Helmet Diving in Boracay – 海底漫步

21 Feb

“Parasailing? Heidi man boo? Windsurfing?  Sunset sailing? Island hopping? Do you have plans for tomorrow?”

On the beach side path and on the beach were endless hawkers, each trying to drum up business for their particular enterprise – each guy (they were all men) soliciting your favor with the hope that you would spend a morning or afternoon having fun with their company.  I wasn’t in the mood to deal with them – you have to bargain and compare and so I told Li that was his job.

As I alluded to in my posts about Chinese New Year, I was going to Boracay slightly down for the count, as previously I had a very bad cough/cold and had pulled a muscle in my side from coughing, straining my ribs.  The warm weather was exactly what I needed, but windsurfing and parasailing (which I had done in Malaysia) were pretty much off the table this trip.  Li tends to get seasick as well, so I didn’t think that he would choose a sailboat ride, which left us with “Heidi man boo”  My initial thought was – “Who is Heidi and is she wearing a costume to scare someone?”

海底漫步 is actually helmet diving – you wear a helmet which has air piped in and then you can walk along the ocean floor feeding the fish and getting an idea of life underwater.  Your head doesn’t get wet at all and it doesn’t require that you know how to swim.  It is extremely popular with Chinese tourists (who often don’t swim) and “Heidi man boo” is the Filipino pronunciation of the Chinese words for helmet diving.

I think the pictures are the best possible description.  We were in about 12-15 feet of water, so not too deep, but enough to see the coral and fish.  Short of learning how to scuba dive, it was pretty cool and definitely a view of the ocean that I had never seen before – plus, my helmet matched my bathing suit!

Acclimating to life "under the sea"

It was a well oiled machine, the company that took us there – the entire thing, from finding the “fixer” to landing back on the beach after the dive took, at most, 90 minutes and the next day a CD of pictures and video was delivered to our hotel.  A very positive experience.

Am I the damsel in distress?

Feeding the fish

What’s been your strangest vacation activity?

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3 Responses to “Helmet Diving in Boracay – 海底漫步”

  1. valerie February 22, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    OMG — that looks awesome! I will have to look for that in Hawaii this summer 🙂 Probably the strangest for me was parasailing — I’m normally too cautious for something like that but I did do it once. Normally, I like to be safe and on the ground and not doing something too daring like defying gravity.

    • gkm2011 February 25, 2012 at 9:00 am #

      It was really a fun experience – completely unlike swimming or snorkeling. I would highly recommend it. About Hawaii – I have also heard that the helicopter rides there are awesome, though haven’t taken one personally.

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  1. The third quarter review « 中国 Jumble - April 17, 2012

    […] far the most popular post of the last quarter was my entry on Helmet Diving in Boracay, which showed photos of our helmet dive from our trip to the Philippines over Chinese New Year.  […]

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