Boracay – The Worst Tourist Trap in the Philippines


One of the most visited destinations in the Philippines, Boracay is famous for its beautiful beaches and great parties. The beaches are often compared to paradise lost because of their white sand that’s incredibly soft and nice. Well, at least this is what you can read in a tourist guide of the Philippines. I was quite hesitant to go there as I’m not much for partying, but I enjoy the beach a lot and I felt like Boracay would be quite a social place to be.

Unfortunately, Boracay turned out to be no more than a tourist trap and probably one of the worst places I’ve ever been to in South-East Asia. You may hate me for saying this and trust me, I was incredibly disappointed when I left the island, so before you crucify me, read my thoughts to understand why I hated Boracay.

Again, I might be totally subjective, so read the comments (both supporting and disregarding my opinion) under this article to make up your own mind. But remember how do you feel about 2.1 million tourists – that’s more than 40,000 on an average week, all cramped on a tiny island?

(UPDATE 2019) After 3 years it seems like someone finally agreed with my opinion and decided to close the island to tourists for 6 months. Boracay now has to contend with environ­mental degradation, traffic congestion, insufficient solid waste management, illegal construction, property disputes, illegal fishing. Not to mention that the most popular search term is ‘Boracay cheap prostitutes’ and ‘cheap sex in Boracay’. Multiple people reported food poisoning (myself included), so something clearly isn’t right…

Disclaimer: If you’re curious which other beach islands I can compare Boracay to here they are: Fiji, Cook Islands, Sri Lanka, Bali, Galapagos, Maldives, Crete – Greece, San Andres – Colombia, Zanzibar and many others.

Boracay
Boracay sand spots every 15m. Price: 50 pesos for a photo.

The nightmare of getting to Boracay island in my experience

Boracay is a tiny island, so when I arrived at Kalibo Airport, which is located further away than Caticlan Airport. I was aware of the fact that I had to take a bus for 2 hours and then take a ferry to the island. Following the advice of a friend, I ended up taking a Southwest service that organized everything. So far so good, right? Wrong.

To start with, I was on a bus with a group of teenage Filipinos that decided not to respect anyone else by playing their music incredibly loudly while screaming to it and throwing chips on others. When we finally reached the port, some local guys tried to carry my suitcases. When I politely declined, they still asked for money and wouldn’t leave me alone unless I gave them something. I have nothing against tipping, but yelling “Give me a tip now!” isn’t going to make anyone give them more money, actually quite the opposite.

Why you can avoid this by going to Caticlan Airport, there’s also a ferry terminal…

The ferry terminal is like an airport where they x-ray your luggage and make you wait patiently to board your boat. Scratch ‘patiently’. I was trying to be polite while waiting for my luggage to be scanned when I was hit and pushed a couple of times by locals who absolutely didn’t care that I was standing there.

When we finally got to the island, nobody cared that Southwest left us all, around 40 people, in the pouring rain while they screamed out hotel numbers for at least 15 minutes before putting us in minibusses where we felt like sardines in a can. Suffice to say, it wasn’t a pleasant experience.10881537_10205324559135921_3414151674181460885_n


Crowds, crowds and more crowds…

Before heading to Boracay, I read on a blog that one of the best things about Boracay was the crowd and meeting other tourists. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I was surrounded by so many ignorant people. I might have been totally unlucky and it’d be different if I just stayed on a resort, but I think that if you’re staying only at the resort you won’t have a full experience anywhere.

The majority of people who come to Boracay are either Korean tourists who keep to themselves, or the worst types of backpackers who go there with one mission – to tick the Philippines off of their list, get wasted, and have sex with whoever comes along. Imagine a full moon party at Koh Phangan in Thailand, but every day!

I think most of these people had no interest or knowledge about Filipino culture and were only there to party. My hostel was full of random strangers sleeping over every night and the beach was full of drunken people from early morning onwards. I enjoy parties and drinking, but parties in Boracay were just too much for me. There was nowhere to escape from them.

Some people didn't believe that the beach was crowded - one of my readers sent me this what I couldn't capture myself :)
Some people didn’t believe that the beach was crowded – one of my readers sent me this what I couldn’t capture myself 🙂
Sunset is a photo time!
Sunset is a photo time!

Lack of Filipino culture in Boracay

I guess it’s not surprising then that Filipino people quickly figured out what kind of people come to Boracay and ‘adjusted’ the place to the crowd. There was nothing Filipino in Boracay, everything was designed for tourists in the cheesiest and most horrible way possible.

One of the biggest attractions was an expensive restaurant called Hobbit Place that hired only dwarfs (and call them midgets on their website) as waiters to take photos with while you eat your overpriced burger.

White Beach
White Beach

Later, I realized that the local Boracay Filipinos don’t really give a damn about visitors at all. I had a mermaid swimming class scheduled, as I thought it would be a fun activity to try and something interesting to write about on my blog. Less than 10 minutes before I was supposed to show up for the class, I received an email stating that the class is canceled and can be rescheduled for next day. When I replied to ask what time the class is, I received two emails – one stating that it’s at

Less than 10 minutes before I was supposed to show up for the class, I received an email stating that the class is canceled and can be rescheduled for next day. When I replied to ask what time the class is, I received two emails – one stating that it’s at 10 am and another at 3 pm. When I showed up the next day at 3 pm there was nobody there.

Extremely popular spot in Boracay. As you can see it's very Filipino.
An extremely popular spot in Boracay. As you can see “it’s very Filipino”.

Annoying local vendors everywhere in Boracay

I knew Boracay was a place to party, but I thought that I could just enjoy the stunning beach during the day without having to interact with anyone. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The moment you step out of the hotel in Boracay, you’re practically under attack.

Annoying vendors are everywhere: the streets, the shops, and sadly, even the beach. A well-traveled reader might ask “what’s the big deal” as there are vendors everywhere in South-East Asia, but in Boracay, they aren’t just screaming at you ‘Madame, massage?!’ when you’re passing by.

While I was lying on the beach every 5 minutes I had a different guy standing on top of my head trying to sell me some crappy souvenirs or boat rides. The nice Filipinos I had read about before heading that way were nowhere to be found. and instead, the place was full of people who didn’t respect the fact that I wanted to enjoy the beach in peace.

Cool photo? This is what you can see when someone removed people from the background (beach is never that empty in Boracay!)

Cool photo? This is what you can see when someone removed people from the background ( the in my opinion beach is never that empty in Boracay!)

This is how crowded is the beach in reality.


Seeing this beautiful beach being destroyed…

The worst thing about Boracay was actually the beach. Not only because I was being bothered by annoying vendors, but because the beautiful island of Boracay is constantly being destroyed by consumerism. The white beach in Boracay is really a nice one, comparable to those in Fiji or any other Pacific island, but how can you even enjoy its beauty when you’re surrounded by Starbucks, Pizza Hut, and other random restaurants right on the beach.

There’s no way to escape them, especially when every visitor is there just to get drunk, shop, and maybe overpay for some kitesurfing.

Beach in the morning - full of crap from the drunken night.
Beach in the morning.

Before you consider visiting Boracay think twice if this is really what you want to remember from the Philippines. I’d recommend going to another Filipino island instead, such as Bohol or Palawan.

Recommended places to stay if you choose to go to Bohol:

Resort: Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa
Beach villa: Villa Formosa Bohol
Boutique hotel: Ocean Suites Bohol Boutique Hotel
Affordable hostel: Tr3ats Guesthouse

Disclaimer: I visited other places in the Philippines and they were nothing like Boracay. I really enjoyed some other places and would love to explore more of the wonderful country of the Philippines. Before you place a comment remember that I don’t discourage people from going to the Philippines, I just don’t recommend Boracay unless you like places like this (and I know some people do). Safe travels!

1,238 thoughts on “Boracay – The Worst Tourist Trap in the Philippines”

  1. I think tourists and annoying beach vendors are all over in the Philippines (unless you’re at an obscure sparsely inhabited island). I was in Bohol and there were lots of Korean tourists and annoying touts. I started walking around with my headphones on just so they would leave me alone! I guess I’m glad I went to Bohol instead of Boracay though because it was peaceful for the most part and the beach was beautiful.

      • I’m a Filipino and I agree to everything stated above (although I did not have a sickening transfer ride experience from Kalibo, so maybe you were just having a bad day. However, it’s still a sad experience.). I am saddened how you almost couldn’t recognized or smell or feel the Filipino vibe in Boracay. That’s why I never recommended it whenever people ask me about it. Sure, the water is prestine and the sand (at Station 1) is amazing but that’s it.

        I went to Cebu and Bohol last year and Bohol is still on top of my favorite islands in my country! I would love to go back there as I was not able to try Panglao Beach, only Virgin Island.

        Have you tried Anawangin and Potipot in Zambales?

          • Boracay has long lost its luster. It is overrated. Sad that you had to go thru all that. But should you decide to come back, try visiting the least popular places. They have a lot to offer sans consumerism. Cheers!

          • Hmmm….. next time your going to the Philippines I recommend my birthplace, Albay, Philippines… 😀

          • Try going to Boracay during off seasons. The months of September-October are the best. Not many people going there during those months.

          • I’m a Filipino and and I’m extremely sad and upset about this post because I couldn’t say anything wrong at all. Sad truth. I’ve been there multiple times because I the people I’m with could cover enough for the ugliness of the place. Boracay was waaaay better 10 years ago. Overly-commercialized. If I have the funds I would totally and literally renovate the airport, pains my eyes when I see foreign people not experiencing any hospitality at all. That’s why whenever I’m there I make sure to engage with at least few visitors, I wish I could accommodate all! But really, there’s more to see in the Philippines. Coron, Palawan.. You’all fall in love with it. 🙂 i look forward to experiencing the improvement we all hope for. (Calling the government) thank you though for being honest at the same time still, respectful. God bless you!

          • Try Siargao, Philippines =)

            I had the same experience at boracay. Im sorry you were not able to enjoy your stay there.
            🙁

          • It’s either you’re very touchy or you don’t realize the situation in the Philippines. The Philippines is a tropical country that- a fact all tourist must know- poor, and ungoverned properly. Albeit all the flaws Boracay or Philippines has, we remained upbeat. You lack distinction to what’s wrong and right. First, you bashed the citizens there for greeting customers and selling out on the dunes. They do it because if they don’t, what will they feed themselves with? Second, you sound as if you don’t feel the humid air in airports and it is only normal for the people there to shout. Have you ever been to China? The two countries almost share the same etiquette; even though they shout brashly for example, “Buy water!” or “You have so many children they can’t fit in the taxi!” they do not mean it in hostility- the Chinese and Philippine are naturally chatty and glow with glee. And teenagers in PH are half worse than those in America because they have good bits such as: they don’t commit premarital consummation, don’t act all depressed and they don’t say vulgar words on the street or catcall. But because of certain American-like tendencies, they copy AM teens they see in shows or movies- ill-mannered and stubborn. And why are you so bothered to get hit? PH is too small to make a grand walk way for you or even enlarge their ports just so you can’t get nudged and most of all, you act like a prissy at the part where you were so ‘flimsy’ when people bumped you. It’s expected already that they’d bump you because it’s the most known beach in PH and January and December are months when alot of peeps go to Boracay. You pinpoint the smallest things that are in any ways a normal thing to happen in a small island. The PH Boracay only shows nativity in certain events there like the tribal group every evening or at certain months. You speak like you’re not arrogant or ignorant too when you wrote about the crowds like ‘oh gosh this place is so damn crowded!’. It’s crowded because it a prime spot in December, January, February and Summer March. And goodness, if you hate being hit so much you should’ve wrapped yourself with the Fragile sticker in Airports.

          • I went to borocay years ago before it became a popular tourist destination. Back then generally it was a quiet of the beaten track type of place, but even then I was shocked at the state of the beaches in the morning before the cleaners came to remove the mounds of washed up rubbish that met us every day. The coral around the island was destroyed by dynamite fishing which was so sad, so much for snorkeling – the island was, even at that time, facing major environment issues that I am sure have never been addressed. Most of the once charming Asian destinations have been trashed – and it’s very sad to see. I rarely go to Asia anymore, especially understanding what a fabulous trove of treasures it once held.

          • I guess you will enjoy Bora during off-peak season where local tourist are less. Maybe next time try Samal island in Davao City or Palawan where people are not that crowded. And If you really like a place free from all electronic gadgets and no starbucks and pizza huts go to Pandan Island. 😀

          • Try calaguas island in camarines sur philippines. When it comes to sand and water calaguas is exquisite.its a virgin island. Trust me its beautiful.like you..

          • Boracay is the best beach I have seen around the world. I agree with you on some points( annoying vendors, and dirty beach during summer time) . I still like to go there during off season. The Philippines has many beautiful beaches like the ones in Palawan, Bohol, Cebu and even in Luzon(Punta Fuego) but it”s private. It”s my policy to go to places where I know somebody for familiarity and safety. If you come back to the Philippines, kindly let me know so I can guide you.

          • Anna, don’t go back there. They have enough garbage & bitches in their beaches. Take your whining scheming ass elsewhere.

        • Not to mention the 70 year old white men drooling over they’re 18 year old filipina bride! Gross

          • NICOLE AND ALEXIS by the sound of you rant you live or lived in the Philippines? Having a big mouth of how good you rich Country is WHERE is all the TOILET paper in public WASHROOMS. Even the top MALL’S don’t have toilet paper. As for Americans they have toilet paper in all restrooms. Can’t believe having to carry toilet paper when going out shopping. And also I had a confrontation with one of your own in a washroom. I asked if there was any toilet paper and his reply was ‘DO YOU THINK THIS IS A HOTEL’ He’s VERY LUCKY I didn’t slap the crap out of him. The nerve of this idiot. By the way does your Country now it’s the year 2016. No toilet paper means locals have no cleanliness. That’s why there’s so many Tourists getting sick. And for Pork being sold at the wet Market hanging in the sun for hours with flies have there way with it. Your a SAD individual who thinks your Country can Compete with the U.S.A. GROW UP.

          • @U.S.A
            I really agree with you, these people who dream to compete with us are ridiculous.

          • I am in my mid 40s and I have no problem with 70 y.o. guys dating 18 y.o. The reason I say this is because it happens in the USA or pretty much everywhere in the world. And women are partially responsible for this because they know the benefits that come with that. The rich divorce many times and their wives take millions to billions of their money. As far as toilet paper, they use it for paper towels. That experience began on the plane to Manila. Just stand up, walk over to the sink, and pull some toilet paper out. And as far as pigs, it appears you have never seen how pigs are treated in the USA. And I’m not talking about those that have them as family pets.

        • Roi, I’ve stayed in the Philippines for over 4 months in a row and visited many islands including Boracay, Palawan, Panay Island, Camotes Islands, Bohol, Siargao, Carabao (I’m sure I’m forgetting some of them!), and I agree with you, I find Palawan way better than Boracay, even if i’m actually quite worried for the future. I could already see signs of mass tourism in there too, and it’s such a pity. But El Nido and Coron still remain some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Boracay is not bad for itself. The problem with the Island is rather the opposite: being a true paradise, it’s been literally attacked by tourists. Same as Maya beach in Thailand. Again, one of the most incredible sceneries of my life, ruined by tourists. This is something that will always happen with fantastic places, unless the government decides to stop it, but let’s face it: they don’t really care about a beautiful place being spoiled. They want the money. I was actually glad to visit the nearby Island of Carabao and find it almost completely deserted. Lights off at 11 pm, virtually no internet, just nature and the real Filipino people! I wouldn’t recommend it though (I don’t want it to be ruined!) 🙂

          • I agree with you Clelia, just keep it to yourself.. I’m just glad that bloggers (especially the foreign ones) hasn’t discovered yet much of Mindanao aside from Siargao because of the current peace situation there..
            It gives us local travelers a sort of relief knowing that we can go back anytime to those places and not worry about them being spoiled by tourist for a long time..
            Mindanao is not a place for foreigners to gamble their own safety just to see and enjoy an incredible and beautiful scenery.. 🙂

          • It sounds like she is stuck up and complains about everything she does. I’ve been there 4 times, I know the sunglasses man is annoying but just walk past him, dont say anything and he will not bother you! I really hate it when people bag other places out. If its not your cup of tea then fine, don’t tell everyone it wont be their cup of tea too!

          • I agree. Though I have never been to Boracay nor have I ever felt the need to go and now Im glad i never did. I went to Palawan though and loved it. Will definitely visit the other Palawan islands in future trips

          • Spot on, Clelia.. that’s over 7000 islands out there, nobody knows anything really. The best island life is best kept secret :))

          • El Nido is nothing special. Its so much like boracay now, with crappier buildings though. They offee the same toirs everywhere, people asking you on the street t come do tour A or tour B, the beautiful archipelago is crowded wth these tour boats.
            Mthe way the tours are run, but that is not True. Foreigners want to enjoy the bacuit archipelago, but with the zero-variatin ,Mass tour product, its hard to do that as they cram each lagoon full of boats of which the domestic tourists are the WORST, they have no respect for the serenity of the environment the way they yell and scream and they throw trash in the water.

            Bohol is also becoming a oroduct destination. They sling the same packaged tours/activities at every tourist, and they are very low quality..
            Hiring a scooter and driving yourslef around the island is quite fun and a much better use of your time than going on the ‘trike tours’ the offer out of loboc, to see choc hills and a variety of waste-of-time “sights”.

            Sadly, the potential beauty of thenphilippines and its people are being lost amongst the shit or being mismanaged and not understanding its own identity in the world of tourism. It is trying to compete (and failing) with American destinations in terms of activities (AND pricing).
            Unfortunately things are ften over priced for what they are and speaking to many tourists actually pretty underwhelming at times.

            If Philippines wants to continue on this path it needs to decelop some serious infrastructure to actually deliver what its attempting to and be able to charge the money they want and get the toursits they want. OR they need to go backwards, to their roots and deliver the most rustic, independent experience.

            At the moment it’s a hodge podge of things that dnt quite fit together or deliver the experience that the tourists they anticipate actually want.

      • Another Filipino here. Boracay is overrated. But the Philippines has many more beaches (Dahican, Palawan, Baler, etc..) that are just on the verge of being discovered or are still hidden gems. 😀 Once it gains popularity, then it loses its beauty (which is sad) since Filipinos will turn it into a profit-making venture without care for nature. Come back to the Philippines but avoid tourist traps like Boracay. 😀

      • With your comments and observations, it seems that you came to the wrong place at the wrong time because Boracay (if you really researched about this) is for those who want to party and have a good time, be with friends, and enjoy fun activities (not to mention be seriously drunk). If you’re looking for a scenic place then Palawan is for you, if you want to surf then go to siargao or La Union, if you want to experience real Filipino culture then go to places like Manila or Cebu. As to your concern about the beach, as sad as it may seem, it can’t be corrected now for it’s too damaged already. You can only leave that to the government and to tell you honestly, them saving the beach is close to 0.01% of happening. Next time you go to the Philippines it would be best to have a local Filipino friend take you around since they know more about the place and they know how other locals act, thus, making your stay safer and a lot more worth it. I’m not attesting to your comments above because most of it are true but the thing is that you expected the wrong outcome with your stay in Boracay. Next time, have a more open mind about the place AND the country.

        • I absolutely disagree with you. I went to Boracay in the 90’s and it was a quiet, subdued and beautiful place. Nobody went there to party because it wasn’t easy going there. And a majority of the people who lived there were the foreigners who married local women and ran small inns and eateries. The only reason Boracay turned into the shithole it is now is because the local government realized it was becoming a money-generating place and wantonly allowed businessmen to setup businesses there in exchange for a lot of money.

          • Mike
            She did not go in the 90s to young you goose , I went there a few years ago and never again the place is just a toilet

          • In 1970, National Geographic shot video on Boracay when it was untouched. Immediately thereafter, developers from all around the world began turning it into a vacation resort. From that day on, Boracay was destined to rise. In the 1990s, Boracay still had some of its untouched charm and was relatively unknown to many expats. Today, if you want solitude, you have to pick the right time of year. If you like to party, the summer is prime time. If you want solitude, anytime between July 1 and December 1. If you want additional solitude, then go to one of the other beaches on the island other than White Beach. A 1990 comparison is rather ludicrous. What century were you born in?

        • I agree to this. I also agree to Anna’s exprerience, it’s just that, Boracay isn’t the right place.

      • Well dear you have to remember that boracay is a very commercialized place. Actually I think you’re at fault here if you really wanted a serene place and wanted to enjoy the scenery you could’ve stayed at shang,lacarmela,or at puka beach not to mention they also provide private transportation like shang so yo won’t complain about the port. You know you’re in control of your trip and the quality of it so next time make sure your budget won’t constrict you and that would make you go through all what you had to go through No hate just saying enjoy dear.

        • She’s a blogger and she writes to let her readers know what’s the “normal” way to go to the place. She won’t have anything to write about if she chose private transpo and stuff. The way she travelled to Boracay is how normal travellers, bloggers should do it. Very informative actually. I’m a filipino and getting to Bora was a total crap, decided not to write anything about it when I got home. Full of crazy – bad experience.

          • The first line of this could have easily read “I stupidly picked to fly to an airport nowhere near where I wanted to go” then followed by “I wanted a quiet beach to visit so I stupidly picked an Island known for partying”…I have been to Boracay, it was exactly what I expected, bars and restaurants on the beach, commercial blah blah…It was great for a couple of days…If you want nice quiet and untouched (ish), try One Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. Don’t be an ignorant traveller and you will enjoy things a lot more.

      • I guess if you want some place peaceful, el nido would be the closest to perfect. Had an awesome trip last time. Beautiful beaches, no noise on the hotel areas. The only problem is their electricity. They had to cut it off around the afternoon. But anyways, you’ll be on the trip by those hours.

      • Hi Anna, I agrer with everything that you have written. I am a Filipino avid traveller and I also experience thosr horrible when travelling to crowded places in my country. I think you should travel to Coron Palawan. Its less crowded there and the islands are trully amazing. My fiance’ and I are outdoor trip organizers and Coron is one of the most beautiful places that we have been through. If you ever come back maybe you should contact us so we can accompany you in one of our trips.

      • Hi Anna, So sorry for the ordeal you went through. I grew up in Bohol and I am proud of our beaches. But slowly they are also turning into a Boracay Wanna-be. Still, I have faith that some of our beaches are still pretty decent, safe, clean and tranquil but may come at a higher price as opposed to public beaches, which, still may not be as bad. But yeah, embarrassing as it sounds, you can have a brush with really rowdy filos and believe me, even I don’t approve of it. It’s such shame you had to witness the bad side of some of our countrymen. I have never been to some nice beaches in Palawan but I’ve heard of some good reviews. I’m planning to go home this year and might try it out myself. Perhaps if I find it to be a wonderful experience, I will let you know. 🙂 Cheers!

      • Hey Anna, we are currently in Boracay and I couldn’t agree with you more. Such a shame, because this is our first experience in The Philippines, and now we are afraid to come back and try somewhere different just incase! 🙁

      • I think you need to try El Nido in Palawan if you are a nature lover
        that is the place.

      • I have been coming to the Phils for 5 years now (BPO with office based in Cebu) and I agree with some of your comments and disagree with others. I stayed on the north part of White Beach in Station 1 and it was a great place to chill out. White Beach is still one of the best beaches in all of the Phils and I have been to Bohol, Bantayan Island, Malapascua, Siargao. I haven’t been to Palawan (El Nido) yet. I agree that station 2 is a zoo and if you don’t party then I would avoid but you don’t have to stay there. And everywhere there are hawkers on the beach, even in Bohol. I actually found Alona beach go be just as busy as White Beach. There are also beautiful spots away from White Beach worth checking out. If you go the off season then it’s far less crowded. Boracay is a bit more expensive than other islands in the Phils but I kind of compare it to Las Vegas in the US as it s a great place to visit for a weekend. If I had a week to a month then I would avoid this place and rent a nipa hut on the beach, rent a motorbike, and immerse myself in the local culture on one of the smaller less developed islands.

      • g’day!,

        You should visit Camiguin Island…even better go to youtube and search for Camiguin Island.

        Siargao Island, Lanuza, etc those are some of the gems in the Philippines that few tourist have set foot because it in Mindanao. And many are afraid to visit Mindanao…

        • Lol. This one’s a classic. The only place to bid people goodbye the moment they set foot on the island. Thank you, Camiguin.

      • I agree.. There are better places in the Philippines. The islands around Coron and El Nido are far better than Boracay. As a Filipino I hate to admit it, but you are correct. Or maybe I’m just too old for it.

    • It’s amazing they left you alone with just headphones? The ones I encountered … all couldn’t care less and would be glad to rip them out of my ears and tell me whatever ‘important’ thing they had to harass me with.

