Tex and I spent a few nights in Boracay, Philippines over Chinese New Year*.  This was my first trip to a developing nation (besides New Jersey).  We had a fabulous time, but it was so much different than our previous island trips to Aruba and Curacao.

My American guilt reared it’s head on an hourly basis as I said “no” to dozens of vendors that have less than a quarter of what I have.  “No, I can’t spend $5 USD on your wood carvings because I have to slather myself in sunscreen and beach myself on that chair.  Also, you’re interrupting my massage time. Thanks, though.”

Best of Boracay

1. Sunsets

2. Beautiful beaches

3. It’s very affordable. Beer was around $2 and a professional swedish massage was about $50.

4. Corn nuts.  I’m not kidding.  They were the best I’ve ever had.

5. There seem to be a ton of activities to fill your day.  You can go on cruises, snorkel, scuba, etc.  We didn’t do anything.  We just laid around.

Worst of Boracay

1. Gut-wrenching poverty.

2. Getting there.  Affordable flights from Taipei to Kalibo all seem to have a super long layover in Manila followed by a one hour flight, 2 hour bus ride, 20 minute boat trip, and 20 minute taxi ride.

3. Animals.  Chickens are everywhere.  We woke up to roosters every morning.  Also, like so many islands, there seems to be a serious stray dog problem.

4. Tricycles.  The island has very few vehicles on it so all taxis are tricycles.  They are cheap but inconsistentand require bargaining.


*Chinese New Year – I still don’t have a firm grasp on this.  I know that the entire city appears to be covered in red because it’s “lucky.”  In fact, any time I ask anyone why something is the way that it is around here it’s because it’s “lucky.”  I know it’s the year of the horse and that you’re supposed to give red envelopes full of cash to your loved ones, as well as your front desk people apparently.  I also know that we get an awesome amount of time off.  We had Thursday through Tuesday off from work to celebrate.