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Headshot

We just returned from a four-day stay on Boracay. I was a bit disappointed. First of all, just about every road on the island is torn up. They are putting in a storm drain system and a sewer collection system. The other thing they are doing is they are widening the streets. That is a good news. The bad news is that they decided to work on all parts of the island all at once. They used heavy equipment to tear up all the streets, but they are taking their time actually taking out the old surface, doing their excavations and pouring new surface over the new sewer and drainage lines. The result is torn up road surfaces and mud (or dust) everywhere. It is a mess getting around. It rained about half of the time we were on Boracay, so there was plenty of mud. However, when it wasn't raining, the weather was great.

We stayed at the Microtel by Wyndham on Diniwid Beach (between Station 0 and Station 1). It is a good hotel with a good restaurant, a decent pool (shallow but clean) and a beautiful, clean, secluded beach. If you want to get away from the crowds and away from the noise, it is a great place. Unlike any place on Long Beach (the main tourist area), there are no vendors on the beach trying to sell you whatever they are carrying. Unfortunately, the hotel is at the end of the worst barangay road I have ever seen (which was so narrow in places that the hotel shuttle found it difficult to squeeze through). Because it is secluded, you need to take the hotel shuttle to get to any other restaurants, activities or shopping. This means long bumpy rides in the back of the shuttle. On the hotel shuttle, it is free, and it is air conditioned (a bit), but you have to reserve it in advance (sometimes hours in advance) or you can't ride. Overall, we enjoyed our stay at Microtel, but we didn't enjoy the long rides on torn-up roads.

We used Southwest Tours for our transfers between the airport and hotel. That saved a lot of hassles, but you pay for that. We got door-to-door transfers, which meant they picked us up at the airport, drove us to the ferry terminal, put us on their own fast ferry, ran us across the strait to Boracay, put us on one of their vans, and then drove us right to our hotel. Coming back was door-to-door from the hotel to the airport. It was very convenient and hassle-free. They basically shepherd you every step of the way.

I'll post some pictures later.

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Paddy
52 minutes ago, Headshot said:

They used heavy equipment to tear up all the streets, but they are taking their time actually taking out the old surface, doing their excavations and pouring new surface over the new sewer and drainage lines.

That’s how it’s done here in Masbate. Punch hundreds of holes into the old road surface, throw lots of dirt around - then go for an extended siesta...

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Headshot

I take it they have been working on the roads since the closure, but they still have a long way to go before they are finished. I think we will wait four or five years before we go back.

Here are the pictures I promised. Like I said, Diniwid Beach is quite beautiful. The first two pictures are looking from Diniwid Beach toward Long Beach.

2111884037_DiniwidBeach1.thumb.jpg.3993055082ca12c5e40b735aa3c16d93.jpg

9881026_DiniwidBeach2.thumb.jpg.ce4d6d92567d8f5e164ffd44afe74203.jpg

236158866_SunsetonDiniwidBeach.thumb.jpg.9bb1d7116e155e1ec152cd5f361e77de.jpg

601472279_PoolatMicrotel.thumb.jpg.28c7545212f56827f1726cdbf3fae307.jpg

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user333

I traveled from Manila to Caticlan and then to Boracay from Sept 17-20, 2019. I flew Cebu Pacific and landed at the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport. The arrival hall is on the east side of the runway. You will not go to the main departure hall on the west side of the runway. There is a pop-up warehouse arrival hall that is very small. I had wanted to walk the 600 meters to the Caticlan jetty port, but found out this was impossible because they drop you off on the east side of the airport. After walking across the street, there is a tricycle depot. 50p per person going to the Tabon port.

There are two jetty ports in Caticlan (Caticlan and Tabon) and two jetty ports on Boracay (Cagban and Tambisaan). Because of the wind during September, the jetty port furthest from the airport (Tabon) will be used to take you to Tambisaan port. I thought this was too high a price because it was a shared tricycle and so I walked down the road a bit and hailed a passing motorcycle. 25p per person to go to Tabon port. After arriving, everyone is herded into the Tabon terminal to fill out a form and pay the fees. The terminal fee is 100p per person but you can clearly see the terminal building is in shambles. I'm not sure where the fee is being used. It's a 2 story building, but the second floor has no walls and no windows (Picture 2). It looks like it survived WW2 and then a hurricane hit it. The first floor ceiling was falling off (Picture 1). 25p for the boat ride and 75p for the environmental fee.

You must have a hotel pre-booked before they will let you get on the boat to Boracay.

After the 10 minute boat ride, I was in Tambisaan port. From Tambisaan port to Station 2 D'Mall, the most that you should pay is ₱20 per head on the solar bus. There were a lot of Koreans and Chinese walking around. I saw a tricycle driver quote 400p to a Korean family of 3 to go from Station 2 to Station 3. Scammer. Another Indian family of 4 (without luggage) got out of a tricycle and handed the driver 1,000p and walked away. That driver must have quoted them a super high price.

It's just a few minutes walk from D'mall to the beach. It was very windy and the waves were strong. It rained the first 2 days. Even with the overcast weather, I still got a sunburn. I stayed at Lola's Lodge and paid about 1,300p per night for an AC room with a TV and hot shower. It was right next to a rooster farm. I could see a rooster 1 meter from my window.

Andok's has some inexpensive food. Bamboo Bar Buffet, near Station 3, serves a 6pm-9pm Filipino buffet with pineapple juice for 295p per person in a relaxed beachfront setting. Sunset View Restaurant and Hotel, near Station 3, serves a 3-5 pm snack buffet (soup, ham and cheese sliders, fried fish, pasta, meatballs, pancit, and macaroons) for 189p per person in a relaxed beachfront setting.

I walked from Station 2 to 3 one day and from Station 2 to 1 the next day (and around the Mary statue shrine to Diniwid Beach). Be prepared to be offered a massage, boat ride, parasailing, kite surfing, sail boating, hair braiding, island hopping, and henna tattoo every 20 steps on the beach's "sidewalk" path. Super annoying.

There is no eating or drinking on the beach, no smoking, no fire dancing, and no commercial sandcastles.

For the 3rd night, I stayed at Morning Beach Resort right on the beach for 1,300p. Very quiet and peaceful, but an old wooden place. The weather was great the last day and a half. Went for a swim in the waves and the water was super teal. (Picture 3 and 4)

Going back to Tambisaan port, I paid 20p on a public multi cab. The roads are under construction and they tear up one side and never fix it. This caused a lot of traffic. At the terminal, the officer said I owed 200p. I asked for the fare breakdown and it was 25p for the boat ride back to Caticlan, 30p for the terminal fee, and 155p for the tricycle ride from Tabon port to the airport. I declined the tricycle ride but it seemed shady that they just assume that you want it. After arriving back at Tabon, the tricycle area has a sign for 100p for 1-3 people. But when I talked to them, it sounded like they wanted 100p per person. I declined and went over to a little shop. The same motorcycle driver that dropped me off before was there and offered 100p to the airport. I negotiated down to 25p per head.

At the airport, you go through a security check and then 10 steps later, another security check. Seems dumb. The airport is small. They bus you from the main hall (west side) down the runway to the pop-up warehouse (east side). There is only 1 runway so you have to wait.

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RR3

Nice pics. If You like sand. Sand everywhere. Bed, clothes, food...between two bodies...

I ride banca to and from Boracay and walked the beach between stations. Never walked on any brg road... Its an island.

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user333

Here is the map and it shows the airport setup (the port change may only be for 1 or 2 months around September):

bora.png

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samatm

Thanks for the trip reports Headshot and U333!   Trusted trip information is a great reason to log in to LinC ,   Keep it up everyone.

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