BORACAY island, Phillipines, May 2014

For the first time, Air Asia launched direct flight to the Kalibo town near Boracay island in 2014 and we decided to fly there  in  May. Phillipines has more than 800 islands and Boracay was chosen as the best island in the world in year 2012 ( partially due to a visit by celebs like Brad and Jolie ) .

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A few travelers said some places in Philippines were not safe  but  Boracay contrary to other parts of Philippines is pretty safe and I enjoyed every bit of my holiday there.

More than that, Filipino have warm personality and good English. I blend in very easily and even local tourists thought I was a Filipino and asked me for direction, choosing me among real Filipinos. I chuckled and explained I am not a Filipino, but they said I look like  one. Haha, And I pretty admire women attitude regarding their body. I am overweight and very shy to wear bikinis, while most Filipino women regardless of age and body figure were leisurely strolling along with two pieces. I do adore them and their laughter.

At that time we got 40 ps for one us dollars and food and drinks were quite reasonable even for a tourist place. The first time, I saw color jeeps , I was so fascinated.

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We went to Kalibo with flight  ( it cost us around 250 us D for return flight from Kuala Lumpur ).  From Kalibo, we  had to get a coach . It is around one hour drive to arrive the jetty and from there, we have to get a ferry.

8The only thing I don’t really like about island is the green algae at the beach. They look pretty at sight, but I don’t feel good about them once I read in someone blog mentioning the algae grow excessively because of poor sewage system.  Yuk !

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The water is crystal clear and it’s baby blue, deep blue, light green and deep green.

18 I tried to search itinerary and found out some amazing places to go such as crystal cove island. We are ok to do crazy things, but not adventurous enough to dive from the cliff . Crystal cove is a small island near Boracay with a lot of men made decorations. They beautifully place ornaments such as lanterns, statues all over the island and it is a pretty place to do parties and weddings. And it is the only island you need to pay entrance fee.

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Crystal Cove island

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Crystal Cove’s island, you need to pay for entrance fee

There are lots of interesting boats called Paraw sailing. You need a few people to sail them and it is very nice to be on them at sunset.

58 We went to Puka beach. Puka is the shell in Philippines and the sand is very rough because of fragmented shells.

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Puka beach

We saw a private beach owned by Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao and it is awesome as he built the house inside the rock.

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I don’t really like Filipino food as it is too sweet and bland for me. They love pork and Italian restaurants are everywhere paired with live bands and reggae singers.

71829398 There was an Italian restaurant called Don Vito and it was awarded as the best restaurant of Phillipines in 2011 . Boracay has McDonald and additionally, they have icecream dipped in mango juice.

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114The length of the island is only 8 km and it was lined with street hawkers, bars , restaurants and street performers.Even with short distance, you can hire the three wheeled cars if your legs tired .  116.jpgRegarding accommodation, I don’t recommend you to book five star hotels as some are quite far from beach. You can get 3 star hotel with only 20 us D per night at the beach front

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beach front hotel with reasonable price
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the hotel we stayed

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I thought activities were cheaper outside the hotel , I was wrong. Our hotel offered better price for island trip as the competition is high. We went out and bought island hopping trips  and turned out the activities are much more expensive if we buy on our own..

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activities of Boracay, the agents will annoy you and hunt you down unless you claim you have already bought tickets

I did some braiding and it was fun , they charge only 4 us D for it while Kani did some artificial tattoo. ( Hotel warned us we need to pay fine if we print tattoo and sleep on their bed without shower ).

We waddled to Willy’s rock  through shallow water. Willy’s rock is a natural tourist attraction, oddly shaped volcanic formation in station 1 ( the island is divided into three stations ). It has a small chapel at top with Virgin Mary statue inside.

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Willy’s rock
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volcanic remains

The town is very clean and well maintained, it has many cute bars and cafe.

