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Boracay

12 Feb

Boracay

An exotic word, linked to an exotic place.  Only accessible by boat.  A place where shoes are optional and blue sky days stretch into starry nights accompanied by acoustic guitar music.  The neighbors in the next room are Russians, Singaporeans, Americans, Europeans, Filipino, Chinese, Australians… all laying beneath wicker fans and listening to the rain beat down at night on the tin roof. A place where the white sand beach continues, uninterrupted.  Mango shakes, fresh coconut, mussels, lobsters and cuisine from around the world.  

I enjoy beach vacations.  Over the last three years I have gone to Honolulu, Hawaii, the Chinese island of Sanya, the beaches of Sabah in the Malaysian part of Borneo and Phuket, Thailand.  They all have been beautiful.  Hands down, Boracay wins. 

When I spoke to colleagues and friends about my planned Chinese New Year get-away, I got mixed comments – “I went in the early 90s, it was perfect then, unspoiled… now I’ve heard it may not be the same.”  “I went around 2000, it was great – but I’ve heard too touristy now.”  “I went last year, it was wonderful.”  Places may or may not have been better in the past, we only have our own sliver of experience to judge.  From the tourist advertisements in the airport, Boracay has been rated the second best island experience in the world by international travelers after Santorini, Greece and I can see why, though unfortunately that now makes me want to go to Greece!

Looks pretty idyllic to me!

Back now and thoroughly ensconced in Shanghai’s winter, I can see that it is a combination of the Filipino hospitality, the beautiful scenery and the difficulty in getting there (I wasn’t kidding that it is only accessible by boat) that have maintained this place as a jewel in the South China Sea.  The Chinese name 长滩岛 literally translates into long beach island which is a literal description of the locale.  The next few posts will touch on some of the beauty of the island and our short stay there.  Please enjoy and share any other places that you believe would make me reconsider Boracay at the top of my list!

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