pussyit”. I showed HK and she indicated neither of them was real.

Tours

The typical boat tours are P500 per person with lunch for 3 hours if joining the group tour. Downside is you are going at the pace of the group. I went the group tour route in Palawan and found they would rush through some sites on the tour when I would have preferred to stay longer. Also HK said Glenda told her it is common for the tours to have mostly Koreans so we will have no idea what they are saying and they will just talk amongst themselves anyway.

The guy I asked told me 3 hours, but now that I look at this flyer I asked for it says 10AM to 5PM.

I decided on P1500 for our own boat without lunch. I had HK call Glenda to arrange a boat. P1500 is also the price had we gone with a service on White Beach, but going through Glenda gave us someone she knows. Glenda came by the hotel to talk to us about it in person. She said we could go as long as 4 hours if we wanted to. We decided to use her as our guide and she said it was up to us when HK asked how much to pay her.

The next morning Glenda met us at our hotel with her friend and we headed towards White Beach to catch our bought. She said her friend had never been on the tour so she was coming to learn. I think she wanted to be a guide also. Before getting on the boat we had to sign a sheet and pay a small fee. I got the impression it was for some sort of insurance.

Here are some shots on the way to our first destination.

We first went to a snorkeling area that is roped off in the water. The fee is P20 per person (P40 total).

Luckily Glenda had told us the previous day to buy bread for the fish. Dropping the bread in front of you can get the fish to swarm right before your eyes while in the water.

Since it was only HK and I, Glenda was able to enjoy the fun with us and snorkel as well. Normally she can’t because she has to keep her eye on everyone. HK tried to use the snorkel at first, but did not like it so the boat driver gave her just a pair of swimming goggles. Everyone was impressed with how well HK can swim. She is excellent when it comes to swimming underwater.

It was my first time snorkeling so it took some getting used to. At first they thought I didn’t know how to swim. I started to get the hang of it once I got the goggles to seal and training myself to only breathe through my mouth.

One of the benefits of having our own tour guide is she can take photos of both of us. I just handed her my camera and quickly showed her how to use it. She had no problems with it after that.

Some more shots from the boat.

Next was Crystal Cove. It wasn’t far form the snorkeling area. Also pictured is the exit as we were walking towards the entrance as well as the actual Crystal Cove entrance.

I am not sure what this place is about. I am guessing it is just a couple caves and then they added stuff to make it more interesting for tourists.

This is the first cave. Just go down the stairs and there are rocks and go in the water for a swim. Thinking back, I don’t know what the deal is. Oh well, there were some magandas down there in the water with me. 😉 I was in the water so I don’t have photos of them. Glenda was at standing up on the high rocks taking photos of HK and I swimming.

The path to the 2nd cave.

Not sure why this sign is backwards as if looking in a mirror.

The stairway down to the 2nd cave. That is Glenda looking up at us.

Once I got down there and saw the cave I saw how small the opening is. I could easily picture someone my size getting stuck in the hole are some other unknown area in the cave. HK didn’t want to go and just stood in the water so that killed any motivation I had to try it. Looking at the photo you can see what I mean.

Back to the boat area and the next stop. As usual, more photos in my gallery.

What have me here?
I just couldn’t resist.

Looks like she couldn’t
resist either.

Of course I couldn’t keep it inside and just had to say it. Puki Beach!!! For this one I said “Puki Grande”…..”Giant Puki”.

A long line of vendor stalls near the Puka Grande restaurant.

Heading back to White Beach

We had so much fun snorkeling we decided to do it the next day and forgo the tour. I was in the water the entire time this time. I figured out an effective way to swim which was good because that day there was a strong current that would keep pushing us into the boat. This time the boat didn’t have any goggles for HK so it was her turn to figure out how to use a snorkel and mask. The tables were turned and she was having the same issues I had, but it didn’t take her long to learn.

The boat was in towards the shore a little more this time. So being tall I was very close to the bottom. A few times I even kicked some new coral sticking up, but no damage. I really enjoyed snorkeling and I look forward to doing some more during my next side trip in PI.

You can see in the pictures some of the other boats in the snorkeling area. This gives you an idea of how many boats there are.

On the way back from the tour, HK was looking at the banana boat rides and I could see her eyes light up. It was obvious she really wanted to try it. Normally she is shy to try to new things and I need to push her to overcome her shyness. So when she wants to try something and has no shyness I know she really wants to do it and I fully encourage it.

Glenda said it is P200 per person and a 4 person minimum for banana boat. However, if we didn’t want to wait around for another 2 people we could get our own for P800. P800 sounded good to me since I did not want to wait around in the heat for people they may or may not round up to fill the empty spots. I think up to 8 people can fit on a banana boat. I saw so one flip over with 6 people on it and threw them all off.

First we ate at Nigi Nigi and asked the waiter about the boat rides after eating. He called the boat and we waited for it to arrive. In this photo there is a sign on the right side. It basically says no vendors and to respect the privacy of guests. It says it in English and I think Tagalog. Of course this didn’t stop vendors. One approached me and I just pointed to the sign. He gave me a strange look. Not sure if it was a “you bastard” or a confused look.

The boat finally arrived and we both hopped on the banana boat. The 2 guys in the boat to pull us were having engine problems so we were basically sitting on the banana boat getting baked by the sun. HK jumped in the water to cool off. I followed behind, except when I did it my sack felt a sharp pain. It didn’t feel too good, but it felt great to cool off in the water. Once I got past the relief of cooling off, my balls were still not feeling quite right. I look down and realized I completely blew out the crotch on my new swim trunks (I bought 2 in Boracay). Not just a small tear. I completely blew out both seams and my junk was hanging out. I quickly covered up and looked around if anyone saw. Then I showed it to HK for a laugh. 😀

Note: I blew out the crotch of my original pair of swim trunks at some point at the hotel. Don’t know when it happened. Just remember sitting down and seeing a huge hole.

The engine for the boat finally started and we hopped back on the banana boat. This time I was very careful. We had to straddle the boat when sitting so I had to be extra careful. There was no way I could cover it up so I was lucky I was sitting behind HK. All I could do was try to prevent my titi from falling out. It is tough when I am trying to hold on with both hands as the boat hits waves and tries to buck me off.

HK was having a great time. She was laughing and giggling during the entire ride. Each time we hit a wave or wake from another boat she would laugh more. Sometimes when we weren’t hitting a wave she would look back at me to see how I was doing. Then remember I blew out my crotch and look down at my balls and start laughing some more (in a good way).

HK loved it so much we also went the next day after snorkeling. Since I was on my last pair of swim trunks I was extra careful getting on and off the boat. 😉 This time Glenda went with us. She sat in the boat pulling us so she could take pictures. In the middle of the ride the boat stalled so we had Glenda jump out of the boat and join us on the banana boat. Unfortunately, the boat could not be started so he called another to take over the ride. In the meantime we were sitting on the banana boat cooking in the sun which is how I ended up with sunburn due to the sunblock wore off from snorkeling. The other boat finally arrived and took over, but it was much bigger so the ride wasn’t as fun since it could easily cut through the waves.

Other Activities

Some other activities…..parasailing

There is also an activity called kite boarding. I didn’t take any photos because I only saw it a few times. It is what you think it might be…..you are on a board and you are holding onto a small parachute. I suppose it is the basic principal behind windsurfing except using a parachute. The Alice in Wonderland office on White Beach has a sign indicating they give lessons. Here is that sign again along with sailboat rental and jetskiing……they call it jetskiing, but it is actually a waverunner. I don’t recall seeing any jetskis. The far away pic is where Glenda said that is where the boats go. I assume this is where they refuel.

If you’re in the mood you can also get henna tattoos. There are many locations along White Beach.

Tip: When I signed into the hotel there was a warning on the sheet about henna tattoos and needing to pay for damages if the tattoo damages bed sheets or towels. So apparently the tattoo may transfer onto other objects. I saw an example of this when leaving Caticlan airport. Someone must have been leaning against the white wall and sweating because the ink transferred and left the entire design on the wall.

Shopping

I have found the best place for prices for souvenirs and clothes is not on White Beach. There is a small alley I stumbled upon while walking in the direction of Boat Station #3 one night. This leads to the Talipapa souvenir shops. Later at night there may only be some shops open, but during the day all are open and with a wide selection. Even with the lower prices you can still bargain with them for an even lower one. If they won’t lower the price then move on to another shop because they will probably have it. For example, I wanted some Quicksilver swimsuits. The first place was P230, bargained down from P250. We moved on and found a place selling for P200 and got them down to P180 so I bought one. We kept window shopping and found another that was the same, but different color. She wasn’t playing the price game and said P150 to start so didn’t hesitate to buy. All these places are stalls next to each other so you are not making a long hike to another store just to save some pesos. Just get their lowest price, but don’t reject it if you don’t like it. Shop around more and come back if it turns out to be the lowest or the only place with what you are looking for.

There are many signs on White Beach for souvenir shops. In alleys, on the beach, everywhere! Once you get to one you’ll see that they are all open air shops.

