DON'T pick/buy the sand back to your home
Warning. Because too many people like the white sand, so started to pick a few bottle of sand back to home. Now, the PH government has rule, this is illegal to bring back the sand, and when they catch you, you are fine for US$50,000. You will find the local shop selling these kind of bottle, don't buy it, it is also illegal to buy it on the plane.
Be careful for those men offer water activity, some of them are deceitful, will offer you an activity then ask for money as a fee, will keep you waited while arranging the things needed, then will disappear, as in gone together with our money. this frequently happen when tourist dealt with those men just walking around the beach area offer some outdoor activity.
there will be porters that would just grab your luggage and assist you at once without asking if you need their help. thinking they're just being nice, you relent. but after dragging your luggage just a bit, they'll ask for money. and if you give them too little, they will ask for more.
you're better off carrying your own luggage. but if you really need help, fine. just don't give more than $1 if you're a foreigner and P20 if you're a filipino. if they ask for more, you can tell them to ($)% it!
Boracay is one big party place but be extra careful when you drink at night. It's ok to have fun but ensure that your personal belongings like wallet and cellular phones are secured. Better yet, don't bring them when you want to party with no worries and sorries!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
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.
constant vendor harrassment
As you walk the beach you will be overwhelmed at the amount of vendors offering boat rides, foods, trinkets, etc. They don't let up. In fact we were doing a pre wedding photo shoot and one guy walked right into the frame and wouldn't leave until I got firm with them.
Be polite but firm when you say non and they will go away most of the time.
be careful when you visit the caves. make sure that when you go there that the waves are not big. when we went there, one of our companions had many bruises because she was carried by the waves then hit the rough surfaces of the rocks.
- Adventure Travel
"Pop ups"= are those people trying to sell or force you to take islandtour,banana boat,parasailing, jet ski and many more.They don't make any harm but sometimes,it's really quiet annoying because there's so many of them trying to salestalk and some get aggressive,if you don't agree with them.I know,they're just doing their job but sometimes it will really get in your nerves when someone is following you almost all day .Please readers don't get me wrong!
OVERPRICING (water activities & souvenirs)
WATER ACTIVITIES OVERPRICED!
When we went to Boracay, we were approached by several locals offering different activities such as reef walking, snorkeling, island hopping, etc. Most of these guys were charging us way too high! The man we talked to said that the cost for fly fish per person is P600! Luckily, one of our friends has been to Boracay just last month and he said they were just asked for P350/head!
My suggestion is before you agree with the locals offering such activities, be sure to ask other locals too or other friends who have been to Boracay for the prices because those people will take advantage of you! DON'T BE FOOLED! Also, beware of these locals offering activities because they are very very aggressive especially to foreigners! Also, if you have already agreed with the local in charge of your activities, DO NOT GIVE YOUR MONEY RIGHT AWAY. Be sure to write down the activities and the prices agreed upon so that the locals you talked to won't ask for any hidden charges if you are already paying! Payments for these activities are given after you have finished already so better keep your money first and not pay right away.
Prices for activities in Boracay as of July 2009 are: Reef Walking = P500/head, Flyfish = P350/head.. as much as possible try to bargain with the locals especially if you are plenty in your group.
OVERPRICED SOUVENIR ITEMS AT PUCA BEACH
When we went to Puca Beach, I was so excited as I was planning to buy anklets made from Puca shells as one of my friends gave me one years ago and it was really nice. I was planning to buy some as "pasalubong" to my friends. When we got off the boat, locals rushed to us offering different necklaces, bracelets, anklets, made from shells. Most were really nice. The anklets were selling at 3 pcs for P100 but you could ask for a free if you purchased 6 pcs (P200). I bought a necklace for my mom for P100, a bracelet made from their so called "magic stones" for P150, and rosaries made from "mother pearl" shells for P150. I thought I was lucky because I got to purchase some "limited edition" items only available at Puca Beach. My disappointment came we went to D Mall and D Talipapa (Station 1-2) where I saw the same necklace just like what I purchased. When I asked the lady how much it cost, it is just P50!!!! I cannot believe that I was FOOLED by the locals at Puca Beach!!! BEWARE OF THESE LOCALS SELLING SOUVENIR ITEMS AT PUCA BEACH! I remembered they were also selling necklaces for P300-P600!!!! Whew! Good thing we weren't that stupid to buy those. And guess what, we saw the same necklaces at D Mall & D talipapa and these items were just selling at P35-P50 each!!!! Whew!!!!
My suggestion: DO NOT BUT ITEMS AT PUCA BEACH. Maybe the anklets were fair as I wasn't able to see some at the market but the necklaces made of shells/beads/"magic stones", CRAP DON'T BUT THEM IN PUCA BEACH!! You can have those items in the market for waaaay below the price.
Also, you will see locals selling Boracay sand inside bottles of different sizes. The smallest one, like the one they're selling as cellphone accessories, cost P50 each!! Don't but them!! Aside that it's prohibited to bring samples of sand, it is also overpriced!! It just costs P20 per piece in the market!!!
- Water Sports
- Budget Travel
Eat at your peril!
Along the beach front you will see many BBQ stands serving everything from chicken's feet to pig intestines. There's no guarantee of how fresh anything is, and if you order a hotdog or pork BBQ stick, make sure it is cooked properly or you could experience a dose of "Boracay Belly"!
well, for those who come from America or Europe, you may find the place with too much insects buzzing at night. Even for me, as an asian who lives in the tropical zone feels it a little bit annoying. Easy to solve, you can prepare insect repellants to spray on your clothings (some may be a bit allergic to it on the skin). Or an easy tip for you to use when you have nothing to spray, and that bite is itching so much----find a soap(hard ones), and wet it, put some of it on the biting. It will help with the itching.
- Mountain Climbing
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.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Listen, Listen, Listen!
I was so excited with our helmet dive/ reef walk that I listened only halfheartedly to the dive master thorughout the orientattion. When it was my turn to descend to the coral reef, I had ear aches and I forgot the proper way to equalize. Also, I forgot that I shouldn't move my legs, but just let go and let the dive master lead me down smoothly. Fortunately, my dive master-guide was sensitive to my needs and when he saw I still couldn't equalize, he put his hand through my helmet and he himself pinched my nose while instructing me how to breath. How embarassing! The water was cold, but I must have felt colder because everyone else was looking at me instead of the fishes! When I motioned the hand signal for OK everyone smiled, and we all proceeded with feeding the fishes.
Please don't be like me. No matter how excited you are, listen attentively to the orientation.briefing.
- Family Travel
- Diving and Snorkeling
Boracay is very close to the equator and the sun burns not only quickly, but can be very hot during the early afternoon hours. You'll notice the beach is busy from just before sunrise (about 5:45 a.m. but after 10 it's pretty vacant. Then around 4 pm it gets busy again.
The sun rises and sets at the same time all year round. Usually rises 5:45 - 6 a.m. and sets around 6 pm
Tricycle cost normal just less than P30 fare. Of course, you need to ask the price for the ride. A short ride should be P7 and it usually doubles at night. Fares for longer rides should be displayed on a chart inside the trike.
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