I enjoyed my short stint in Palawan. It started off a bit dismal, but the sun came out and turned things around. It was time to head to Boracay! Getting there was an adventure in itself. I had to take another 5-hour bus ride to back Puerto Princesa, where I’d catch my flight to Manila, then to Boracay.
I booked a van ride from El Nido to PPS airport, and was instructed to be ready at 6:00am. Long story short, the van came at 5:30am, unbeknownst to me and I stood there waiting for an hour. I managed to get another van and headed to what I thought would be the airport in torrential rain. I had some hours till my flight, so I sat unbothered for most of my ride. Then we got into Puerto Princesa town...
The driver stopped off at what looked like a city market, and everyone exited the van- everyone but me. The driver asked me to exit as well. I tried as best as I could to explain to him that the trip I booked included a drop off to PPS, but after a long pointless conversation, I realized that I was going to have to take a tricycle taxi in the pouring rain and find myself at the airport…or miss my flight.
A random tricycle taxi guy agreed to take me, and we drove for about 45 minutes in the pouring rain to the airport. By the time I got there I was halfway wet and so was my suitcase. I just tried to keep myself in good spirits because I knew that a beachfront hotel was waiting for me in Boracay.
Can you imagine my disappointment after taking a 5 hour van ride, 45 minute tricycle cab, two airplanes (with delays), a tricycle, ferry, and tricycle to my “beachfront”, that I mixed up my booking and booked the wrong hotel!? Starving and confused, I tried to cancel my booking, but it was too late. I gave up, and went to bed that night, just excited to be on a beach the next morning.
White Beach is the most famous beach in Boracay. It mainly consists of 3 “Stations”, Station 1 being the most lux. I’m not a fan of crowded beaches, so I opted to stay on Diniwid beach. I thought that’s where my hotel was located, when in fact it was 2 minutes walk away from there (by the way, I moved to the beach, so I ended up getting my heart's desire for a few days).
I spent 9 days in Boracay, and this is how it went down…
As I mentioned, I just wanted to relax on this vacation. I didn’t want it to be a hectic one. It was, and still is cold in Shanghai; I just wanted to be by the beach. The weather wasn’t perfect during my stay in Boracay, but I stayed long enough to experience the good and "bad" days. Staying on the beach made it convenient for me to just run into my room if it started raining, sometimes I just sheltered under a tree.
I didn’t spend most of my time on White Beach, as I preferred Diniwid Beach- the beach that I stayed on. White Beach is crowded, and on top of that has a very low tide, which means, to actually be half-way immersed in the sea required a considerably long walk into it. Yes they call it White Beach because of the white sand, but I feel as though, that’s all there really is to this beach- until nighttime when the crazy Boracay partying starts. Maybe it’s different during other times of the year, but that was what I experienced in late December/early January.
Diniwid Beach is at the end of Station 1, so you can get there by just following a stone path along the beach. It’s a small beach in a corner, but one with fun bars like Wahine, playing island jams and serving up awesome margaritas, and a hipster Cliffside spot called Spider House, where I basically spent half my time. There’s also a famous restaurant called Mama’s Fish House, with the best beach- side grilled seafood dishes you’d ever have (they even have a restaurant in Vegas!).
I spent my days hopping from these spots, as well as The Lind hotel on White Beach.
There are a lot of water sport activities that you can be a part of in Boracay, the most famous being kite surfing. Bulabog Beach, is where all the windsurfers head. I opted out of all water activities (but did stay at a hotel on that side for a night, just for a change in scenery). You can also do island hopping tours and visit places like Ariel’s Point, where you can indulge in some exhilarating cliff jumping! I didn’t care for anything much and the islands that I wanted to visit were actually inaccessible because of the weather at the time. My time in Boracay basically consisted of eating, sleeping, swimming, and some partying at night- all on the beach. I did have a booking on an island not too far off from Boracay, but I had so much fun on NYE that I cancelled it. I was high (on life) by the beach. I didn’t need to go anywhere else. Boracay was more fun than I expected. Mission accomplished!
