Wednesday, June 05, 2013

My First Dreamtrip - Boracay, Philippines

Voted 2012 World's Best Island by Travel and Leisure magazine, Boracay lives up to its name with crystal clear waters and powdery sand.




We flew to Cebu, then to Caticlan airport which is the nearest to Boracay. The total travel time from Changi Airport in Singapore to the hotel- 8 hours. It was a 4 day 3 nite stay at the Boracay Regency Resort, airport transfers settled, including the boat transfer. The jetty was quite a mess, I'm glad we had the travel agent take care of all the paperwork and whisked us straight to the boat from the airport, even gave us shell necklaces. When we arrived at the hotel, there was a booth just for dreamtrippers, and refreshing pineapple juice for everyone. The Dreamtrip host Helena gave us our keys to the room and we had the day to ourselves.




The sunset was amazing!!! Dinner was at the hotel, after which we had a meet and greet session at the poolside where we had drinks with other dreamtrippers, won a bottle of wine in the lucky draw and ate birthday cake.



Island hopping - we were on this party boat booming loud dance music as we set forth to the islands surrounding Boracay, first up was Puka Beach, named after the Puka shell. The sand was much rougher than white beach. Snorkeling was not ideal because the currents were too strong.




 Crystal Cove was absolutely beautiful, great photo spots as we walked all over the island, and as the name suggests there were coves where you could find large crystals.



Grilled seafood lunch was served on one of the islands including a whole crab where we smashed with wooden sticks.


The sun was merciless, not a cloud in the sky, many of us got sunburnt, nevertheless, we all had lots of fun! Hanging out on the deck of the pool, splashing, watching the cute boys diving off the boat...We even had energy for water captain's ball at the hotel pool! Losers bought drinks...



D'talipapa was the best place for seafood, you buy the lobsters, crabs, oysters, fish, squid, prawns, whatever shellfish at a low low price from the wet market, then you send them to the surrounding eateries for cooking. Very fresh, very unique, and very full. I had eaten enough lobster for the next 3 years. It was huge and it was cheap!

The next day we went zorbing! That was so FUN! We just rolled down a hill into a pool, it looks scary but what an adrenaline rush! Exhilarating! Then we went helmet diving. Cool experience, but scuba diving is still preferred. The helmet weighed 37kg.



If I had more time I would have gone to Ariel's point for Cliff Diving. Looked so fun! Hubby is scared of heights. So no go.... plus he had diarrhea from eating cockles raw the night before. Bummer.


We had a BBQ dinner at the hotel, and the chefs started dancing gangnam style (= nice performance to end the night.

Sadly, we had to go home the next morning.....it was hard to say goodbye to such paradise.

Some travel tips for Boracay:

Terminal Fees for foreigners:
When we arrived at Cebu airport to transfer to Caticlan, we had to pay 200 pesos per person.
Upon departure from Caticlan, it was 200 pesos, at Manila airport it was 550 pesos per person, so don't go spending all your money before reaching the airport.

Cheaper alternatives to Caticlan is to fly to Kalibo airport, however you need to take a 1.5 hour van ride to the Cagban jetty.


The airplanes to Caticlan- hand carry luggage weight limit is only 5kg! I had to pay to check in luggage cos I thought it was the same 7kg. The airplanes are smaller, hence they have strict guidelines on hand carry luggage.



Boracay Regency did not have its own private beach, I guess most hotels don't, unless you are staying at the Shangri La. The whole stretch is open to public, known as White Beach ~4km. There were many people trying to sell you something. All sorts of water sports and activities, jewellery, massage, lobsters, all trying to get your attention. This brought to my mind memories of Maldives. So vastly different. I was missing the peace and quiet of having your own beach right infront of your own villa, with no intrusions. The whole street was full of them! Even on the beach. So if you like your privacy, you are better off at the high end hotels.

Shangri La


I thoroughly enjoyed myself during the short 4 days. I could say it would be counted as a peak life experience. Hubs and me both signed up for this dreamtrip not knowing anyone else who was going... and came home forging new friendships with a crazy bunch of people who were like minded, fun, and loved to travel. Plus, it was really affordable compared to what others have paid for such a beach holiday packed with activities and good food, and I did not have to break a sweat over any of the travel plans, it was all taken care of. Sometimes, you just can't put a pricetag on a life experience...the memories I have are priceless!

 

The dreamtrip was organized by Rovia, the travel agent that won best travel booking engine at the World Travel Awards, at wholesale price. To enjoy wholesale prices, you need to be a member of Worldventures which is the best travel club in the world! Worldventures bought over Rovia, a travel agent that has been in the corporate travel business for the past 20 over years, to pass on the wholesale discounts to travelers like you and me. Dreamtrips have unbeatable value for members, and the promise is, if you can find a cheaper deal for the same package, you will get to go for free. You can check out the award winning travel booking site here if you have not used Rovia before (click on shop for travel)

For more on Dreamtrips and Worldventures, please feel free to ask me any questions- add me to facebook so we can chat! Create memories and change lives!















 



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