Beach Vendors: Catch of the Day!
It doesn't come much fresher than this! Why buy your seafood from the market when you can buy it from a local fisherman on the beach? Watch out for guys passing by carrying boxes and baskets. There's even a guy who sells delicious hot roasted chicken. You'll recognise him by his loud shouts of "Lechon Manok!"
If your resort doesn't offer a cooking service, ask around - many places will be happy to BBQ your meal for you.
What to buy: Many things are available - fish, prawns, squid, oysters, lobster...
What to pay: Prices vary depending on what you buy and how much it weighs. It's usually cheaper to buy seafood from a beach vendor than from a shop.
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Mobile vendors: Religious Carving
During our visit there were a lot of vendors strolling the white beach area carrying wooden carving images of the sto. niño, mama mary, and jesus. Got mine for Php150. Hehe, he tried to sell it to me for 250. Prices may vary depending on how intricate the carving is. Just try your best to haggle.
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Gamal is the cousin of my "suki" and favorite talipapa shop owner Johaima.
What to buy: He personally makes the boracay style lamps he sells. We bargained so much, i ended up buying about 2500 pesos worth of sarongs, pjs and nightdress (for my mum).
What to pay: Saraong at about 110-130, Kids pajamas about 100, nightdress about 200. Small lamps at about 20-25
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Lonely Planet: Hand-Painted Shirts
Want a hand-painted design on your shirt? Lonely Planet Shop does limited editions of shirts featuring tropical beach designs. Artists do their work within the shop to the delight of shoppers. Pick any of the finished works or choose your own design and the shirt should be ready for pick-up in an hour or two.
What to buy: The shop mainly sells hand-painted shirts but some screen-painted shirts are available as well.
What to pay: You pay for the better quality of the shirt and the artists' work. P350-P500 per.
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Souvenir Stalls: Handmade Crafts
Boracay is a great place to shop for locally made arts and crafts. There are many little shops and stalls along the beach selling a wide variety of wares, such as bags, carvings, jewellry and paintings. Shop in the Talipapa (market) to get the best prices - the shops in the mall tend to be more expensive. You can usually haggle the price too.
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D'Mall is practically a landmark in the island - being the only organized mall that is. Most of the major retailers and restaurants are here.
What to buy: Lonely Planet - for great souvenier shirts; PJ Arandor (sp?) - for crafts; various restaurants (international selection)
What to pay: for local souveniers, expect to pay 30-40% more than if you get similar items at Talipapa (Station 3)
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Talipapa - Stn 3: Johaima
Got super bargains from this lady - Johaima. She's selling various souveniers such as sarongs, tshirts, lamps, etc.
What to buy: sarong, lamps, pajamas, shirts (tacky souveniers hehehe)
What to pay: We got the small lamps at 20each, sarongs at around 120 (i think), pajamas at around 110, shirts at less than 100.
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side walk shop: Cute Trinkets
Lots of this small shop at the side walk where you can choose what you want and find cute trinkets. I cant barely stand on though all of the jewelry is pretty much cute. You'll find cute stuff for memento too and give it to your friends. As they sell cute and good one? i cant pick one to buy as when i get it? some trinkets will get my attention hahaha.. But i need to pick for my classmates. So so far i but bracelet and neckless for guy friend.
What to buy: lots of stuff to buy. just dun expect to buy a refrigerator at the side walk.. hahaha
What to pay: 500 pesos is enough to buy those jewelry.. i mean you can buy lots of it already.
Talipapa Souvenir Center: Accessories, souvenirs and more
Talipapa, in local language, means small flea market. In this case, small shops adjacent to each other sell shirts, caps, refrigerator magnets, and other local crafts printed with "Boracay". Since they sell similar items, each one tries to undo the others in terms of sales by offering low price and discounts.
What to buy: My sisters and I are collectors of shot glass and we made it a "habit" to buy one from every place we have been to. This time, I bought one with "paraw" design.
What to pay: I had the shot glass at P50 or about P20 less than the original price.
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D'Mall: Malling in Boracay
D'Mall is a cluster of boutiques, bars, restaurants, and specialty stores at the heart of the island. Contrary to its name and what it connotes, the shops are housed in Bali-inspired single-level buildings instead of a multi-level building. The shoppers are treated to a blue sky, soft breeze and fine white sand when moving from one shop to the other.
What to buy: I went to Heidiland, a deli shop managed by Santi's. It offers an international selection of cheese, cold cuts, snack food, chocolates, and fresh vegetables.