      Nevermind the day I made the mistake of carrying clothes outside my hotel in a clear bag, … letting one of the scumbag drug dealers on to the fact I was headed to get laundry done, and pestering the shit out of me about how this place I was going would wreck my clothes and he knows a better place…

    • I agree with you Anna. I’m one of the lucky ones who got to experience Boracay like 10 years ago. It really depends on the local gov’t unit. They kinda got greedy with tourism revenues and forgot to protect the island. May I suggest that you try CALAGUAS ISLAND? If you are into beach camping 🙂

    • I cannot stand all these sellers !

      Only 2 hells on earth, Philippines and Cambodia, nowhere else is has been so bad for me.

    • Thanks for your down and dirty hit piece on Boracay.
      We are all delighted that you will probably not be coming back soon to Boracay!
      Boracay is too crowded already with petulant foreigners who don’t appreciate the subtle charms of this island paradise.
      Is Boracay perfect? Certainly not… But it has a melting pot atmosphere of egalitarian fun on the world’s most beautiful white powdery beach that cannot be found anywhere else.
      Note to Anna: go by yourself to the privacy of Amanpulo and be alone with your quiet perfectionist thoughts. You will eventually come back to the sprawling noisy fun of Boracay and, perhaps, have a moment of clarity amidst the chaos.
      Good luck to you!
      And to everyone else: Don’t go to Boracay! It’s already too crowded and I want it all for myself!!! Mwah-hah-ha!!!

    • Hello Anna. I read your article regarding your disappointing trip to Boracay. I’m an Australian male. Having been to boracay seven times and other islands in the phils, I did agree with certain points you made. The hawkers on the beach are annoying to say the least. The constant harassment by people asking for money, a tip for nothing. Yeah that happens all over the phils and in other third world countries. Your photos of Boracay in which u featured were dated 20th of dec 2014. Oddly i was also there at that time. I did not see any over crowding on the beach prior to xmas or at new yr. That is evident in your photos where you are featured that there was plenty of open spaces on a white sand beach. However there is one photo on your website that is deceptive. Had absolutely nothing to do with your trip. U did state a friend gave u the pic. Would have been taken at sunset when the majority of tourist flock to the beach for the million dollar view of the sunset and the romantic boat ride by the sunset. Its odd u failed to mention that. Or you did not have any pics of the sunset yourself.. U also stated you stayed in hostel. Made mention to backpackers. U failed to talk about the resorts or hotels at boracay. U did not talk about the activities at boracay. U did mention that people are over charged for food. The midget place for example is located at D-Mall. Highest rental area at boracay for shops, thus food and items cost more. Anna does that apply worldwide ? or just at boracay ? U made it clear in your article that boracay is a party island, that people get drunk. The majority of tourists to boracay, dont get drunk. Most people are in their hotels by 11 pm. After having a nice dinner, usually buffet and listening to a quality live band. U failed to mention any of that in your article. Boracay is also a family orientated tourist spot. Having been at the same time as you were, I did see many weddings on the beach, Koreans getting married. From your point of view, don’t u think that is romantic ? What i did not see at Boracay is many westerners, from the UK, USA or Australia. Most visitors are from Russia, Korea, China and Japan. I got the impression that you like to party and get wasted. . U did make reference to that type of behavior. U state that u did not see fiiipino cutlure, however what is evident in your article is your party western attitude polluting the truth about Boracay. U gave Bohol a postivie review, just wondering did u see anyone drinking at the beach in bohol ? happens everywhere.. Btw the kids misbehaving on the bus from kalibo to caticlan, Did you ask the kids to be quiet ? misbehaving kids happen worldwide. Had zero to do with BORACAY. Your article is unfair and untruthful. You would have found yourself in the minority of white female tourists. Just because u felt out of place, does not mean u can trash entire island. Your focus was narrow, you left out the majority of what happens at the island. When writing articles its best to be objective and fair. All tourist spots have positive and negative aspects.. 2015 Traveller’s choice awards voted boracay as asia beach beach. 2012 was voted the best island in the world by international travel magazine. Boracay has countless awards.

      • I so agree, we have been to boracay with my family, my local family( as I’m a filipina from Iloilo) and my husbands family who were from UK. We have been there 4 times and in every visit was as memorable as the last one. We always went there december which is the peak season. We first stayed at nigi nigi nono which was pricey for what it is, but for our next visits we stayed at la carmela and its reasonable, clean and quiet., and the services were good. We were always at least 20 people kids included, we had never experienced being harrassed by vendors, yes they would walk along beaches and offered their wares but i dont recall them shouting at us to get our attention. Sure the beach was crowded but no difference than any public beaches, in a popular place, its more jampacked when its sunset for obvious reason, its just very romantic. At night its fun to just walk along the throngs of restaurants and our kids could choose where to eat, depending on what you can afford, we always sought the entertainment of those dancers with fires( dont know whats its called really.) my husband and father in law would tirelessly video them. During the days we woke up early to swim, not so many people guaranted and then off to a free buffet breakfast and then on to so many family activity, boating round the island, helmet diving, para sailing, helicopter ride., etc etc. Though we drove from nearly 7 hours from our homeplace in iloilo , the only slight hiccups for us is to find a parking lot, there was one not so far away but small so if your’re not lucky you cant park, thankfully a house owner allowed us to park right in front of their house along the road and advised us just to lock up. The ferry terminal sure is crowded but no where chaotic, one can choose an aircon ferry which is of course comfortable, or the non aircon one. We took the aircon on our way to boracay, then on our way to caticlan we opted for a non aircon one to have more fun and to experience the openness of the sea. Yes we have some down sides too, once in our visit it rained so hard, and so many rubbish on the shore, but thats normal, we were happy to stay in our rooms playing games with our kids and we have 4. I have been to many places too, we spent 3 weeks at various eurocamps site and experienced overcrowding at beaches in southern, northern france, whom we thought would be peaceful and serene. The truth is if its a tourist spot then expect crowds, we are based in hk, very crowded, esoecially niw that mainlanders from china comes in overwhelming numbers, they are mostly not so good with their manners and yet we dont encounter so much of their popular rudeness. We teach people how to treat us but before doing that we should teach ourselves how to treat them. When you’re humble and kind in words, people you approach will also be like that. In all o my parents in law visits to the philippines , my heart and my family’s heart swell with pride when they would express how they enjoyed their visits and how filipinos are so warm hearted. Saying that we also noticed how boracay now is so commercialized, in fact if you ask the locals they are sad to see their island becoming like that, its us tourist that did that, especially foreigners, people who flashes out money, corrupting locals, again most of restaurant, hotel owners are foreigners married to filipinos. This is the time we live in, we go through the ride, happiness is a choice. Another thing, iloilo has another alternative to boracay, try to visit Guimaras, the water is better than boracay..

    • Palawan > Boracay
      Agree with you lots of annoying stuff in boracay, and yes this is coming from a filipino.

  2. I’m sorry to hear that, Anna. I never made to Boracay, but you already know I was not happy with my stay in the Philippines.

    • Whilst I agree with Anna about this blog entry and Boracay, especially since she seems to have done her research about the area and gave constructive criticism, your blog entry about Philippine food and visit, on the other hand, is simply stupid.

      Who goes to 7-11 for a specialty local food like longganisa? Even in countries that offer delicious street food, a more experienced and wiser traveler wouldn’t go to a convenience store expecting local delicacies.

      That alone, is an indication of your ignorance.

  3. a Filipino here with no objection to anything mentioned. wait until i become the president, i’ll have only 10 visitors per day. 🙂

  4. Sounds like an absolute nightmare – and the concept behind that “Hobbit” restaurant is wretched. Not cool at all. We actually very nearly went to Boracay on our 2-week holiday while teach in Taiwan. We didn’t in the end because flights were expensive and a couple of people said it was a bit of a party spot and we’re not partiers, though admittedly many more people recommended it. We actually went to El Nido instead and had a super time there, it was quite touristy but beautiful, quiet in low season and not full of party people just nice cafes and boat tours.

    • I had to cut my Philippines trip short as I got extremely sick there and managed to go to Cebu and Bohol only, but next time I visit more places including Palawan 🙂

      • Hi Anna. A Filipino traveler here. I agree with the points that you’ve mentioned. Boracay does have a beautiful white sand and a picturesque look in it. But Boracay is a party place it’s not the IT destination if you are looking for Filipino culture/experience, it’s too hyped and expensive. It’s not a place for exploration, if you’d visit during Holy Week, you’d be damned cuz you can’t even walk straight because there are too many people. I guess Filipinos are into pleasing toursist since it’s a mix of everything, mind you, Philippines was colonized by three countries: Spain, Japan and US. I got the chance to talk to some vendors and learned that a lot of these vendors do not belong there but came form different islands as well(some as far as Mindanao the Southern most part of the Philippines). They were all looking for jobs, because as advertised, the Department of Tourism of the Philippines is showing Boracay all over the world. And visiting Philippines is all about the travel. The common inexpensive means of travelling from one place to another is by land and by boat. Travel time is usually 2-6hrs.

        I hope you’d be back in the Philippines because it is worth exploring. I suggest you visit Coron Palawan among all parts of Palawan. There are parts of it that havent been explored even National Geographic/Discovery Channel cannot go to (as told by the tour guide). It’s serene and a place for someone who loves nature and relaxation. You may also want to go to Vigan in Ilocos, for the Spanish vibe. Tried a 4-day exploration driving around Luzon. Again, explore Philippines. 🙂

        • My wife is Cebuana, I love visiting there when we return. Once out of the city, the island has many spectacular places to visit. Our favourite place is Bantayan Island. That is our place to unwind and forget everything. Except during Holy Week.

      • Anna, I respect your opinion based on your experienced but I’m not happy with your statement. Behind of all the negative experiences you had in the Island of Boracay, I hope you still remember the white long beach and the clear blue water. I think you missed to visit Mt.Luho, from there you can see the view of whole island and not to judge the island from one side only.Boracay is one of the popular beach destination so I hope as a traveler you expect the flock of tourists.

    • As bad the concept and theme of the hobbit place is, I’m grateful those guys have a job. I can’t imagine how hard it is for those guys to find work and be accepted in a community that they have there. I hope they improve that place so they can thrive.

        • You know, there is a legitimate exception. Not always but you will understand that a “chicken will never do same job the horse does”, no matter what. I know it’s hard for them but the truth is always the best and it hurts.

        • Not true.. There is a resto in Bacolod who employes dwarfs… Dagul was discovered through that restaurant.

        • Beware using Filipino instead of Bussiness owners.

          Maybe you are just sick by the time you went to Boracay. Your moods not so appreciative that time.

          But hey, Thanks to BORACAY, Your Blog got loads of attention.

          Sorry for the Vendors you mentioned…they are really annoying and I hope the Givernment of the Philippines will do something about the jobless Filipino people.

          You are alwayd welcome to the Philippines and we Filipino people will give your satisfaction.

        • Anna its a fact anywhere in this world little people wont stand much chance in finding a normal job, because of their physical attribute compared to the normal sized people. For a traveller as what you have claimed , you have a poor hindsight and obviously being snooty for deloping countries and its people. If you are that negative, dont travel to asia, or anywhere else, every place has its own merits and demerits, and so us individuals. Even not meeting you i can deduce you have more negative energy in your body than positive. Maybe its time for you to settle back in your home and ponder what and where you could get happiness. Read some more valuable books and enhance your mindset. Peace.

          • There is a place in Manila where dwarf throwing is practiced, very funny apparently. Dwarves are in BIG demand in TV and movies too

    • I agree to you ma’am…. If your looking for party and nightlife…. Just visit boracay…….. But if you want to just enjoy the beauty Of the place God gave…. Visit other places in the Philippines…. Palawan is nice place to go…. But make sure that its summer cuz u cant enjoy if its rainy days…… Sagada in benguet… Cebu and bohol…… Also in batanes…..my next planned destination…..

  5. Thanks and good write of this place. I like to get here in the future. good to have some advice in mind. As i am also a mindful of advice, look forward to keep in touch
    cheers
    JR

  6. Must be a huge nightmare for you dear. It’s true, Boracay is already spoiled huge hotels and establishments meant to empty people’s wallets. What an honest-to-goodness review. Try Panglao Island in Bohol instead (although it sounds like you’ve been to a Bohol beach from what we’ve read in the comments) 😀

  7. I despise Boracay with a passion. Went once in 2009 for three days and that was two and a half days too much for me. Of course I also hate Bali too, for all the same reasons you outlined here (except the difficulty in getting to the island). Glad to see I’m not alone here 🙂

    • You’re definitely not alone hehe! And I totally agree that southern Bali (Kuta and surroundings) are the same – I only liked northern Bali 🙂

  8. Well, I think we can’t really blame them for becoming famous among tourists and then trying to maximize their earning potential with all those tourist traps. But the vendors harassing your private moment of peace when you are hanging out on the beach is too much, even to me!

      • My sentiments exactly, the whole article and more! I left Boracay almost 20 years ago and had gone back a couple of times to visit for a few days since..and I’d been more than disappointed each time.
        I hope you get to visit Palawan and other places before they, too, become tourist traps.
        Happy traveling!

  9. I am not a big traveler, I have never been anywhere exotic, not have I heard of this island, but this was really interesting to read. You always hear about how wonderful people’s trips were, this was actually kind of refreshing, haha. Thanks for your honesty 🙂

  10. Thanks for the heads up Anna! This is very good info- will definitely be skipping this place. I hate everything touristy so this spot clearly is not for me.

  11. I look at it this way. The worst day on vacation is better than a good day at work. Of course, I haven’t worked for years. But still. Gotta enjoy the warm white sands because the winds of change can shift and you may not be able to do what you do tomorrow.

  12. Hi Anna, this is why I like reading your blog. You are very honest and if the perception is different to the reality then you will make that clear.

    After reading this all the points you list would make me dislike Boracay too. Drunken, ignorant tourists, disrespectful people trying to make money by any means from visitors, lack of culture….

    I will give it that the beach sands look amazing. Such a shame it is not possible to sit back, relax and take in the amazing views.

      • I totally agree with what you’ve written. I have experienced it when we stayed in Station 2. If relaxation is what you want, you should have stayed at Station 1 or the more secluded Shangrilla Hotel (they have their own beach). I have stayed once in station 2 and i hate it. The noice, and the annoying drunk tourists is too much. Since then, only station 1 for me. There you are detached from the party scene. No loud noises, no vendors, and less drunk tourist. You just need to pay more. Im a Filipino by the way, thanks for your accurate feedbacks. I regularly go to Boracay to relax, and i pity the state that its in. I hope it went viral here to our government officials will take notice.

          • 1. Don’t go to Boracay during a peak season if you want some peace and quiet. Or if you’re there on a peak season, avoid the crowd by staying in Fairways and Bluewater for example and find spots at the back of the island (less commercialized sections) with hardly a soul on it and just some local fishfolks.

            2. Boracay is a hotspot. Don’t go there to enjoy pure Filipino culture. Even the locals in Boracay have their own sub-culture already different from another region in the PH.

            3. I’ve been to Boracay and enjoyed it when it wasn’t peak season and didn’t stay at hotels near the beachfront. But even with that experience, I’d still choose Bohol (Panglao) over Boracay any day.

            4. Calling it the worst island when you only experienced it during a peak or super peak season is your opinion and I can understand you may have had a confluence of things happening when you were there. Your super high/naive expectations didn’t help as well. Everything else will either not measure up or downhill from there.

            5. Getting killed for sharing your experience when PH pols get wind of it? Come on, Anna! 🙂 It’s not about not sugarcoating. This one is exaggerating but some tourists will give weight to it and make sweeping conclusions in their mind.

          • Anna, after the phil tourism officials and politicians spot this article, you will permanently be blacklisted with immigration from entering the philippines. And if you do make it in, they will probably assassinate you. More journalists and reporters are murdered in the philippines than Russia

  13. Very interesting article, i will keep this advice on my visit to Philipines, instead i think is more worth to visit El Nido right? Any tours you can recommend to get there?

    • Take tours A, B and C. Each would have its own highlight. Also, do not miss Nacpan-Calitang Twin Beach. But if you have limited time, prioritize tours A and C. You could also ask the boatman to pick the best spots from tours A, B and C. You might have to pay a different rate though, as tours A, B, C and D are the standard ones.

  14. It sounds exactly like my experience in Thailand so thank you thank you and thank you again for the heads up, because after I read so many sugarcoated blog posts about visiting the Phillipines I really wanted to go. I can only imagine how dissapointed I would have been if I ended up on another Ko Phi Phi island but in Phillipines. And why people are keep saying that Phillipines are still so ‘Undiscovered’?

        • Yeah, skip Boracay if you want to be somewhere quiet, isolated. Skip Boracay if you don’t want to eat food you are most likely familiar with. Skip Boracay if you’d rather be on an island where accommodations are limited. Skip Boracay if don’t want any night life. Skip Boracay if you’d rather be somewhere else more expensive for the same thing. Yes, just skip Boracay altogether.

    • There are still many undiscovered places here in the Philippines. You may consider going to Batanes or Palawan. However, must admit that Boracay is waaaay too commercialized. It saddens us. But this is the truth though.

    • Because Boracay is just one of the 7,107 Islands the Philippines have. If you really want to enjoy the Philippines, try going to a virgin island. No hotels, no bars, just you and your camping gear.

    • Because my dear, Boracay is not the whole Philippines, there’s Palawan, Cebu, Bohol, Vigan, Siargao, Baguio, Camiguin, Camsur, Davao, Misibis Bay, Poro Point La Union and more of the 7000 plus islands.

    • I think it still is since the Philippines has only around 5 million tourists on average compared to Thailand’s 25 million every year haha. Most of the tourists you’ll see in the Philippines are locals or Korean or other Asian tourists very few Westerners. I wouldn’t want the same Western crowds destroying islands in the Philippines. I honestly don’t mind Asian tourists crowding and spending their money, but I don’t like Westerners (not generalizing here but I’ve noticed a substantial number of them), who bring their drug and drunken culture to countries in Asia, those kinds of Western tourists can keep their drugs and drunken culture in Thailand or other parts of Southeast Asia.

    • Marta, sorry to jump into the conversation, but the Philippines have more than 7000 islands, and Boracay is the n.1 spot for tourists, that’s why it’s so ruined. It all depends on what you want. Some people will still like the Boracay vibe, some others will prefer the more quiet Palawan (just to name another very famous spot), I visited many Islands in the Philippines because I stayed there for 4 months in a row, and I can assure you that they are still well worth a visit! I’m now a bit worried on talking and writing too much on the other beautiful places I saw, as I don’t want them to be ruined.

      By the way, I also was disappointed by Koh Phi Phi, but it’s undeniable that maya beach without tourists would be paradise on earth, Is not the place that has to be blamed, it’s humans. As in the movie “The Matrix” we are like parasites or viruses. Too bad.

      • Hi Clelia! Thanks for the insight. I was certainly referring to Boracay in my comment not to Phillipines as a whole! Hell even if I hated my previous experience in Thailand I would give it another shot and visit the north, as everyone says it is completely different than the south. But I have read so many articles about how amazing Boracay is and from what I am reading here and in many comments below it is far from the truth. I am not crossing Phillipines of my list just because of this article, but I think Boracay will be a place I will skip for the sake of other islands!

        • You’re pathetic. You look like a beautiful girl but you have a very ugly heart and if you have a very ugly heart just like the girl who wrote this blog, you’re ugly on the whole. You don’t go through life listening to other people’s opinions and that makes you a very stupid girl.

  15. Having been to Boracay many times and living in the Philippines for many years I definitely feel where you’re coming from. I especially get angry at the vendors. Having seen these guys in action for so long I can assure you that they have no hope of you actually buying something and mostly just want to get close to you to check you out. They can be pushy to guys as well, I was there just last month and literally shoved a guy off the path for trying to sell me a selfie stick by putting the dang thing in my face. I felt terrible afterward, and still feel bad about it actually, but at the time I just had had enough — haha. I do keep going back though mostly because it’s a pretty safe and controlled area to take my family, the beach really is beautiful and the sunsets are amazing — plus I can bring friends there who are looking to party their asses off and know they’ll have a good time. But I would choose Bohol over Boracay any day. Better culture, better people. Note though that every Filipino who works in Boracay is not from Boracay, they go there to “hustle” and try and make whatever money they can for their family — it’s a shame nobody teaches them how to sell.

    • That’s exactly what I thought! I’d be more than happy to buy something and tip people if they’re kind and nice instead of “gimme a tip now’ attitude 🙁

  16. hhhmmmm… I’ve never been to Boracay before…Maybe I will stay closer to the Caribbean lol
    Thanks for this post.

  17. Great article and an interesting read – especially as I very nearly went to Boracay on a recent trip to Asia. I guess I’ll leave it! Which Filipino islands would you recommend?

      • Hi Anna, I’m J and I’m from the Philippines. I’m on my mid 20s, the-should-be-partying-phase but I haven’t been to Boracay… Ever.
        Let’s cut it to the chase.. you might want to try visiting the following:
        -Basco, Batanes
        -Davao City, Davao (4th safest city in the world)
        -San Juan, La Union (where I came from; recently, it was named as the new Surfing Capital of the Philippines)
        -Currimao, Ilocos Norte
        -Silanguin Cove, Zambales
        -El Nido, Palawan
        -Coron, Palawan
        -Baler, Aurora

      • If you want a 10 visitor per day, research about 100 hundred island in Pangasinan, one of those island can be 1:1 visitor or just go island hopping to it.

    • Thank you anna for the heads up. I’m planning to visit boracay this summer but based on what I read, i migt skip boracay and go to coron instead. I’ve been to El nido and I must say it’s a must visit island in Philippines.

  18. You went to boracay on its peak season what do you expect? Filipino’s are normally loud but friendly. As a traveller you need to expect the worse and be wise your chosen destination. No doubt there’s a lot of scam which I think you already know because there’s a lot of tourist already experienced the same thing. I pity you because of your bad experienced and I pity you more because you are not a wise tourist / traveller. You can’t blame if there’s a lot of people on the island because it’s really a paradise sand, beach, sun, drink and sex what can you ask for more darling?

    • Exactly. I think Anna here should book a trip to heaven. It’s the place, the marvel of the sand and water. You should’ve travelled with friends. I think you will enjoy the experience more. There’s island hopping, cliff diving, snorkeling, and banana boat package that you did not avail. If you’re travelling alone, boracay and the likes (beaches for parties and social gathering) are not your place. You should go to museums, churches, temples, or places like that. You haven’t experienced the good side and yet you destroyed the image of the place. A lot of people don’t want to go there because of your article. Hope that before you have written this, you should’ve asked if you tasted all that Boracay has to offer.

        • You should have stayed at the other side of Boracay. There are a lot of private beaches on the opposite side, mostly owned by resorts so only the hotel guests are allowed to stay in the area = no annoying vendors and away from all the party places and drunk tourists. If you decide to give the island another try, go island hopping so you get to see other areas and beaches in Boracay.

  19. If you are having an issue with the people vendors and restaurant you should go to an isolated island I think that’s the best place for you. Not mad at you girl the thing is that you need to expect those things you mentioned in boracay because it has been posted several times. What you did is already plagiarism.

  20. Hello! Well-written and you’ve probably listed everything I hate about Boracay. I’m Filipino and I’ve never dreamed of visiting Boracay not even once. For me, I think it’s so silly because it’s like you took all the Metro Manila partying crowd to a nice beach to do what they do best. Also, I don’t really like the partying crowd – had a bad experience one time at a popular night spot in Manila at some point, and I think they’re just the same type of people. Anyway, you should Google LaBoracay. It’s going to get on your nerves and it’s like the worst hashtag and set of photos online with inconsiderate people dirtying up the beach. My mum has gone to Boracay when it wasn’t infested with tourists sometime in the early 90’s, looking at current video footage and photos online, she says it looked so different back then. Great blog!

  21. I’m from the Philippines and I completely agree with you. The first trip was all right because my friends and I booked ourselves in the FARTHEST part of the stations, where there are no people. It’s surely not a place for people who want to be left alone, since it’s a party scene. (Not my scene.) I’ve also read some news in the last couple of years that told the story of an indigenous youth leader who got shot because somebody wanted to build more resorts. I swore off Boracay ever since. If you do a search on Dexter Condez, you’ll see a lot of articles regarding this. He was trying to preserve heritage sites and was killed for it.

