Having grown up in cold, wintry Connecticut, I am obsessed with the perfect beach. You know the kind – shockingly blue ocean, whiter-than-white sand, and no-one around for miles. This kind of perfection was a bit out of reach during our five years in Munich, but now that we’re living here in Southeast Asia, I’ve been able to make some real progress on my quest. Last week in Boracay was another perfect example.
Aside from the overwhelming hassle that it is to get to Boracay (start with a 1:20am flight from KL to Manila, add a five minute bus ride to get from the international to the domestic airport, tack on some horrendous lines at the domestic airport coupled with the annoyingly strict “no liquids” regulation in carry on items, topped off by a seemingly endless wait for our 45-minute flight to depart, followed by a 1 minute tuk-tuk ride to the jetty, and finally, after at least 10 hours of traveling, end with a 15 minute speedboat ride directly to the resort – and then of course, do it all again on the way back, except this time add a 20 minute, mind-numbing, life-threatening, tuk-tuk ride from one end of Boracay to the other to get to the jetty) we had a fantastic time.
Once we finally made it to our little corner of Boracay – Diniwin Beach – it fulfilled almost all of my requirements:
- relatively quiet (a selection of guests is acceptable, but no crowds, please)
- a private stretch of perfectly soft sand – preferably in a curving, cove shape surrounded by bright green jungle
- absolutely crystal clear, clean water so that you can see the sea floor no matter how deep you go
- waving palm trees to provide much needed shade
- easy access to snorkeling
- a variety of tasty restaurants for after the sun goes down
We stayed at a cute, Swiss-owned boutique hotel called Artista. We had the absolute best room in the house (as well we should considering how much we ended up paying) with a practically panoramic view of the ocean. I absolutely loved that they served breakfast all day, so we could get up whenever we wanted and have a full American (eggs, bacon, toast, tea, juice) or Swiss (delicious muesli with fresh fruit, toast, teach, just) breakfast whenever we wanted. Since we’re usually pretty late risers, this allowed us to settle for just 2 meals a day (which, for those of you that know me, is quite an accomplishment – as Alex will attest, I can get just a little bit cranky when I’m hungry).
As usual, Alex ended up completely and totally lobster red after our first day at the beach. I’m still not entirely sure where the problem lies with Alex and his sunburns – is it his sunblock, his application of the sunblock, his refusal to re-apply after swimming, his ability to sit in the sun all day? Who knows. All I can tell you is that his stripe is now evened out to an all over kind of roasted look. Needless to say, he spent the rest of the vacation in a T-shirt under the palm trees.
One of the things we liked best about Boracay was the variety of delicious, and reasonably priced (compared to Malaysia) restaurants on the white beach. All of the restaurants are literally on the beach – you can eat your meal with your toes in the sand and the waves crash only a few feet away, all while watching the amazing Boracay sunset. Does that sound like paradise or what?
In addition to the tasty restaurants (with a wide selection of ice-creams and deserts available as well – always a priority, right?) there plenty of clubs and bars that are open all night – not really our scene, but good to know they’re there.
Plus, all along the white sand beach, there are people building huge sand castles. I had seen pictures before we left, but they are gigantic! Definitely taller than both me and Alex – and they put candles on them at night. So beautiful!
We definitely felt like we had the best of both worlds in Boracay – amazing beach and great dining and night-life. Now if only I didn’t have to go through an entire day of transportation hell to get back there again…