Boracay Island – A paradise of sparkling blue waters
If you have not planned your next island trip yet, now is your chance. Stretching along powdery white sandy beaches with sparkling blue waters and featuring a variety of exciting activities such as snorkeling, windsurfing and diving, Boracay island of the Philippines, where for many people, is the typical Pacific island paradise, will be your best summer destination.
Boracay Island is a great place for just lazing around. Seven km long, it is only one km wide at its narrowest point. This is a small island in the Philippines located approximately 315 km south of Manila and 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. The island comprises the barangays of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak in the municipality of Malay, in Aklan Province. The sandy bottom also slopes so gently that several meters away from the shore, the depth is just chest-high and that’s throughout the entire shoreline. Apart from its white sandy beaches, Boracay is also famous for being one of the world’s top destinations for relaxation. Emerging among the top destinations for tranquility and nightlife, in 2012, the international travel magazine Travel + Leisure listed Boracay as the best island in the world.
Here, you can stay at the westward-facing White Beach – four kilometers of white, powdery fine sand dotted with resorts, shops, and restaurants. White Beach is composed of three sections. The northernmost section – Station 1 – has the widest beachfront. This has the best and most expensive resorts and hotels. The center of White Beach is Station 2. People come here to eat, shop, and party. If you’re looking for a quieter area, then Station 3, the southernmost section, is for you. Because the waters off White Beach are calm during Amihan season (September to May), tourism is at its peak during these months when the northeastern winds blow.
View from Mount Luho
Bulabog Beach, on the eastern side of the island opposite White Beach, has large waves and strong winds year-round. This makes it a hotspot for windsurfing and kite-boarding. In fact, Bulabog Beach is considered Asia’s top kite-surf destination. Because Boracay gets tourists from different parts of the globe, you’ll find a wide variety of food choices: Chinese, Indian, American, Mexican, French, Italian, Swiss —even Moroccan food! Fresh seafood is a given. Just walk along the beach and choose. Do not miss trying one of the island’s favorites: fruit shakes loaded with tropical fruits like banana and mango.
There’s no shortage of activities for you at this island paradise. Every day seems to be a holiday on Boracay - all you need to do is relax and enjoy yourself. Just get up, make some coffee and decide whether to go sailing, windsurfing or perhaps snorkeling and looking at corals or diving. Boracay has around 25 dive sites that cater to all levels of experience. If you're curious you may get as far as the Caves of the Flying Dogs of Yapak' or Bat Caves on the other side of the island. You can also go parasailing or take a paraw (native outrigger boat) for a tour of the island.
After all the sports, indulge in a luxurious massage right on the beach or at one of the spas. Enjoy a healthy fruit shake at Jonah’s. Take a relaxing dip at the infinity pool of the Shangri-La Resort and Spa, with its mesmerizing view of the sea. Shop for shell jewelry. As the sun dips, the famous nightlife of Boracay comes alive bar after bar. Listen and dance to pop, acoustic, reggae, world music, and the latest house music all in one night. Cocktails, draft beer, and imported ales flow nightly as live bands and pounding disco music entertain you.
Let’s unwind and revitalize yourself in a relaxing and lively ambiance of the island. With a journey to this paradise island, your summer vacation with your family and friends will be an unforgettable memory.
Diving at Crocodile island
Best time to visit Boracay
Boracay island features the weather conditions of a tropical region. The average temperature ranges from 24 to 31 degree Celsius. The best time to visit Boracay is the dry season from September to May. This is when tourism in Boracay is at its peak. During this season, a large number of tourists visit the island to indulge themselves in the magnificent beauty of the tropical island. The rest of the year is normally the rainy season with fewer tourists.
The currency in the Philippines is the Peso Philippines (PHP). Foreign currency may be exchanged at your hotel, and in most of the large department stores, banks and authorized money changing shops. However, you should exchange money before arriving at the island. 100 PHP = 2.4 USD (about more than 50,000VND).
From Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city, you can take a flight of Philippines Airlines to Manila. From Manila, Philippines Airlines offers daily flights to Kalibo or Caticlan, both of which are gateways to Boracay island. Caticlan airport is about 5 minutes by tricycle from Caticlan wharf, where you will take a ferry to the island. Whilst, from Kalibo airport, you can take a 2-hour bus ride (you should take a yellow bus at about 107PHP/person) to Caticlan wharf. Then, a ferry will take you to this paradise island in less than 30 minutes. However, the air ticket to Caticlan is much more expensive than the one to Kalibo international airport. At Caticlan wharf, you will have to pay for a ticket, wharf fee and environment fee, and then pass by the security gate for checking your luggage. Here, you can take a big ferry like a hydrofoil, which departs at a specific time or a small boat, which will depart when it is full of 20 guests. Before going on boat, you will be checked for another time to ensure the safety for this paradise island.
Whichever side of the island or end of the beach you choose, there’s a room for every type of traveler here. Budget accommodations start at around US$ 17, and can go all the way to US$ 500 per person at prime resorts. Microtel Boracay, Boracay Regency Hotel & Resort, Discovery Shore, Monaco Suites de Boracay or Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa…are some of hotels and resorts at from US$103 to US$500 per night. 2 or 3-star hotels are priced at about US$ 36 – US$ 60 per night. Normal guesthouses are priced from US$17 to US$ 55 per night.
Because Boracay gets tourists from different parts of the globe, you’ll find a wide variety of food choices: Chinese, Indian, American, Mexican, French, Italian, Swiss —even Moroccan food! Fresh seafood is a given. Squid is priced averagely at 150PHP, shrimp at 180PHP and lobster at 280PHP. In addition, grilled chicken or pork pie at the restaurant of Patio Pacific hotel, crispy pata, tapsilog rice or bangsilog rice with seafood are among a wide selection of foods on the island for you. Soya sauce is mainly used for foods here. Buffet is served from 250 – 350 PHP/person (about 120,000 – 300,000VND). Drinks such as beer or soft drinks at bars of Boracay are quite cheap. With only 100 PHP, you can enjoy the drink and listen to Filipino bands singing or dancers dancing.
Some addresses for food here: Smoke Restaurant serving local dishes of the Philippines; True Food Restaurant – Indian cuisine; Best Mestizos – Spanish cuisine; The Hobbit House – Italian and Filipino cuisine. Besides, some other restaurants and cafes include Prana Restaurant, Manana Boracay, Bom Bom Bar (Station 1, White Beach), Charhls Bar (Station 2 – White Beach), Cream Café (Station 1, White Beach) and Crafty’s Rooftop Boracay.
For further information and to book a tour, you may visit
English Website : www.itsmorfuninthephilippines.com; or contact the Department of Philippine tourism in Vietnam T-(+848) 3 551 2202 F – (+848) 3 551 3800
Read more Philippines travel guide at here.