Getting back on Boracay after more than three years is quite difficult to describe. It's a combination of finally being home after many years, at the same time as a feeling that I've never been away from here.
Life here is business as usual. Much is the same, much has changed. But, at the same time, the atmosphere I've been so fond of is still here. Together with the temperature, the sun, the waves, the people and the hectic nightlife, the natural rustic beach, a part of the settlement and coconut trees, a frame that appeals very much to me. In its simplicity, partly a bit poor, while solid features of exclusive resorts and restaurants, you will find everything here. One evening you can eat Indian, the next Thai food and the next local traditional food, or international buffet, steakhouses or Italian.
Boracay White Beach is about four and a half kilometers long. Between the waterfront and the buildings, the coconut palm trees extend towards the sky. Below these are a walkway where there is no motorized traffic in principle. Therefore, one can lay in a hotel and avoid seeing and hearing cars. The exception is some transportation of supplies to hotels and restaurants, with mopeds. But, they are not intrusive.
The beach is divided into three zones, Station 1, 2 and 3. This time I chose a waterfront hotel in the Station 3 area, as this is the oldest part of the island's development and therefore the one that is still recognizable with that island I came for the first time fin 2004. Down here there is also little happening at night, so it's quiet from midnight, which gives opportunities for an early evening and a good night's sleep. From here it is about two kilometers up to Station 2, where most of the restaurants and nightlife are located, including d'Mall, which is the island's shopping center.
Further upwards, after a noisy nightlife, you will be relieved of more exclusive resorts. and a further stretch of beach.
There is much I can write about this island, the beach and the life here, something that I will also do in the continuation. But, tonight, it's just to include that this is where the sun sets and you can experience some amazing sunsets.
The days down here have so far been characterized by meeting old friends and doing some photo shootings, both for Boracay Phoenix Fire Dancers which I also took some pictures of, which I'm very proud of in 2011 and you can see more of by clicking on this link here.
In addition to this we had a very funny photo shoot where I was playing a little like a model photographer, since one of my friends down here needs some pictures for Boracay Bamboo Shades marketing, which has become a great success, a must have for all Filipinos who visit the island. And, they are many of them.
And then it's once again that it's a pleasure after the sun has gone down the horizon that the beautiful colors come forward and create a very beautiful mood.
Sitting here on stand gives blessed peace for both thought and mind. But occasionally one must stretch his neck and the view from here is only for rest for a tired body.
When we lived here we started the company Dream Island Web, where we created websites, graphic design and photography services. Our first customer has become a good friend and one of those who still has a website in our portfolio, Boracay Activities. This page tells you about the Boracay Glass Bottom boat, where you can sit dry-shodded to look through the glass at the bottom of the boat, and see fish and other life on the seabed.
Our friend is very fond of my pictures and when I tell me that I'm coming down he always asks "do you bring your cam?". And then I know there's something he wants to have pictures of. This is a creative person, which has many projects and now has had great success with Boracay Bamboo Shades (see above). And, to his stores, he also needed some product images, so we got to try our product photography as well.
After a creative and fun day, we sat down in the chair on the beach and had a cozy time. Eventually, I begin to get some routine and knowledge of the wind and can watch clouds and formations, how, for example, the sunset would be. And this evening the sunset should be spectacular.
Our visit to Boracay this year came in conjunction with May 17th, the Norwegian constituion day, and as the good Norwegians we are, we had to go by train. And we went out on a walk along the beach, as I have made a small photo of below.
Walking the beach from Station 3 to Station 1 is a nice walk. It's nice to wear slippers in the sand and it's always fun to watch people and to do windowshopping. I share some of pictures from our walk seventeenth of May 2016.
A little funny is that a store called Greenstop using red letters, but this is our Sari Sari Store during our visit. Here we have been in for daily supplies of drinking water, chocolate and snacks and beer. It's okay to save and buy some drinks here rather than let the hotel fill up the minibar, with the same items for more than a double price.
As mentioned above, Boracay White Beach is a four and a half kilometer long beach, which has a footpath under the coconut trees that follow the coast from south to north. And inside, there are hotels, restaurants and various shops. Here from Station 1. as at the time of writing is characterized by the construction of two new major resorts. We who have been here before, long ago, miss the old classic resorts, but now that's the world once again.
For us Norwegians there is also a small curiosity to be able to trade most of vodka, whiskey and other drinks of what we usually call polymers in all such Sari Sari Stores in the Philippines. They have a 24-hour limit and there are no restrictions on sales, except for age. Cigarettes and alcohol can not be bought by minors. Now we did not buy so much of this kind of goods and I did not see so many others who did. The bottles looked quite dusty. Perhaps one of the reasons is the rumors that many of these goods are not imported from completely legal channels, and therefore are not necessarily pure alcohol.
On the other hand, it might be a financial question as well. Local hard workers are not overpaid and spend most of their money to support their families.
