When it comes to choosing your perfect holiday destination, timing is critical.
Rainy seasons in South East Asia can make or break your getaway experience. Believe us, we’ve learnt the hard way.
But choosing a place just because it is at the height of peak season doesn’t always guarantee you that idyllic experience you’ve been dreaming of. And Boracay is definitely one of those places where you need to choose your timing very carefully.
This tiny island in the Philippines, known as the “Ibiza of Asia”, is never going to be the quiet paradise of other Filipino islands. This is as touristy as it gets in the Philippines.
But choosing Boracay as the destinations for Christmas Day was definitely not our wisest travel decision. Especially as thousands of people (and I mean thousands!) had made the same choice.
There were pedestrian traffic jams as we walked up and down the sand filled streets that run down Boracay’s White Beach; bars and restaurants were packed from morning to night; and you couldn’t see an empty space along those 4 kilometres of normally perfect white sand to enjoy the infamous Boracay sunset.
But it’s at times like these that you can let things get on you down and allow it spoil your holiday. I have to admit, we sulked for a few hours – but then we gave ourselves a shake, reminded ourselves we were still on holiday and realised that even at the height of its tourism season, Boracay still has plenty to offer.
So here are our top 3 recommendations for making the most of Boracay:
1. Ditch the White Beach for Pukka Beach
Ok, so the White Beach may have been what made Boracay famous but grab a trike and head 20 minutes north to Pukka Beach where the sand is just as white and the water is arguably even more blue than its more recognised neighbour. We went here two days out of the four that we were in Boracay and couldn’t believe that it remained relatively deserted while throngs of people fought for the sun loungers over at White Beach.
2. Choose your spot for sunset wisely
Even after the cloudiest of days, Boracay’s sky seems to open up just at the right time to put on a nightly show for the island’s visitors. Of course, you have to do the iconic Catamaran cruise one evening but for a more relaxing experience head to Spider House Resort or Boracay West Cove next to Diniwid Beach for the best interrupted views of the sun going down. At West Cove, you can do some cliff jumping into the clear waters below before the sun starts to set.
3. Get stuck in and go with the flow
Not every holiday has to be about discovering unexplored places and enjoying local cultures. At times, its best just to go with what’s on offer. From go karting and paddle boarding to X-Factor wannabes and Drag queen fire dancers, there really is always something to keep you entertained (for more of our ultimate travel video diaries visit us on Youtube)
Getting to Boracay
If flying from Singapore, you can fly direct to Kalibo airport and then travel for 2 hours by bus to the jetty at Caticlan to catch a rickety wooden boat that takes about 15 minutes to Boracay.
Or you can fly to Manila and take a 55 minute connecting flight to Caticlan airport where a trike will collect you and take you down to the jetty for the onward boat journey to the island. Rumour has it that Caticlan’s runway is being upgraded which will see both Jetstar and Scoot doing direct flights from Singapore to Caticlan in late 2017, making Boracay even more accessible as a short stop-off from Singapore!
The final say…
Boracay is not going to be to everyone’s taste but there is so much to do that it is perfect for families and if traveling with groups of friends. It’s also a nice stop-off as part of a wider Philippines’ adventure where you can mix the natural beauty of places like Coron and El Nido and the entertainment of Boracay.
After all, this place is probably what the Philippines’ Tourist Board had in mind when they came up with the slogan ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’.
Read more about us and our other adventures across South East Asia.