When buying things (t-shirts, fake watches, model boats, shell trinkets) or contracting services (massage, henna tattoo, boat tours), DONT PAY FOR THE FIRST ONE THAT APPROACHES YOU. Go around first and see the current prices. It is acceptable to haggle for a better price. 99% of locals speak a foreign language.
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Boracay....Watch Your Money well!
First time I went to Boracay I was with a local...he knew the spots and it was great. Second time was with my wife...so both of us were foreigners. A kid on the boat showed us a hotel where the price was ok but lost about $400 out of the safety deposit box.
(Hint: do a thorough invetory of anything the the 'safety' deposit box with the manager and have him sign for what is in there!)
Also, took a boat tour....which was real fun. Stopped about halfway for a meal at a restaurant across the island...which was absolute crap because they brought food that we didn't order and then gave us a horrendous bill!
And, stuff missing out of our room....even the bloody trinkets we bought.
Only go with a local.
One more thing...but from a short stay in Manila. Gave an envelope with cash in it for pickup by a friend at one of the higher-end hotels. He got the envelope...minus 90% of the dough!
Take your time
Boracay is to be savored...not rushed through for just a quick dip in its crystal clear blues.
When you come, plan to spend lazy days and fun-filled nights.
If you breeze through your trip, be forewarned that you'll be dreaming of coming back for more...and more...and more...
- Water Sports
- Adventure Travel
I have been bothered in every tropical place I've been to by mosquitoes but this was my first encounter with sand flies.
These things are nasty. This is what happened. I had been taken out to a secluded beach by one of the local girls. The beach looked perfect and we enjoyed lazing around, walking on the sand and paddling in the sea. During the day I had no indication that I had been bitten by anything. However, that evening, or it may have been the following morning, I noticed lots (30 or 40) bites on my legs. These itched like crazy and turned into large, red swollen spots. My legs looked (and felt) terrible for weeks. The irritation from these bites is far, far worse than mosquito bites.
I was told afterwards that the flies lay their eggs in the sand. On busy beaches the sand is churned up and the eggs are killed by the sun. However, on secluded beaches they breed and that is when you get problems. The locals call them Nit Nits or Nik Niks or something. Apparently a good repellent is coconut oil. I wish I'd known all this before the event.
When getting off the ferry, young boys could approach and ask if you have a place to stay (they get referral fees from resorts). Though it would be nice to help them, it also limits your choice of accommodations.
Poor sewage system
Algaes are an indicator of water level of pollution. Algaes feed on nutrient derive from sewage that consists animal and human feces.
I am sure the fire destroying Talipapa has been discussed. But here is the result with a sign pointing the way to the new location.
Talipapa Fire (Boracay Flea Market Fire)
I guess this warning is a bit belated since it already happened....
We were at talipapa shopping just an hour before the fire started!
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