Boracay named Top Island of Asia, Palawan at 8th

Every year, the global lifestyle title Condé Nast Traveler releases a list of the world’s top travel destinations, hotels, experiences, and islands— as chosen by their cultured and incredibly fashionable readership. This only means that the list-toppers are among the most beautiful and sought-out haunts for people all over the world.

Condé Nast’s 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards have recently been published, and it comes as no surprise that two of the Philippines’ island jewels are at coveted spots in The Best Islands of Asia category. This year, the survey was accomplished by nearly a quarter of a million travelers from all corners of the globe.  Boracay takes the crown as the best island in Asia, while Palawan trails closely at the prestigious 8th rank.

Boracay steals the #1 spot

Among all the islands in the Asian continent, Boracay is at the top. Scoring a total of 95.13 out of 100, Boracay bests islands from other tourist favorites like Bali, Indonesia, and Phuket, Thailand.

Boracay isn’t new to international recognition. TIME Magazine also named it one of the Greatest Places in 2022. These renowned titles acknowledging the beauty of Boracay are a welcome win for the island and the country. Before the pandemic hit, the island was momentarily closed to tourism as it was rehabilitated in 2018. Pre-rehabilitation, Boracay was considered a “paradise lost” and even a “cesspool” by many, including public officials who pushed for its reinvigoration. During this time, over 200 commercial and residential establishments built on the beach easement have been demolished, resulting in a clearer and wider beachfront and pathway. This also ensured that waste wouldn’t go into the waters.

Fortunately, the closure yielded lots of great advantages. Boracay’s gorgeous flora and fauna re-emerged and its latent beauty made an impressive return. The emerging establishments are now also more conscious and careful about maintaining the island’s scenery and integrity.

Beyond Boracay’s glistening beaches, there are a host of exciting and fun activities for tourists to try. Water sports are among Boracay’s greatest points of pride, setting the standards for water activities around the region. For instance, Boracay is among the pioneers of the UFO inflatable water ride. It takes you on an intense adventure, accelerating and spinning at 30kph on water. If you’re looking for something more relaxed and mellow, then paddle boarding around the island will be a great option. Cruising on the crystal blue waters will allow you to take in the island views. This is a great activity to end the day with, as Boracay’s sunsets offer some of the most stunning seascapes with vintas lining the sunlit horizon. Boracay also serves as an incredible jump-off point for island hopping. You can easily explore the pristine island of Crystal Cove and Puka Shell Beach off Aklan in just a short boat ride. The best part? All these activities are open year-round, thanks to the temperate and balmy Boracay clime.

Being the top island in Asia, Boracay provides countless activities for you to try. It’s one of the main reasons why people keep coming back to the island, and some have even settled into their very own house and lot in Boracay, never wanting to leave.

Palawan stuns at 8th place

Coron Island Philippines Photo from Freepik

Another returnee on the Condé Nast Traveler’s list, Palawan proves to be among the best islands in Asia at 8th place. It scored 88.99, a spectacular number despite the slowdown the pandemic has caused in the past couple of years.

While it may have come down a few spots from 2021 (2nd place), Palawan continues to amaze. In contrast to Boracay’s beachside paradise, Palawan is known more for being a diving and hiking destination. Much like Thailand’s Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi, Palawan is abundant in diverse topography both above and underwater.

Palawan is a more laid-back option in comparison to Boracay. It’s the best place to get away from the busy city life. However, that’s not to say that Palawan is a remote island. There are lots of urban developments on the island, too, but it strikes the perfect balance between modernity and quiet island living. It’s this blend that attracts people to find the perfect house and lot for sale in Palawan to build a home and put down roots. You can just pitch a tent or put up a hammock and immediately feel at ease in Palawan.

Divers and snorkelers are also treated to spectacular aquatic sights, too. You can find several fish and coral species around the island since Palawan is a gateway to the Tubbataha Reefs, a sub-aquatic region that boasts some of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems. Additionally, Palawan also has some unique sights you simply can’t find elsewhere. For one, you can visit the war wrecks on the seafloor in Coron, where you’re transported to times past.

Foodies and gastronomic tourists will also delight in Palawan’s culinary scene. Tourists and visitors can enjoy the freshest prawns, rock lobsters, and crabs at reasonable prices daily. “Select-and-cook” is one of the island’s most popular eating experiences where you can pick out fish and fresh catch spread out and have them cooked to your specifications. Clearly, Palawan is rich in awe-inspiring views, one-of-a-kind dive spots, and impeccable seafood.

As we enter the “post-pandemic” era, tourism in the Philippines is expected to thrive. Boracay and Palawan both prove that the country’s travel destinations are set for brighter days ahead.

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