Boracay, Philippines (Day 6)
Beautiful Boracay I’m told is a must see despite the massive tourism that has inundated the island as of late so off to another early morning! I took a 300 peso transfer to my morning flight back to Cebu on Cebu Pacific and then on to Caticlan (MPH) Airport for Boracay. I hope it is not the tourist trap that Thailand has become as some people have intimated but we shall see. The cost for the flight was $72USD I think. For budget travelers I think it’s much cheaper (like $24USD) if you fly to Kalibo and then catch a bus to Boracay. As always, each traveler must balance time against money and make the decision for themselves.
Upon arrival in Caticlan, you need to get to the port to take the ferry to Boracay Island and then another transport to your accommodation. Be careful when picking transportation here as it’s really a 3 min drive to the ferry port and you can either walk it or have a habal-habal take you for next to nothing. Then you pay the same 175 pesos for the ferry everyone who takes the expensive transport pays. If you do that, you just get another habal-habal upon arrival at Boracay Island to your hotel or hostel for 150 pesos. I’m guessing you can save probably 250 pesos doing it this way. Plus, we had to wait for a long time at the port for the Oyster Ferry whereas at least 800 people passed our group and got on an earlier ferry. The line to get a ferry ticket was even shorter for the singles (non-groups). And, of course, you know how I feel about rip offs on tourist highway. Whoops. I chose wrong but you get the benefit of my mistakes. You go the habal-habal route but negotiate or it will cost you more. Having said that, I brought this on myself. I knew in advance of coming to Boracay, it was a tourist nightmare and represents the first siting of what the Philippines will look like in the next few years i.e. Thailand. A lovely incredible paradise destroyed by tourists.
What a dichotomy for me! Always has been since the beginning of my RTW trip. I’m a tourist and I hate tourists. I’m leaving a footprint just like everyone else. Take the whale sharks for example from the other day in Oslob.
Anyway, I picked an accommodation in the center where the action supposedly is and near where friends were staying but also paid a little extra (like $16/dorm/night at the W Hostel vs what I paid – $32/private hotel room/night at the Zen). After being at both I highly recommend the W. There’s even a pool on the roof, curtains and lights on the bed and each room gets a router plus some tricky art to photograph with.
Of course, you can also pay more a night here in Boracay if you want as evidenced below for Fairways and Blue Water. You have over 250 choices on tourist highway a/k/a Boracay. Look at the blue dots in photo below! Oh and when I say tourist highway this time I actually mean tourist highway. It is truly a tiny strip of land on an island with nothing but resorts/accommodations, tourists, tourists and more tourists (but this time Korean ones) but when you head just a little north on the island where there are fewer people, step out on that Boracay beach, you will see why it’s a must see.
That’s all for now from Korea’s playpen in Boracay (and that’s South Korea but should probably go without saying).