As I previously mentioned, my goal for NYE was to be wasted on a beach, and that didn’t happen. First of all, it would not have been a wise idea given the fact that I was traveling alone. I met some awesome people (there for a Muay Thai camp), and I spent NYE with a few of them- on the beach. But not before a crazy storm hit, of course…typhoon season.
True to #islandweather, the winds and rains came, and then letft. The rain didn’t stop the party, and why would it! It was NYE in Boracay, one of the top places in the world to bring in the new year! My NYE celebration included, dinner, hookah, drinks, fireworks and some partying. Yes, yes, all on the beach. I didn’t go too hard, but I really enjoyed myself. It was a 2-year dream come true. I must say that I stood on the beach during the NYE countdown feeling very pleased with myself. I finally executed my plan.
With all the crazy upsets, from forgetting my cash at my apartment in Shanghai, to missing out on the Puerto Princesa cave tour, to messing up my hotel booking, I must say that I learned a lot pertaining to #travellife.
With every trip will come a lot of learning experiences, and they always get me excited to practice what I've learned on the next one!
So here’s to 2018! More travel, adventure, fun and F&*k ups!
Getting there: There isn’t an airport on the island, so I landed in Caticlan, took a tricycle taxi to the jetty point, then a ferry from there. It’s a very organized process and you will be directed throughout the transit process. No worries! The ferries run pretty efficiently, and regularly.
Transit Fares: You are required to pay a couple different fares besides the ferry fare, there are about three windows in which you must pay fees, like environment fee etc. All very cheap so yes yes…no worries.
White Beach: Everything that happens in Boracay basically happens on this beach (unless you are into kite surfing). So try to book your hotel on or close to this beach. It’s definitely where you'll end up for lunch, dinner, bars, clubbing etc.
Diniwid Beach: I am in love with this beach and the vibe that it brings. It’s definitely the beach I’d recommend staying on if you want to experience a more peaceful stay (it’s a 10 minute walk from white beach- via the beach). It’s quieter, the water is “deeper”, and the tide isn’t as low as on white beach.
I spent a lot of my time at Spider House. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks., vibes! It felt like my little home away from home. Located on a cliff off Diniwid Beach, it’s exactly what its name describes. A house built among trees, inspired by spiders and spider webs. There is even a large spider on a floating plank (that you can get right into the water from). It belongs to a family that lived as expats in Boracay for years before they moved back to Europe. They have turned their rustic spider home into hotel/restaurant and it’s a hotspot for visitors.
If you visit Spider House for the first time, it’s probably because you’ve heard of their amazing pizzas (THEY HAVE A VEGAN OPTION THAT’S AMAZING), and their breathtakingly beautiful sunsets. If you do plan on going around sunset, you may want to get there early, as there is usually a long line. Even if you have to wait, trust me it’s worth it!
I feel as though my description of Spider House still doesn't give it justice. You must experience this place yourself! It’s like entering an entirely different world. One filled with eccentric wall paintings, décor and furniture- with some seats even perched off the cliff- you can literally jump off your seat and into the water, if you dare! And a lot of people do. At Spider House, there are surprises waiting for you around every corner, and don’t be surprised to see their dogs rightfully sprawling along the table that you’re probably going to have your meal on!
I don’t know if there’s anything else that can say to fully explain what an amazing experience being at this place was. You MUST visit if you go to Boracay!
NAMI: This hotel is also on Diniwid beach and located next to Spider House. It’s a great place to stay, but if you aren’t lucky enough to grab accommodations there, be sure to visit their restaurant. They boast of having the best views in Boracay and I think they may be right. I went for brunch and grabbed a seat where I had a direct view of the sea. Their elevator is also an attraction in itself. There’s a sign inside that warns you that your heart may skip a beat while on it!
Mama’s Fish House: Another restaurant on the beach! Just go there, get anything on their menu. Amazing seafood.
Wahine: Another fun beachside bar with large food portions, tasty drinks, and a DJ that plays lots of Caribbean tunes.
Monkey: WELL, this place is a hostel, but is known for their party scene. It’s loud and crowded, and a bit too grimy for my taste. I accompanied the guys to Monkey out of mere curiosity. There's also have a tattoo
Lastly, Do more than I did- especially if you're going to be traveling a long distance to get there!
Till next adventure XX