Most countries have a tourism slogan. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to accomplish but they range from things like Jamaica’s “Get All Right” to South Korea’s “Be Inspired.” I generally don’t hear or see anything about a country’s slogan outside of a sign or two at the airport. The Philippines, however, gets really into their travel slogan. Everywhere I go, I’ve seen reminders of it. Wifi passwords. T-Shirts. Beach vendors shouting it.
“It’s more fun in the Philippines.”
And it is. Or at least, it is in Boracay. The Philippines is made up of over 7,000 islands and I’m sure they’re very different from Boracay. I’m hardly an expert on the Philippines but Boracay is the perfect place to go for a tropical vacation. I think it may win my “dream island” award! Sorry, Gili T.
Life in Boracay focuses around White Beach, a long stretch of perfectly white sand (unsurprising) and crystal clear shallow water. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and hotels lining the beach, but no part of it is private. It’s busy, but in a nice, not overwhelming way. The Powers That Be have done an excellent job at keeping the area litter free, so the beach remains pristine even though people party until dawn and swim all day. Compared to beaches I’ve been to elsewhere in Southeast Asia, I’m pretty sure the beach in Boracay takes the cake in both sand and surf. I haven’t visited a better place in Thailand, Vietnam, or Indonesia to sit back and enjoy the beach.
Isolated beaches are on Boracay as well, although they might take a little while to find. My personal favorite spot is Spider House, a restaurant and resort on Diniwid Beach, which has its own private swimming cove and floating platform (and makes excellent mango daiquiris).
I occasionally hear complaints that Boracay is too touristy and developed. It is definitely “discovered” but development has been controlled in a way it hasn’t in Bali or other Southeast Asian hotspots. Garbage is minimal and high rises don’t line the beach. The fact that many of the tourists are themselves Filippino adds a more local feel to the tourism. As a bonus, the food in Boracay is GREAT. Top local food can be found at Smoke, while Cyma serves excellent Greek food. There’s also Japanese food, Italian food, and decent Mexican food! After eating almost exclusively local food while in Burma, widening my palate was a lot of fun.
Boracay may not be the private beach of Robinson Crusoe style fantasies, but it’s a great place to kick back and enjoy an easy, fun beach vacation. It really is more fun, at least in Boracay.