Boracay, more like Funacay!
Student Flights Lauren Anderson travels to the Philippines and visits Manila and Boracay. Lauren is impressed by the stunning hotels and the amazing shopping at the SM Mall of Asia. While in Manila, Lauren visits the American Cemetery and Memorial and the Ayala Museum. She then ends her vacation at the ultimate beach destination, Boracay. Lauren, tell us about your trip...
Last year I was lucky enough to go on an amazing trip to the Philippines for a week. I had always been interested in the history and culture of this interesting nation, and jumped at the chance to experience it first-hand.
We arrived in Manila mid-evening, and immediately were overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of this crazy city. I stayed at the Shangri La Makati City, which was amazing. The hotel is in an up and coming area of Manila, close to shopping centres and lots of restaurants and nightlife. The highlight of this property is definitely the amazing grand entrance, which was decked out in stunning Christmas decorations at the time I was there, followed closely by the massive sumptuous buffet that the hotel offers for breakfast and dinner. The rooms were lush and beautifully appointed.
We were picked up on our first full day in Manila and taken on a city tour where we saw everything from the American Cemetery and Memorial to the old walled city called Intramuros, finishing up at the Ayala Museum. We learnt a lot about the history and people of the Philippines from our amazing tour guide Eric who loved answering all our questions. I was so overwhelmed that this nation had gone through so much turmoil and has still managed to emerge as an up and coming country where tourism is starting to boom and the people are beautiful! We also went shopping at the SM Mall of Asia which is the third largest shopping mall in Asia. The mall is massive and even has a huge ice skating rink inside! Shoppers’ tip: stock up on cheap big named cosmetics from the department stores, and have a look at the ridiculously cheap beauty treatments!
The next part of our adventure had us fly from Manila to Kalibo and on our ultimate destination, Boracay! I had googled so many pictures of this amazing place and was so excited to finally see one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in the world. We arrived at the Caticlan Jetty and our dedicated Shangri La check-in area, and were ferried across at dusk to the breathtaking Shangri La Boracay. I have never seen anything as impressive as the open air check-in at this hotel and could not believe how gorgeous the rooms were. Knowing that there was a day spa here, I knew I was going to have an amazing stay!
The Shangri La is about fifteen minutes away from the main stretch of beach that Boracay is famous for. It's a fun ride on one of the motorbike/buggy inventions they use for transport. It can be a bit scary going uphill after a few of the cocktail shakers. We spent the next few days checking out the markets, partying at Cocomangas and sampling their 330 peso shakers (lethal!), running amuck on ATV's around the island, and of course enjoying the beach. The highlight of my trip was dinner on the beach. On the last night, we ate seafood that we had hand-picked. It was barbequed for us to our liking. Such a beautiful place and beautiful warm hearted people, I was so sad to say goodbye!
The Philippines wasn't my first choice for a holiday, but I have been to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and can honestly say that this destination blew my mind. Everyone should visit this amazing nation and experience their beautiful sights and vibrant culture. Definitely one of my favourite trips so far!
Looking for more information about travelling to the Philippines and Boracay? Contact [email]text=Lauren Anderson[/email], an International Travel Consultant with Student Flights based in Garden City, Queensland who can be reached at 1300 838 926 or by [email]text=email[/email].
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