I was extremely excited to head over to the Philippines six months into our travels in Southeast Asia. The Philippines seemed to be off the Southeast Asia ‘banana pancake’ trail, and I’d heard that it was a unique country to visit. But I had been warned that our first stop, Boracay, is known as the party spot of the Philippines and is extremely busy and touristy. So, I mentally prepared myself for the ‘Brits abroad’ type of tourist or a similar crowd that frequent Thailand’s full moon parties regularly.
However, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, Boracay is a tourist hotspot. But, it seemed to be a buzzy holiday destination for those living in the Philippines and other countries in Asia, which was new to me. After settling into our hostel (MNL beach hostel – which was pretty good), I was keen to grab a beer and get to know some of the locals.
As we explored the local beach with a throng of new friends we’d met at our hostel (it’s super easy to meet people in Boracay – everyone’s on holiday), it soon became apparent why Boracay is so popular.
The main beach was postcard-perfect with white sands, towering palm trees, and beautiful blue sea. No wonder people flocked from all over Asia to holiday here. We spent a good couple of days relaxing and enjoying the beach and the ocean.
We noticed there were tons of exciting activities to do out on the water in Boracay. From water sports to parasailing to scuba diving, the list was diverse.
Rather humorously there’s even a ‘mermaid swimming’ excursion, and participants must wear a mermaid’s fin. One day, one day.
As a large group, we opted for an all-day snorkelling trip.
The boat trip itself wasn’t too exciting, but once we were in the water, the beautiful sea views were impressive. I was sure to make use of my new GoPro.
The sunsets in Boracay were spectacular. One evening, we all crammed into a colourful tuk-tuk and headed over to one of the quieter beaches of Boracay to watch the sun melt into the ocean.
As you can see, the colours were vibrant and amazing. I do enjoy a good sunset.
Boracay was a wonderful surprise for me. The beaches were more beautiful than I thought they’d be, the nightlife a lot more exciting, and the other tourists so much friendlier.
Visiting Boracay felt like we were on holiday while backpacking (as if we needed a holiday) and it was a great time to relax from all the activities and moving about that travelling often entails. If (hopefully when) I return to the Philippines, I’ll be back.
See you then, Boracay.
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