Being a cheese freak, I immediately walked to the cheese counter and bought mozarella. I also got 2 boxes of salted pretzels.
What to pay: The price is "very Manila". I'm sure I would have gotten the same price if I bought them in the city.
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Footloose vendors: Side street shopping
Along the sand street of Boracay are ambulant vendors selling trinkets and fashion accessories. These are made from beads, stones, shells and other local materials. Most of these vendors have small tables where they display their wares from around 8am to 10pm.
What to buy: The selection of fashion accessories is wide and the designs can rival the more expensive ones sold in Manila department stores. I bought 3 pairs of dangling earrings as gifts for my sisters (and myself).
What to pay: Each pair costs P30 but I was able to haggle and got it at P25.
The Original Talipapa: Bargain Prices for Boracay Souvenirs
The original talipapa was burned down a year ago , much publicized due to questionable source of fire. The new talipapa is just before Boat Station 3, its a tiny alley leading to the area with more than 50 stalls, selling Boracay T-Shirts, Boracay famous lamps, souvenir items, sarong etc.
The price of souvenir items is much much lower than on the stores found along D'Mall and on busy White Beach, you can bargain esp if you are buying several items.
Better go there early in the morning, when all the store keeper are looking for their "buena mano customer", they will definitely give you a good price, as a sign of good luck for them.
What to buy:
Ref magnets that is shaped as fish, octupus,dolphins or starfish (labelled with Boracay), all carved from wood are fast selling at 6 pcs for 100 pesos.
The biggest size of Boracay lamps, made of printed cloth is selling at 200 pesos. We are able to bargain up to 170 pesos per piece, if buying a set (2 pieces).
For the smallest lamp, original price is 25 pesos each, but you can bargain up to 3 pieces for 50 pesos.
What to pay: No limits. Just bring plenty of cash
Heidiland: Boracay Deli - Wide Array of Cheese
Heidiland, the name is taken from a Swiss town near the Alps. Yes, the owner is Swiss, its very much like the famed Santi's here in Manila, selling wide array of cheese , cold cuts, Angus beef's, and other European brand of delis.
The staff are all very knowledgeable of the items that they are selling and all very helpful.
The shop is not for all, but it is really a favorite haunt of the foreigners living in Boracay that miss the salamis and cheeses widely available in Europe.
What to buy: There are a wide choice of imported European cheese, that you can buy with minimum of 100grams.
Fresh vegetables are also available, good for salads.
If you want to prepare your own sandwich, for island hopping trip, buy some cold cuts, cheese, and those baguette's 2 the store. Very near that place is Ralph's Spirits for some wine, as a perfect complement.
What to pay: Credit card and cash are accepted.
Night shopping at De Mall: Boracay City at night
Boracay - at day time on many places still the " Beach Paradise" at night it becomes " Boracay City" - and night shopping is for many visitors a favorite past time. If you like night shopping too - " De Mall" is the place to go.
What to buy: One of my favorite shops is " Lonley Planet " - my wife loves the fashion from " Paulo Collection`s " and friends are searching for the right souvenirs at "Hill Views Marketing" - at De Mall you will find it all. From brand names like" The Body Shop" to local handicraft stores.
You can print your digital photos, buy imported " Swiss delicatessen at Heidi land", watch the world smallest waiters at " The Boracay Hobbit House" or buy Org. Italian homemade ice cream for your kids - and soon you will believe me: You might forget that you are on an small tropical island - welcome to night shopping at Boracay City.
What to pay: From cents to a fortune - it is really up to you. And window shopping is for free!
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Various: Gift Shops in D'Mall
There are a wide variety of little gift shops in the mall selling almost anything you can imagine, from the tacky (there's way too much cheap tie-dye clothing) to the unusual (beautiful silver jewelry and wooden carvings). Some shops have a fixed price system, whereas others will allow you to haggle. Shop around, as you'll come across the same items in several outlets.
Wiggles has a nice selection of gifts and souvenirs such as silver jewelry, picture frames, hand-made paper notebooks, bags and sarongs.
Another favourite of mine is Juan Lu, (towards the back of the Mall, near the wet market) which is one of the best craft shops on the island. Check out the wind-chimes, dream catchers, bamboo lamp-shades, rain-sticks and hand-made jewelry, amongst other unusual treasures.
The best place for silver and pewter jewelry is Crystal Shack, near Hey Jude bar. They have just about every kind of pendant you can imagine, as well as pretty bracelets, anklets and rings.
Next door, Colors has a lovely collection of sarongs, shell belts and accessories, and for more modern beach-wear, a visit to Ticket boutique is a must.
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