In an effort to reduce the strain on the beach, there are restrictions on when the hotels behain the beach can start serving out there. So that every night tables and chairs are taken down, for open the beach for public during daytime. For example, it is not allowed to smoke on the beach, nor serve food out there. The hotels can set out loungers and tables, and serve drinks. And, as I understood it, one can enjoy fruit and vegetables, but not cooked food. If the measures have worked hard to say, but down at Station 3 where we lived this time, it had become far more tidy and cleaner than what I mean to remember from previous visits down here.
Boracay offers a wide range of hotels and resorts. Everything from the simplest bamboo to the most exclusive 5 star. You can stay down at White Beach, or farther into the island, on the other Bulabog beach, or up in the heights or at the cliffs on the north side. When we had an apartment here, it lay in the middle of the island, so this time it was nice for us to rent us into a hotel by the beach and have a sea view room. At the same time a hotel located in an area in a peaceful area, free of the noise music night and night time. When we chose to stay at Hey Jude South Beach, it was also because it also seemed to be a place that had some of the "old" rustic atmosphere that we were so excited when we first came here twelve years ago . And, we got it.
But, this is a bit of "good and bad" for what we are charmed by, nice young waiters and receptionists who try as well as they can, a simple functional room, simple beach chairs and home decor decor, it's for us "value for money ". But, as we paid here, a few rooms where service, design and convenience are more streamlined. But then this was the charm and nostalgia.
At the end of the day, everything is about taste and pleasure. In addition, we do not have children to think so we do not have to think about how children can be entertained and engaged. We see families with children on trip, who seem to enjoy themselves a lot. And, it can be understood on a beach where there are lots of opportunities for activities ranging from building sand castles and baths, to playing in different appliances and clubs that the big resorts have play areas for children.
For the crown up kids, there are a lot of day care centers:
Bars and restaurants there is a large selection of. Everything from sports bars that transfer soccer, basketball, golf and anything else which I do not have a clue of. To the more quiet and exclusive and quiet boutique bar and restaurants.
The same goes for restaurants. A large selection of food from Africa, Asia, America and Europe. It's just to find out what you wants and choose or wreck. The quality of the food is on a high level and I have not had any problems with my stomach here. Price level depends on where you eat. At the most exclusive restaurant where I had a steak that tasted excellent and my sweetheart had a pasta dish, as for being a new favorite, we paid about half of what a similar meal would have cost, at a local restaurant back home in Kristiansand . But, the night after we had pizza, which cost about sixty Norwegian kroner for us each.
Unfortunately we did not get an opportunity this time to experience Steakhouse Boracay, but nice to see that they are still operating. From here we have many good memories from the first years of Boracay. Memories with good friends who unfortunately have passed away, others we do not know where have taken the road. This is a traditional steakhouse and where you can sit outside to eat and to feel the warmth and mood of the island. Rustic, traditional in a combination of European standard in a typical Philippine environment.
As mentioned above, on Boracay you will find most of all different price ranges and standards. One of the dream spots that surpasses my holiday budgets is Astoria Boracay.
When one comes out to the beach at Station 1, this is what meets one. White sand and blue sea. Here is the range of exclusive resorts and it's beach as far as you can see. Even we were impressed by the resort on the right in the picture, the Obama Bar, Grill and Resort. Here's an excellent view, but I'm not familiar with the noise level from the bar during the evening.
As the observant reader has noted, it is on Boracay the sun goes down.
And, May 17, 2016 was no exception;
Will's Rock is the landmark that identifies Boracay. Here is a small altar built with a Maria statue for worship. Philippians are generally religious and then Catholics. With a touch of superstition and spiritualism. In the common sense, therefore, this island is called the "spirit ship". This is where the spirits bring the souls over to the other dimension. Unfortunately, there have been fatal accidents here that substantiate this superstition, such as a dump from here at high tide and striking the head in the cliffs on the other side.
Up here at Willy's Rock there is only beach, white sand and blue sea to see. The temperature here this day was 31 degrees Celsius and with a relatively high humidity, estimated to be closer to 80%. We went up here and we both took both and needed a long and good break under the palm trees at Nigi Nigi Too Beach Resort, where we have been sitting many times. A very typical resort, with an elaborate garden and a rustic environment.
It's not allwas the sun is shining on Boracay, like here:
But, still, the sun is allways behind the clouds and you never know when it will shows up, like here, where I just got some very few seconds to catch the moment:
And, when you have some patience, some technique inside and tripod in place, there are lots of beautiful colors and lights that can be collected and get a great picture. Here I use long exposure where the shutter is in fifteen seconds.
And, this was the last night for us this time. Some very nice and relaxing days. But, also inspiring and creative. Just such a holiday must be.
Here you can see my other sunset pictures from Boracay.
Hope it gives inspiration to both the traveling and the photo-interested.