  22. I don’t know what Boracay is like now. My last visit to the place was about 33 years ago.
    At that time there were several dozen nipa houses along the beach that ran between 15 and 25 pesos/night. There was no motorized transportation, you ate in the large home on the property you were renting from and your choices were the catch of the day, or perhaps a freshly killed chicken and some bat adobo if someone went hunting at the cave that was rumored to be at the north end of the island. You were often awakened by local kids knocking at your door offering to sell you a coconut shell full of magic mushrooms that they fresh picked in the cow pastures for 5 pesos. If you bought them it was common to have the cook make you a huge mushroom omelet to start you day in a most interesting way. There wasn’t a whole lot to do other than chill out, socialize and enjoy talcum soft snow white sand and dazzling shades of aqua sea. And, of course, sunset was not to be missed.
    From what I’m reading hear I’d guess that the Boracay I knew no longer exists. Such is the nature of things.

    • My first visit to Boracay was in the early 90’s. The beach was lined with cottages that cost 150 to 300 a night, no electricity. In the evening, it was difficult to walk along the beach as the path (not road) was just lighted by kerosene lamps attached to coconut trees. The only noisy place was the Coco (something), it is still there because they have generator and loud music. Water was hand pumped from the ground, and lots of empty spaces. There was even a small swamp in the middle of the island. From there I witnessed how Boracay transformed. My last visit was 2 years ago and to tell you, I got lost!!! I can not find the place of my friend before!! Everywhere you go it’s noisy and everything is expensive.

      I like it better in Tawi-tawi (not recommended if you are white or fair skinned people). The islands/beaches in this area are way.way better than Boracay. I was there two months ago visiting the Venice of the Philippines when one of my cousins warned us to get out of the place. We did not stay overnight in the island even though we have relatives there, we went back to the boat before dark.
      We have great beaches here near General Santos which are located in Gumasa, Glan (an hour drive from GenSan). White beaches no nagging vendors. The vendors you can see are those women selling fishes caught by their husbands. There are no noisy motorboats too.

  23. We visited in 2009 during the monsoon season and had a great time. We turned a 3 day trip into 11 days because we didn’t want to leave. In rained every day, but only for a few hours. The rest of the time is was beautiful. There were crowds, but not as bad as you describe. If you get off White Beach and go to the other side of the island it’s much nicer (well, it was 6 years ago). Too bad you didn’t enjoy the experience. Globalization and infrastructure has certainly impacted the “secret spots” of the world. That said, Boracay (like Bali, Koh Phi Phi, etc) is one of the most popular beaches in SE Asia, so you have to go in knowing that you won’t be alone.

    • I live in Iloilo so Boracay is just a 7 hour bus ride away. It is my wife and I’s favorite place so far. But then again, when I lived in Hawaii Waikiki was my beach of choice! I love Boracay. We are planning our next visit for Valentines Day. I love in rainy season or peak. 🙂

    • I live in Iloilo so Boracay is just a 7 hour bus ride away. It is my wife and I’s favorite place so far. But then again, when I lived in Hawaii Waikiki was my beach of choice! I love Boracay. We are planning our next visit for Valentines Day. I love it in rainy season or peak. 🙂

      • Waikiki and Boracay are sort of similar with the amount of people and shops around. Some people just like it 🙂 Safe travels guys!

  24. I am sorry, but I found this to be a stupid article on many levels. First is, look at the picture in which the author complains about an over crowded beach, and what you see is a spectacular beach with maybe 20 people. Hardly over crowded.

    But what is more is the author’s confusion on what he/she wants or is expecting. I have been living/travelling in the Philippines for 25 years. When I first arrived, all the Filipinos said “you should go to Boracay, all the foreigners go to Boracay” so right away I said, I don’t want to go to Boracay. Why will I go to the Philippines to meet foreigners, I want to meet Filipinos. Then the author talks about wanting to meet other “travelers” but is disappointed when the other travelers are doing what travelers do.

    And if you want to get local culture in the Philippines or any country for that matter, you are in idiot if you think you are going to find it in a tourist destination that caters to foreigners. If you want local culture, head to the mountains or even a fishing village, or a scary place or the churches, or anything, but not to a beach resort reknown for its partying.

    Boracay is what it is, the problem this author faced was that even though everything and everyone says exactly what Boracay is, the author expected something else. If you go to Kuta Beach in Bali do not look for Balinese culture, look for drunk Aussies.

    I just hate it when an idiotic author/blogger disparages a place, not because of what was there, but simply because it was what it was.

    • People were encouraging me to go because they claimed it’s beautiful. I wanted to meet both – travelers and locals and in fact who I met were annoying vendors and constantly drunken Dutch people. Not all travelers behave like this, sorry!

      • I was a resident of Boracay for 6 years. Your post just makes me laugh. You can’t stay at a hostel and go during peak season and expect to get the El Nido experience. Also, the minute you hear it is a “popular tourist destination” and maybe even take some time to check how small the island actually is, you should have figured that you might stumble upon a busy beach, that is geared towards catering to tourists.

        What makes Boracay beautiful are the locals, the residents and their generous and welcoming nature. But based on how you write about your “awful” visit – I can understand why you didn’t meet any of them or learn how to appreciate what Boracay is actually all about.

        For somebody who travels a lot, you seem awfully ignorant and judgemental – I myself travel a lot, and well, let’s just say I have at least learned that you can’t go to Paris expecting Amsterdam.

        For your reference, this is the blog I wrote during the 6 years I spent living on this island you call the “worst island” you ever visited. There is a damn good reason why I named my blog that.

        Best wishes from the land of sunshine!

    • well. if you live in a different country, the fucking tourism advertises a different face of boracay, even inside Phil, it doesn’t show that boracay is a party place and you don’t have any idea that it’s not a relaxing place because of the view or the people. if you’ll know in the first place that boracay is a shitty disco/party place then it would better go to the city to save the island as well.

      • I’ve traveled a lot in and out of Asia both by backpacking and going on vacation with my family/friends. And while it may not be my favorite place, I’ve been to Boracay more than 15 times ever since I was a kid. My parents have vacation memberships so we get free accommodation every year. I’ve seen Boracay change throughout the years and it’s really sad. However, Boracay being a place for partying and fun isn’t really a secret. It’s a tourist spot and quite famous so you can’t really expect the place to be tranquil and be alone especially during peak season (Her picture shows December 20 and that is peak season.) You can’t just believe the tourism advertisements. And even in the Philippines there’s always news about parties in Boracay during peak season and almost every Filipino that I know are aware of Boracay’s busy night life. Even foreign travelers and tourists I have met that have heard about Boracay know about its night life. And the author clearly said she knows it’s a place for partying. There are lots of information online, aside from the tourism advertisements, about what to expect in Boracay. If a person wanted to have a peaceful vacation, there’s info online on where to go in Boracay, where to stay and when to travel. Besides, Boracay isn’t really advertised as a place for solitude. It’s advertised as a place for recreation and fun.

        The author had a bad experience and I feel sad for her. And I agree that Boracay is too commercialized which is why I prefer other places in the Philippines(Palawan, Bohol, Ilocos Norte, Camiguin, Cebu etc) even though I frequent Boracay. Even so, calling it the worst island, not posting valid points and pictures, and posting only negative things about a place when she didn’t manage her expectations and didn’t research properly is ignorant for a traveler/blogger.

        To the author, I’m not saying this because I’m from the Philippines but because I’m also a frequent traveler and I read a lot of travel blogs. As a traveler/blogger you should always carefully research and plan for a trip. Learn to manage your expectations, be prepared and keep an open mind so that you’ll have a decent and even an enjoyable trip. In my 23 years of traveling and 11 years since I started traveling on my own and backpacking, I’ve never really had a place I would label the “worst”. I’ve experienced far worse especially when I was backpacking but I always try to keep a positive attitude and look for things that I like. Also while I appreciate honesty on a travel blog, you should keep in mind that your voice has weight and you have different audiences so be more careful in your posts. You should have stated both what you liked and disliked about the place instead of focusing only on negativity. Use valid points and keep it rational. And be more mindful of the words that you use.

    • I agree with this post. She criticized it for being exactly what was described to her. This is what one can call lazy blogging.

  25. Wow this blogger has no effing clue what she is on about and sounds like the snobbiest backpacker with the highest expectations. If you want to visit bora on a budget, expect shifty buses and crappie lodging. Like anywhere pay a little more and be in comfort, like fly to caticlan (the closer airport), or if I want to save money, fly to kalibo and hire a private transfer to the ferry port. While my last trip to the island at new years just gone was a nightmare cause it was PEAK SEASON, like anywhere else it was crowded, and generally you would probably avoid tourist destinations at those times. Canceled and delayed flights are always am issue, I agree that these need to be fixed but having been a victim of these situations, one can only blame poor weather conditions and manila airport. All in all, if you want a good mix of a beautiful beach, good party vibes, decent food and nice accomodation, boracay is the best option. Trust me other places in Philippines are not quite as fun and the food is shit! I have had food poisoning 3 times bad in the country from local cuisine. Generally Philippines is a bit behind on the tourism spector compared to Thailand and other places but that’s what is the beauty of it, a bit off the beaten track. Agreed that this blogger just sounds like a frigging whinger who should probably find a new profession.

    • 1. Who told you I’m a backpacker and that I was on a budget?
      2. Also, how do you know that I went during the peak season when actually it was a low season.
      3. I also got super sick because of the food in the Philippines and I didn’t even put it there (I probably should) because it won’t happen to everyone.
      Read the post carefully before complaining 😉

      • I believe Rachel assumed you are a on a budget since you chose the farthest airport where the plane tickets are more affordable. The ticket price for Caticlan airport is usually ridiculously high.

        Anyway, I saw the picture of the sand castles with a date: Dec 20, 2014 (last weekend before Christmas). That’s definitely not a low season! Peak season is from November to May. Actually some hotels consider that week leading to Christmas ‘super peak season’.

        Remember, most Filipinos are already on holiday during that time and many of them flock to Boracay. Christmas is a big thing in the Philippines and most take long vacations and travel to different islands.

        • I also think that for a lower price that you have to pay for everything in Boracay you can go anywhere else in the Philippines and have more pleasant experience 😉

      • I’ll take your word girl.
        Learn before you also complain!
        Did you know that for what you are doing you are distroying the life of thousand of people who are hoping and taking there living on the island? Or it is really on your goal?

          • But didn’t you just lie by saying you went during ‘low season’?

            Your photos clearly show that you were there on Dec 20 – this period is globally recognised as peak season…

          • There’s a difference between lying and being fair. You were told beforehand what to expect and yet, you wanted to see something different than what your were told. Be fair.

        • Not if they take the comments and turn them into positives. People learn from feedback and how you deal with it determines if you benefit or not

      • Hey girl. I have never been to Boracay, but this article is just crazy. I thought the reason for your travel was to know and experience the Filipino culture? And yet here you are complaining about our food, the vendors, and the destination itself!? You shouldve done your research, honey. Bora is known for having the best bars on a white sand beach island, perfect place to relax and have fun at the same time. If you were looking for somewhere to be in the quiet,, ooh definitely not the place for you. And really? December is obviously not a slow season. In fact, it is one of the busiest season we have. Regarding the food, i should say, Filipinos are good cooks. We have good food there, no bias. If you got sick after eating what they had to offer there, oh wait til you taste one of our favorites — the balot. That would have been funny!!! lol. You shouldve had an open mind of how we do things in the Philippines. Crazy bus rides and vendors in the streets and resorts, that’s how it is supposed to be! that’s how we are different from other countries. and you should have respected that instead of posting some lousy blog degrading one of our tourist sposts. I know you just wanted to scream your heart out as a traveler, who have had bad decisions, but yeah. You were just there for all the wrong reasons at the wrong time. If you wanna go somewhere and just have a goodtime with friends, then maybe Bora would give you another shot and probably be good to you. You were dragging all the bad vibes behind you, which might have been the reason why people there were mean to you.
        Anyway, safe travels. May the odds be in your favor.

      • With regard to the comment on peak season, I’m thinking the reader based it on the photos you posted, specifically the “Sand spots every 15 mins”. The month on it was December, just 5 days before Christmas? This IS peak season, in fact peak season started in November.
        I’ve been visiting Boracay every yr, but during low season. Like you, I don’t enjoy being bothered by vendors constantly and over crowded beaches. Boracay is perfect during this time, as the beaches are cleaner, no one hassling you for tips, take photos on the sand spots and give ANY amount ( even coins) you want to the kids, and you can take photos that will look like you’re stranded on a deserted island (early in the morning or the sunny hours after lunch time- don’t really know why most stay inside when it’s so beautiful outside) . 🙂 I recommend giving Boracay another chance, and visit between June-Sept. Although this is considered wet season in the Philippines, I’ve experienced sunny skies in Boracay on my annual trips since 2005, with a couple light showers (short periods). 🙂 Anyway, in behalf of the people who still love Boracay, not for the party place, but for its beauty, locals, seafood, and fun nature activities, we hope to change your mind, if you give it another chance. Anyway, cheers and happy travels.

      • Wow. You really are ignorant. December 20 onward IS peak season in Boracay. Of course, it’s going to be crowded. You obviously didn’t do your research.

      • I recently went there and thought it was a great place. You cause job losses through the tourists you turn away through such negative, generalizing blog posts. Shameful.

        • Big disagree. You think that Philippines can build a sustainable tourism business by not delivering the services for which people travel and pay?. It’s a competitive world, so easy for people to choose between Phils, Vietnam or Bali. For the long term gain of the Republic of Philippines the short sighted attitude needs to evolve. While the one unscrupulous cousin of the major might make a small profit for Tanduay for themselves for one day, think about what they could achieve by building sustainable business for centuries. Tourists talk and in the same way some tourists might discourage others, when a good experience is delivered, people talk and flock to enjoy.

    • Good point! As a Balikbayan, I think Boracay has what they call high season and low season. If you wanted the Island all to yourself then maybe go on a season that is not too crowded. Plus traveling on a budget trip like arriving in Kalibo with 40something people instead of Caticlan and staying on a hostel with backpackers will surely make you end up with a rowdy group of people. I wouldn’t want that experience myself. And having local vendors approaching to sell stuff is so Filipino. Boracay has turned into a tourist spot such as the likes of Santa MonicaCa, Huntington beach Ca, Venice BeachCa, Cabo San Lucas in, Mexico, even Honolulu, Hi…and every toutist spot has a place where locals go and in Boracay, it’s always the Talipapa for me or ask a local to bring us fresh catch of the day and have them cook it for us for a small price to pay. I totally agree that the local government has enforce a strict regulation on beach clean up and waste disposal. But to sum up, I always enjoy my stay in Boracay everytime I go.

  26. Anna, this is very true and as a resident of the Philippines, I totally agree that Boracay is not the place to be unless you are going to Shangri-la o station 1, only a handful of worthy places and you end up spending more money as it is very commercialized. I do recommend Palawan and This particular Island called Flower Island as you will be the only one in the beach most of the time. Let me know if u want more details!

      • Hahaha. Another tourist guide who want to offer you something on their own place. I hope that this tourist guide dont drag other tourist destinations down just for their own interest.

        • Go to private beach like shangrila resort in boracay if you dont want the ventors bother you. Atleast there you dont see vendors around you or crawded place..and also there have private ride for you on the way to the resort.. Unless if you have a budget.. Boracay is more better than san diego beach.. And im sure you went there pick season..

  27. Y’all come to Catanduanes, my island! Its the home of the Philippines heaviest waves, the Majestic waves of Puraran. Contact me if you wanna book a tour.

  28. Thank you for your honest report on this place. I am a retiree living in the Philippines for more than 3 years now. Everyone is always telling me that I need to go to Boracay because it is so great. I go to many off beat places here that are much cheaper, easier to get to, and less crowded so I ask them why would I go? Their reasoning is that it is the most visited by foreigners. Which is why I would rather go to other places. Thanks and happy traveling

    • Exactly! I wanted to see it for myself tho, but definitely won’t be coming back as I only expect it to get worse in a few years.

  29. well boracay really is an island for partying, i suggest try to visit palawan island coron or el nido, if you really want an island paradise without crowded people, cheers

  30. I totally agree with this article about Boracay. I – Westerner lady travelling alone – had the worst time of my life for the exact same reasons..every five minutes being bugged and perved at by vendors…and obviously all sex perverts and totally confused that all foreigners are sex perverts. I was irritated by the local vendors constantly and in my 9 days there , could not ever enjoy my stay for 5 minutes without a vendor staring at me or trying to sell something to me. Even when you say no, they continue their conversation. Absolutely unbelievable arrogance and sexual perversion .

  31. hey there Anna… im a filipino… and ive been in boracay several time…. i quite like the place (some of it) but yes… i agree with you…. its tooo commercialize! i hope the department of tourism of the philippines could read your article… (FYI: i also hate vendors shouting: Sir, Maam, Massage and even those who forcefully asking for Tips..)

  32. Filipino here. An honest to goodness review. Of course Boracay is a prime destination and obviously a tourist trap, what do you expect? We still have other unspoiled beaches and other destinations to cater your need just a google away.

    Expect bashers and haters from sensitive Filipino readers haha! As a traveler any experience good or bad still counts these are the reasons why every travel is an adventure. Cheers!

  33. I actually just finished writing about how we enjoyed our stay in Boracay. We stayed in Station 3 which is away from the crowd. Most of the crowd and vendors are found in Station 1 and 2, but when you get to Station 3, it’s completely different. It’s really lovely that side of Boracay.

    You have a good point here and everybody is open to their opinion.

  34. Hello Anna, I am a Filipino but I will not opposed on what you had experience in Boracay. I will recommend such places that will fit on your personality try to explore beaches in palawan and siargao for surfing. I’d been there. These islands are not populated as what boracay has. Less vendor and shops and locals are good. For us that we need a quite environment and explores the beauty of an island. Boracay is not for us, its for the people who always gathered in the parties, drinking alcohols etc.

      • siargao is best for you. it is one of the best places i’ve been to. it’s not just all about surfing. there are also small islands there that are super clean with crystal clear water and white sand… and less populated

  35. Filipino here and quite agree with everything that you wrote. First time I went to Boracay was in 1983. It was truly a paradise. No electricity, no restaurants, no vendors, nothing of what you wrote about. When I went back 24 years later, I was shocked with all the commercialism. From then on, I decided never to go back.

    Looking forward when you visit other places in the Philippines where you can truly experience fond memories and write about. Keep us posted.

  36. I think you visited the wrong place in the Philippines. I will only recommend Boracay if your a party person… If your not, you better visit Coron or El Nido, Palawan. It is less crowded and undeveloped with beaches much more beautiful than Boracay. Caramoan is a good option too and the islands of Bantayan & Malapascua of Cebu.

  37. Hi Anna, I am a filipino and I’ve already been to boracay, I agree and at the same time disagree with some of your points but nonetheless, I respect your opinion. If I may suggest you can try to visit Calicoan Island, also in the Philippines. There, you can experience True filipino culture, its an unspoiled island and definitely undiscovered. I can tour you there without asking a “tip” Haha and I will be glad to cook and treat you for a filipino dinner 🙂

  38. Hi anna,it was so sad toread such kind of posts fornthe famous boracay of Thephilippines, and i perfectly understand the reasons why you felt so bad on your experience, but if ever it comes to your mind to give Philippines a second chance please do let me know so that i can help you pick which island to go to, Batanes is such a nice place to visit as well as panglao island (and a lot more) in bohol those are virgin islands that might suit your taste and expected experience 🙂

  39. I’m a Filipino but I haven’t been (and not planning) to go to Boracay. Why? Your post says it all.

    Apparently, Boracay is now very commercialized and full of tourists everywhere. I don’t think you can enjoy your purpose of visiting, which is to enjoy nature. True, it may be a good for social place but as a person who prefers to relax and enjoy the nature, this is a no-no. I suggest visiting Palawan. I’ve been to El Nido and it’s amazing! I suppose it’s also cheaper but heck, I’d rather burn my money there.

  40. I agree with the Local Guide. Station 1 has more pristine sand with more privacy. As the huge resorts are in Station 1, they get to maintain their beach front. More vendors, insistent vendors to rephrase, stay in Station 2 and 3 for the simple reason that more shops, reataurants, and foot traffic happens along those strips. If you wanna do some water sports for instance, go to Station 2 because that’s where their “offices” or posts are so most likely these vendors would be on the Station 2 beach area. From that huge rock on your photo towards the other end behind your back, that’s station 1, the farther you go, the less shops, the less vendors, the more resorts, the more peace and privacy. I agree with one of those who added a comment before I did, Boracay is what is is. Known for parties and tourists, def don’t expect otherwise.

  41. you could have read some reviews before coming though. boracay is really loaded now so if you’re planning for a peaceful getaway, forget that place. i’m not much of a traveller but as a filipino, i know the hustles and bustles of our country. the annoying street vendors aren’t just on boracay, they’re all over the philippines. they make me go gaga too (in a bad way.) 🙂 just need to search, search and search thru the internet. try el nido, palawan? that place is isolated like heaven since not a lot of filipino people can afford the place. LOL 😀

  42. You’re certainly entitled to your own opinion, but I can’t help thinking that perhaps you let a few negative things ruin your vacation too much. I’m a pinoy who’s been to Palawan, Bohol and Boracay several times for vacation and I gotta say that Boracay still takes the cake for me and my family. It’s got the best beach and atmosphere, while Bohol is too quiet and Palawan is too spread out, too huge to take in on limited time and budget. Boracay is unique in that it can cater to the budget-conscious or the big spender and you can find everything you need in a few square kilometers of island.

    We always go to Boracay at least twice a year and while what you say about the commercialism the number of tourists and vendors is true, the beach, the shoreline, the surf and the vibe more than make up for it, at least for us it does. We’ve been there several times but it never gets old. We always want to go back because there’s always something new to discover and to do. For us, there are still so many unexplored aspects of the island to experience and enjoy.

    Perhaps next time you can schedule your trip towards the end of May-middle of June (End of Summer), or around early to mid-December, right before the Xmas rush. You might also try staying in Station 1 (it’s the quieter side of White beach where we always stay), where there are several mid to high-end resorts to chose from but less tourists, parties and vendors. If more seclusion is your thing, then you might also try staying in Bolabog Beach on the flip side of the island instead of White beach. It’s where all the extreme sportsmen stay.

    Anyway, I do hope you give Boracay another chance, it’s really a very lovely place. If you ever need a tour guide to show you why this is so, me and my family would love to take you in and show you around. And not just Boracay but also other places in the Philippines (Gotta say that I really appreciate you visiting our country a lot! Thanks for all your tourist dollars! :)). It would certainly be our pleasure to host you, after all, we’re Pinoys! It’s in our genetic make-up to be friendly and solicitous. 🙂

    I hope you visit the Philippines again soon. Good luck and God speed on your further travels! 🙂

  43. Hi Anna, in my opinion, your experience really was unfortunate. I’ve been to Boracay around 5 times and all I could say is just that over the years, it became overrated. Instead of enjoying the peaceful beach, listening to the sound of the waves, your experience was full of harsh reality. Reading some of the comments, I could only agree with those who have seen Boracay before it became all tourist-oriented. As a Filipino, I’m no longer quite sure if the development of Boracay was a good change. First, the place lost it’s “untouched” beauty. Yeah, it’s still a white sand beach/island, but before, people had to go to wet markets and have their newly bought fresh seafood cooked in restaurants to eat and enjoy the island-living. Now, famous restaurants surround the island and there’s even D’Mall already. Second, (believe it or not) vendors weren’t found in the beach/shore area. Henna tattooists, hair braiding services, massage therapists and Spas weren’t all over the island too. Third, each station had their own category. Station 1 had the finest sand and the most expensive resorts, Station 2 has most water activities, the wet market and the “middle-class” resorts while the sand only a little less fine than Station 1, and then Station 3 was where the cheaper resorts can be found and the sand isn’t fine at all. Now everything’s just so different. People go there not really because of what special gift they can find there from Mother nature, but what man has made available for them.

  44. If seclusion and privacy are what your looking for you might try Carabao Island (right off Boracay to the North), or Bantayan Island off Cebu. Both are still pretty rural and pristine. A word of warning though, the resorts and accommodations in these islands are, what you might say, lacking in the more advanced creature comforts. Carabao Island doesn’t even have 24-hour electricity.

      • Ah, you were here during the storm. Tsk, thats just bad luck. Usually all the storms have petered out by the time December rolls in. My reco is that next time you come back to the Philippines you might wanna try out those two islands, they’re what Boracay used to be 20 years ago. But, getting there is a bit of a bitch, no direct flights and a lot of boat rides.

