We spent last weekend on the beach, but not just any beach. We spent last weekend on perhaps the busiest beach in all of the Philippines.
The island of Boracay (pronounced Bor-RA-cai) is only 9km long and 1km wide. White Beach takes up most of the western side of the island and is THE tourist hot spot, not just for locals but for the international crowd as well. With everything from hostels to exclusive resorts you can imagine that the scene on the beach is pretty interesting.
Although we did enjoying some world class people watching what caught my eye the most was the vendors, who make the rounds laden with goods, some practical, some absurd. Also, it wouldn’t be a day on the beach without some street food, or I guess beach food. So here, in no particular order, are:
The Top 10 Things You Can Buy on the Beach
- Dry Bags and Waterproof Cell phone Cases – Perhaps one of the biggest sellers as no one can seem to go more than a few steps without their mobile phone these days.
- Selfie Sticks – 80% of people walk around with their phones on a selfie stick, and everyone seems completely obsessed with taking photos of only themselves. Is just here in the Philippines?
- Ashtrays with Jesus Christ on Them – Well the country is 90% Catholic, but oddly we’ve seen very few people smoking.
- Ukulele – Would it be a beach without someone selling ukulele?
- Monkey Skull Bong- Real monkey skulls accented with snake skin, and they weren’t cheap. He also sold necklaces made from stuffed cane toads.
- Brooms – Yep…your guess is as good as mine.
- Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Toys – All I can say is that I have already asked for one for my birthday.
- Pearls – There is no end to the parade of vendors peddling pearls. Fresh water, salt water, perfect or wildly imperfect they are (relatively) cheap and beautiful and I may have fallen victim to a salesman or two…or three.
- iphones – If you know the right guy, that is. This was one HOT item, wink, wink.
- Pool Cues – We didn’t see a pool table while we were on the island but we did get hit up to buy pool cues a couple times.
Top Ten Street Food on the Beach
- Popcorn, chitarrones and hard boiled quail eggs – One stop shopping, this assortment is usually carried all by one guy.
- Peanuts – Freshly roasted with garlic and chili are our favourites!
- Corn on the Cob – Grilled or steamed, served on a stick with your choice of toppings. A healthy snack but not a very elegant food to eat while pounding the sand in your bikini.
- Steamed Pork Buns / Sao Pao – One of my all time favourites!
- Fresh Squeezed Juice – I brought my mason jar along so I could enjoy a cold cup of Calamansi and Fresh Mint, delish! Other flavours were Fresh Melon, Cucumber and Lemon, Coconut with Pandanus Jelly or a black jelly drink that I was told was made with some sort of Banana essence.
- Banana on a Stick – An under ripe banana with a hard candy coating, the tropical version of a candied apple and just a delicious.
- Balut – A Philippine favourite, the vendors start to appear at the end of the afternoon carrying a Styrofoam box. Balut is a 16-21 day old fertilized duck egg that has been hard boiled. We bought one, and although we both tried the yolk and the white we couldn’t quite get our head around chomping the slightly feathered, now dead, duckling.
- Tornado Potatoes – It was tempting but we passed. Catchy name though.
- Mangos – Slightly under ripe and still firm these crunch treats are served peeled and sliced and with a sprinkle of salt.
- Chicken Intestines – A regular at the sidewalk grill and only 10-20P a stick. Surprisingly tasty as we just HAD to see why they seemed to be the first to sell out. Also available hot dogs, pork intestines, pigs ears or cheeks, and plain old, regular pork meat.