No trip to Boracay is complete without a night on the famous Boracay Pub Crawl. While the island is known for its nightlife, outside of the big party weekends like Laboracay and Holy Week most of the venues can be very hit and miss. Some nights they are full, others completely empty. If you get on the pub crawl then the party will follow you no matter where you go.
The crowd is always a hot pot of cultural diversity. Tourists, locals and OFWs home for their annual visit will make up the crowd. Everyone has an interesting background and a story to tell (well most people).
You will usually have a good mix of guys and girls. So for those who are single and ready to mingle you might just find someone you hit it off with throughout the course of the night.
The night always kicks off near the Aplaya Beach Bar meeting point, which is home base. I always enjoy this part of the night. It is a great chance to chat to as many people as you can before heading to a noisy venue. This is also when everyone is at their soberest, so it can of course be the most awkward part of the night also. Always best to get that part out of the way early so once the drinks to kick in you are more of a familiar face.
You will spend about 45 minutes at four or five bars throughout the night. I can never remember how many…. or where they are. On arrival at each bar you will get a shot of something. Again my memory is fuzzy here. I remember something that tasted like coffee.
Something that i do remember is that the list of venues does change regularly. I have been on the Boracay Pub Crawl three times now and my most recent adventure went to two bars i didn’t know existed. So it is a good way to discover new places. Of course if you want to go there again you have to remember where they all are. I can’t help you there.
In between the venues there is the odd trip to the beach. This involves more shots and games. These are great to get to know more of your fellow pub crawlers. You might get chained to someone who could turn into your new best friend. At least for that night anyway. My last chaining experience involved an Indian working in Dubai and a Filipino OFW. Both interesting people and they became drinking buddies for the night.
My last trip was a solo one, and the pub crawl was great to meet a few people to party with. A much better choice than being that random guy approaching tables for someone to share a beer with. Never an easy thing to do in Boracay with everyone always drinking at isolated tables, and being served at tables. Not much room to make an introduction there unless you are very brave and/or charismatic.
It can also brighten up your trip to see some familiar faces the next day on the beach. Of course the conversation always starts with “what was your name again.” You can avoid this on the pub crawl as everyone has their name written on their yellow Boracay Pub Crawl shirt. An iconic symbol on its own.
The pub crawl leaders are all very welcoming and made sure you were looked after throughout the night, and that everyone was involved in the activities. Two i had no hesitation in flying solo at the pub crawl. After attending a couple of times with my brother we kept losing track of each other in the crowd anyway. So it wasn’t that much different once you got a few drinks deep.
As the night draws to a close you always seem to end up a long way from D-mall towards Station 1. It can be a long walk from there back to your nearest late night food options. A drunken stumble down the beach is always fun with your new group of friends. The tricycle is always an option, but if you are a drunk white tourist expect a higher than normal fare.
A word of caution for the late night walk home. When the crowd thins out this is when the undesirables become more persistent. You are likely to be approached by prositutes lurking in the dark who’s gender can be a bit of a grey area. This secret photographic evidence of such an encounter always makes me laugh. Had to let this go on long enough to snap the pic before i let the guy know that this super friendly lady was in fact a prostitute… and wasn’t a lady.
The pub crawl runs on most nights with the biggest being the Friday and Saturday night crawls. If you are on the island for a week you will find by Sunday you will have a mostly different crowd to party with as people come and go from the island.
I would recommend the pub crawl to both solo travellers and those in group. It is great fun no matter what crowd you start off with and you will be sure to make plenty of new friends along the way.
My only word of warning is the dreaded Boracay Pub Crawl Facebook page. They have a photographer who captures the night at every turn and some of those fuzzy memories could become very permanent and very public moments. There are thousands and thousands of past pub crawlers who are members of the FB page and it is only a matter of time until someone you know finds the evidence of you in all your drunken glory.