Boracay

こんにちは from Japan! So excited to be in Osaka, which we have already fallen completely in love with. Unfortunately, our desire to see everything we possibly can in the last two days has completely worn us out. We’ve both been running mild fevers and having various muscle/sinus pains, but Japan is way too fun for sitting at home, sick or not! We only have 13 days left in the Asian chapter of our journey, and we’re more motivated than ever to make it count. We might just collapse by the time it’s over, though…

Kev and I went back and forth for days about whether or not to fork out for a flight to Boracay, given that we’d only have 2 or 3 days on the island before we’d have to head back to Luzon. Many folks in the all-knowing interweb travel community recommend skipping it these days, as it’s become overpopulated with tourists and touts, which is admittedly not usually my scene. We were having trouble completely letting it go, though, because White Beach is labeled consistently as one of the most perfect stretches of sand on the planet. Reluctant to say goodbye to our beach days in Southeast Asia (especially since Alona Beach was a total bust), we decided we couldn’t miss out and booked flights at the last minute. Rica, our couchsurfing host in Cebu, helped us score tickets for only $25 a pop by flying into Kalibo, where transportation to Boracay can easily be arranged (about a 2 hour trip).

Hell yeah-- We made it to Boracay!

Hell yeah– We made it to Boracay!

We were stoked when we found Orchids Resort on TripAdvisor because they had double rooms with fans, hot water, and wifi for 545 pesos/night! Considering Boracay is the beach destination of the Philippines, we were expecting our wallets to suffer a lot more damage. Orchids is located in station 3- which is further from the action and thus generally less expensive- but this didn’t bother us in the least as it’s much less crowded and we really enjoyed our strolls along the beach to stations 1 and 2. The only bummer for us was that in order to book the room, we had to purchase their pick up service, which at 450 pesos/person was a significant extra expense. From Kalibo airport, bus + boat packages all the way to Boracay go for 250 pesos, nearly half of what the hotel was charging. Because we had read that Orchids was a bit difficult to find, and because we were worn out with haggling for trike rides and trying to navigate jeepney routes from our time in Bohol, we decided to just go for it. Once we got over being annoyed at the ridiculous up-charge, we allowed ourselves to enjoy being politely and comfortably escorted to our destination. It did make for a rare relaxing journey.

Orchids Resort

Lovely Orchids Resort

We surprisingly made it all the way to Boracay by about 1:00pm, giving us almost 3 whole days to lounge around on the beach! This would be our last opportunity to fun and sun in Southeast Asia, so we planned on doing pretty much nothing but swim, eat, and enjoy various cold beverages (my favorites being mango shakes and San Miguel Pilsen). The only excursion we really wanted to take was to Ariel’s Point, but it was cancelled both the days we were there. Kind of a bummer, but we took our extra money and got massages on the beach. I’m really going to miss $8 massages.

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The main thing I wanted to say about Boracay is that despite the crowds (which actually weren’t that bad in the off season), and the beggars, and the guys who ask you 100 times a day if you want to take a boat trip, we really enjoyed ourselves. Sure, it’s touristy, and it’s not the best place to get a feeling of “the real Philippines” if you only have a short time there, but as far as true natural beauty goes, Boracay is top notch. It’s just so damn pretty! The weather was mild, the water was clean, and the sand was perfectly soft. I guess I don’t understand how people come to these absolute paradises and don’t enjoy themselves.

Clouds taking over the blue sky. Our only run-in with bad weather lasted less than an hour.

Clouds taking over the blue sky. Our only run-in with bad weather lasted less than an hour.

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We also ate some really tasty food, which always improves everything. Notably: delicious tacos at Army Navy, possibly the best breakfast of our entire trip at Lemon i Cafe, and some homey local grub at Smoke Resto.

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I am so tired I can barely keep my head up as I type this, so sorry for possibly the least detailed or insightful post to date. Just wanted to share some pictures of our last jaunt in paradise before we headed to the hellhole that is Manila.

Maybe hellhole is a bit harsh. My experience there just wasn’t very pleasant. I think I’ll let Kevin cover that one next time. 😉

Much love.

4 Comments

Got something to say? Feel free, I'd love to hear from ya! Leave a Comment

  1. Lee says:

    What makes Osaka awesome? Why did you choose Japan as your final destination of your Asia journey?

    • Erin says: (Author)

      We’ve always wanted to go to Japan! When we decided to fly into San Francisco and road trip our way back home, we realized we had a rare opportunity to get cheap airfare in and out of Japan, so we went for it! We never thought we could afford it before.

      I loved Osaka because it was so clean, modern, and easy to get around. Everyone we have met has been very friendly and helpful. We haven’t had an even slightly negative experience since we’ve been here. Overall, I just think Japan is a really fun and easy country to explore. Although, it is expensive. We’re going broke. Fast. 🙂

  2. Bob says:

    Excellent write up, thanks for sharing. The trick I’ve found with the guys trying to sell you boat trips is just to completely ignore them and look straight ahead. After a few days of this they soon recognize your face and leave you alone, maybe next time you’ll be able to stay for longer to appreciate that “luxury” lol.
    Totally agree about Lemon cafe- easily the best place for breakfast or brunch.

    • Erin says: (Author)

      Agreed. Hate to completely ignore someone who’s speaking to you, but sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do. You’d never get anywhere in Boracay if you let every salesman you pass give you his pitch. 😉

      Thanks for reading!

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