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  • Zach Weisman
  • "How does Boracay compare to Thailand and Bali?"

Zach Weisman

West Bloomfield Township, Michigan

How does Boracay compare to Thailand and Bali?

I've recently had two awesome trips.  The first was in Thailand where we visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Railay with a quick trip to Siem Reap and Ankor Wat.  We loved the Thai islands with the beautiful beaches and giant hongs sticking out of the water.  The second trip was to Bali where we visited Seminyak, Uluwatu and Ubud.  We loved all of these places for their culture and beauty.  We were NOT backpackers.  We stayed at reasonable hotels and some Starwoods hotels.  (Avg Price $80-$200 per night).

WHERE CAN WE GO NEXT?

Now we are looking for a new place to visit that offers beautiful beaches, culture as well as some other types of nature.  We don't want it to cost a fortune, but we also don't want it to feel like it is just for backpackers.  We want to stay in comfortable places.  We are considering Sri Lanka, Philippines, Burma, Vietnam but can't decide between these.  Also would consider Palau, Fiji (been before), or possibly somewhere in South America (never been).

Also we are going to be travelling in December / January so we want the weather to be nice.

Please share some ideas and offer insights if you have been to some of the places we have been.

Thanks!

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  • Sabine van der Horst

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    Hi Zach,

    I have been to all places you mentioned and I must say the Philippines were my definite favorite! Even though it is commercialized, it is still less crowded and touristy than Bali and Thailand. We were there around 5 years ago, so I don't know how it is now, but back then it was a lot less touristy than the other places you mention. And maybe the difference is also that in Boracay there are mostly of Asian tourists, maybe that is why it didn't feel to touristy :-). We went there in June though, so maybe it is different in December/January.

    The Philippines has a lot more great places to offer! Coron Island and the island of Palawan, for example El Nido are BEAUTIFUL! You will feel like you are in a movie set. It is a bit like Koh Phi Phi, but then twice as breathtaking and 90% less tourists.

    If you are divers or snorkelers you can also try the tiny island of Malapascua Island. We loved it and it is beautiful, but there is not much to do if you are not in to diving. There aren't even roads or anything, but I had the best meal EVER there in a tiny hut in the middle of the island.

    What you could also consider as a destination is Borneo. We have been to the Malaysian part (Sabah). Especially Mabul Island, Kapalai Island and Sipadan. Most beautiful destination I have ever been to. Really quiet, never saw an ocean that blue. There are a few nice resorts at those places I mentioned. I know there are a lot more pretty resorts on little islets along the coast. Just google Borneo Resort and you will find them. This is different though than the places you have been before (a lot less busy), but it is amazing. You could also do a jungle trip and see Orang Utangs in the wild and if you are up for it climb the second highest mountain of South East Asia: Mount Kinabalu.

    If you need any more recommendations, please let me know!

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    • Zach W.

      Zach W.

      Thanks so much that is very helpful! Do you have recommendations for Phillipines accomodations? Also, on Coron and Palawan is the entire vibe beach huts or are there parts with shopping and restaurants like Seminyak or something like that? · (0 likelikes)

    • Zach W.

      Zach W.

      Also, does Borocay feel like Phuket? Very very built up and commercialized? We prefer the feeling of Railay where it is quieter and more authentic feeling. Also there are taller cliffs and hongs which we like. · (0 likelikes)

    • Sabine v.

      Sabine v.

      Phuket is much more tacky, cheap neon bars, with a lot of drunken tourists looking for sex. In Boracay I didn't experience this at all. It can also be busy and crowded, but it feels more 'upscale' and more authentic if you know what I mean. I must say I don't know how much have been changed since 5 years ago when I was there. Back then we were living on a backpackers budget, so I can't really advise you on any good hotels. Coron and Palawan are kind of secluded and quiet and there aren't any shopping or restaurant areas like in Bali. It has more of a beach hut vibe, but then more upscale resort like. If you like tall cliffs and hongs, this is reeeaallyy the place to be! This entire area is just tall cliffs, private white sand beaches, little islets and clear blue sea. At Boracay most hotels, restaurants and bars are all on one part (the West) of the island. It is like one big strip. Here not many tall cliffs and stuff like that, but still very beautiful. But if you want the feeling of railay, just check if there are any nice resorts at the other sides of the island, so you have your peace and quiet, but can also walk to the more vibrant part easily. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Marie-France Roy

    answered by

    Boracay has a beautiful long white sand beach and amazing turquoise water. But it's definitely pricier than other beaches in the Philippines and very touristy (think fire jugglers, wall-to-wall bars and restaurants). However, given your previous destinations, I'm guessing you'll enjoy it!