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cute coffee bar
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the hotel inside the town, which is  only a few minutes walk from beach
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clean and spacious roads
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stores are everywhere

We decided to do something for fun. One of my friends suggested to walk on the underneath of ocean wearing oxygen tank and suit called helmet diving. I objected as I know I would freak out. We decided to go for fly fish, a ride on the inflated balloon with handles linked to a speed boat driven a slightly insane boat man. He made us literally fly in the air as he drove the boat crazy and the balloon lifted up. We were screaming, me not out of pleasure, but rather fear of impending fall and being eaten alive by either sharks or unknown marine fish while my friend Kani was crying out of excitement and pleasure. I held the handle tightly as I know a slip for  a second would make me fall into the ocean.  Kani thought it was so fun. Belinda barely managed to hold it as she is small and I was worried she would fall. Later, she said, she always falls whenever she tries banana boat and fly fish is far more scarier than banana boat. At night, I got severe pain at the knuckles and elbows because of holding very tightly to the handle.

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before screaming and disastrous ride 
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Thank God, we didn’t fall

At sunset, we had very good massage and had some cocktails at the bar.

89 I guess everyone in Boracay can sing. They are very talented in singing and playing instruments.  It was a very nice trip and good to write about it although it has been 2 years since I went there.

1448416Thanks for reading.

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Myin Ma Hti cave, Kalaw , Shan State, Burma

I am not particularly interested in cave as I am asthmatic and I usually get eerie feelings and sense of suffocation whenever I visit inside the cave. However, my curiosity always drives me to do some venture inside the cave and I went twice to Myin Ma Hti mountain to observe the cave. Another reason I went there is the view on the way to the cave is awesome and there are lots of seasonal flowers especially sunflowers and sesame flowers ( I went there before harvest time in December , so the scenery was yellow , white , green and red , the color of soil in Shan State is red ). But if you go there other time, you will not see sunflowers.

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According to the record done by a monk at the Myin Ma hti village in the year  1906, the pagodas inside the cave were first founded by King  Siri Dama Thaw Ka around 2300 years ago. King Siri Dama Thawka was well known as a king who tried to spread Buddhism all over the country. He built 84000 lakes, 84000 wells and 84000 pagodas,  The cave  is 1028 feet long and on the walls , there were side tunnels which are linked to outside.  Previously, the cave was covered with the water and it was used to be called water flowing cave.  However, it was assumed that the water disappeared through some opening inside the cave and nowadays, it is dry.  There are still 28 statues which was assumed to be created 2300 years ago.

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After  King Siri Dama Thawka , King Anawrahta took over the pagoda and did some renovation , then it was taken over by King Along sithu. According to the record, the cave has existed for thousands of years before Buddhism flourished there.

Myin Ma Hti mountain is four miles from Kalaw Town. Kalaw is 4315 feet above sea level and the summit of mountain is 1075 feet from the base.

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There is a legend that four powerful and extraordinarily strong horses came out from the divine and ate the paddy field and vegetable from the village farms.  The villagers could not shoo the horses away and asked help from the King Anawrahtar. The king sent his four heroes named Kyan Sit Thar, Nga Htwe Ru, Nga Lone Lat Phal and Nyaung Oo Phee. The heroes managed to tame wild horses and brought them to the palace. On the way back, Hero Kyan Sit Thar galloped on the powerful horse and jumped over the mountain. The horse could jump over it and the mountain was named Myin Ma Hti ( The mountain which the horse didn’t touch )

You could reach the cave by turning to the right after you passed the toll  if you come from Kalaw. You need to drive a few miles and the cave was on the way to Pin Long  .It is situated in between Kalaw and Aung Ban. It is four miles away from Kalaw and two miles from Aung Ban. The temperature inside the cave is quite low and the water drops pour out from the cave. There is a place where you can make paste from the tree bark and wear it on your face. Some old people believe it has therapeutic  effect.

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ir was written the angle’s stone and the girl is trying to take the paste of tree bark from the stone.

If you are a fan of cave, just take it as one of your destinations when you arrive Kalaw

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