Connect with us

Property

Escape from Boracay

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

image
image

PHUKET: Timing is everything, and my recent sortie to the Philippines for island hopping was ill advised.

I’m stuck in the middle of what they are politely calling a ‘tropical depression’, or what could eventually become a typhoon. The depression thing reminds me of Tony Soprano and his psychiatrist: “So how are you feeling today Tony?”

Yesterday’s highlight was a 12-hour trip from Boracay to Manila, which should have taken three hours tops. While tourism is surging to the famed white- sand shores of Boracay, the airlift situation remains the penultimate deal killer.

For those who don’t know, the island itself has no airstrip, but there is a limited facility at Caticlan on the mainland about 15 minutes away by boat.

It’s a short runway limited to propeller aircraft such as ATR 72s. Departing planes have to limit their passenger count due to a mountain at the end of the runway.

All too often, as was the case yesterday, rainy or windy weather means planes cannot take off or land. The option is a larger airport in Kalibo about 1.5 to 2 hours away. So, on landing, door to door travel time can often be up to three hours, though the latter airport can land jets.

I had the misfortune of flying Cebu Pacific, and after repeated delays and little communication, we were eventually packed into a minibus, like sardines, driven by a madman in the rain to Kalibo, where the airport was SRO (Standing Room Only).

For those who complain about flying to or from Phuket, try Kalibo for a mass of overcrowded chaos. Ground staff had no idea when planes were coming or going, as they went promptly into hiding, and chartered flights headed for China were added to the mix.

Eventually, I made it back to Manila before midnight, shaken, stirred and sporting a bump on the head. As I write this I’m back in the ring, bumping my way to Cebu straight into another depression way down South.

Reflecting on Boracay, it remains an awesomely beautiful island, but like Phuket, Bali and Samui, it is far from pristine and its hotels are getting better.

In my opinion, the Shangri-La, Boracay is the best resort in the chain. Others like Discovery Shores and a personal favorite Asya are heads above the competition.

Yes, while we complain about the airport in Phuket, or Bali, or Samui’s conundrum, it could be much worse – Boracay. While they are cutting down a hill and extending the runway, a long-term solution is years away. Airport owner San Miguel’s plans to reclaim land and create a much larger facility are mired in red tape.

For Shangri-La, while the hotel has picked up its rates and occupancy, it’s still a mis-match for this scale of property with limited access.

And yes, driving around the island is a similar conundrum to our own island Phuket, where poorly regulated building restrictions and inadequate infrastructure are creating an increasing urban sprawl.

Over the years there has been residential development on the drip, with mostly condominiums and a limited number of freestanding holiday homes.

Not villas in the way we know them in Phuket, but a more domesticated product.

Things are moving ahead as I visited the AQUA site, which has been designed by the Starck-inspired Yoo group. CBRE did a recent launch, and investment sales are picking up for the project.

Without a doubt, the island’s real estate sector is going to see strong growth given the overall positive sentiment across the country. Coupled with this, over 10 million overseas Filipinos, who are scattered to every corner of the globe and all dream of owning a property back home.

Yet, for my money, the Philippines contains such strong potential, 7,107 islands and fantastic natural appeal.

Now, if only getting there and back were just a bit easier.

— Bill Barnett

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 mins ago

Hotel staff in close contact with Omicron confirmed to be negative in second test

Video24 mins ago

Gramma mistakes, Homemade coffee, Bhutan | Thaiger Bites | Ep.76

Southeast Asia53 mins ago

Myanmar ousted leader’s prison sentence reduced to two years

advertiseadvertise
Chon Buri1 hour ago

Tourists stranded an island off the coast of Sattahip rescued by Royal Thai Navy

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand deploys “King Cobra” unit at Myanmar border to monitor illegal crossings

Phuket3 hours ago

Thai Airways offering round trip Sydney-Phuket flights

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Chiang Mai4 hours ago

1 tourist killed, 8 wounded in crash while on tour of Chiang Mai mountain

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Hotel staff in close contact to Omicron case tests positive for Covid, variant not confirmed

World4 hours ago

Indonesia and Malaysia expected to launch vaccinated travel lane early next year

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

No need to panic over Thailand’s first Omicron case, says PM

Thailand5 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Don’t panic! 6 Belgians saved, Thai TV in Britain | December 7

World5 hours ago

Rohingya accuse Facebook of promoting hate speech in US$150 billion lawsuit

Thailand5 hours ago

The seven mannequins, Luxury car market, Unsafe air in BKK | Good Morning Thailand | Ep.147

World6 hours ago

US confirms diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights abuses

Tourism6 hours ago

Recovery of Thailand’s international tourism sector likely to take years

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism10 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism10 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending