1st day in Boracay and it rains all day! Things flood alot!
This gives us the chance to catch up with ourselves after flying from the UK, Dubai, Manila, Caticlan, bus to the port, boat to Boracay and finally a minibus to Ralph’s Place where we are staying on Bulabog Beach.
Boracay is a small island in mid Philippines just 7km long, it has a very famous beach called White Beach. We are staying on the quiet more local side but this is still only a 15min walk from White Beach.
It really is an island of two sides.
Beautiful beach with more restaurants than you could ever need, everything is catered for from Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Fish Restaurants, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, BBQ, you name it you will find it.
There is even a place called the Hobbit Bar, Steve and Deb being rather short finally found a place that they were taller than the staff as it’s run by a group of Philippine midgets! There is D’Mall, where all the clothes shops, massage shops and loads more restaurants are. If you come down at sunset the beach is packed full of people, sellers of tourist tat, street entertainment, beach massages and men wanting to sell you boat rides etc..The beach is divided into stations.
Station 1 – There are some very nice restaurants and hotels in this area. It is also where all the watersports boats leave from. Nicest softest sand.
Station 2 – More mid range hotels and vendors selling tourist “stuff”. Crazy that it costs £17.00 for 2 sunbeds for the day when you can sit on super soft sand that doesn’t get too hot unlike the sand in Canary Islands.
Station 3 – Much more low key, you get much more for your money here and alot more local influence. The sand is not so soft here either but it’s much quieter.
Best time to hit the beach is the morning. We went about 10:00am as the party people are still asleep and the Japanese and Chinese don’t come out until later 😉
The beach is not pure and white and there is an amount of seaweed and, pending the weather, some debris could be washed up but don’t let this put you off, the sand is still soft and as we said you can walk to White Beach in 15 minutes or a 5 minute tricycle. You also have to remember that this is the local side, this is where real life happens, fishing boats are built, kids play and dogs roam. It’s Deb’s photographing paradise 😉
The hotels are cheaper this side, it is windyer this side. Good thing when it’s plus 30° most of the time. There are windsurfing schools, kitesurfing and a good selection of chilled bars and restaurants full of the easy going traveller types. The local’s petrol station is here, pull up with your motorbike at the little shed and buy your liter of petrol out of a 1lt coke bottle.
Example of the price difference.
Station 2 – 110 Pesos
Bulabog – 45 Pesos
Tricycle from Bulabog to White Beach – 60 to 70 Pesos for up to five people.
We will leave you to do the maths?
The Island has something for everyone’s budget.
Prices per day start from
Hostels – £5
3 Star Hotels – £30
Or you can go Super Luxury – £500
So where do you think Deb and Steve went, of course Bulabog, but if you’re a rich beach bunny glamorous type, stick to station one or somewhere like Shangri-La Hotel.
Where did we stay? Ralph’s Place, from the outside you can’t see much as you have to walk up a dirt track but inside it’s lovely, clean, has A/C, super shower and a bar and restaurant. The staff are great and very friendly and attentive. We paid £200.00 including breakfast for 5 nights. You can also get a selection of breakfasts here from Philippine specialities like, Debs favourite Tapsilog (beef, egg and rice) and Steve enjoyed his bacon and eggs. Bowls of fruit were huge and full of fresh mangos, pineapple, papaya and banana.
A short walk away is a tower that you can see the whole island from, it’s only a short walk but a mighty warm one! On route you will walk through the real Philippines, local houses made of just about anything you can find for free. The kids are running around happy and the people shy.
Did we feel safe here? Yes, the Phillipine people here are happy and kind. Even the street vendors only ask you once if you want to buy something and if you say no thank you, they just wander off. Next stop Carabao Island.
Debs and Steve