        Boracay is still the best beach that is the easiest to get to. So, if you want to come back to Boracay, fly in straight to Caticlan (There’s also a ferry that docks in Caticlan but you have to take a three-hour bus ride from Manila to get to the embarkation port in Batangas). Stay in Station 1 and book in Sur or Residencia. Both are good value-for-money places, not as expensive as Friday’s or Two Seasons but offer great rooms and service for around 100-200 US$/night. Plus both are towards the end of Station 1, past Willy’s rock so there are a lot less people, vendors, disturbances, etc… You can also try Bulabog beach, it’s not as crowded and is more a center for water sports enthusiasts, but there are still several good resorts and the beach is just as fine.

        I do hope you’ll come back to our islands soon. Safe travels!

  45. This is sad experience.. It is always crowded during december and summer… For me, Boracay is a place to party and enjoy the beach without taking out the city comfort.

  46. station 2 and 3 are mainly for parties..
    if u try to go to station 1 or maybe in shangrila u will have the relaxing experience you are looking for.
    at night..station 1 is a bit quiet compare to the other 2 station.

    every tourist have different taste.. some may love bora.. some may not. maybe its not anna’s cup of tea ..

    but there are too many things to do and to see in boracay, i dnt know what’s her itenararies… but it seems like relaxing, if ur in stn 2 , then its not the place to relax.

  47. You should’ve taken a non-budget trip instead. In lieu of taking on backpackers hotel, you should’ve checked-inn at the other side of the island where no one is there but you with an array of hotel staff to take care of your needs. Never complain on a trip where you didn’t spend much. Get a quality trip instead. There are lots of good things to say about this island anyway. A good writer shows the good and the bad side of the book.

    • Well, compared to other places in the Philippines I’ve visited Boracay was way too overpriced and I wasn’t on a budget. I don’t mind sending money but for me this place is just not worth it.

      • Well it appeared so as you stayed in a hostel and took a kalibo flight. But then again, it was peak season and prices would be high and rooms and flights booked high.

  48. Filipino here, travel junkie with a passion for food – and a constant visitor of Boracay for more than a decade. I go at least 3x a year and is still in love with the island.

    Sad to hear about your experience but the route you took was the budget or low cost route. There are ways to make your trip to the island much more pleasant. Take a flight to Caticlan and it will just take a 20 minute boat ride to the island – depends on which resort you stay at, they can have a private boat pick you up (Discovery Shores, Shangrila etc.) – you can have the whole boat to yourself if you don’t wanna socialize.

    Staying in these resorts would mean a better location – wider, cleaner and less crowded beach as well. No backpackers, and service is world class – truly Filipino.

    I don’t know if someone pulled a prank on you as I would never suggest nor have ever been to Hobbit House as there are a number of other restaurants that can please your palate.

    If what you wrote was how you experienced the island then I must totally agree with you. However the island, as with any place, has the good and bad parts and it’s very unfortunate that you are in the latter. If you do decide to give it another chance, please feel free to drop me an email and I will be more than glad to suggest an itinerary to introduce you to the Boracay I know.

  49. I am also not a party person. If you want pruvacy with lesser tourists, try a private island in Palawan called Mangenguey Island. It is a little over an hour of boat ride from Coron Island and I swear you will have the peace, relaxation, and privacy you are looking for. It is too far from the hustle bustles of city life, and electricity is limited only in the morning. My husband and I enjoyed our honeymoon here-it felt like we had the entire island to ourselves any time of the day. 🙂

  50. You should have visited El Nido Palawan instead, its a tropical paradise and the vibe is completely different from Boracay. Its a 5 hour trip from Puerto Princesa. The amenities are pretty basic in town with electricity from 2pm to 6am only. There are expensive El Nido Hotels if you want to be pampered. There is no loud party in the beach so you can just relax.

  51. Why not go to Guimaras island instead and enjoy enjoy our sweet mangoes? There are a number of beach resorts there which even prohibits the use of celfones and other gadgets. Just enjoy the sea, the sun and the sand 🙂

  52. I have been traveling to the Philippines for many years and have discovered many exquisite places, but have avoided Boracay for exactly the reasons you mention. No doubt the worst place to visit in the islands. My advice: get off the beaten path, explore a little and find your own private paraduse. I have already found mine, but won’t tell you where it is because I don’t want you to go there. Regarding the midget club, I saw the exact same thing in Manila, but didn’t know there was one in Boracay. Must be a chain…

  53. It’s very unfortunate for you to experience all of these in your trip and I hope you find other places that will definitely enjoy your socks off than this Boracay place. And I salute you for mentioning these details on your blog so that everyone who visits here will be aware of all these and for the governing people there to at least improve the examples you have stated above. It’s been a long time that the place has been too chaotic and I am gradually losing interest to visit there someday.

  54. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t want any foreigners in Boracay, imagine meeting condescending and feeling almighty people like you. que horror! I would be happy to just have the pristine white beach to ourselves. Maybe your post will help lessen people coming in to the island and foreigners coming in to build business on it so we can get back the pristine beach we once knew.

  55. Boracay is not the place for you dear, if u want to enjoy the beach and have peace of mind you should have gone swimming in the beach of siargao, coron or other destination. Boracay is commercialized and is suitable for those who love partying by the beach. I rate your blog 6/10. Not because I don’t agree with your views about it but because, this island doesn’t fit you. 🙂

  56. I surmise crowded places are not your thing. Try Batanes. It’s the northernmost province of the Philippines. Quiet, serene, and truly untouched. Very different from the bustling cities of Manila and crowded beach of Boracay. 110% sure you’ll enjoy staying there to the extent that you don’t want to leave anymore. 😉

  57. I’d say your experience is fairly typical. But it would seem you got what you planned and then are complaining. You stayed in a hostel and I think those do cater to the backpackers. You complain about that! Come on now. Look at your picture of the “crowded” beach. I counted perhaps 20 people in a perhaps 200m of beach front. How much space do you really need? You knew of Boracay as a party place and a popular tourist destination, and then are surprised/disappointed that you didn’t have the Island to yourself? The concept of jamming people into a conveyance like sardines seems to me to be very Filipino. Most of the tourist-businesses are not owned by the “local Filipinos”. Mostly they’re foreign owned. So the mermaid swimming failure shouldn’t necessarily be blamed on the locals. I don’t doubt that there is a lot of stuff left on the beach by the drunken partiers, but your picture of 1 slipper/flipflop and a bunch of seaweed doesn’t make that point. It seems to me all your plans were for a cheap party vacation, and that’s what you got and you’re complaining about it.

    I live there about half the year. If you want a quiet time, come back and I’ll show you one. First off, don’t fly to Kalibo. Go directly to Caticlan. Second, stay south of Station 3. It’s quieter. Stay away from the Main Road. If you want to complain about something, there it is. One friend characterized it as typical of any Asian city. Yes there’s very little Filipino culture on Boracay. But one can still have a nice time, meet and get to know locals, and even go back to the “Mainland”, Panay Island, and see and enjoy local culture.

      • That is why it’s called tourist destination where people visit to enjoy. Get a 5 star resort where there’s privacy!

    • very true, and agree with you, alan… there are a million ways to travel… if you choose the cheapest way, expect the worst possible nightmare to happen… though sometimes, some people get lucky meeting local residents and their hospitality without selling you anything but give you the best experience that money could not buy… if you are not into parties, there is still a way to do it in boracay but you’ve got to do your research better as a traveler or an experienced world traveler… learn most especially the low season and between peak and super peak season and the weather, of course!!…, this is an SOP for a traveler on a budget (even if you are not in a budget) and don’t want to spend much and counting every penny he or she spends and do not act like a know it all person because you traveled the world already and your standard of spending is not cheap yet you stayed in a rowdy place… what has been described by anna, are true these days, i wont deny that and this lady traveler is one of the most unfortunate person to ever visit boracay, but count yourself lucky, anna, as you are still alive… there are worst experiences than yours such as spider nesting in your face while in a train in africa or raped in the taxi or bus in india or not coming home alive at all… your hatred of the island and blogging about it to spread hate awareness is as worst like a tourism terrorist spreading it’s venom thru social media… you do not need to lie about your experience but to conclude that everybody will have your experience, is almost as the same terrorist style of spreading the worst of a place so you can appease your nightmare experience… sharing your bad experience does not mean you have to bad mouth the island and its people and there way of living, that is if you ever learned anything in international relations, humanities and journalism… obviously, your standard of cheap travel and not cheap travel is not the same to most people and the international standard despite your varied and wide experiences… if you were not ready to spend money to have the best comfort and experience, you should at least be ready for your nightmare of an experience as a world traveler and learned person… i used to be a backpacker but i have never been to the rowdy drunk guests crowd hostel you had experienced… if you were not in a budget you should have stayed in shangrila boracay where you can have your privacy, peace and quiet time in your own villa while enjoying the white beach… or if you like to be at the long beach, there are several hotels like fridays/dscovery shores/ambassador of paradise etc and several others, that you could have stayed that are owned or run by both filipinos and europeans alike, who are now become local residents and you can even have a chat at the coffee-shoppe with their families… if my daughter who is 5 years old was able to do this, how much more for an adult traveler.. so i think this is something to do with the traveler’s attitude and character in general… well, anna, if you ever visit boracay again, that is if you got the guts to get another nightmare, plan it well ahead, do your research on expected weather, island culture, cultural integration and make sure that you indeed learn something and not just so you can be a condescending whinger, and since you have no patience for vendors, do your research to avoid the crowded rowdy noisy places that are full of vendors, who, you must also consider if you are a learned world traveler and understand they are earning a living and do not judge them, at least they are not muggers, killers, or rapists… for a world traveler, you are not a very patient, adaptable, flexible, open-minded and not ready to rough it out kind of person… luckily you cannot terrorize or badmouth the weather who gives you displeasure when you wanted the sun in your spoiled ways… your travels, is just a travel for you but not part of growing and developing and learning to be a better person with understanding in humanities, cultures and peoples but to show off yourself… you sound like you are stock in the box of condescension and high opinions of your worldly self … and you should not count every penny you spend if you want to travel in a less hassle way… like why take a bus if you are not ready to spend time with the worst scenario… take a taxi and be ready to spend, for a less than 2 hours travel, that is about PHP1,500 to 2,000, is cheap compared taking a taxi in new york or sydney or london or singapore… i know this for a fact… if you are indeed a traveler and have done your research, you know that you can haggle/bargain with the prices in the philippines… that way you can enjoy your travel and you have no time to complain or whinge… of all the hundreds and hundreds of restaurant, your choice was the hobbit house in the middle of a crowded bustling mall!!.. in all my years as a local resident in boracay i have not been to this place but i interact with the crew outside as we pass by this place, coz my children are curious to see small people and thought them to be cousins of bilbo, the adventurous hobbit… sunset and the beach is not only for tourist to enjoy, this has been a part of the life of the local people to be at the beach enjoying every sunset with their families… if you have done your research as an educated with backgrounds in humanities and international relations, you do not sound like a learned person, but a spoiled traveler who thinks so big of yourself and look down of other individuals that does not suit your lifestyle and personalities… you even complained of the PHP50 picture taking of the sand castle, wow really… that’s about only a $1 or $1,50 or less than 1 euro, for an artist to get to share their art and make a living and for all people to enjoy and even get a souvenir picture… really, with that you whinged… think about it if you have internalized your degrees and education in many different universities and countries that you lived and traveled… you have judged and insulted the locals and their island home and their jobs of earning a living… if you are a cultured person, whinging is the least of the things you will do… but appreciate your life compared to people who have to deal with the likes of you to earn a living and invading their island home… your beauty is skin deep… you do not deserve to enjoy our islands in the philippines, so please do not come back, next time might be (more) worst for you than being in the hospital… and i would say maybe you deserve what’s coming to you… cheers alan… i do not want this kind of person to come back and enjoy our island home and other islands in the philippines… and for those who listen to the ramblings of this empty traveler/blogger who does not seem to understand what is research and tourist destination, it’s your loss and boracay will be better off if you do not ever come to visit and enjoy the fun that is only in boracay and/or in the philippines… and anna, if you have done your research, you could have experience the sound of waves before sleeping and when waking up at spider house but this place is not as luxurious as marina bay sands and not as expensive as marina bay sands and you do not need to get points or mileage just so you can get a discounted rate to experience the infinity pool and no need to pay $20 to get to the observatory lookout overlooking a city… just get lucky that it is not fully book or you actually meet the wonderful local people to get lucky to be invited to this place and other nook and crany of this small island paradise you venomously hate and bad mouth…

    • very true, and agree with you, alan… there are a million ways to travel… if you choose the cheapest way, expect the worst possible nightmare to happen… though sometimes, some people get lucky meeting local residents and their hospitality without selling you anything but give you the best experience that money could not buy… if you are not into parties, there is still a way to do it in boracay but you’ve got to do your research better as a traveler or an experienced world traveler… learn most especially the low season and between peak and super peak season and the weather, of course!!…, this is an SOP for a traveler on a budget (even if you are not in a budget) and don’t want to spend much and counting every penny he or she spends and do not act like a know it all person because you traveled the world already and your standard of spending is not cheap yet you stayed in a rowdy place… what has been described by anna, are true these days, i wont deny that and this lady traveler is one of the most unfortunate person to ever visit boracay, but count yourself lucky, anna, as you are still alive… there are worst experiences than yours such as spider nesting in your face while in a train in africa or raped in the taxi or bus in india or not coming home alive at all… your hatred of the island and blogging about it to spread hate awareness is as worst like a tourism terrorist spreading it’s venom thru social media… you do not need to lie about your experience but to conclude that everybody will have your experience, is almost as the same terrorist style of spreading the worst of a place so you can appease your nightmare experience… this is irresponsible journalism, look at your tittle “Boracay – probably the worst island I’ve ever visited”… sharing your bad experience does not mean you have to bad mouth the island and its people and there way of living, that is if you ever learned anything in international relations, humanities and journalism and responsible journalism… obviously, your standard of cheap travel and not cheap travel is not the same to most people and the international standard despite your varied and wide experiences… if you were not ready to spend money to have the best comfort and experience, you should at least be ready for your nightmare of an experience as a world traveler and learned person… i used to be a backpacker but i have never been to the rowdy drunk guests crowd hostel you had experienced… if you were not in a budget you should have stayed in shangrila boracay where you can have your privacy, peace and quiet time in your own villa while enjoying the white beach… or if you like to be at the long beach, there are several hotels like fridays/dscovery shores/ambassador of paradise etc and several others, that you could have stayed that are owned or run by both filipinos and europeans alike, who are now become local residents and you can even have a chat at the coffee-shoppe with their families… if my daughter who is 5 years old was able to do this, how much more for an adult traveler.. so i think this is something to do with the traveler’s attitude and character in general… well, anna, if you ever visit boracay again, that is if you got the guts to get another nightmare, plan it well ahead, do your research on expected weather, island culture, cultural integration and make sure that you indeed learn something and not just so you can be a condescending whinger, and since you have no patience for vendors, do your research to avoid the crowded rowdy noisy places that are full of vendors, who, you must also consider if you are a learned world traveler and understand they are earning a living and do not judge them, at least they are not muggers, killers, or rapists… for a world traveler, you are not a very patient, adaptable, flexible, open-minded and not ready to rough it out kind of person… luckily you cannot terrorize or badmouth the weather who gives you displeasure when you wanted the sun in your spoiled ways… your travels, is just a travel for you but not part of growing and developing and learning to be a better person with understanding in humanities, cultures and peoples but to show off yourself… you sound like you are stock in the box of condescension and high opinions of your worldly self … and you should not count every penny you spend if you want to travel in a less hassle way… like why take a bus if you are not ready to spend time with the worst scenario… take a taxi and be ready to spend, for a less than 2 hours travel, that is about PHP1,500 to 2,000, is cheap compared taking a taxi in new york or sydney or london or singapore… i know this for a fact… if you are indeed a traveler and have done your research, you know that you can haggle/bargain with the prices in the philippines… that way you can enjoy your travel and you have no time to complain or whinge… of all the hundreds and hundreds of restaurant, your choice was the hobbit house in the middle of a crowded bustling mall!!.. in all my years as a local resident in boracay i have not been to this place but i interact with the crew outside as we pass by this place, coz my children are curious to see small people and thought them to be cousins of bilbo, the adventurous hobbit… sunset and the beach is not only for tourist to enjoy, this has been a part of the life of the local people to be at the beach enjoying every sunset with their families… if you have done your research as an educated with backgrounds in humanities and international relations, you do not sound like a learned person, but a spoiled traveler who thinks so big of yourself and look down of other individuals that does not suit your lifestyle and personalities… you even complained of the PHP50 picture taking of the sand castle, wow really… that’s about only a $1 or $1,50 or less than 1 euro, for an artist to get to share their art and make a living and for all people to enjoy and even get a souvenir picture… really, with that you whinged… think about it if you have internalized your degrees and education in many different universities and countries that you lived and traveled… you have judged and insulted the locals and their island home and their jobs of earning a living… if you are a cultured person, whinging is the least of the things you will do… but appreciate your life compared to people who have to deal with the likes of you to earn a living and invading their island home… your beauty is skin deep… you do not deserve to enjoy our islands in the philippines, so please do not come back, next time might be (more) worst for you than being in the hospital… and i would say maybe you deserve what’s coming to you… cheers alan boracay… i do not want this kind of person to come back and enjoy our island home and other islands in the philippines… and for those who listen to the ramblings of this empty traveler/blogger who does not seem to understand what is research and tourist destination, it’s your loss and boracay will be better off if you do not ever come to visit and enjoy the fun that is only in boracay and/or in the philippines… and anna, if you have done your research, you could have experience the sound of waves before sleeping and when waking up at spider house but this place is not as luxurious as marina bay sands and not as expensive as marina bay sands and you do not need to get points or mileage just so you can get a discounted rate to experience the infinity pool and no need to pay $20 to get to the observatory lookout overlooking a city,,, that is if you just get lucky that it is not fully book or you actually meet the wonderful local people and/or get lucky to be invited to this place and other nook and crany of this small island paradise you venomously hate and bad mouth… in addition, you obviously want to be famous in this controversial blog you decided to open across the net and like to always look beautiful to the readers in your pictures hence your ramblings do not coincide with your pictures and disgust of your nightmarish experienced… you look beautiful and maybe that’s how you can attract but you just made your credibility questionable… how long have you stayed in boracay and how much have you explored the island to rate this as the worst island to visit in asia across the globe… not even your degrees and the universities you went to study, can help you get your credibility back…

      • All praises to this part of this thread.
        Thank you ‘boracay island girl in merlion country ‘ for putting it all in another perspective. An ‘educated’ perspective i must say. I am a Filipino and am proud of the Philippines. I can’t say it’s perfect but it is what it is. Boracay, is now the Number 1 tourist spot in this country being that it has one of the most beautiful beaches. So yes, it’s crowded. Typically what you can say about a popular mall, a popular restaurant, a popular club. Anything that is popular gets crowded. Since i prefer nature over partying when i travel, ( i already live in the city so partying stays in that city life i have) i avoid Boracay during peak, and super peak season. People find it weird that i only book my travels during off peak season, but we should know what we want to control during our chosen visit on a certain destination. Truthfully, yes we get the best services when we are willing to pay a high cost on our vacations. But i’d also want to add that since i do not always have the capacity to spend as much for getaways, i am still able to experience the best of any place i travel to once i open my mind to what can be expected or not. Traveling entails a traveling mind open to experience (whether good or bad) and be able to write that in their memory as a learning experience. In my cheap travels, i’ve had that priviledge to live like the common folks, travel as they do (like through small boats, tricycles, motorcycles (habal habal) with more than two passengers and experience the serenity of the sea during long travels by the ocean (for when airfares get too pricey for my budget)… I get to eat what they eat on a regular day by joinng them in small carinderias, haggle in the wet market and get bitten by small insects when i’ve chosen to stay in a small nipa hut to get back to basics. Still, the experience of traveling that way is not something that can be concluded as a ‘bad experience’. Agin, it depends on the mindset of the traveller. How friendly you were to the townsfolk, and how you would choose to account this experience in your bucket list. For vacations where i can spend as much, so well yes i enjoy the other side of service. I get of course the most of what i paid for. Yet on both occasions i must say, i’ve never had to categorize something as worst (execept perhaps i got raped, mugged or killed). Every travel you do whetgher backpacking or the other way – are both luxuries of mankind just to be able to experience another part of the world. So once again, my point being, is that it depends on the mindset of one person on how he/she chooses to travel. If you prefer complaining and being a snob… stay at the confinements of luxurious expensive itinerary though even then there is no assurance you have a terrific experience to remember or write about…. but whether it be you are backpacking or have a low cost itinerary to carry with you and guide your tiurs — you can still have the most magnificent, memorable experience…. MINDSET is key. It’s like having a bad day and you feel everything’s going against you just because — as opposed to putting a smile on your face and loving what you do and it feels as the world comspires with you. CHEERS TO ALL TRAVELLERS.

        P.S. Now Ms Anna, what do you say about ‘boracay island girl in merlion country ”s comment. Any educated advice this time? Sorry but i’m curious how you will respond to this as obviously you have chosen comments to respond to.

  58. I’m a Filipino and im saddened with your experience.. you should have visited Batanes instead. It’s a perfect destination if you want a peaceful place to wander.. nobody will annoy you there. You can even stay in our house for free just a few steps from the beach. 🙂 No kidding! 🙂 (For as long as you’re ok staying in a nipa hut) 😀

    Another exciting about Batanes is that the fact that there is an existing store there that has no attendant at all… it’s the only store of it’s kind probably that exist in the world… you won’t think it exist either. 🙂

  59. Although I don’t necessarily disagree with you, I do have a few things to add. These are things that you may have missed and if only you knew them, you may have had a more decent experience.

    1. Boracay has 3 major parts called stations. Stations 2 and 3 is pretty much exactly what you described but not all parts of Station 1 is highly commercialized. If you walked a little further from Willys Rock (thats the name of the rock behind you in one of your pictures) theres a part of the beach that has no beachfront hotels and restos. Just the beach. I am currently wriing this reply in that part of the island and to be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t know about this part until yesterday morning when we got here and saw it for myself. d Ive been here a couple of times. Not our fault but nobody really blogs about the boring parts, right?

    2. It used to be really really expensive for us Filipinos to fly and go to Boracay (and everywhere else) and it was just recently when travelling became affordable to us so forgive us for being inconsiderate, rude, and careless. I can assure you that that is not who we are as a people. Its just that travel ettiquette is still unheard of only because we just started to be able to travel.

    3. You cannot visit any country without finding out about its people and its culture. Yours is a classic example of culture shock. We are a poor nation. Those vendors were not trying to intentionally ruin your vacation. They were just trying to earn a living. Yes it is perfectly ok to feel disappointed but if you knew this was coming, you may have had a different experience. Yes youd still be pissed but youd be a lot more forgiving.

    I hope you give Boracay another chance and if you do, try not to go during peak season which is march to april and december to early january as there are less people.

    • Hi Mark! I walked along all Boracay – station 1, 2 and 3. I know that’s not how Filipinos are – I went to other islands and experiences friendly and kind people that’s exactly why I wrote what I wrote about Boracay 🙂

  60. I agree with this post. I have only been to Boracay once even if it’s near my hometown. I don’t like it. Have you been to Calaguas Island or Balabac Palawan? The best!

  61. 1. Felt the same way about Patong beach in Phuket, as well as Pattaya. I loved Krabi though.

    2. Felt the same way the first time I went to Boracay 8 years ago. Probably coz of all the hype from people (satisfaction = reality – expectation). I grew up in a coastal island in PH (Cebu) so my idea of a beach was always serene, wide shoreline where you hear waves and not pop music from clubs. In Boracay, I. Saw a lot of cigarette butts by the beach, loud music. Definitely not the typical beach I grew up with. Loved it later on when I managed my expectations already and went there with friends, with the intention of really going to a party beach.

    Ever since, I’ve always gone to boracay expecting to party have a good time and be drunk. I go to Palawan, Cebu or Bohol to experience the opposite ie serenity, relaxation.

    In sum, going to overhyped touristy beaches such as Phuket and Boracay taught me that satisfaction = reality – expectation.

  62. You went in the absolute peek season and posing on the beach in front of Willy’ Rock, complaining that there too many people at the beach? Just in case you didn’t know it: Willy’s Rock is one of the top 10 attractions in Boracay, it’s like you’re standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and complaining why are there too many tourists.

    Boracay is more than just White Beach. Did you try Puka Shell Beach, Ilig Iligan Beach, Lapu Lapuz, or Tambisaan Beach? Did you walk at White Beach all the way towards the end of Station 3, far after Angol Road? No people there. Boracay is the best if you go ouside of super peek season.

