One of the more common out-of-the-water tourist activities in Boracay is shopping. Stores abound, with merchandise ranging from clothes, accessories and footwear, to home décor and other souvenir items. Whether you live to shop till you drop, or have a predisposition for idle window shopping, you’ll find that the shops in Boracay aim to incite your wants and cater to your needs. Here are well-known shopping spots worth checking out:
D’Mall Shopping Center
D’Mall is one of the—if not the most—popular shopping hubs in Boracay. Comprised of two long alleys of stores and food-service establishments that vie for your attention, D’Mall is the most densely commercial area on the island. The lower or southern path is occupied on the first part by souvenir stores, and on the latter part by a row of small produce stalls that ends with Crafts grocery store. The upper or northern path is occupied on the first part by restaurants, bars, and cafes, and on the latter part by a series of souvenir shops that ends with Budget Mart. Products on sale include beachwear-inspired items like tie-dyed or batik shirts, sarongs, and swimwear; home décor items like native lamps, wind chimes, and wood carvings; and accessories such as handmade necklaces and earrings, a variety of bags made from native materials, and pretty footwear designed for days of lounging on the beach.
The area is also endowed with a good number of restaurants that serve a variety of dishes that cater to locals and foreign tourists alike. There’s Cyma serving Greek cuisine; Hamma serving Japanese food; Sa Neh serving Thai and Malay dishes; Jammers serving all American food; Aria cooking up Italian fares; Ole whipping up Spanish, Mexican, and Cuban dishes—these are just a few examples in the wide assortment of D’Mall establishments that aim to satisfy any and every gastronomic craving.
D’Talipapa provides an alternative shopping hub with dozens of small shops and stands selling dry goods (souvenirs, clothes, handicrafts), but its unique feature is the celebrated wet market. Located near Station 2 and accessible by a narrow footpath from the beach (or by tricycle from the main road), D’Talipapa is a veritable cornucopia of fresh food. Newly caught seafood—mussels, oysters, crabs, lobsters, prawns, squid, fish—is delivered directly from the fishermen’s boats to this market, and you can easily find that the makings of a first class meal can be purchased at reasonable prices. You can shop for your own seafood in the wet market and bring them to any of the nearby paluto restaurants (paluto is Tagalog word for “to have cooked”), where for a small fee you can choose how you’d like your food prepared.
While seafood often takes the spotlight, an array of fruits and vegetables are also available at this market. Ripe tropical fruits like watermelons, mangoes, and pineapples are a nutritious and delicious dessert to finish a healthy, island-inspired meal.
USE OF MONEY
Boracay is bustling with numerous shops and restaurants, many of which only accept cash. Though many if not most of the larger enterprises also accept credit cards, carrying cash affords you the convenience and flexibility of being accepted everywhere.
A number of ATMs are scattered around the island, and withdrawals of up to PhP20,000 are allowed per day. If you have a different currency, you may have it exchanged at banks or local money changers. Keep in mind, however, that exchange rates are highly variable and on the whole tend to be higher than what you would find in larger cities, so if you have the opportunity it is best to have your currency exchanged before arriving in Boracay.
This Boracay Guest Guide is authored by Camilla Collings for Boracay Magazine, copyright 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this section may be copied-and-pasted into any Boracay promotional material, or altered to hide traces of plagiarism, without permission from the copyright owner. This article may be shared as long as links kept intact, and proper acknowledgements made.