We have finally found our own little slice of paradise, here at White Beach, Boracay. But it’s not quite the paradise we expected.
Boracay is a tiny island, an hour flight south of Manila. At just 7km by 1km at its narrowest point, you can’t get much further than the hectic metropolis we had found in Manila.
We arrived under the cover of darkness, having taking a taxi, plane, minibus and rickety old boat to get here.
We dumped our bags at the closest hostel we could find and headed straight to the beach, sinking our feet into the soft white sand.
White Beach is lined with a buzzing strip of bars, clubs and restaurants. Fairy lights curl their way up palm trees and cover bands murder Bob Marley classics. The throngs of tourists are predominately Korean, Chinese ad Eastern European.
We strolled along the strip and ate fried rice on the beach before retiring for the night, excited to see this famous beach in the light.
White Beach didn’t disappoint.
The sand was some of the whitest I’ve ever seen. White Beach is flanked with curvaceous palm trees on one side and the bluest sea on the other. We couldn’t wait to strap on the GoPro and head into the shockingly blue waters.
Let’s just say that we may need a little more practice…
Back on the shore we hid in the shade of the palms, popping out occasionally to top up our tans.
We preferred to stay at the top of White Beach at Station 3. Here, the crowds dissipated and the McDonalds and Starbucks were replaced by wooden shacks and rustic treehouses.
But Boracay is all about the sunsets.
You take a seat at one of the hundreds of beachside bars, order a £1 fresh pina colada or 40p rum and coke and watch the show unfold.
This quickly became my favourite time of day. Every sunset is different and equally spectacular.
The beach is at its most crowded at sunset. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many selfie sticks in my life. Despite the crowds, the setting sun evokes a calm stillness and everyone slurps on their happy hour drinks in awe.
White Beach is not what we had expected.
We hadn’t anticipated the crowds, the chain restaurants or the incessant street vendors. Regardless, White Beach is so spectacular and so sprawling that there is a patch of sand for everyone by day and a bar stool for everyone by night.
There is a party atmosphere here, greatly heightened by 40p rum, but it doesn’t yet feel seedy or desperate like most European party destinations. You can choose to visit one of the clubs or simply listen to a chilled out acoustic set on the beach.
White Beach can be tailored to you and everything you want from a holiday. Just get here quick. It’s not going to be like this for long.