    I love Boracay, been there many times and surely come back another time. I never had such experience as you described. I truly believe, if you smile at people they will smile back at you. Hope you had more luck at other places. Happy travels.

  63. I as well do not enjoy a lot of people and partying. These are our preference, we should not be in a place like Boracay. I haven’t been there, and do not plan to visit there any time soon, although I am a Filipino. Boracay has gotten too much attention over the past years, and people there have overlooked people like us, that enjoys nice peaceful place, that prefers beautiful scenery than partying. Also I wanted to apologize to how people treated you there, this things happen even to us, but especially to foreigners.

    If you haven’t gone to El Nido, Palawan, I think you should, so Philippines can make up for the disappointment Boracay gave you. Few people, nicer and more hospitable, but still, please do take care. ciao

  64. hey – I absolutely feel you. Boracay is not a place to go if you want to relax. Go to El nido Palawan and you will have an exceptional experience. I am Filipino and had lost my trust with my fellow filos. But my recent trip to El nido have changed everything. People from there are incredibly polite and honest, and the place is a paradise.

  65. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t get to enjoy your stay in the Philippines when we are known to be very hospitable and cheerful people. But like all tourist places, consumerism was bound to happen. Did you visit Palawan? I haven’t been there yet, but am planning to visit soon. Mind you, I am Filipino-and proud. My fiancé loves Boracay, but he is a party person I suppose, and it caters to his tourist whims. The Philippines has so much more to offer; maybe the next time you visit will be a lot better.

  66. very well documented girl! Somehow you tell the truth but for the short period of your stay in the island it will not be enough for you to say that you already know everything about Boracay. I think you are a kind of traveler who only seek for negative things just to have something to write. For your own publicity and congratulation because you have actually get what you want. For your information Boracay has 13 known beaches you probably know the white beach where you said you in counter the annoying vendor but incase you want to know the other beach in Boracay there’s the
    Bolabog beach
    Diniwid beach
    Fairways and blue water beach
    Balinghai beach
    Punta bunga beach
    Puka shell beach
    Ilig Iligan beach
    Lugutan beach
    Tulubhan beach
    Tambisaan beach
    Manoc manoc beach
    Cagban beach
    And there are other hidden beach
    And a nearby beach if you have take a bangka I know it, its because I grow up on that island and it’s very unfair for me that you will only ruin the island for your own publicity. My point here is that the island have a lot of things to offer for all the things needed of a tourist like you. If you really go there for a purpose to relax and unwind you could have done it girl but I guess you have other purpose of going there and that is to list down all the negative things and good job! Your good at it. It may be annoying to you but for those people all they want is earn something just to survive for a day and have something to eat incase you don’t understand people there is trying to live in a tourism industry. What we promote is not only a place but also the people we are thought to respect just simply say no and they will not bother you! The beach your in is a place for vendors that they are allowed to sell something you could have go to other beach in the island. No matter what you say Boracay will still be a paradise. Million of tourist have visit the island not just because of the beauty of the island but because of the people. A piece of advice if you travel always be in your positive aura and everything will be a beautiful experience.

    • I wish they wouldn’t bother me if I said no. The same vendors were approaching me and my friend a couple of times a day and when I asked them if they realized that if I wanted a selfie stick or a boat tour I’d have bought it already they started laughing and saying ‘but you’re a tourist’. Not cool.

      • see more-than selling you an items they are eager to be friends with you. Well I guess the problem is that you are very beautiful I suggest stay away from the beach.

        • Freddie Alviola…The vendors want to be friends? Seriously? All my tourist friends have been swindled by these vendors (not giving back the correct change, pick-pocketed, selling stolen stuff, etc.). And they want to be friends??? How typically ‘defensive filipino’ you are.

  67. Im a filipino and i agree that boracay is not the place if you want peace 😀 There are lota of beaches and i always love Palawan – El Nido & Coron. There you can experience peace and true Filipino culture.

  68. I’m a Filipino and I completely agree with all the points you’ve put in. Sure the beaches and the water may be gorgeous but the people definitely make the place. Boracay has lost it’s original charm many years ago. It’s now been converted into a 24 hour party arena and a money siphoning machine.

    If you ever decide to visit again I would recommend Palawan or take a trip North join a hiking group and climb Mt. Pulag maybe go swimming at underwater river inside the caves of Sagada and check out the cool hanging coffins at the face of a cliff. You can also go to Banawe Rice Terraces and go on an adventure to find the amazing waterfalls for a nice swim. We spent the night with the locals and we told stories around a bonfire while watching the fireflies drinking hot cocoa.
    I can show you some pictures from my trip if you want

    A truly amazing experience.

    • I wanted to go everywhere you’ve mentioned here, but got super sick and had to go back. Only went to Bohol and Cebu.

      • NO..DON’T GO ANYWHERE IN THE PHILIPPINES JUST GO BACK HOME HIDE IN YOUR CLOSET MAYBE INSIDE EVERYTHING IS PERFECT….YOUR NOT WELCOME HERE…WILL SPREAD THIS BLOG OF YOURS SO THAT YOU WILL SEE WHAT YOU REALLY WANTED…IM SURE YOUR NEXT DESTINATION YOUR FIRST ITINERARY IS TO LOOK FOR NEGATIVE THINGS …YOU WILL NEVER GET HAPPINESS HONEY…BECAUSE YOU ATTRACTS NEGATIVE ALWAYS…PERFECT, ELEGANT, HIGH CLASS IS THAT WHAT YOU WANTED TO HEAR THERE YOU GO…BUT NEVER COME BACK HERE BECAUSE I MYSELF WILL BOOOO YOU ONCE I SAW YOU ANYWHERE HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES.

        • WTH, borg. Your stupid “defensive Filipino” attitude makes us Filipinos look bad. If you don’t like what you read in her own page, then leave. I happen to agree with Anna. Boracay has gone to the dumps since the late 90’s. Furthermore, if you like to sound smart or perhaps your opinion be respected do not type in all caps.

          • Boracay was once listed in the top 10 resorts in the world. I have been to wonderful beaches and resorts in the Philippines and many other countries.

            There are many positives on Boracay. The people generally are quite good to deal with and I found them very polite. I must say I am immune to the hawkers having been in the Philippines on and off for 30 years. There appears to be almost full employment and little numbers of beggars. I was looking to buy an article I could not find and 2 masseuses asked me what I was looking for. When I told them one offered to take me around to see if she could find a shop with the item I wanted. She did not ask for anything, however, I gave her something out of respect for the kindness.. This is the Philippines I used to know.

            I have seen over the last 10 years a growing level of disrespect from may aspects in the Philippines especially the people who carry bags and expect payment. I respond in their language “Tagalog” they dont bother me anymore, but, unfortunately, they do see foreigners as the cash cow.

            Restaurants are overpriced and hotel accommodation is not cheap. If I compare prices with Phuket Philippines does not go anywhere near competing. Phuket enjoys 10 million or more tourists a year and has a great beach. Bohol is fantastic and you have choices. Cebu has excellent beaches. Palawan also and so friendly there.

            The nature or Boracay is not so good.. I really did not enjoy it and could not wait to leave. My disappointments were the beach, second rate at best, the activities like parasailing done 2 km away so you cannot see your family or friends enjoying it. Limited activities and a dangerous stretch of water near the Port end of he main beach.

            Boracay for a long time was at the top of my list of places I did not want to go to but I had no choice since my Filipino family booked the Christmas holiday there for a week without asking me.

            Personally I will not go back there.

        • wow! give yourself a pat on the back buddy cause you just made yourself look like a complete retard!

        • hey BORG if you don’t understand the real meaning of her blog then please shut!!! take the negative into positive to improve surroundings in bora… be fair!

  69. DORA, THE EXPLORER, DOES IT BETTER

    I won’t try to defend “the island” because I can’t keep count of the times I’ve been there.

    But for a traveler, I think you suck at it on so many different levels.

    Ex 1. Don’t compare. Accept and appreciate your destination for what it is. Don’t look for something else especially when it’s your first time. But be prepared.

    2. You ruined her “vacation” yourself by being too consumed by things you didn’t like, because you kept doing no.1.

    3. Research, research, research. If you did, you wouldn’t have gone there to begin with if you thinks it’s not for you ie time of the year, airport to take, resort to stay at, restaurant to eat at, things to do, etc). There are 7,107 islands to choose from 🙂

    While some of what you wrote are probably true, there are ways to go around them… I find your photos funny to even point out “over-crowded” (less than 20 people in the background during the day… I’m sure you can find a spot in 7 kilometers of beach and own it for a day or two) and “full of crap from drunken night” (sea grass washed on the shore and a slipper) though. Your sunset photo isn’t even pointed where the sun sets. “Extremely popular spot… Is very Filipino” is a photo of a crepe?!? Seems like you’re always pointing your camera in the wrong direction to show your disappointment…

    I wish I can post here photos of Boracay contrary to what you’re trying to show everybody but some of them, especially my sunset shots have been shared at Living Asia Channel’s facebook account.

    Cliche, but, next time you travel, keep an open mind. Next time you write, toss in both good and bad. Please write responsibly.

  70. Hi anna, it’s really sad to read this blogpost as a Filipino. But then, you are right. Tbh, Boracay is not what it used to before, maybe you could visit other islands and places where there are few tourists such as el nido, anyawangin, enchanted river, etc. Hey you still have 7,106 islands to visit and explore. Hehehe.

  71. Filipino here, and i agree with you on Consumerism destroying the island. I’d give you tips on where to go next, but i don’t want to say it here as other tourists might follow…hehe..hope you het to enjoy the other islands next time though.

  72. Hi Anna, this is a very intersting read.

    I am a local of the island and I’ve got to say that your points are indeed true however I would like to voice out my opinions as well.

    You see, being a resident of the place, I’m not particularly fond of hearing bad things about it, or in this case, reading something bad written about it.

    I’d like to start with the trip from Kalibo Airport to the island. You were grouped with other tourists under southwest tours and you complained that there were kids who played loud music without any regard for anyone else. Well, you could’ve asked the tour guide on the bus to ask them to settle down. I think there’s a tour coordinator for each bus group if I’m not mistaken. So the first topic of your post should’ve been directed to Southwest Tours. Although it’s also good that you’ve pointed this out so other tourists can look for other options on how to get to the island but this one is not the island’s fault.

    The crowds of horrible backpackers is one thing I fully agree on. There are a lot of those here.

    The lack of Filipino culture, well, that’s actually towards the advantage of the tourists. Business owners may have wanted their guests to “feel at home away from home”. But there are places on the island that kept the Filipino culture intact. You may have just missed it.

    Regarding the mermaid swimming thing though, you said that there were to e-mails sent to you. You should’ve asked which e-mail was more accurate. Though I do understand that following the latest email would have been the right call, however, you may not have been the only group that they had a schedule with. It never hurt anyone to ask. (Not a hundred percent sure about that though, some may have been slapped.)

    Next, the local vendors are indeed annoying. I’m even ticked off at times but they can just be ignored. You can’t actually blame them because they’re selling their services and product to make a living. So they’re bound to ask you if you wanted a massage or a boat ride or if you wanted to try cliff diving. Also, it’s not as if every vendor on the island knew that you wanted to enjoy the beach in peace.

    Crowded beach? Well, knowing that Boracay was a top tourist attraction in the Philippines, of course, there would be a lot of people on the island. It’s not as if we could just cater 10 people at a time.

    You were right about consumerism destroying the island though since I’ve seen the island before all the buildings and establishments were even there. However the government is doing the best that they can to preserve Boracay. There are hired people assigned to clean the beach at dawn and during dusk to keep it clean. I know because I’ve been with them picking up trash and bottles at the front beach during the times when I decide to take stroll along the sandy white beach and enjoy the sunrise or the sunset.

    There are also municipal ordinances prohibiting drinking and smoking outside the coconut trees as markers so anywhere further than those trees towards the beach is a no smoking, no drinking site.

    However, it can’t always be closely monitored since the tourists just come and go and not every tourist is educated on the dos and don’ts in the island.

    But like I said, I do respect your opinion and your post is correct. It is a nightmare to get to the island especially if you’re not used to the processes or if you’re new to the place, there are crowds of horrible backpackers, Filipino culture is slowly diminishing, the vendors are annoying though but can’t be helped, and the island is indeed being destroyed by consumerism.

    But I hopenI’ve somehow partially put Boracay back into the light, if not fully.

    Thanks for your honesty.

  73. Sad but true but you should have read more. If you really wanted a quite place where you can relax and enjoy the beach there are other sides of boracay you can stay in but it will be a little costly. Next time go to Palawan or go to Bohol. Boracay is always crowded. It is not a beach where you can go alone and be peaceful. But Boracay is a very beautiful beach next time bring friends!

  74. Was planning to go to boracay with some of my close friends this upcoming summer, but hearing rumors about the beach overcrowded is somewhat true after-all how disappointing, well i could somehow tolerate the vendors and say pass, but i really have no patience when it comes to transportation which is one the things i must say is very important in a trip, maximizing your time and energy not wasting it on bad vibes while on your way to the destination this review simply summarizes everything thank you for informing us

  75. Thanks anna, next time you visit… check out biri rock formation in samar i’m sure you’ll love it… they have several waterfalls too… 😀

  76. You knew from the start that a big part of Boracay is commercialized; non stop parties, big establishments and excited tourists. So why do you need to diss these people for trying to make the most out of thier vacation? Why do We bash things that is not aligned with our lifestyle choices? There are lots of serene spots and beaches in boracay away from the mainstream scene perfect for relaxation (puka shell beach, balabag, Shang hotel etc.) have you made an effort to look for these peaceful spots? And Have you also bothered to check the LGU’s in boracay regarding thier waste management system? I’m guessing that you didn’t and just assumed the worst that everyone is out to destroy the beautiful white beach. You insult the vendors who are trying to make a decent living to sell those “crappy” sovieniers, that you so excellently put. You booked the cheapest transfers and you complain cause it was uncomfortable and there’s a lot of rowdy tourists? You book a cheap hostel and, of course, you complain about that too. It’s Not boracay’s fault that youre a fault finding, offensive, tourist constricted by budget limitations with 5 star treatment expectations, It’s ridiculously annoying and downright stupid. Lastly, I don’t think you have the credentials to comment about our culture and heritage So just Don’t explain things that you don’t understand. My advice is to plan your trips better and a little HUMILTY goes a long way. There will always be glitches when we travel but to whine like a kid about every little detail is not what seasoned travelers are about. Cheers!

  77. That’s why I never considered Boracay in my favorite beaches list. I’d rather go to the uncommercialized beaches in Pangasinan, or do ialand hopping in Palawan…or at extreme north…in Ilocos.

    Beaches should be serene.. Boracay ruins that idea. Good writeup Anna.

  78. Just ignore the butthurt Filipinos. All they know is to cry and ramble when they can’t accept the truth. I’ve been to Boracay and it’s as shitty as you described it to be. Never going back that shit hole again.

  79. Much as I still wanted to defend by saying we have Station 1 if that’s your kind of thing, if you consider budget and that’s your preference, then Boracay’s not for you. I’d rather go to the uncommercialized beaches in La Union, Pangasinan, or do ialand hopping in Palawan…or at extreme north…in Ilocos Norte and/or Batanes (the best for relaxing).

  80. So
    You’re expecting a 5 star treatment with your budget limitations? You’re Complaining about the cheap transfers and hostels when you were the one who chose to be cheap in the first place?
    You’re complaining about the lifestyle choices of tourists and qualifying it as a review for Boracay? Instead of just minding your Buisness?
    You’re insulting the vendors who are trying to make an honest living?

    You’re such a negative person who needs to eat a truckload of humble pie. This post is dumb and offensive in more ways than one. You’re too bad for the Philippines.

  81. anna anna anna banana… Such a horrible experience i must say. However, youre just 8% of the people who experienced it. 92% were extremely satisfied Im a dutch and i dont like the sound of “drunken dutch” you racist. Youre ignorant. Book a tour to heaven. Boracay is known for parties and getting wild. Boozed up at night and when youre sober and thinking “i hope i am in a beach” then there you are next morning facing to paradise. Whewww!

  82. May I recommend ilocos norte search for blue logoon
    And I highly recommend Kapuluan vista for the place where you’ll stay. i recently been to boracay it was fun but Blue Lagoon is on the top of my list second is Bohol.if you just want to enjoy the beach to tan or just to chill and have your drink.Ilocos Norte “blue lagoon” best place to be

    • I would say yes visit Ilocos Region.. Blue lagoon is perfect for you definitely will change your your view…

  83. Funny thing is Anna, you sound like you’ve only been to the white beach which is just one of the many known beaches in the island. Would you think it’s fair to spread negative information if you’ve inly even seen thirteenth of the place? Next time, get your facts straight and scour every inch of your destination before you start putting things up in the internet. Looks to me, your “probably the worst tourist that visited boracay.” How do you like that now?

  84. Saw this page who seem to also have same experience in boracay. The only people that say boracay is great are those guys who liked watching girls on their swimsuit.

  85. I’m from Guam, currently living in the Philippines for college, and I gotta say, I love the Philippines, but about 90% of the people here lack manners when in public. The way people act in the malls are just about comparable to the way they drive on the road. I’m lucky enough to live in a community where people are not like that. Btw, GUAM STILL HAS THE BEST BEACHES 😀

    • Where did you get that 90% from your feeble-minded brain’s study?

      Do you even know what Statistics is? If you want to highlight Guam, then don’t bash another country’s people.

      PS

      Don’t pretend that you’ve been to the Philippines. No one’s buying your shit. You are just claiming it so as to make your fallacious claim believable.

  86. I think you would enjoy the beache of matnog in sorsogon, it it so beautiful! No restaurants, no hotels, no bars, it is being with nature and natura alone

  87. U just only get a bad experienced, sorry to hear that,..maybe boracay is not a place for u, ur research is not enough,..u probably stayed in a crowded area where vendors is around (borcay is like all yeat packed) and u like it or not people need money (and a BIG yes they need to be educated). Next time check-in to more private resorts so u’ll not disturb. Thanks for the blogs

  88. Watch out anna. Filipinos are known to be very sensitive when anyone says negative things about anything in their country. Just giving you a heads up in case you’re not aware of it. I’m already seeing some of them commenting here. Your post will eventually be shared on social media and will become viral, so expect a deluge of hate comments in the coming days. I for one agree with eveything you have said, so don’t let such commenters bother you. They just find it hard to accept the truth.

    • Thanks for the heads up! I see a lot of haters, but also a lot of people agreeing with me. I sort of expected a lot of haters, but can’t lie on my blog 🙁

  89. some of it are on point, but you never explored the island enough for you to consider it the worst island you visited.

  90. Sorry about your experience. But I think it’s just a matter of wrong timing . I’ve read quite a few blogs & majority of them r gushing about the place. Some few bad blogs like yours, but noticed that it all happened in the peek season. Read this one blog one time a year ago, how much they couldn’t get over how beautiful & perfect the place was the first time they’ve been on the island. Went back in the summer for good Friday & ended up despising the place after! I think it is different experience for different season! If u are the type of traveller U’ve described to be, it’s always to do some research first on when is the best time to go to cater your preferences. It is a party island in a peek season, I can’t really expect that much privacy and expect not to have any hustles & bustles of the holiday season. I think what makes people ticked off is for u to call the island the worst you’ve been to! U could have been more diplomatic with your wordings my dear! One bad experience for one person doesn’t have to generalize for everybody! You know how your blog could affect thousands of people trying to make a decent living on the island by someone like u dissuading anyone to even try to set foot on that place, just because it didn’t meet your expectation. Yes, u can always give an honest review without having to sound mean and harsh about it! Give a more open minded about it. You could have made a suggestion how you can improve the place for better experience, but what you did was just simply bashed the place and the people on it. Very disrespectful & I wouldn’t be surprise why you had to experience the way you did!

  91. Im from Palawan and I also went to Boracay last Dec. 1 and my experience was not so nice but I enjoyed a little.

  92. Agree. I’ve been to Bora a couppe of times and really didn’t want to go back. And if ever you go back stay in hotels that are not on the beachfront. That’s what we do.

    But more than that, I think Bora is over rated. The sand is great and all but the beach is not. If you party then Bora is for you. As you mentioned you are not much of a party person. If you really want quiet but great beach experience then Palawan should be on your list.

    Palawan doesn’t have the powdery whote sand but it teumps Bora with its crystal clear water, amazing corals and marine life. Plus you get your peaceful and relaxing beach get away. Did I mention that their beach was top notch!? I’d always go with Palawan over Bora. You can either fly to Puerto Princesa or Coron (it’s a long island facing the South China Sea). Both offer backpacker places and also high end luxurious hotels.

    Hopefully the bext time you visit the Philippines it is a better experience than what you just had.

  93. Hey Anna, you seem as a nice girl who has been to several places. Its not just Boracay, which is over-oriented to tourism. People are getting more “aggressive” if we talk about money, I think the only way is to be a more stubborn tourist, not trying to be nice all the time (but you shouldnt end up thinking that everyone wants to rip you off). I try to get information about places i travel to (but not too much as other people :p). Because I was traveling around Philippines for about 2 weeks, I knew what to expect form Boracay. It was just the obvious ubiquitous corruption that surprised me – you know, the various extra tourist or environmental fees going right in a pocket but also other things people told me. I like to do backpacking, and its not just as you described it. I like to do couchsurfing, which is really one of the few ways to get to know the locals and the culture. Hotels dont give you almost no idea and some tourist attractions are a bit of a theater in my opinion. Backpacking than seems as the best idea for me to move around and getting to know things (not the drugs-sex-rock&roll kind you described, though i like go get a drink time to time). One last thing, Did you really expect an empty beach? Did you really described that beach in the picture as crowded? you havent been to a crowded beach than. Every time there are pros and cons. My overall experience with Boracay is positive. I met great Philippinos there, I had some great Philippine food and I had really nice relaxed weekend after over 2 weeks of running around Philippines. I will surely return to that island once I will be in the Philippines again.

    • If you look at the photo with the sunset you’ll see the crowd. It might not be as crowded as some beaches (eg. Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro), but many people described it as heaven and the greatest beach and it’s just not the best place I’ve visited… I liked Philippines overall, but not Boracay!

      • True … I must say I found some pretty amazing beaches on other islands, those werent in a guide but my hosts from couchsurfing took me there. In Boracay I was lucky to have the Puka beach on the north of the island completely empty :op

  94. Did you try to go to Carabao Island? They say Carabao Island is just as beautiful as Boracay, but without all the consumerist/capitalist pollution.

    I also recommend Camiguin.

  95. Hi Anna,

    I went to Boracay just last year and did a photoshoot with this Russian model but my experience was great and on the points you have written on this post on Boracay, they are as valid as it your personal experience and some of those horrible experiences you went through, I been through it because I also took my flight from Manila to Kalibo and took the same bus company you took and stayed in a rather small hostel too.

    But summing all my experiences there in a positive manner, i learned to appreciate life at its simplest of joys and that allowed me to set aside my prejudices of people selling me whatever they fancy, from trinkets to guided tours, etc. If you could have wanted a quite respite in Boracay, you should have taken yourself to nearby Puka Beach, less crowded, you can relax more and think deeply. Carabao Island is nearby too.

    Similar to what you said, my own personal experience in Boracay is somewhat of a love-hate one. I love to be there but wonder also until when the beauty can bearably exists because there are far too many people who are all going to Boracay. More so, Boracay is best experienced some years back but then, I could not be there and you also, but now I’d say, as a fellow travel blogger like you, i’d cherish the moments where I can enjoy the sun and the beach while in the Philippines, whether it be in Boracay or elsewhere. If you’d enough time, you could have gone to Amanpulo or El Nido in Palawan or those nice beaches up north, even in Batanes – these will make you love the Philippines more and more.

  96. Well I agree with you Anna, I’m a filipino but i really dont appreciate Boracay tho. Me myself dont think its a good idea to visit there. Its better to go somewhere in Western or Northern part of the Philippines like Palawan, Ilocos, Baler etc. . . You can have a peace of mind there. 🙂

  97. It’s so sad that you didn’t experience the best of boracay. If you want privacy, peace and tranquility i would highly recommend balinghai…it’s an eco friendly resort in boracay. They have their own beachfront,they have a bar and a restaurant, you can even meet some locals that will not bug you of selling something because those locals that passes there are mostly fishermen. I had an experience before of meeting some local kids in the area who were so friendly and even let me borrow their small boat…boracay has a lot of things to offer. It’s just unfortunate that you only experienced one side of it .

