Typically when I’m travelling, I don’t go on traditional vacations. I’m often travelling to a new place to live there for the medium to long term and I check out surrounding cities while I’m there. Recently, I’ve been able to take “workcations” where I travel to new places, have a fantastic time, and work while travelling.
While I was living and teaching in South Korea, I was able to check out a few interesting places on my holidays. In Asia, the countries are much closer together and the flights significantly cheaper than in Canada, so I took advantage of that. On one of my longer spouts of time off, I was able to take a full-on vacation. No work, just fun.
This vacation led me to the island of Boracay in the Philippines. I didn’t know much about the Philippines before going. Some co-workers of mine joined me, one of which had previously been. He’d had a great time, so we went on his recommendation.
My Stay in the Philippines
We started our trip by flying from Seoul to Kalibo. Worried about not getting to the island that night, as there were limited boats over, we spent our first night in Kalibo. It’s not the most exciting place. It reminded me a little of the Caribbean, it was warm, colourful, and just a general vibe.
We took a little tuk tuk taxi and stayed at a small hotel called Kalibo Hotel
, not far from the airport, and they took us to the ferry the next morning. The van ride to the ferry port the next morning was terrifying, but the boat was nice.
At the ferry port, you need to purchase three different tickets – one for the ferry itself, one tourist fee thing, and some other environmental tax thing. Overall it’s a little confusing, but everyone speaks English and they’ll walk you through it.
Once on the island, we had an odd experience of being solicited by other tourists to come stay at a huge house with them, as two people had left their group unexpectedly. Despite the place being nice we knew we could find a hotel for cheaper. We had our first night on the island already booked anyways.
Hotels in Boracay
We stayed at a place called Paradise Bay
, a lovely hotel but not on the main beach, which is where you want to be. Also, we knew Boracay was crawling with small hotels not listed online, so we walked the beach a little and shopped around. We came across one hotel compound called St. Vincents, just off White Beach. It was near the police station, between stations two and three. These “stations” are the general markers along the beach so you can find various restaurants, hotels, business, and the like.
It was a great location as you didn’t get the noise of being directly on the beach, but still super close. There wasn’t anything special about the room – not resort-like in any sense, more of a motel feeling, but it was clean, had a/c and hot water – something you actually have to ask about in Boracay.
The Fun Stuff
Whilst on the Island we did a few things – ate some good food (including delicious mango pancakes and a pig roast!), did some island hopping, went snorkelling, helmet diving, and four-wheeling. There are so many people on the island trying to promote their activities, you’ll have a lot to choose from.
Helmet diving was my favourite part!
I joined in on the Boracay Pub Crawl
. It was so much fun, inexpensive, and you’ll meet a bunch of cool people from all over the place. And they even have a silent disco at the end!
Overall, I was looking to get away and just have some fun, and Boracay delivered. The Philippines have so many fun islands to explore, I can’t wait to go back sometime. Maybe I’ll do a bigger island hopping tour
and explore them all!
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