Manic Manila to Beautiful Boracay
By Mel Cook
Manila is a stopover, at best, because only two words come to mind when you arrive: organised chaos. From the moment you leave the airport you are in a place of extreme and manic disarray. With around 11 million people living in Manila, it’s little wonder people look confused.
My advice is to book the earliest ticket out of there and jump a flight to Boracay Island, voted one of the ‘Top Ten Beaches of The World’.
Walking out of the resort, you are confronted with the most gorgeous beach of white sand and overhanging palm trees – I felt like I was in heaven! White Beach is where you can relax and snorkel all day long or, alternatively, drink until the sun comes up. I managed to do both but I will say that I have never experienced a hangover quite that bad before. There are definitely no RSA laws in the Philippines. The cocktails are supersized and so are the nips – so be warned! You can even have your rum served in a bucket. At least you don’t need to go to the bar all night (but you may need to find the closest toilet).
My days (after the hangover) were spent sailing and snorkelling around the island. The water is like glass and if you are lucky you can see the odd Korean tourist or two walking with underwater helmets on the bottom of the ocean. Very strange … I prefer snorkels myself.
Now for New Year’s Eve … I highly recommend being there for this as it would have to be the longest display of fireworks I have ever seen. As I stood there feeling a little sentimental with my newfound friends, I started to wonder if this really was the best place on earth? Or maybe I’d had too many Tanduay Rums?
Despite the fact that it’s hard to get to, Boracay Island is definitely worth the trip. It’s a hidden treasure that not many Australians know about … and maybe they shouldn’t so ‘Shhh!’…
To get to the Island of Boracay, you can fly in to either Caticlan or Kalibo airports. It only takes about an hour to Caticlan and one and a half to Kalibo. It’s worth noting that landing in Kalibo leaves you with a two hour van ride back to Caticlan Harbour.
Once you arrive at the harbour, you purchase a ferry ticket for about 120 peso ($3AUD) and get on the next ferry. Don’t be surprised if you feel like you are in a herd of cattle – it’s pretty much how everything is organised – Manic! Manic! Manic!
Thankfully it is only a 15 minute ferry ride to one of the most relaxing and beautiful beaches in the world. Upon arrival, you are ‘tuk tuk-ed’ to your resort for around 50 peso (every ride on the island seems to be 50 peso).