  98. dont take anna seriously she wants publicity she went on a peak season and on a budget packages and she complain and read her reply statement before she came to boracay she already knew that boracay is a party island and a party place is a noisy ang crowded place if you want a more quiet place there are place in boracay you can choose which is quiet place this blogger want to be famous by writing all the negatives in her favor to become famous 😛

  99. I agree..! But I still enjoy my time when I was there.. it was one of my non expensive trip.. But on top of my list would still be El Nido.. Make sure to have a tour of the beaches.. thats how u’ll enjoy it.. there are parties at night but its not as crowded as Boracay.. Just a heads up its a 6 hour drive from puerto princesa and if u’ll get public transportation its a little bit jam pack.. if you want an easy breezy ride u’ll spend a little more for a private transportation..

  100. No objections here. Its sad that Boracay ended up like this. It was really nice and “islandy” back in the 90s before it became this monstrosity. Youll never experience peace and tranquility in Boracay.

  101. Boracay is nice except for too much commercialism. It’s like Metro Manila with a beach. I heard that their local government plans on having a mall on the island. I suggest you go to Amanpulo in Palawan the next time.

  102. I totally agree with you! the place is very crowded and polluted. But that is the face of Boracay, it is for the people who want to show off their body and party. I suggest, go to Palawan instead, try coron, el nido, and punta sebaring. you can also try caramoan cam sur. 😉

  103. This is true. Other filipinos here can’t accept the fact that Bora is getting worst. I had been to bora for many times but it didnt gave me a wow factor. Anyways, Anna, you can visit Isla Gigantes on Carles,Iloilo. Its far more better than boracay, no crowd, beautiful beaches, clean white sand

  104. i believed a good traveler do research first about the specific place to visit. You probably not a backpacker yet you to go in a cheapest way. If you don’t like crowded people you should’ve been private resort to have a vacation not for travel:) realistically boracay is for adventurous people. Who loves fun and to meet a lot of people along the way. It is not a solemn place. Go to a place where your heart wants to. Not just go to a place because a lot of people go there. But always know the purpose of your travel:)

  105. Hi Anna! Have you tried Amanpulo, Palawan? Think you will like it much more than Boracay. No annoying vendors and loud tourists in Amanpulo.

  106. This blog is true and sad. When we went there in 2012 I was really disappointed well just because I should have stayed in Station 1 which is less crowded. We were at the same
    area as you were. Thankgoodness I refused the Kalibo flight coz I knew it would be a nightmare just like what you experience. Another thing that is really sad is the city planning or zoning! You get to the beach area, yup beautiful but the way and view to get there is so depressing. You get into a van or whatever ground transpo after the ferry ride and you see all these poor filipinos, kids going to school wearing slippers.. ahhh I can go on and on. Im pretty sure the city/government is collecting so much from travel tax etc/terminal fee and should use it for better or world class public facilities.. Okay done with my rant! But anyways, Next time I’ll stay in Shangrila to feel the more touristy feeling and enjoy the island without the annoying vendors.

    • that is actually how it is in the provinces. we walk to school in slippers.wear shoes and you’d get stared at.

  107. Boracay is last on my least because of its deteriorating environment…watch out for the water…I suggest you try next time Bucas Grande in Surigao. There you will find peace in paradise .

  108. Hi anna,

    I regret to know your experience in boracay. But that is actually the main reason why lot of tourists visit boracay. It is because of their party. And boracay is already crowded. I suggest you try next time “isla gigantes in Iloilo” that is 4 hours away from my place. To experience the paradise island. I am a traveller also but i dont do blogging. If you want to know more of the place pm me at facebook.

  109. I am a filipino. I am saddened that you were treated like that in boracay. I recommend that if you return to the philippines, you visit the northern parts of our country too. There is a beach in ilocos norte that is comparable to boracay which is pagudpud.

  110. I’m guessing you did not see the mountain of rubbish in the middle of the island, it was there 20 years ago. I reckon its worse now. The waste sewage of the island goes straight into the beach waters.

    If i were to go back to Boracay, I’d probably try the other side of the island where the sea is rougher and the “sand” coarser. But I’ve heard its slightly better.

  111. Hi anna! In behalf of every Filipino we are very sorry for what happened to you. But let me assure you one thing, that all places in the Philippines are not like that. I can recommend our place which is Dumaguete to visit and me and family will welcome you with a big heart plus give you a free tour! 🙂

  112. There are so many things written about Boracay already. I find it amusing that you will first, find yourself flying via Kalibo (wayyy far and not Caticlan.. I just walk from the airport to the port from Caticlan.. You’ll be in Boracay in minutes) second, you stayed in a Hostel.. And now you’re complaining people just wanted to party. That’s what backpackers do on a beach in a hostel. I’m way confused. (And if you’re not a backpacker, why didn’t you stay in a proper resort? There are about a hundred resorts in Boracay)

    As what everyone here said, December is a peak month, yes it is. You didn’t expect the crowd because you didn’t do your research. You may have gained the viewership with this post, but you lost your credibility to be called a traveller.

    The trash that you documented, that actually comes from trees if you didn’t bother looking. The only man made I see there is a slipper. Almost all beaches I’ve been to have slippers lying around. The tides get them before people can come back for them.. I don’t think you have been to that many beaches yet.

    If you did your research, even during peak season there are tranquil spots in Boracay with NO vendors. I’m not gonna tell you because you don’t deserve it. 😉

    I don’t know how much money you brought coz I think you paid for the cheapest possible trip to Boracay from airfare, to land transfer, to accommodations. Boracay is a world class island with a world class price tag. It’s not cheap.. But there are cheap restaurants, again if you did your research.

    And to equate the Boracay experience to Hobbit house. Do you know what the term tourist trap even means? How can Hobbit House be a tourist trap when the drinks are cheap. What did you expect when you entered the bar?? Hobbits on trampoline? If you did your research, you’d know where to have sunset drinks, sunrise drinks, where to chill at night. Again I’m not going to tell you since every traveller must do their research.

    But hey, if I did what you did, I’m sure that I won’t enjoy Boracay too. Only I won’t, because I do my homework before I buy my ticket.

    Cheers

    • I didn’t stay at the resort, because it wall all booked already. I wouldn’t mind heading to Boracay from Kalibo if the trip was all right. I’ve been to many beaches and Boracay still wasn’t my favorite. But I assume you’re Filipino so no matter if the place is good or bad you’re gonna say it’s amazing. Sad, but true.

      • You say you stayed at a hostel because the proper resorts were already fully booked. Then you got surprised by the crowd on the beach. Is that right? Yet you say it was not peak season.
        Fully booked hotels = crowd = peak season. That is how the travel industry defines peak season, yes?
        There is a reason Boracay is crowded. Tourists. And the foreigners who put up all those beachfront businesses. Tourists are encouraged so they’ll spend money. They weren’t there in the 90s when Boracay was a true paradise. Maybe you are heavensent to drive away tourists and kill those businesses so Boracay can heal.
        Try Saranggani. Tourists hardly go there and the beaches are such virgins that the sand is fine, the waters clean, no vendors, no hotels, no toilets even. You might even spot the Congressman on his way to Manila.

  113. While you are entitle to your opinion, but I tend to disagree with your for so many reason. As a world traveler myself, and born in the Philippines, your expectations were too high for a third world country.
    I believe you had the worse experience because you let all the negative things over power you. You were so negative starting from the airport that you attracted all negative things even sickness.
    You went to Boracay for the beach and Im sure you agree with me it is beautiful. Focus on the beauty not the people around it.
    I completely understand you hated vendors but it is to be expected anywhere where tourist go in Asia. If there where people asking for tips, give them and eveything will happen the way you want it to be. If people wants to help you let them help you then you don’t have to carry heavy things. Your day would have been better.
    ITS A LAW OF ATTRACTION. You were negative to begin with so all negative things started coming your way.
    I was also disappointed how you describe one of your photoas “crowd of horrible backpackers”. Did you introduce yourself to each of them? Have you hangout each of them for 24 hrs? How do you know those crowd are horrible backpackers?
    I also wished you learn the basic dialect (tagalog) before going to Boracay. That way you can say “No Money Thank You” in Filipino. They will stop as soon as they hear you speak their mother tongue specially you are a tourist. Learn the basics firts. If you want to see the real culture, don’t go to the Tourist spots.
    I know you got sick too according to you. Well you had a real bad time. We all got sick. You were there at a wrong time. I got sick when I travelled Australia. But I was okay in Thailand, Taiwan, Honkong, Guam, Japan, and Philippines.
    I can’t blog Byron Bay is the worse place because I was only there once and it was rainy, crappy and Cold. Byron Bay has amazing beaches with beautiful surf. It just happened it was rainy when I was there.
    You can’t expect Boracay to be quiet and peaceful when it is one of the most tourist infested beach in the Philippines.
    Have you tried: Camiguin Island? Bantayan Island? Davao? Taal?
    These are just a few.
    If you don’t want any vendors then don’t go any to any beach anywhere in Asia and Mexico. Again, don’t let your experience ruin your trip and don’t let it stop you from enjoying the beautiful beaches.
    Why not go to Maui? Honolulu or Kauai? Rest assured no body will bother you I promise. Go to Niagara Falls. Nobody will ask ypu something. You can even drive to Hana to yourself and be alone. Go to Sicily, or some part of Europe. Well even some places in Europe there’s vendors. These are just people who sells things for a living to suppor their family.
    They are not fortunate like you and I. So give them some lacks. Learn all the basics, th culture before hitting your next destination. It will save you a lot of stress.
    Above all, Don’t sweat on little things. Those little things are what makes their country different. You are very lucky you get to see the beauty of the world. Those vendors can barely feed themselves on a daily basis.
    Why not on your next trip start helping those who needs help. It will diffinitely change the way you look at things.
    One more thing… Filipinos are very passionate. When you said they were yelling, no they were not. When Filipinos speak their language it sounds like they are screaming or yelling at each other but they are actually just conversing. They’re just very passionate. If they were throwing chips at each other, maybe because they are having fun so go along with it. They probably can’t buy a basketball to throw to each other. Look at things in a different way.
    If you learn the language and tradition thats when you understand things.
    Have you been to a Filipino Party? if not then you wont understand why everyone seems like they are yelling at each other.
    I hope along the way, ( you look very young) you will learn to be adoptable to your environment whereever your next destination will be.

    • Well, I’ve been to a lot of places in other third world countries and there were vendors there. I’m not annoyed by vendors, but someone should teach them how to respect visitors and how to sell. I’d be more than happy to give them a tip and buy something if they didn’t harass me. You’re right, it happens in Thailand when people are rude and if you know you’re being screwed they would shout ‘you fuc*** tourist’ and drive away. It happens everywhere in Asia and this is my point. I think the amount of tourists keep destroying the continent and the Asia we used to know isn’t there anymore and this is sad.

      • someone with a little brain would definitely say that. Have someone to teach the vendors of proper way of selling? are you serious? they are not working for big companies you moron. some of them live in the streets and trying to make a living . you are just full of yourself because you’ve never experienced being poor. i have read the whole thing and you clearly despise the vendors. I just wish that you experience the same fate in your life or in your next life and try to post a blog like this again. bitch.

        • A lot of assumptions here and your use of language expresses that you can’t accept criticism to discuss anything 🙂

          • Anna don’t mind them. This Sheryl obviously has some extreme ideas. Wonder if she got raped she would claim she attracted the people commiting the rape and that it is her fault?:D This kind of thinking is dangerous. Victimizin the poor also can be dangerous elongating the state of those people, not letting the dialogue to happen in society.
            Btw I’m a hungarian guy living in the Philippines now for 2 years. There are many beautiful, remote spots to visit. Even cheap. You try to google Cagbalete Island, Borawan, Dampalitan, all really close to eachother in Quezon province. Imagine when we went to Borawan island, after maybe 5 minutes walk, we left behind the dozen of people which were on the island and we enjoyed total privacy. White sand, though not that smooth, but really beautiful.
            If you come back visit the remote spots. You won’t regret is!

            Polak, Węgier, dwa bratanki, i do szabli, i do szklanki 😉

          • Hehe, you got the point 🙂
            Yeah… I think what’s the point of visiting Boracay if you can only go to the most expensive resorts… 0_O

  114. I just saw your article in a forwarded angry post. After reading your post, I think it’s really because of how you did it. My friend who replied said you should have done some research, used a private jet, stayed in Shangrila so as not to be bothered by vendors. There is some point there, you stayed in a backpacker hostel in station 3 and expected a quiet place. Oh, my friend also remarked that crazy crepes is not Filipino and like her I don’t like it. I like the savory or desert crepes the French way. Crazy Crepes is actually found only in Boracay.

    I like Boracay and go there 2-3 times a year. I like it because I can party if I want to and be with people wanting to get drunk and if I wanted peace I can have a drink in one of those nice resorts in station 1 and not be bothered by vendors). Best time to get shots is in the morning when all the revelers are still asleep. It was actually unfair to complain about your shot with a few people. You said it was a small island so being the most visited island you should expect a lot of people. There are a lot of nice quiet beaches in Philippines that you will love but they won’t be on a hostel budget.

    When you travel to a place, you should try finding a nice local to give you tips. You didn’t even notice it was easy for you to travel around as every local understood English. We are the 3rd largest English speaking country and that helps a lot of tourists.

    Re starbucks, mcDonalds, etc, that happens and too bad the island did not have a code that prevents that but my kid loves it. I don’t go to starbucks when I’m there I go to cafe del sol at d’mall which has better coffee and a small cafe charm and mean cakes.

    The beach is cleaned every morning by establishments in front but you can’t fault boracay from a sandal in the sand. Everyone is in sandals. That could have been from the sea or a backpacker drunk the night before.

    You had a definition of what a perfect beach should be and if boracay is not that you should try to see what are the good things. Your beach cannot be this small island visited by tourists daily.

    I just really think your post did not reflect all of boracay specially you calling crazy crepes a Filipino fare.

    Let me be counted as one of the Filipinos who think your post is misleading because you did not researched well enough before your trip or talk to locals on how to find your place in boracay.

    • Just one question: do you want to teach your kid that setting fast food chains on the beach is good just because he/she loves it?

      • Oh you’re that type of person. Boracay is really not for you as you want to impose what you believe in and not understand it.

        Re my kid, I’d love him to eat veggies and enjoy a nice properly planned and nutritioned home cooked meal. But he goes through phases. He went through a cheese phase, bacon phase, a local soup and rice phase, etc. he’s a bit picky with food and I allow him to eat what he wants every other time. He’s into his Mcd nugget phase and is his safe food when we travel. He also likes lamb chops, blue cheese, plain pasta with olive oil and garlic, roast chicken, anchovies pizza, etc.

        Funny that I wrote things about Boracay and you chose to comment on how i feed my kid. Oh well. You did not even noticed I wrote that I wished that boracay had a code not to allow this.

  115. If you want a serene island with white sand and beautiful scenery, visit Isla de Gigantes in Iloilo, Philippines. Pure nature, no clubs, no hotels. Accomodation is located in one of the islands or stay in a tent being provided by the owner. Food is limited to seafood. Just don’t expect a first or second class accomodation.

  116. been to Boracay several times.

    I believe you have researched in advance what Boracay has to offer, so I assumed that you know that there are a lot of establishments ( Bars, hotels , restaurant etc.. ) along the beach. So i cant understand why are you complaining about these, specially the drunk fellows along the beach. For me its as if you know that there’s war in Iraq already, and you still went to Iraq, and you cried and complained “why am I in the middle of this war!!!”

    second, if you don’t want to experience difficulties or hassles due to too much crowd , common sense is to go the place on OFF-PEAK season.

    for the annoying vendors, yes its true and its sad that some of them are like that, but mind you, most of those VENDORS are not from Boracay, they came from different parts of the Philippines.

    your statement “Later, I realized that the local Boracay Filipinos don’t really give a damn about visitors at all” – you generalized all the people there, this is too much. Your a grown up girl, and dont tell me that this is the first time you encountered hassles or problems after you bought a certain service. Point is, this happens to anyone and anywhere regardless where they are.

    Just to summarize for all the people who may read your blog and discussions here:
    If your not prepared to experience elbow to elbow bump during your travel to Boracay, or you don’t want to see lots of people on the beach, go there on OFF-PEAK season, or if your the type of person who wants to be on a secluded beach, got somewhere else like Palawan or Bohol.

    Don’t go here if your the type of person who doesn’t want to see bars and restaurant near a wonderful beach.

    Learn how to appreciate the positive part of the place, and not to focus on the negative things. Enjoy the travel and stay safe always everyone.

  117. Try the northern part of the Philippines next time, specifically ilocos region, water falls, beaches, mountains, are well preserve. thats all. if you want some guides or assistance you can ask me.

  118. Hi Anna! I’m a filipino. You should try travelling in northern part of Philippines in Pangasinan and Ilocos provinces. If you want a good beach in the Philippines I recommend you Patar Beach in Bolinao, Pangasinan. The sand is white too but not as white in boracay. You can really enjoy the beach there. It’s so peaceful, clean and not very crowded. No annoying vendors around(just fishermen who sell their catch.) There’s no night life scene there unlike to boracay. I consider it a underground beach paradise because very few people knew that beach. You can also try Pagudpud beach in Ilocos region. besides the beach you can tour some great attractions out there and see the true filipino culture. The windmills, the old spanish houses, pres marcos grave, and try some sandboarding too.

      • Yes, they have. There are so many great beaches and attractions here in the Philippines besides boracay. If you love surfing you should try visiting Siargao Islands. The swell are good there. They called it cloud9. If you love trekking and see some hanging coffins you should try sagada in mountain provinces.

  119. Interesting read. BUT

    Boracay, as everyone knows, (duh) is a HIGHLY Commercialized beach. It wasn’t then, but it is now. You even went during it’s SUPER PEAK SEASON and you want to complain about it being too crowded?

    Been there 3 times and during my first trip, i even left a luggage on the boat ride onto the island. It was returned to my hotel UNTOUCHED. This made me love boracay and its people.

    If you get offered something by any vendor, smile and say no if you’re not interested. They may not leave you alone but you can easily say no again. Happened to me in numerous countries even in highly urbanized SINGAPORE.

    You bought a fucking crepe. Have you even seen the infamous grilled boracay burger? It’s 100% filipino. You’re clearly trashing the place.

    If you have the budget, go to palawan instead.

    Remember, NO ONE CAN DRIVE YOU CRAZY IF YOU DON’T GIVE THEM THE KEYS.

    Who can enjoy your boracay trip or any destination in the world except for you? What you did is, you let the trip decide if you would enjoy instead of YOU deciding if you would enjoy the trip. If you work VERY HARD, an awful day at the beach is HEAVEN compared to a normal day at work. I know you’re not a spoiled and entitled girl… 🙂

  120. been to Boracay several times.

    I believe you have researched in advance what Boracay has to offer, so I assumed that you know that there are a lot of establishments ( Bars, hotels , restaurant etc.. ) along the beach. So i cant understand why are you complaining about these, specially the drunk fellows along the beach. For me its as if you know that there’s war in Iraq already, and you still went to Iraq, and you cried and complained “why am I in the middle of this war!!!”

    second, if you don’t want to experience difficulties or hassles due to too much crowd , common sense is to go the place on OFF-PEAK season.

    for the annoying vendors, yes its true and its sad that some of them are like that, but MIND you, most of those VENDORS are not from Boracay, they came from different parts of the Philippines.

    your statement “Later, I realized that the local Boracay Filipinos don’t really give a damn about visitors at all” – you generalized all the people there, this is too much. Your a grown up girl, and dont tell me that this is the first time you encountered hassles or problems after you bought a certain service? Point is, this happens to anyone and anywhere regardless where they are.

    Just to summarize for all the people who may read your blog and discussions here:
    If your not prepared to experience elbow to elbow bump during your travel to Boracay, or you dont want to see lots of people on the beach, go there on OFF-PEAK season, or if your the type of person who wants to be on a secluded beach, got somewhere else like Palawan or Bohol.

    Don’t go here if your the type of person who doesn’t want to see bars and restaurant near a wonderful beach.

    Learn how to appreciate the positive part of the place, and not to focus on the negative things. Enjoy the travel and stay safe always everyone.

  121. Hi anna, it’s so sad that u didnt have fun in boracay as much as almost all of the people who go there did. I have been to boracay many many times, most of the time backpacking alone. But reading your post and your replies to the comments here, i think that To be fair with Boracay, the “WORST” is not the Island itself, but your unfortunate EXPERIENCE, and how you choose to remember it.

  122. Hi Anna,

    Filo based overseas here. I’ve been to Boracay only once and it was back in the 26th-30th of December 2012 with my family. If you want to enjoy just the beauty of the beach, try to book in Sol Marina or Shangrila Boracay. We stayed in
    Sol Marina and it was a private resort, no party people, really peaceful, smooth white sand, clear waters, you’ll love it there. Once you go out to Station 1, 2, and 3 though you’ll be able to see a massive difference between the beach of these private resorts and the Stations.

  123. I agree with everything you said (with such shame for me being a Filipino) and I would apologize deeply if you went through Metro Manila. You would probably die out of emphatic distaste.

    However if you do drop by the Philippines again, I recommend that you try to visit Nagsasa, Zambales. Very few people go there. You can see the Aeta natives (people who live in the mountains) and the beautiful beach. It’s a combination of Mountains, Pine trees and the white sand beach.

    • I think a lot of people would be put off more not by my post (as I clearly said other places were more than enjoyable), but rude comments by some Filipinos unfortunately. I guess that’s the Metro Manila you’re talking about 🙁

      • Well you can’t really expect posting a negative review about the Philippines to get positive feedback right? Filipinos are really big in social media so this is just the beginning. And I’m guessing you want to get more traffic in your blog for this post so you should be happy instead! And if you give out hate, basic premise of karma is you’re going to get some hate back. 🙂

        • Well, traffic is nice, but that’s too much traffic from haters hehe 🙂 A lot of people didn’t understand (or read) that I enjoyed the rest of their country.

          • I think it’s the way the article was written. If it was written in a constructive manner, people would be more receptive to your views. We, Filipinos, cannot deny that there is something wrong with the system, but you were too aggressive with they way you wrote it, which left no choice for the Filipinos to become defensive (sorry it’s a character flaw deeply rooted in the Philippines’ history).

            You really have a chance here Anna to change the world (well, the way things are run in Boracay, at least) because your blog is getting quite some attention. If our local media get wind of this, they’ll feature it in the news which could potentially reach the government officials. Sometimes, all it needs is a fresh set of eyes to see what is wrong in the system. I hope you use your influence in social media positively. 🙂

  124. Yes they have. There’s so many great beaches here besides that filthy island of boracay. If you love surfing you should try Siargao islands in Mindanao. The waves are awesome there. They called it the cloud9.

  125. Yup, A friend of mine rightly said. “Station 2 is nothing more than mall with plenty of sand”.

    • That’s true. We visited Boracay when there were just 2 resorts up and by 7 pm the only light you could see on the beach was moonlight. We’ve stayed away since it started resembling a very sandy mall.

  126. i am a native and local of Boracay island
    There’s a place for everyone..just know where to go and what to expect
    white beach is just 1 of the beach of Boracay and we still have 7 more beaches for you to have your space and not be bothered..
    you’re entitled to voice out your bad experience and we respect that, but please do research first before you go to a place so that at least you have an idea of what to expect,…we welcome everybody to come here in boracay to prove if what she’s saying is true or not!..but i promised you guys, we have a lot of good things to offer.

  127. Anna,

    I agree with you 100% on your respond to my post. It is those tourist who ruins Asia. You just ruined one more beach in Asia because of your negative persona. Sad to say you are one of them. You need to lower your expectations. I thought you are smarter than them. You can’t expected them to be well thought when they can barely feed them selves. In fact they are begging you to buy their product. Breath, relax, and write a more positive blog.
    Why not stay in San Diego? Well, San Diego is quite expensive to live. I don’t think a photo will cost you $1 or 50 pesos in San Diego with a nice sand spot. Crepe is not a filipino food. It’s French.

    • I’m glad these crepes aren’t French, as it wasn’t tasty actually 😉
      P.S. In San Diego nobody charges you for a photo 😉

    • Sheryl,
      I can say that your response to Anna’s blog has the right perspective. It seems that Anna does not reply directly or clearly to the things you pointed out and to other comments here as well. If you have a blog, i’d be really interested to read it. Safe travels!
      I respect your opinion Anna but your experience has more to do with your negativity from Kalibo to Southwest and so forth. Learn to let go of the small stuff. May God bless you.

