It is truly a pleasure to be staying in Southeast Asia. We are situated near the best beaches around the world. Forget Tahiti or Maldives, I’ve set a mission for myself to check out all the beautiful beaches right at our doorstep.
One of the places that I’ve never stepped foot on is Philippines. Being a fan of the outdoors, the beach is the ultimate vacation for me to unwind as I let my mind run wild and free.
“Oh you’re here alone? Wow.” That’s the most frequent comment I’ve heard since day one. But why not?
Boracay is the place to visit, especially if you have a long weekend to spare and just looking for some fun with the least budget. The island is so understated, and the locals so hospitable and kind.
And who said Boracay is only suitable for couples? Here’s why you can and should sea-riously consider giving it a go:
1. You are never truly alone
Or rather, lonely. That word is not in the dictionary. If you’re staying in a hostel like me, you’ll make lots of friends in the lounge or common areas.
The first night I arrived at W Hostel, the Korean bosses asked if I wanted fried chicken and korean stew. Thereafter, a group of Koreans and other foreigners joined in. This girl I met for merely 30 minutes does calligraphy in Korea and she told me to choose something from her collection and proceeded to draw for me on the spot! We were actually having so much difficulties conversing but kindness and travel knows no boundaries.
Everyone talks to everyone in the hostel, so don’t be shy, just say hi and make small talk with that charming guy you’ve been eyeing.
2. Locals will ensure you are well taken care of
Every morning, the staff at Jeepney hostel will greet me with a warm smile and ask what I would like for breakfast that day. Sometimes, I visit the bar alone and they will always check in on me to see how I’m doing. They make conversations with me and even introduced me to other guests in the hostel.
Bored and not knowing what to do? Jeepney has everything planned out. They will invite you to join them in their local karaoke bar, or bring you to get some Lugaw(rice porridge) after partying it out at Insomnia or Exit bar. A heartwarming dish after all that madness.
Otherwise, you can always sign up for that Booze cruise, or mountain biking to get some adrenaline pumping. Sometimes, they even invite a tribal Reggae band to spice up the atmosphere and give our ears a treat.
3. Boracay is safe.
On my first night, I was worried about safety as a solo lady traveller. I was hungry and wanted food while exploring the area but I didn’t. It was pelting heavily the night I arrived due to typhoon season and there were ponding everywhere. The most obvious choice was to get some food from the bar.
There, I knew one of the staff and told him about my concerns. He assured me that the island is small and there’s nothing to be worried about. “People here are kind and nice, so don’t worry about it.” But of course, don’t get yourself intoxicated and walk on the streets. That will definitely put us in a vulnerable position.
There was one night at around 1230am that I was walking along the streets. It was pitch dark and in some areas, you cannot see anything so I had to rely on my trusty iPhone torchlight. I felt safe, and there was never one point of time my safety was threatened.
4. It is very affordable.
While the Singapore economy is not doing well at the moment, our currency is still pretty strong. I expected the standard of living to be similar to Phuket but I was so wrong.
If you just want some drinks, get a Rum & Coke. It costs only 50 peso(SGD 1.30 or 1 USD) each and this is about standard rate across the island. Otherwise, you can always get local beers or visit that alcohol store to get that fix.
And if you’re scrimping on food, go for hostel parties! I stayed in W Hostel for four nights. Of which, there were hostel parties for two nights and we were treated to fried chicken, spaghetti and free flow beer! And the cost? A tripadvisor review – that simple.
And if you’re on Puka beach, all that you need to do is to get a drink from any of the vendors and you get to enjoy the beach chairs for the entire day. While a Mango shake may be exorbitantly priced, some vendors offer free usage of floats and stand up paddle boards!
Before I made my way to Boracay, I was worried as it was my first time in Philippines afterall. However, it changed my view entirely and I’m definitely looking forward to head back to explore Boracay and other islands in Philippines next.
Don’t hold back simply because you’re a solo traveller; now is the time to travel.
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