Life Is Better in Boracay

When I first got to Boracay, it felt like Bali all over again. Overrun with tourists, western restaurants and resorts, I didn't expect the island to offer much more than a few days of partying and lazing at the beach.

But you know what they say, you can't judge a book by its cover.





I couldn't believe how clean the beaches were. Usually when you visit beaches as busy as White Beach you'll come across murky water and lots of garbage. Not here! The water was crystal clear and so turquoise. I don't think I've seen water this blue in my entire life. There was also not a speck of litter in the smooth white sand. I later found out that there is a hefty fine for those caught littering on the beach. I'm glad the locals have such strict rules because it protects wildlife and helps preserve the beauty of the island.

After walking along the mesmerizing beachfront, I took a detour and explored the maze of alleyways around the area. Here, I stumbled across fruit markets bursting with exotic mangoes, bananas, coconuts, melons and more.



I also discovered mangosteens which have now become my favourite fruit.



I can't even describe how delicious mangosteens are. They are so sweet and refreshing to eat on a hot day. In my opinion, they taste kind of like a lychee with the same texture as a mango. If you haven't tried mangosteens yet, get your ass to Southeast Asia and buy yourself a bag!

After the fruit markets, I ventured deeper in the alleys and found the Talipapa Market, a seafood market that blew my mind.





Anything that came out of the ocean, you found it here! The tanks and buckets were overflowing with clams, lobsters, scallops, crabs, prawns, fish, mussels, sea urchins, sea slugs and more.





I raced back to my hostel and told my new Aussie friends about the seafood market and how we had to have dinner there ASAP. We excitedly returned the very next day.

After bargaining with the fisherman and buying all the seafood my friends and I could carry, we headed to the tiny restaurants that lined the market. Here, our seafood was prepared in anyway we liked.




We feasted on scallops cooked in garlic butter, crabs sautéed in chilli sauce and prawns smothered in cheese and butter. My tastebuds were in heaven. Everything was so flavourful, fresh and tasty. The sauces were superb and I couldn't stop spooning cheesy butter onto my rice and then wolfing it down.

The seafood was so delicious that we came back for a second round the next day after our sunset sailing ride.



I wish I had pictures from our catamaran adventure but my camera would've been ruined. The boats were so low that we were practically sitting in the ocean. We also got hit by a ton waves and returned to shore drenched from head to toe. It was still a fun ride though and it got our appetites worked up for another epic supper.



Being the food enthusiast I am, the Talipapa Market was in my opinion, the highlight of Boracay. Nestled deep in narrow alleyways, it's a gem that many tourists overlook so if you're ever on the island, make sure to ask the locals how to get there.

Melissa Li

I’m a Canadian girl on a quest to step foot in every continent before I’m 30. You’ll most likely find me chowing down on Japanese ramen, partying at a music festival, hiking to the top of a scenic lookout, cuddling with cats, or chilling out at the beach. I’ve visited over 60 countries so far and hope to inspire you to do the same.

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