There is a shortcut you can take from Alice in Wonderland if you want to go towards Boat Station #3. Instead of the usual right turn as you exit, take a left. I believe the first entrance on your right is for the Lorenzo Main hotel. On my last day when I used this route I noticed this sign so it is or was probably used frequently by others.

There was a certain type of shirt HK wanted that only 1 shop had in the shops we looked at in Talipapa. They had just closed so HK suggested we check the White Beach shops on the way back. The first one said P199 which she knew was too much. The next one she went in I kept walking and just stood in front of the shop next door as if I wasn’t with her. They told her the price is P100 so HK asked me for the money and I handed it to her. HK paid the vendor. As we were walking away HK told me the vendor had a surprised look on her face because she realized she could have priced it higher since she was with a foreigner. Just as I suspected….they were quoting high prices because of the long nose tax. That is nearly half price so it is no coincidence.

There is also a place called D Mall on White Beach. It is the mall on Boracay and is outdoors. Lots of shops, but it is very much overpriced.

To the right, an interesting pair of sandals I saw in a shop in D Mall.

Observations & Tips

Here is something HK pointed out that I never noticed before. She asked me why Koreans always do that sign with their hand (peace sign) when getting their photo taken. We were watching a group take their turns getting their photos taken and they did it each time without fail. I thought it was pretty funny. I know Filipinos do the guapo hand gesture, but they don’t do it 100% of the time.

I don’t know what it is about Boracay, but I had an appetite that would not stop for about the first 2 or 3 days I was there. HK experienced the same thing. Maybe it was because it was hotter those days compared the rest or my body was adapting to the climate, but I felt like my stomach was a bottomless pit and I could keep eating after a full meal. The food is great there so that didn’t help things.

Regarding eating on the beach, don’t be surprised if children come up to and beg for money. Sometimes they are blunt about it and say, “Give me money!!”. Vendors may approach you as well while eating.

Bring plenty of sunblock. I almost made it through the trip without sunburn due to avoiding the sun, but the last 2 full days I was there I did some outdoor activities and was burned pretty good. The first time from snorkeling and the second time I was burned I used sunblock. Problem was I didn’t reapply after snorkeling that day and went on the banana boat ride afterwards and was quickly burned. I even burned my scalp and I figured my hair would have blocked it. Next time I snorkel I now know I need to buy a do-rag or something to protect my scalp. Of course being a Filipina, HK turned dark quickly and even had a painful burn on some of her face. She used sunblock on her face, but the snorkeling wore it off much like it did with me.

In addition to sunblock, also bring some mosquito repellent. HK liked to sit out in the hammock on the front porch eating green mangos after we came home for the night. I liked to sit out there with her, but the mosquitoes would eat me alive to the point I couldn’t take it and would run inside. Luckily I brought some Off! Repellent, but the stuff is a greasy spray and stunk. I reluctantly used it, but it worked so I could sit out front. I also needed to start using it when we went out at night too. It was getting common for the mosquitoes to attack me while eating dinner on the beach too. These weren’t just normal bites that would go away if you didn’t itch. I had some that would swell up and stay that way for a couple days.

As usual I was observing nice racks too. 😀 When HK and I were eating outside either of us would spot a girl with a nice rack walking by. I would whip out the camera and take a not so obvious shot by faking like I am taking a shot of the beach. The Alice in Wonderland restaurant is a good place to do this if you sit out front.

Photo to the right, her ass on the left edge of the pic.

On my first day while HK was waiting for me at Nigi Nigi she noticed everyone was walking around in swimsuits. HK is the type that doesn’t walk around wearing revealing clothes. So everyone walking around in swimsuits made her shy. In fact, she only brought pants for the trip. She asked the waitress if everyone walks around in swimsuits. The waitress told her everyone wears a swimsuit……and couples will fuck in the ocean. They don’t see them doing it because they are in the water….but they know they did it.

Later in the trip we were walking on the beach. After walking by a couple in the water HK told me what they were saying. I am going from memory here, basically the girl was telling the guy to go ahead and do it and he was afraid to be seen. This frustrated her and started a small quiet argument. Maybe the poor guy got stage fright. Why can’t they do it in a swimming pool like civilized people? hehe

Sometimes the sign blocked and it was a little dark too.

An interesting statue at the Alice in Wonderland restaurant

Overall we had a great time and I would love to go there again. I think the length of our trip was just the right amount of time needed. If it were a day longer I think that would have been too long. Not having been to many other of the numerous spots in PI, I will probably choose a place I have not been next time. I will certainly leave Boracay on my list for future trips though.

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