  128. Hi Anna! Im a filipino Ive been there like four times and I couldnt agree more on what you said, maybe I didnt notice the rudeness of those people because im somehow used to it because I live here in the phil., but on the perspective of a foreign visitor I must say that its sickening the way they treat them especially those people who carry your bags and ask for a tip in a rude way, and those very annoying vendor on the side of the beach, even I too experienced the rudeness and the awkwardness of the people asking you for activities while showing the brochure right in front of your face. Hope you try our different beach like palawan or bohol for a beach experience. thank you and have a nice visit the next time.

  129. Stay at Station 1. My family stayed at Discovery Shores and it was awesome. They have their own boat to take you from airport to the resort. They carried our luggages ( perfect with small kids). Service was impressive. I don’t like the heavy crowds at the other stations.At Discovery Shores it was peaceful and we don’t have to deal with the crowds and the noise. We had to beach all to ourselves.

  130. I have to agree with you even though I live about 4 hrs from Boracay, there are waaay nicer beaches on the Island of Guimaras(15 mins boat ride from the Iloilo) and significantly cheaper/cleaner and nicer to stay people.

    • I agree with you, Judd. I lived in Iloilo for about 6 months in 2012 (my wife’s hometown) and I really prefer Guimaras over Boracay. The beaches are nice, the prices are better, the people are nice and the mangoes are the best in the world!

  131. i,m sorry because pfbyour experience there but i have to say that you cannot just say sheet of Boracay as you did just because mybe you were there on high season (i was there on rainny season and nothing similar) or just did not meet the right people from the island. If you don,t wanna party…don,t do it and just move yourself to their zone 2 or 3 avoinding zone 1 where all the tourist go. I lived on a Philippinos house for a while and then moved to another house where i had to motorcicle for a while…therefore all my friends were from there and showed me many thing.
    I just want to say that if you want to see a different Boracay just need to look for it and avoid tourism. I was also doing ONG staff and that,s where you also see how thia island shows the two sides of the coin. Just let people know that anything on this life is so extreme…but any opinion is welcome. Enjoy filipinnes…the magical smile!!!

  132. Hi Anna! I’m a Filipino and I totally agree everything about you blog. Went to Boracay twice, I enjoyed the crowd but not the vendors! Worst part ever! Every place you go you have to shell out some money, (sometimes overpriced) Hahhaha! If you really want to know cultures and stuff I would recommend Vigan, it’s one of the place I love and i find it peaceful. Locals were great, they’ll help you without asking for something in return. Most of the places we went into were free.

  133. Hey girl! You should learn to manage your expectations! This article shows you’re an irresponsible traveler. Though boracay is no longer the paradise it was, still it has its own charm and beauty. Have you heard of the Ati tribe? Did you try to visit them? Maybe you could have written a constructive criticism instead. Pay a visit to Koh phiphi or Maya Bay in Thailand if you haven’t been there and tell us how it is like! 😉

  134. Good thing I came across this blog as I have a scheduled trip at the end of this month. Im a Filipina that has been to different beaches in the country but everyone is surprised to know that I havent been to Boracay. It feels like one must see Boracay first before any other beach. I know I wont like it as much as I liked El Nido but Im giving it a chance ASAP before it becomes worse. I hear it gets worse each year. I cant wait to share with you how it goes. Wish me luck 🙂 safe travels, Anna!

  135. My very first experience in Boracay was really great and I think that was the year 2004. I was soooo peaceful even if it was summer time with no vendors and just watching the sunset makes me more relaxed. It was a virgin Island before.. rwally amazing! but when I visited Boracay again last 2013 it was horrible! there were a lot of people and yes no more Filipino culture because everyone was wasted, everyone just wanted to complete their “bucket lists”. the worst! I never expected that theyy built buildings already and have a lot of fast food restaurants. Never have i imagined that Boracay would be an urban jungle. I wanted to relax but I couldn’t. I’m never going back! But other Islands here are great! You can try going to Siquijor 🙂 great beaches and resorts there 🙂

  136. It’s so sad but mostly true. Boracay caters to a specific market–those who are young, looking to party and get wasted. I assume you are not part of this group so going to Boracay is a wrong move. As with other comments, there are a lot more places in the Philippines that are worth visiting: El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Panglao beach in Bohol, Siargao, Pagudpod in Ilocos Norte, Hundred Islands in Pampanga, and much much more. After all, we have 7107 islands. Visiting just ONE island and concluding that your visit to the Philippines is one of the worst countries you’ve visited is just plain IGNORANT. It’s like saying you want to see the ocean and sand and going to NY instead of Florida and then saying NY is the worst place you’ve visited.

    I am not just defending Boracay because believe me, when I go there, I prefer not to stay in the front beach (where I assume you stayed based on your post) and stay on the other side of the island near Shangrila Boracay and Sol Marina (where it is quieter, cleaner and more relaxing). I’m just saying give the other 7106 islands of the Philippines a chance. Tell your travel agency what kind of experience you are looking for so they can recommend the appropriate places to go.

    P.S. Put El Nido at the top of your list, but take a plane directly there instead of going via Puerto Prinsesa. It’s a 6-hour road trip if you don’t. And most hostels in El Nido are nowhere near 3 stars so go to El Nido resorts if you are looking for a top notch experience.

  137. I live in the Philippines, I consider myself well travelled both in and out of the country. I like escapes as well. Quiet little nooks of the country that keeps me sane. I have NEVER been to Boracay. I have never had the urge to visit. From what I’ve heard its not really my style of vacation. There are 7701 islands in the Philippines sad Boracay Island of Aklan is overrunned by tourists. If you want a good info on cool little places in the country go befriend a local who loves adventure to show you around.

  138. I suggest Palawan,Philippines. There are plenty of smaller islands within Palawan and the only way to get to each small island is through small boats: so they regulate how much people go. It is not completely white sand, but the islands are so magnificent and clean and beautiful. You will not regret it. And while there, I suggest visiting the Underground river cave which is known as one of the 7 wonders of nature. I was just there last week and it was one of the most pleasant experiences I’ve had.

  139. Come back at around may and we will show you what boracay really is. 🙂 give it a second chance. You up for it?

  140. When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.

  141. also a filipino but never been to boracay..its not in my bucket list i guess.. i suggest you try el nido or SIQUIJOR if you’re the adventurous type..siquijor is not touristy, no starbucks, no pizza hut yet we found a place with white sand and no tourists.

  142. It’s so sad but mostly true. Boracay caters to a specific market–those who are young, looking to party and get wasted. I assume you are not part of this group so going to Boracay is a wrong move. As with other comments, there are a lot more places in the Philippines that are worth visiting: El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Panglao beach in Bohol, Siargao, Pagudpod in Ilocos Norte, Hundred Islands in Pampanga, and much much more. After all, we have 7107 islands. Visiting just ONE island and concluding that your visit to the Philippines is one of the worst countries you’ve visited is just plain IGNORANT. It’s like saying you want to see the ocean and sand and going to NY instead of Florida and then saying NY is the worst place you’ve visited.

    I am not just defending Boracay because believe me, when I go there, I prefer not to stay in the front beach (where I assume you stayed based on your post) and stay on the other side of the island near Shangrila Boracay and Sol Marina (where it is quieter, cleaner and more relaxing). I’m just saying give the other 7106 islands of the Philippines a chance. Tell your travel agency what kind of experience you are looking for so they can recommend the appropriate places to go.

    P.S. Put El Nido at the top of your list, but take a plane directly there instead of going via Puerto Prinsesa. It’s a 6-hour road trip if you don’t. And most hostels in El Nido are nowhere near 3 stars so go to El Nido resorts if you are looking for a top notch experience. Just my two cents

  143. Everything is true. I am a Filipino from Cebu. The first time I visited Boracay was in 1988, then it was very beautiful with only 3 beach resorts almost a mile from each other. There were just our group of 8 and a few local tourists in the white, fine and clean sands/beach. I came back in 1995 and it was already crowded with tourists who are drunk and wild. The last time I was there was in 2005 and I said I will never go back. The place has gone overly crowded and dirty just like Baguio.

    I would recommend Palawan particularly El Nido. Please, go there as soon as possible before tourism and the mighty dollars (from foreigners) spoil this beautiful immaculate place.

  144. I’m Filipino. I don’t go to Boracay often but enjoyed the few times I’ve been there – maybe those were the good old days. From your post, it seems that consumerism and tourist dollars have gotten the upper hand. Too bad, coz to this day I still tell Manila visitors to go there. Maybe I’ll send them to Bohol or Palawan instead. Sadly, nature gives, but man destroys.

  145. Same thoughts here…….the first time I visited Boracay was in the early 1980s. Believe me, it was paradise !!!!!! Was there for 10 days and stayed in a cabana just beside the beach not far from the only hotel there , Friday’s……..cabana cost then was P35 pesos a day.
    Phosphorescence on the water and the sand…… fireflies flittering on the palm trees…..magical!!! I was tearful when I left, and vowed to come back every year (which I did; I was already based in Zurich then).
    Every year I went there, I was witness to its development. My last time I went there was May 23rd, 1993. We were the last passengers to arrive and then they closed the Caticlan airport for two weeks. Reason: they were paving the field to make it into a decent runway!!! When we boarded the boat to the main island, noticed that they werent giving us our gas lamps….they informed us there was no need anymore for them–they already had electricity!!!! True enough……when we were asleep was suddenly woken up by the sound of motorbikes…..Lo and behold just at the back of our bungalow, a paved road that ran from north to south of the island had been built! UGH!!!!!…….By the time we left, I told myself that this was the last time I would ever go to Boracay. Sad, really what happened to this island.

  146. Anna was SPOT-ON with her article. Boracay has now become an unmitigated CLUSTER-F of EFFED-UP PROPORTIONS. Everything she wrote is true and happened to me when I was there. The island is quickly DYING and unless the hoards of asshole tourists and locals are removed ASAP, it will lose all its natural beauty sooner than later.

  147. You went there during peak season and it’s obvious people are everywhere. You said getting there is a nightmare? There are direct flights from Manila to Boracay instead of riding the two-hour bus ride. I think you are expecting too much that’s why your post about Boracay is full of negativity.

  148. You should have stayed in Station 1 in Boracay to get away with those vendors, but I agree with you Anna, Boracay became so commercialized already and most people go there because they want to party and not relax and enjoy the beach.

    I suggest you try Coron, Palawan it is more peaceful there.

  149. I always go to Boracay mostly every 3 months because of my job. I am really sorry to hear you have an awful experience there. I also have my share of those nasty experiences with backpackers, rude filipino teenagers, and (probably the most annoying tourists of all — the) korean tourists who never bother to apologize whenever they bump on you and step on you.
    There some more peaceful beaches here where you can really relax. If you have chance and time, try Villa Igang and Guisi Clearwater Resort of Guimaras Island. Some people say it is boring, but we find the place really relaxing. 😉

  150. Hi, I am Filipino, and i totally agree with your article. I’ve been around the country. On a motorcycle. I feel thats the way to go, There are a lot of places, even the average Manila folks have not even heard of. Dinadiawan for example, its a 300km ride from Manila. some 60-70 kms from Baler, Aurora. Pozo Rubo Beach in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. almost untouch. Calaguas, Cagbalete, Camiguin. I can go on and on. These places are not “commercialized” like Boracay.
    I’ve been to the Boracay several times. I hated that side of the island, Bulabog beach on the other hand has a totally different vibe, That’s where I spend most of my time when I’m in Boracay to windsurf.

  151. It is sad to heard but its true. Before all the establishment in Boracay, Truly it was a wonderful and peaceful place. But now if you want to party and get wasted you can go to Boracay. But I hope you were able to visit near places were surely you’ll be amazed like siquijor , beaches in northern cebu, EL nido, Samal, Surigao and other parts of Mindanao and Visayas region.

  152. Hi Anna. I feel morose after reading your article. I am a Filipino, and I have never been in Boracay. But upon knowing what happened to this beautiful beach because of ignorant and irresponsible people there is just heartbreaking. I do love seeing the beauty of nature. And I too would rather take pictures of nature’s scenery than take pictures of people. The beauty of nature that is untouched is just overwhelming.

    Thank you for your bravery to post such experience. Hopefully, betterment can be done in such place. Try other wonderful places here in the Philippines which are not yet famous next time. Cheers!

  153. you should try calaguas its better tham boracay, calaguas is in camarines norte a 30minutes or so boat ride from vinzon/daet. i wholly agree with you on what you wrote about boracay all the shoving and jostling and all those groups taking pictures where you literally have to stand and wait while they get their group picture. sorry for te bad boracay experience you had 🙁

    laboracay is 1000x worse all the vomit and drunks puking everywhere

  154. I’m a Filipino and I’ve never been to Boracay, for the very same reasons you stated here. If you want to see culture, go to Ilocos Sur & Norte. If you want to see beautiful beaches, go to Bohol, Palawan or Siquijor. There are a lot of places to see here in the Philippines, places way better than Boracay 🙂

  155. This blogger is a travelling princess and who doesn’t know how to research. Boracay is known for being a party island and why did you bother going there if that wasn’t your cup of tea? learn how to form a constructive opinion girl!

  156. if you don’t like crowded beaches, there’s an island somewhere in Samal Island, Davao (Buenavista, I guess) where you can rent it and stay there alone.

    Also, a friendly reminder the next time you visit Philippines, you should bring a Filipino friend along so someone could negotiate for the annoying vendors.. 🙂

    Anyway, I hope you went to Puca Beach in Boracay.. I swear, you’ll love it there, few tourists, no hotels, virgin island, it’s paradise.. 🙂

  157. How much was your budget? If you wanted a place that is not crowded you should’ve gone in an exclusive hotel. Bet you wouldn’t have anything to complain about.

  158. Hi Anna,

    I’ve been to boracay more than 10x .. every visits is such a wonderful experience.. and I’m looking forward to visit the island again this summer..

    Your observation is valid… I respect that.. but those problems you mentioned are not related to the island ITSELF.. Please appreciate the beauty of the island..

    Next time.. you may try to book at Shangri-La Boracay if you want… For sure.. you will treasure the experience.. More power..

    Dada

  159. Sad but true, Anna. I’m Filipino but I agree, Boracay has become a nightmare. Looking at the bright side, there are 7,000+ other islands to explore in the Philippines. 🙂

  160. Hi maam! I am from zamboanga city which is located at the western part of mindanao. I’ve never been to boracay and it was on my to-go list until i read your blog. Im still planning go see for myself though :). I recommend you to visit sta.cruz island. It’s just a 30min boat ride from the mainland. The water is colored blue green, the corals are like that of an underwater garden and the sand pink! Minus the annoying vendors,drunk people and disrespectful teenagers 🙂

  161. Two things I noticed in this article and the discussions: First, the blogger obviously had bad experiences (we should respect that). Second, if you read about Boracay, many of the bad experiences were to be expected (e.g., crowd, people, service, timing, etc.), but the blogger obviously insisted on her expectations and disappointed when they weren’t met;

    I travel a lot myself. But I do not understand, what kind of sensible traveler goes to: a) Boracay, b) on a budget trip and accommodations, c) during the peak season and expects i) for it not to be ‘touristy,’ ii) to escape crowd of tourists of the get drunk, party, get laid type, iii) comfortable services, iv) solitude and being left alone at the beach ???

    First, as a very “popular” tourist and party destination, Boracay is touristy, and attract huge crowds of the swim, drunk, party, and get laid type. During the peak season, the crowd reaches epic proportions and is of course followed by a crowd of people like vendors who would like to take advantage of this opportunity. Obviously, one cannot escape these crowds and it makes no sense to go there expecting quiet time, solitude, or to be left alone in a tiny island like Boracay. (She also obviously stayed at White Beach and missed Puka beach where there’s a lot less people.)

    Second, if one wants excellent services, they do not get the cheap one. The blogger obviously had no idea she was on a budget trip during the peak season (see her comments which read and I quote, “1. Who told you I’m a backpacker and that I was on a budget? 2. Also, how do you know that I went during the peak season when actually it was a low season.”) but she obviously was. She got off at Kalibo, more than 2 hours away – not Caticlan which is near Boracay obviously going for the cheaper fare. Also, she stayed in a hostel where people (strangers) can just come in and out.

    I think our Dane friend above sums it up quite nicely. “You can’t [go to Boracay], stay at a hostel and go during peak season and expect to get the El Nido experience.”

    • Answering your comment:
      a) I wasn’t on a budget, but if I need to go to a resort to have a pleasant experience somewhere as some here suggested then it speaks for itself… I also don’t mind a 2h bus – I was often taking buses for 10h and it was fine, that’s not about the length!
      b) So according to you Boracay is a get laid destination. Fine. Does it make it so amazing?

  162. Dear Ms. Anna
    I will make this reply point by point.

    YOUR STATEMENT: One of the most visited destinations in the Philippines, Boracay is famous for its beautiful beaches and great parties. “I was quite hesitant to go there as I’m not much for partying, but I enjoy the beach a lot and I felt like Boracay would be quite a social place”.
    FACT: The first statement in your blog means that you are fully aware that Boracay is famous for partying. And you quoted also that you are not into partying but still its your choice to go either way. So, you don’t have to complain of random strangers at your hostel sleeping over and the beach was full of drunken people. And btw, you checked in a hostel? So why complain about seeing random strangers? You could have booked for better hotel, where accommodation better and lesser people check in.

    YOUR STATEMENT: Nightmare getting to the island.
    FACT: First of all, as a traveler. It’s your responsibility to research before you go to a foreign place. You should have taken Caticlan Airport is nearer Boracay. I have been in Boracay several times and if you want better transportation you could have taken a van not a bus. Or you can rent out your own service if you do have the budget.
    I agree that it’s not a pleasant experience being annoyed by giving out tips. But I persons action could not justify everybody’s means. Not every local in Boracay is like that.
    Also, you said so that Boracay is a small island with a lot of tourist all year round. So, you should have expected that there are a lot of people on the Ferry Terminal. In your picture there are seats. If you don’t want to get bumped by other people on a busy terminal, you could have simple taken a seat while waiting.

    YOUR STATEMENT: Crowd of Horrible Backpackers
    FACT: First, you cannot justify that Boracay is the worst island simply because you hated to be with a lot people. If you wanted peace, you should have visited other places. But, you have mentioned several times before you went to Boracay, you are fully aware that there are lots of tourist there. Let me remind you that you are not the only one with the money to have a vacation. Since Boracay is know to be one the best beaches in South is Asia. And its not the island fault that some tourist flock the place to party, getting drunk or have sex.

    YOUR STATEMENT: Lack of Filipino Culture
    FACT: I also travel a lot. If you wanted to experience Filipino Culture, you should have went beyond your comfort zone and visited Boracay’s Market, Church, tasted Boracay’s Delicacies or mingle with Locals as if you live there. I beg to disagree that locals don’t care about tourist there. Boracay locals are known to be very hospitable and melodious people. I have been in Boracay several times, people are very friendly specially to Foreigners.

    YOUR STATEMENT: Annoying Local Vendors
    FACT: Again, if you want a place with lesser people, you could have taken a 5-10mins walk to Beach Station 1 where the sand is finer and there are lesser people. Its seems to me that is easy for you to say that it is the worst island, but looks like you have never really explored it. What’s wrong with being offered island hopping? If you could have taken the offer you could have seen how beautiful Boracay is beyond the crowd and the partying.

    YOUR STATEMENT: Seeing the beautiful beach being destroyed.
    FACT: I agree with you that the island is not as clean as before. But it’s not the island fault! It’s the fault of tourists who trashes the beach. My aunt works for the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources). And there are numerous projects implemented by the local government in partner with DENR who have kept the beauty of Boracay all these years in spite of thousand visitors each year that they have to manage.

    Clearly there is a lot more to Boracay that you did not experience because your way to busy complaining. What’s the point of travelling if you would waste your time looking at the bad petty things than enjoying what is in front of you. Before you label the place as worst, make sure you know everything. Clearly Boracay is not a perfect place but its far from worst as you are saying. YOU KNEW WHAT TO EXPECT YET YOU KEPT ON COMPLAINING. I am sad to here that you had a bad vacation, but please don’t blame the place for your attitude.

  163. I agree on most part but with Boracay being crowded-well, it is meant to be crowded. It’s an island where people party and just get drunk. If you want something secluded I think Palawan, Bohol, caramoan in Bicol and amanpulo are your best bet.

  164. better come to our place. “sagada, mountain province” no beach but has a lots of cave for adventure and splunking,

  165. im from PH and this is soo true ! the overpriced products and souvenirs they make everything a business sometimes i feel shamed of being filipino for disrespecting foreign tourist . they asked money everywhere they think that foreigners had lot of money to give and sometimes the price is so high but the quality is too low im afraid what will happen to boracay someday they are concerned about money they get using the beach instead of aprreciating the beauty of nature 🙁

  166. I’m a Filipino, never been to Boracay coz I am not a party person..I recommend you to go to Batanes, been there and its beautiful and quiet! try also El nido and if you have a big budget try to go Amanpulo, Hollywood peeps go there.

  167. if someone asks me about where to go in Phils, I usually would say, what do you wish to do? To party or to find a quiet island to relax? From there you could make suggestions on different great and beautiful islands in Phils. If you wish to spend quiet, and less crowded place, then never go to Boracay. Maybe you could stay Palawan, Sumilon Island, Bohol and many others. These places are my favorites.

  168. Cheryl here, a Filipino living in the Philippines. I first visited Boracay sometime between 1996-2000. That time, it was still very simple with very little people. It was BEAUTIFUL. The white sand, the clear waters and even the peace and tranquility. Unfortunately when I went back 2 years ago, it was completely different. It became a huge party place with algae all over the shore and mostly everything you described. I love our country and I’m sorry this was your experience of it. Boracay IS the place for the party people, I’d go visit it with friends who just want a good time but I wouldn’t really recommend it to most. It’s sad that tourists and fellow Filipinos were not able to preserve this once beautiful beach. At the moment, I’d probably recommend El Nido or Coron. These places are not yet too crowded and “commercialized”. You should grab the opportunity before it’s too late. Hope you’re able to find other relaxing and beautiful places to visit here in the Philippines. 😉

  169. Thats the only problem with you foreigners you always stick into one point of view, We all know that there is a saying that “first impression last” but Philippines is not only having Boracay as a place to go with! we have a lot, Though Boracay is a famous place to visit but we are not saying they are the best. why can’t you visit those place where not too much crowded.. like ( Cebu-“camotes island, bantayan island, sumilon island or you try to exprience island hopping” ) (Bohol-” Panglao beach or some tourist attractions”) (camiguin island) (Palawan) etc.. Its just happened you went to a place were it is not in your expectation.

  170. Great article, and straightforward. 🙂

    This is why i dont visit boracay during peak season and holidays. I avoid too many people on the beach.

  171. im filipino and i have no objection about what you have written. Maybe you should visit baguio instead and try to write about your experience in your blog.

  172. Hi Anna, truly sad you got that impression but you are right. I am Filipino. Have you ever been to Langkawi? Well the sand is not that good but how I wish Boracay was that way, quiet with no people harassing you every 2 minutes or so. Next time you come back please do try Camiguin Island or Caramoan Island. Sorry for the terrible experience but I do hope the warm hospitality of most Filipinos have somehow made a mark 🙂

  173. i have to agree with you with Boracay, it has become more commerialized every year, and i have been there almost every other year since 2000. i would like to welcome you back to Aklan, in January for the Atiatihan fiesta in Kalibo ( 3rd weekend in January) or Ibajay ( 4th weekend in January)

  174. Hi Anna, I’m a Filipino and I agree with what you said. I went back to Boracay last May 2013 and it was completely different from what I remembered way back 2004. The shoreline is now overly crowded with commercialized structures! It was very annoying to see how the government allowed this place to be treated this way. I can definitely say that your stay could have been better during those times as compared to the present. The government should consider taking care of the island instead of just focusing on earning money. That’s corruption for you in our country, truly SAD! >.<

  175. Too true. Boracay is one of the most well-known among tourists, but in all honesty it’s really just a huge tourist trap. I’m Filipino and my father was an Aklan local. Our first few times in Boracay, it wasn’t as popular yet (mid-90s) and it was gorgeous. Sure, the tap water was salty, there weren’t a lot of bars, but it was a great beach. Now, it’s really not a place you go to relax.

    Don’t let Boracay dissuade you from trying out our other beaches, though! We have a lot more beautiful beaches around. Palawan, Bohol, Camarines Sur, Surigao, the list is long.

