In Part 1 of this article, Tanja shared the many reasons to fall in love with Boracay, profiled four of the beaches on the island, and recommended her Best Local Stress Buster. Click here to return to Part 1 of Boracay Unplugged.
Second-Best Stress Buster
Relaxing at Nigi Nigi Nu Noos bar with a 2-for-1 cocktail during happy hour (5-7pm) will guarantee you’ll forget all about your mosquito bites and sun-scorched skin. In fact, they should give you a free drink if you can pronounce the name of the bar by the end of the evening. That’s not an option, just an idea, but hey, make the offer and give it your best shot. If you’re not in the mood for socializing, grab a seat on the beach, eat some dinner and watch the sun go away. Or else, gather around the fabulous circular bar and meet/watch some amusing rock-and-roll types.
Unfortunately, the fish and I spent way too much time loitering around that bar (no surprises there). But as I write this, I feel torn because I’m not sure I should be endorsing their Long Island iced teas served in giant goldfish bowls. Surely you’re old enough to make up your own mind… but just in case you need to hear some down-to-earth wisdom, here’s the tip of the day: Share the cocktail. If you have one by yourself, I won’t be held responsible.
Why do I say this? I once made the mistake of guzzling one all by myself (only child), after which I became so witty and charming, I received a marriage proposal from 3 Spaniards and an Italian while my husband was standing next to me. I soon got bored with the Latin Lotharios (believe it or not) and made friends with an Australian couple (convinced that the woman was my spiritual mother). I then came second in a nearby dancing competition that was filmed and broadcast nationally. To this day, I have no detailed recollection of either of these events, but I still have the pink pair of rubber flip flops and sun lotion I won as my prize for coming 2nd. Oh, yeah, just in case you’re wondering… Nigi Nigi Nu Noos’ burger and fries is not a bad option for breakfast.
As far as your palate is concerned, you’re guaranteed to find something to suit all budgets. Choose from fresh seafood, such as live clams, oysters and crabs. Lobster, squid, and mussels served with a dollop of butter and grated cheese. Grilled blue marlin, stuffed squid, restaurants, barbecue stalls, fancy mango and peach crepes. I even found good coffee! If you want to eat where the locals eat, look for the places with zero to no décor. They’re hot as a sauna but cheap and good.
Tucked away and perched high in a tree, Tree House Beach Resort and Bar is one of the best restaurants on the island—and only around 15 meters from Angol Beach (our temporary home). With billowy cushions and soft candlelight, it was the perfect choice for hungry but too-lazy-to-go-anywhere nights. Far removed from the hustle and bustle, it’s also the ideal place to relax and savor some delicious homemade pizza and pasta. I know what you’re thinking ‘why eat Italian on a Philippine island’, right? I get it, but I’m only human. And sometimes I like to mix it up a little. Try the garlic bread and bruschetta.
Staying in for the evening and people spying from the privacy of one’s terrace calls for something different altogether. Heidiland Delicatessen offers selective wines from France, Australia, Italy, Spain and South Africa. Imported meats, sausages, olives and cheeses from all over the world as well as freshly baked European breads. You’ll find it at the DMall open-air shopping strip.
While you’re in the area, get your haircut. For a couple of bucks, Fabrice got pampered for more than an hour, including a head and ear massage, neck and shoulder rub, hair cut, stray hair trims, feather plucks, and who knows what, but he came out a changed man and swears it’s the best hair experience anybody will ever have. The barbershop is tucked away in the fruit and veggie market behind DMall.
If you want a ‘true’ ocean front bungalow in Boracay for a fraction of the price you’d pay at a full-blown hideous resort, here’s your answer. For my part, I need a home away from home. Never expensive but comfortable. It can be simple. Simple is good. But I can’t live on top of other people. I refuse to travel half way around the globe to a tropical island and not stay on the beach. To stay in some pokey place with no view would never cut it. And as some wise person once said… life is far too short. You can’t always be outdoors doing stuff. Sometimes, you need to retreat. If you ask me, I’d rather pay a little extra to stay in a cozy place and eat rice for dinner.
Angol Point Boracay Resort is a 2-minute walk south of boat station 3,which is the cheapest part of the island and ironically the best. The resort offers spacious, native style bamboo cottages with thatched roofs and wooden floors set in a peaceful tropical garden. From memory, there are 6 huts priced at around 2750 PHP per night (US$60).
The cottages are unique in design. Eco-simplicity at its best.There’s no air-conditioning or TV in rooms, no modern conveniences. There are private bathrooms but no hot water. There are fans but no mosquito nets (best to BYO the nets). Probably doesn’t sound like much of a deal because the cottages are a little pricier than some other places with more amenities, but it depends on what you’re looking for. In my opinion, they’re a winner on location alone.
Finally, if you can’t tear yourself away from the place, visa extensions are available on the island! It’s a piece of cake.