Boracay Island

Dubai is home to thousands of Filipinos, but we always forget the Philippines as a potential holiday hot spot. Not anymore

It’s summer time! And since it’s summer, we always think of beaches. Who can avoid the lure of blue waters, sun-kissed sand and lush landscapes - tempted? Then Boracay Island in the Philippines is the place for you.

Enjoy the soft white sands, clear turquoise waters and beautiful sunsets, not to mention the warm people. It’s a long journey from Dubai, nine hours from Dubai to Manila, but trust us, it’s worth it.

Visas

If you’re decided to explore the place, then here’s what you have to do. An application for Visa would be required depending on the nationality of the candidate. Usually, Americans and Europeans are not obliged to acquire a Visa and they could enjoy staying for 21 days. Check www.globalvisas.com for more details.

How to get there

Air tickets are cheaper during summer season. Try Philippine Airlines, check their website on www.philippineairlines.com or Cathay Pacific, log onto www.cathaypacific.com for the latest prices.

Next, it’s Manila to Boracay. You have to take a local flight from Manila to Kalibo, Aklan Airport or Caticlan Airport (Dhs300 to Dhs500 roundtrip) for 45 minutes and 1 hour and 30 minutes car ride (Dhs15) and a 10 minute boat ride to Boracay Island. Check arellevalla.com for details.

Where to stay

Upon reaching the island, hotel accommodations await you. Choose the best accommodation for you with cheap rates. Check www.asiarooms.com for details.

What to do

Parasailing: Fly high over the island and watch the beach speed fast below you as you go parasailing. Enjoy the view from the top as you are being pulled along by a speeding boat far below. For only Dhs220.

Kiteboarding: This activity made Boracay famous as the kiteboarding and windsurfing capital of Asia because of its wide expanse of shallow water and windy conditions suitable to wind-dependent water sports.

Trekking: Check out the dead forest located in the southern part of the island. Here you will find dead trees with their silhouettes jutting eerily into the landscape in a frighteningly, fascinating way.

• Boat riding: Take a boat ride to the north of the island at sunset and watch the fruit bats as they fly over to the mainland to feed. A really spectacular sight - they are much bigger than you might imagine.

• Horse riding: Take out one of the friendly, locally bred horses to discover the islands natural beauty. Riding lessons are available.

• Food trip: Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, German, American and Italian cuisines are available. The food choices in the island are as diverse as the visiting tourists making the possibilities for food tripping, endless. There is always something for your every whim and craving.

• Nightlife: Dance in the sand under the stars or in one of the island's numerous bars and clubs. And if this scene seems too rowdy for you, a more peaceful and probably, a more romantic alternative, is a stroll along the beach.

• Diving: The underwater world of Boracay is particularly interesting because of its rich marine life which is highly visible against the pure, white sand. Diving and snorkelling gear are available at the many diving centers on the island. Or you can always bring your own.

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