    I’d like to speak up in defence of Hobbit House: it’s actually not something that was made specifically for Boracay. It’s the second branch of a much older Lord of the Rings themed bar in Manila. It sounds exploit-y in theory, but the owner treats his employees really well, they’re really awesome people and they love him a lot. I’ve never actually tried drinking at the Boracay Hobbit House, but the Manila one is great fun. The owner is a huge Tolkien fan who came to the Philippines, fell in love with it and never left. The Manila bar opened in the early 70s and, even when it moved to a different address, brought all its history to the new address. A lot of Filipino folk singers play there, and if you want a taste of Filipino culture and history, it’s definitely a place to try. (I know it sounds weird looking for Filipino culture in an English Literature-themed bar owned by an American, but just try it. Jim Turner, the owner, speaks better Tagalog than most Manilenos)

  176. Boracay is a place of pleasure and vices. Im an aklanon and i agree to that. but as a traveller, i presume you already knew that before coming to the island. of course you’ve done a lot of reading and research right? and you cannot expect the island to satisfy your expectations based on your standards. People who like to party may love the island and people who seek serenity may hate it. but that doesn’t imply that it is the worst place to go just because it did not satisfy your expectations.

  177. Hi,

    I think you just had a wrong expectations for Boracay. It is the same thing in Phuket or so, but much more worst there. There’s still thousand of islands you can enjoy in the Philippines and own for the whole day. Try Bantayan island in Cebu, or nearby islands in Visayas.

  178. I’m a Filipina and I share your sentiments. Too bad it’s so hard to fix this problem. Please don’t be discouraged to visit the Philippines again and try to visit El Nido..so much more peaceful and beautiful 🙂

  179. Hi Anna, sad that you didn’t enjoy Boracay. Well, just to manage your expectations, and as I read comments and opinions of your readers, it is very true that Boracay is not a place if you are looking for relaxation and appreciation of hardcore preserved nature tripping, and with a budget trip, no can do. In addition to that, sinilar to the Full Moon Party,majority of people who go to Boracay to party. And similar to any tourist destinations in the world, locals adapt to cultures around them esp when it means business. If you would try to make a count of nationalities in Boracay, I would say that locals are outnumbered by tourists (ironic huh?). Boracay is no longer ‘Filipino, and that is a sad reality. Anyway, if you really want to enjoy the best of Boracay has to offer, budget trip is not the answer. There are several high end resorts in Boracay that is far from the experience you had. A less congested shore or even an empty one that only you can enjoy. Anyway, I do hope that you find other destinations in our country that you would truly enjoy. I still hope that you could still say that it’s indeed more fun in the Philippines. Have a safe trip always 🙂

  180. well said, boracay is overated unlike before, if you are going back here in the Philippines , i highly recommend to you Coron, Palawan and cagbalite, quezon

  181. Boracay was never like this. With revenues pouring in yearly and tourist flocking rapidly i guess its an unstoppable progressive island. Station 1 at the far end of boracay is the best well maintained spot. No vendors allowed, no parties as well. Normally i despise walking along station 2 and 3. You should explore more of the island aside from the white beach.

  182. hello Anna….
    …very enlightening write up you have here ..and it’s nice to hear what other readers have to say. I’m pinoy (FIlipino) who is currently residing and working in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania..
    but during my time in the Philippines, I was employed by the government’s Department of Tourism (DOT) and, quite incidentally, Boracay fell under our area of jurisdiction and responsibility as far as the implementation of relevant government rules are considered. Unfortunately, however, the local government has taken over the “regulatory” powers of the DOT since 1991 and what you experienced there is more or less the result of such turnover…
    Having first visited Boracay in the early 80s when it was still pristine, until my last visit in November of 2013, I can tell you that a HUGE difference has evolved and developed over the interim years.. this definitely included the highly COMMERCIALIZATION of the Island, unfortunately or otherwise.
    Some of the “inconveniences” you mentioned are TRUE! …but –like the vendors, hawkers, rowdy drunken crowds that you mentioned, they actually make what the image of Boracay is like.. I believe your trip was worth it after all.. you were able to note certain aspects of the place that would be of valuable information for others..
    In the event that you get another opportunity to discover yourself heading back to my country, let me know of your own fields of special interest so that I could probably recommend to you where you could go.. among others, try to check the southern part of the Island of Negros in the Province of Occidental Negros …get on a non-stop bus trip to the little “mining” City of Sipalay for its caves, jungles (or whatever is left of it), and the deep blue waters of the Sulu Sea.. all the best for now! 🙂

  183. I would have to agree with you. Boracay will not be anytime in my list soon. But as a backpacker, i think it’s pretty normal to have bad experiences along the way, you just need to adjust as you go. There are a lot of nice places to go but for me boracay isnt. Try Siargao, Apo Island, Siquijor, etc. those places do have relatively less tourists than boracay.

  184. Bora is a beautiful and peaceful place to have a vication. well its used to be. if your looking for some place witg nice and peaceful place to rest and enjoy try other provinces here in the philippines. like panggasinan palawan and batangas.

  185. I definitely agree with everything you wrote about boracay. the original owners of the island are actually indigenous peoples called aetas. you can find them at the corner of the islands often times driven away. most of the owners of the big establishments are wealthy filipinos with foreign blood, or foreigners. over all the culture built in boracay is towards the majority of tourists going there -and you are right the party people type who don’t mind around except to satisfy their urge to party. the social gap became wide between the local and the outsiders who have money to build their business there so the effect is for the local to compete at a hook-or-by-crook options. so that is what happened to your experience at the pier, to the baggage boys, and the vendors.

    well, the advertisement for boracay is really a tourist ruse. i suggest you can visit next time palawan, touristy yet you can still feel the filipino hospitality. lake sebu and meet the t’boli tribe. camiguin island. pagudpud beach of ilocos norte. bohol. agusan del sur mystical lake. or here in our place the Cordillera Region for action packed adventure.

  186. I agree with everything, although i did enjoy my trip there because I intended to party during that time. Haven’t read all the previous comment if this was already mentioned but Palawan is way better than Boracay. I went to Coron and loved it (given a chance I would move there).

  187. It’s sad that while some Filipinos try their best promoting the country being tourist-friendly and travel-worthy and all, it is also our fellow Filipinos that make it otherwise.

    I am a Filipino, and a pround one at that. But I can’t help but agree with you Anna. I’ve been to Boracay for 7 times already. I love the place and the vibe because of one reason, a sad one actually: Because I am Filipino. Being Filipino for 33 years, I am used to all of those things you’ve mentioned (plus the commercialization-sh*t and all). I am also not a fan of those and if I had a choice, I would also want Boracay and all other destinations your way. But sadly, you really can’t have everything.

    And just to be fair to everyone, tourists and fellow Pinoys, the local government already attempted to remove some of the stores near the beachfront. Loud sounds also were minimized with their time limit directive. Smoking was also banned in the beachfront with attempts to minimize small trash buildup. But then again, these are just small efforts. Maybe invisible to some, but for a frequent Bora-traveller, I am a witness of these minimal changes.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion Anna. I commend you for your honesty. And unlike the rest, I see that though you “hate” your stay in Bora, you still took time looking for other ways to love our beach. You stayed for days. And by reading your other comments here, you still are interested in trying other Philippine destinations. You even recommended El Nido. Thank you!

    Lastly, please continue writing blogs. It is my first time to see your blogsite, and I am a fan already.

    Again, I’m sad that you had a bad experience in Bora but please continue discovering some other beautiful places in the Philippines. Try Calaguas and Caramoan islands. Four seasons of Survivor were shot here. Thanks.

  188. Hi Anna,

    I am saddened to hear about your experience in Boracay. I have a few things to say though…I am a Filipino, a proud one at that. I grew up abroad and have travelled extensively and much like yourself, I also love the beach and I’m constantly in search of paradise lost. Unfortunately, Boracay is not that tranquil paradise you were in search for. I’m not quite sure what you were expecting since you clearly said you were not much of a party person but went to the island anyway. In what part of the world has a party destination been a tranquil, isolated place? If you visit places like Bali, Thailand and even Ibiza, these are all beautiful beach destinations that loads of party-goers frequent. I don’t think you managed your expectations properly. You mentioned you also felt a lack of Filipino culture. Part of our culture is hospitality and the friendliness of the people. You’re right in saying Boracay is a tourist trap but that’s only because travelers like yourself have come and destroyed it weather by over crowding the beach or writing generalized negative blogs about it. There are so many positive sides to Boracay. The sand itself is like no other, sure it may not be as white and pristine as it used to be but the sugar quality it has is un-matched. The crystal blue water and amazing sunsets are just as beautiful. So next time, if there is a next time you visit the Philippines, I suggest you find the good in where you travel and most of all do your research, manage your expectations and travel with an open mind and heart.

  189. You are not a credible source for Boracay travel because from this pathetic excuse for a “blog entry” You haven’t experienced it. You didn’t mingle, party, tried new things etc. You just basically complained about shallow solvable things and minor activities that are forgettable. And the quality of service you’re getting is from what you paid for. Don’t expect to be treated like a princess if your budget is just for a maid. Hahahaha! And yet you knew that boracay is branded as party Island so why complain about it when that’s the number 1 thing it has to offer and no one forced you to go there? A Lot of peaceful quiet places In boracay but did you make an effort to see Or stay on those places? You just focused on what you hate and that’s a very sad trait. If you don’t understand things, be humble enough to ask or be smart enough to just shut up. You’re so stupid that it’s almost funny.

  190. I used to work in the Department of Tourism before I left for the US in 2001. Our agency prepared the tourism master plan for this island before I left but sad to say the local government unit did not follow the tourism master plan so there goes the result. I was there during the holy week of 2012 and was so frustrated with all the hassles I had been through going to the island. I promised myself never to go back to this island again. The first time was in 1994 and the island was so awesome and so tranquil because there was not a lot of tourist. At present its just like a huge flee market by the sea. I would rather to Palawan in my next visit.

  191. Well i think thats are few of the wrong thingking and attitude of the people who is not appreciative, well then you are not all welcome to our country if that what you say…if you think every places on earth is worst every time you will feel annoy, then just go home stay home and lock yourself in the closet…Arrogant!!!!, Perfect, High races , First class or everything elegant…so that’s it thats what you want to hear right!

  192. When I went to Boracay the 1st time I have this huge expectation of great beach, partying, and water activities. I guess I only enjoyed the Water activities. We never stayed in the island during the day so we escaped the hussle, we go back tothe hotel and rest and then find a restaurant to eat dinner. I like parties but during our stay in Boracay I just slept it off, its definitely not the party I expected. So in summary I still enjoyed the vacation by putting my attention to other things and just ignore the crazy. Its just sad you didnt enjoy there.

  193. Sorry to hear that. I’m from the Philippines and yes, I share your sentiments about Boracay. The better beaches (and more wildlife and culturally filled places) are in Palawan or in the Visayas region. Boracay is over rated, and I really don’t like the environment the people created.

  194. Boracay really is a place only for partying. It’s where you go to get drunk and have casual encounters. The Philippines though have a lot of beaches where you can simply enjoy the beach. there are plenty of secluded areas. Kookoo’s Nest for example in Zamboangita, Dumaguete is one of the most secluded resorts I have ever been to. it’s also a great area if you’re into scuba diving. Anyway, we have like, tons of beaches. Just make sure you read the reviews and ask around before you go somewhere so your trip won’t be wasted. I hope next time you get to enjoy the Philippines. 🙂 Palawan and Dumaguete are my favorite places in the Philippines, just for future reference. 🙂

  195. Hi, i’m a Filipino and have been to Boracay once and i swore to never go back there again. If you’re looking to giving the Philippines another chance, come by the beaches in Cebu like Bantayan Island or Badian or somewhere a little off like Camotes Island. You’ll get your peace and quiet and non commercialized Filipino culture there.

  196. Hello Ms. Anna,

    It’ kind of sad to but we have to admit it, Boracay is not as nice as what it was before. For people who likes to party, I think the place would be perfect, but not for those people who prefers relaxation. We also have other beaches which are less ‘populated’ than the Boracay; yet, pristine, peaceful and beautiful as Boracay. You may check out Calaguas Island, Coron, Pagudpud, Batanes, and many more. By the way, I’m a Filipino. 🙂

  197. Hi! I am a filipino and I usually go to boracay every year on the day of it being super crowded. It saddened me that the place is now like that. About the beach, how I wish you have stayed in the station 1 or near shangrila because private places like that cleans their beach front while in station 2 they don’t. Also, filipinos in boracay are really not the same anymore and how other girls and guys go there just to get drunk and have sex. Now on behalf of filipinos, I would like to personally say sorry to you and thank you because I am sure your blog will make a difference.

  198. There’s different types/categories to travel to.

    Boracay is an adventure beach party island for the young and the brave. You go to the island to experience flying fish, jet-ski, jump off from a cliff to the sea, beach party with your friends etc.

    I think its not the islands fault nor the culture
    but you selected the wrong type/category of island you wanted and envision to visit.

    If your looking for ‘paradise you should have went to Palawan, Philippines. 🙂

  199. Anna, did you explore all the beaches in boracay before writing this blog??? Did you read reviews about boracay naking a lot of jobs yo loca filipinos before you write your stupid blog??? If you want to be “ALONE” in the beach, you should have gone to “AMANPULO”. You know where this place is??? Thr make a thorough research. One more wring thing you say about Boracay, the island sdhuld declare you “PERSONA NON GRATA”!!! People like you have no place in the philippines!!!

    • If you want to place a comment learn not to use caps lock an write with a correct spelling. Everyone will appreciate it. Thank you.

  200. Well if you’re looking for just a peaceful amazing beach and no people to bother you. you should have done your research right. Philippines has a lot of different places sorrounded with beautiful islands and beaches that is not crowded, like caramoan group of islands,coron and el nido of palawan,magalawa and potipot of zambales, pagudpud, camiguin, moal boal, bantayan island and many more. to say the least. try to get to any of that i mentioned and let’s see what you have to say. and next time you travel miss, make sure you pack enough patience and positivity with you.

  201. I am a Filipino and I share your observations. What Boracay is today is definitely a farcry from the Boracay I first set foot on way back in 1999. The only vendors then were those selling local streetfood, fruit vendors and fishermen plying their catch. There were no fastfood chains nor concrete mid-rise hotels. There were only cottages and some bungalows or two-storey bed&breakfast accomodations.

    Boracay suffered from poor management, if not mismanagement, from its municipal as well as provincial government, specifically with respect to land and business regulation. I’m no longer excited to go back to Boracay. In fact, I’ve lost my liking for the island. I’d rather go to Coron or maybe try the beaches in the Bicol region.

    Thank you for this write-up. I hope Boracy suffers a tourist slump so that the people concerned do something about its present state to make it a truly relaxing and invigorating visit.

  202. Ok Im all freaked out now. I am coming home with my husband who has never been to the Philppines. I am taking him to Boracay since we did not really had a chance to have our honeymoon when we got married and this is our chance. We are staying at Asya Premiere Suite which according to Expedia is in Station 3. Shangrila was just too expensive and this was the next best thing. Please advice hoepfully I will not regret this. When I took my husband to Mexico, he got really sick so he is a bit apprehensive. Any advice.

    • According to Filipinos here station 3 is the worst location to stay in Boracay. Hmm… where did you go in Mexico? I got extremely sick in Boracay actually, so be careful 🙁

      • NOT STATION 3! haha! (I repeat, NOT STATION 3!) hahaha

        Try Station 2.

        BUT, Station 1 is the best. Try Discovery Shores Hotel. But there are other cheaper and affordable hotels along Station 1. The best area.

    • Anna has no idea about which she speaks. Asya is at the very South end of the West Beach, well past the end of Station Three.

      Asya is one of the finest hotels on the island, and I am sure you will have a great time. It is also very expensive, so you will want to take some time to venture-out to other places.

      Asya has its own vans, so you can easily get to D’Mall, which is in the very center of the White Beach. You will have a great time here.

      Do not let the opinions of a wayward traveller get in the way of your good time.

      Congratulations on your Honeymoon!

  203. I’ll recommend EL NIDO PALAWAN.
    I’m a resident here in Palawan. I went there 5x but insted of saying ” ah I already went there 5x and the travel is 5-6hours by van very long trip”
    I probably say that ” I LOVE EL NIDOOOOO, I LOVE SMALL LAGOON, BIG LAGOON, SECRET BEACH, HIDDEN BEACH, SNAKE ISLAND”.
    and if you want diving go in Port Barton or San vicente.
    You will love my place. Esp. island hopping.

  204. It’s the people, not the place. Replace all the ‘weird’ people there and Boracay will be very different from what you see now.

  205. Terrible blog! Full of negativity. Like they always say, “To each his own foot”. Bet the beaches in your place are twice as terrible you think Boracay is that you have to travel across Asia…only to bash.

  206. Hey Anna. Next time you visit the Philippines, hit me up. Ill bring you to a very very very very local beach on my province. NO TOURIST. NO PESKY VENDORS. FAR FROM THE CITY. the sand is not that white but the view is pretty good. AND WE HAVE LOADS AND LOADS OF GOOD FOOD. All you need to pay for is your plane ticket from wherever you’re staying to Manila. We’ll pick you up. I’ll let you stay in our house for free. Not in some crappy hostel. Email me! [email protected]

  207. I love the Philippines. It is my home. I’ve been to the lesser visited places, and have met the nicest people in the archipelago. I have to say, Boaracay was paradise on earth 20 years ago. I will always look back, and feel bad about what it has become now. Anna, did you go to Malapascua when you went to Cebu?

  208. Anna, you said you went during low season, but somebody commented you went around December 20 (date on a sand castle). Why did you say you went during low season?

    • According to what they told me in Boracay right before Xmas is a low seasons – especially since it was right after the hurricane.

  209. you might want to try Palawan, Camiguin, Siargao (but try not to visit there during its peak season, that’s from sept. to nov. I think.), also samal island in davao.=)

  210. Hi ms anna. Thats an honest blog and i appreciate that. Im one of those people who frequented boracay like twice in a year im there… Hehe.. And everything you said were just about the reason why i like going back there. That’s boracay, there’s nothing that needs to be changed thats what people should expect when they go there…the party, the noise and the crowd, or if youre lucky enough hehe the sex. But not necessarily. All u have to do is find the right spot for your thing. The island is big enough for you to find ur quiet or noisy place…u just have to be very keen in finding it…should always be positive when your exploring a place… Hehe… I felt sorry for your experience though but all these had been written in the past maybe on you next visit to other destinations try checking out other blogs ahead so you wont be expecting too much. Because for me boracay means party, with the tourists, the locals, the vendors, the midgets and the like, all thats there… Hehe 🙂 just saying 🙂

  211. I’m from Boracay, I was raised there 🙂 i just want to say on the part where you go to the island and the teenagers playing a loud music, if you hate boracay partly because of that then it’s invalid, hate on the teenagers not on the island and if you wanted a private or peaceful trip to Boracay, then you should’ve rented a Van for yourself. And it’s a PUBLIC beach, that’s why there are many people, and have you been to Puka Beach? 🙂 i think no, cause the things you have been saying about the crowded beach it’s because you were on the LONG BEACH. It’s just annoying on how you hate on Boracay for not even seeing the whole island, i agree that there are bad parts of Baracay, i saw everything change because I grew up there, but I could say that the changes brought bad and good things. Station 1, Station 2 and Station 3. Just make sure you went around the island and went to all those stations and went around the whole Island. And about the mermaid lessons, you partly hate boracay because of that? 🙂 hate the one who rescheduled or whatever, don’t hate the island. Again, if you ever want to visit Boracay again, visit Puka Beach get a private Van, try to stay at Station 3 or Station 1 and explore the whole island first before you judge my hometown again 🙂

  212. Hi Anna, thank you for your honesty. I am Filipino and dis travel to Boracay for 3 times already. And I agree to what you have said and observed about island. I was surprised too the first time I went there because the hotels were just along the shoreline. I felt sad that you have this not so good experience with the island but I hope that you would consider going to other places in the Philippines like the island of Palawan. If you wanted to experience nature I recommend you to visit Coron or Mindoro. But thank you for giving these observations and I hope that you would take time to visit other places for you to experience what Filipino culture is all about.

  213. May I recommend:
    1. Subic – plenty of sports/action activites…..and you can take the JEST camp (Jungle Environment Survival Training). Very interesting.
    2. Batanes – Stay at Fundacion Pacita high atop a hill. Explore WWII guerrilla tunnels, beach, etc.
    3. Carlos Celdran Tour- take ANY of his tours! Crowded Quiapo, or of the Old, historical Intramuros when you are in Manila. Very witty, fun, educational. But you have to do it soon as Mr. Celdran is currently facing “criminal charges” from the church for disturbing a Mass, in protest of the church’s position in the “reproductive health law”.

  214. Hi Anna, I agree. To make it short, Boracay sucks. But you said you went during low season, however somebody commented you went around December 20 (date on a sand castle). Could you react to that. Thanks.

  215. I live in the Philippines and I have to agree with your post. I happened to visit Boracay last year and if it weren’t for the fact that we were staying in a nice hotel with its own private beach, I wouldn’t have enjoyed my stay there. That said, I hope you get to visit El Nido, Palawan. That place is definitely paradise! I met so many people there – locals and foreigners alike! The mood in El Nido is more chillaxin’ than partying – it was definitely nice to relax there. 🙂

  216. Make sure you explored the whole boracay first, have you been to Puka Beach? 🙂 and about the transport to Boracay with Teenagers playing loud music, and if you hate the island partly because of that then hate the teenagers not on the island!!! I do agree that there are bad parts of the island, but i also know that there are good parts. And yes Boracay is not a place anymore for Family Trips but for Group of friends already for the party, but I assure you that the Long Beach that you have visited, it’s just part of Boracay not the Whole Boracay don’t judge the island because part of it is not good for you. Station 1, 2 and 3, i hope you wrote this after going to all those stations and that you went around the whole island. I’m from Boracay, I grew up there and I know there are changes in the island but it has a good and bad effect on the island 🙂

  217. Wow. I’m a Filipino and I’ve never been/don’t want to go to Boracay and the reason for this is everything that you mentioned in your blog. Yes, the island WAS beautiful and I wish that it could return to how it was. Thank you for giving your honest opinion about Boracay and the Philippines in general.

  218. Anna,

    You obviously stayed in station 3, the cheapest in Boracay island so don’t expect much

    I feel that you are a racist and just want to make silly and stupid comments about the Philippines and not just to Boracay

    You are only one of the very few and stupid tourists who did not like Boracay.

    If Boracay is the worst for you, then no other place is good enough because Boracay has been voted to be the BEST in the world

  219. Boracay is too mainstream now that’s why it’s crowded even on regular days and worst during holidays. Lucky to say that I was able to enjoy boracay before it was commercialized to the public and huge ass establishments are building to your left and right. Sorry to hear your experience but I guess what you can read about wonders of boracay nowadays probably haven’t been updated to the present and that may be referred to the old boracay. I still often times go to boracay to party because I am a party animal myself but I do miss the old boracay where you can just have peace and relaxation with the sun, white sand, the blue waters and the breeze. You should have went somewhere else instead like Palawan. It’s pricier than boracay and not easily accesible by a lot of local tourists that’s why it is not as packed as boracay. Palawan is a legit away from the urban life where you just reunite with nature. I am a Filipino and this is so sad to hear from a foreign tourist. I hope you can come back and visit somewhere else instead and that probably our country can redeem somehow a better reputation than your first one.

  220. I’m Filipino and I agree. I started travelling around the Philippines after I finished school and migrated to the States. Everytime I go home on vacation I would pick a list of islands I would go and travel just to see them since I never got to travel my own homeland when I still lived there. I never included Boracay because it was too touristy for me and I don’t prefer the party atmosphere though others would. I would suggest Bantayan(been here) and Malapascua(haven’t been but hear about it a lot) they take hours to get to from the city but lesser tourists and you really get the island feel. Camotes also in Cebu is easier to get to and also beautiful. White sand too but not as fine as the other 2. Samal island in Davao is amazing and easier to get to. Palawan is amazing too though it’s getting a lot of tourists too but its still worthwhile. Siquijor has amazing beaches too and waterfalls and caves and spring. It’s not crowded and you can experience all this in one day though i wish i had more. I have yet so many places to go to in the phils but once I read that it’s a party atmosphere I don’t prioritize it. I hope you go back and experience the other less crowded islands so you can see there’s more to the Philippine beaches. 🙂 have so much more on my list haven’t been to yet.. 🙂

  221. Im a Filipino and definitely staying here in one of the town in Aklan where Boracay is. I’ve been in boracay maybe 5 years ago. The new boracay is now very different. I agree with what you said. Maybe the most worst thing now in boracay is that criminals, snatchers and even drug dealers are staying there. It is very sad that a beautiful paradise like Boracay is destroyed and not preserved. I want to apologize for what you had experience in our Province. But thank you for visiting the place.