    Tip: Try to get a morning flight to Boracay. Planes are often delayed in the Philippines, and the runway at Caticlan airport is too short to land safely after dark. So, if your plane is too late to land in daylight, you'll end up at the other airport (Kalibo), a whole 2 hours drive away! (It happened to me.)

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    • Zach W.

      Zach W.

      What other places in the Philippines do you recommend? Have you been to the Thai island I mentioned? Bali? I'm trying to compare Philippines or decide to go back to Thailand or perhaps someplace else. We didn't like Phuket, Patong, or Bangra because they were way too busy, touristy, and crazy. We preferred Railay for its calmness and beautiful hongs and cliffs. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Ange Mallonga

    answered by

    There are still parts in Boracay Island that are still worth going to. But, it has just been too commercialized over the years. You may want to go for 3 days or so but If you're more into the peace and quiet, I suggest going to Coron, Palawan or Pearl Farm.

    Hope this helps!

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  • David Sitorus

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    You can try visit eastern part of Indonesia, a place called Raja Ampat, located in Raja Ampat Islands, Province of Papua, Indonesia

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  • Andrey Yusupov

    answered by

    Zach,

    Boracay Island is awesome, for several reasons. As mentioned, there is a row of restaurants and nightlife steps from the beach. In my opinion, a very unique place where you can swim in the beautiful waters, then go dancing in your sandals not even 5 minutes later (if you're into that). Plus, street food is the bomb! Hope you have a great time. I will travel to Chiang Mai this year and wanted some of your feedback. Thanks!

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    • Zach W.

      Zach W.

      Chiang Mai is cool but pretty developed...Seemed to me like a place where most people own a car. The night market is cool but not nearly as quaint or special as the night market in Siem Reap. Its worth driving 1 hour out of Chiang Mai to Elephant Nature Park for the day. They are one of the few places that protects elephants and doesn't allow riding. Also Flight of the Gibbon is an incredible zipline experience....probably one of the best in the world. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Stephen "Sven" Minor

    answered by

    Have you thought of Vietnam? They have some similar yet different beaches as Thailand. Boracay Island is nice but is very commercialized and very hard to find inexpensive accommodations.

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  • Nam Onrit

    answered first by

    I'm Thai who visited Bali last April.

    I visited Philippines on 2011, went to Palawanfor Puerto Princesa underground river but never been to Boracay Island

    In my opinion Boracay is interesting, Filipino sea is awesome and less crowded than in Thailand and Bali.


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    • Zach W.

      Zach W.

      Do you have any more thoughts on this? Are there decent hotels like there are in Bali and Thailand? Are there nicer restaurants? Or is it mostly for backpackers? Are there certain cities or areas in Thailand / Bali that you would compare Palawan to? · (0 likelikes)

    • Nam O.

      Nam O.

      In 2011 I found less decent hotels in PH. There were hotel booking operators which not the same in Thailand or other ASEAN countries. I read a lot of hotel reviews and had to book from the lists which not much satisfied. Now 4 years later, I'm not sure about updated information. Boracay is one of the popular, I've read some travel posts about 5-star hotels and boutiques hotels there. For Palawan, I stayed in Peurto Princesa, the capital of the island, which far from the best beaches and island "El Nido" for 4-6 hours by car. El Nido can compared with Phi Phi Island and Phang Nga Bay on the South of Thailand. But El Nido is more laid-back and I don't know about nice hotels there. As I've known it is one of backpackers paradise. Getting to El Nido, by direct flights from Manila or Cebu or fly to Peurto Princesa from domestic big cities then take mini van or hire private car with driver to El Nido. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Duyen Pham

    answered by

    If you love beaches, make your way to Boracay as there are so many beautiful beaches here. Phu Quoc in Viet Nam is also a great place for beach lovers also. There are a bunch of resorts and hotels in these two plaes.

    To me, I prefer Viet Nam as the culture here is unique, I especially fall in love with Hoi An (an ancient town of Viet Nam). It's soooo beautiful. When you are in Hoi An, Royal hotel is a good choice for a comfortable stay.

    You can find some of these itineraries helpful for your trip to Boracay and Hoi An, also Phu Quoc.

    A 3 day plan in Hoi An

    Boracay for beach lovers


    Enjoy your holiday!


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  • Morevena Gayon

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    Boracay Island is Breath-taking place and people are very nice!

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