Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Boracay - sunsets, beaches, eggs & more sunsets

Boracay was the reason we went to the Philippines, I had heard about the beautiful beaches & best sunsets in the world. The main beach most stay on is called White Beach & has 3 areas - Station 1, 2 & 3. Station 1 is the more expensive, luxurious accommodation, Station 2 is the mid-range area where most of the bars & restaurants are and Station 3 is cheaper & quieter. We chose to stay on Station 3 & we're glad we did. We walked to Station 2 each night along the beach for food & drinks but wouldn't have wanted to stay there - you could hardly move on the path it was so busy.

Getting to Boracay was interesting as we flew on a really small propeller plane from Manila, we were both quite amazed at how small it was, from the outside it looked like a private jet. From the inside it looked like a crappy tiny plane. It was a bumpier ride than we're used to. After a 1 hour flight you get a tricycle (Philippine's answer to a tuk tuk) then a boat to Boracay, and then another tricycle to White Beach. It was all really easy & quick once we got off the delayed flight.

We got to our hotel which was really nice & right on the beach & headed out to see our first Boracay sunset. It didn't disappoint. We quickly realised that the sun goes down super fast but the sky after the sunset is usually more impressive than the actual sunset. Some nights there would be blue stripes across the sky - like the Northern Lights. The Boracay sunsets really are the best we have ever seen, closely followed by Koh Lanta in Thailand & Istanbul.

The beach in Boracay is really really nice. There are cops everywhere making sure people don't eat, drink or smoke on the beach. We even saw a cop make a guy pick up his cigarette butt he threw on the floor. The white sand is clean & powdery & the sea is turquoise & perfectly clear. However, Boracay has 1 problem with the beach - algae. The island is so over populated year round the sea is covered in bright green algae. It's pretty disgusting really. We went for a walk right to the end of the beach and went through areas with no algae and areas where is was thick like a swamp. Where we stayed at the top of Station 3 had the best sea with the least amount of algae & some days would be worse than others. Once you swam past it the sea was beautiful but I'd prefer not to have to swim through it. At some points on the walk it was so thick it smelt awful, and this was at the most expensive part of the beach too.

At the end of the beach we were quite surprised & not happy to find they were cutting down palm trees to build yet more hotels. I think enough is enough for Boracay now - they need less hotels, not more as you can see from the algae. Luckily for us we were on the nicest part of the beach so it didn't stop us swimming which is a good job as the Boracay sun is the hottest I think we have ever experienced, it felt like it was burning a hole through my skin. I was in the sea every 5 minutes - that's not an exaggeration!

There was a really good UFC on while we were in Boracay - with the time difference between Philippines & USA it was on at 10.30am on a Sunday morning so we got ourselves up & went to a bar in Station 2 called Nigi Nigi Nu Noo's in hope they would put it on for us. They did so we ordered breakfast & a beer & watched Jon Jones beat up Glover Teixeira, pretty cool Sunday morning. We had noticed in this bar there was a food challenge, you had to beat the record of eating 31 eggs in 1 sitting. If you did it you got free meals for the next 3 days. We read on the menu that if you order an egg breakfast you can have as many eggs as you want for no extra charge in order to beat the record. You only got charged if you left some egg that you ordered on the plate so Russell decided to give it a bash. 

12 eggs later & Russell looked like he was guna die, that day in the battle of man vs food - food won! Although, to be fair to Russ the first 8 eggs came with loads of vegetables which made the challenge eggstremely difficult (sorry), if he'd just have had plain scrambled eggs he would have eaten 15 at least I reckon. As you can imagine he didn't eat eggs for a while after that.

Our 12 days in Boaracay were mainly spent sunbathing, swimming, drinking & eating. I googled places with good vegetarian food and a few came up. We tried them all and even found one ourselves - Tres Amigos, a really good Mexican place that was one of the cheapest restaurants we found in Boracay & probably the tastiest. 

We were there over Labor Day weekend when the island turns into a massive party, we planned to get involved but when it came to it the music was terrible and everywhere was so packed you couldn't move. It was so crazy we had power cuts all weekend - it must have been these massive make shift clubs they built on the beach because we didn't have power cuts before they came & after they had gone. We did try to go to a pool party on the Saturday but the free shuttle bus never showed up so we did try to get involved.

Boracay is a gorgeous island and we really enjoyed our time there, it is incredibly beautiful but I worry the island can't cope with the amount of visitors it gets, I can't see it getting any quieter so the algae & power cuts can only get worse. That said I would still recommend a visit there, it's worth it just to see the sunsets.

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