Top Places To Visit In The Philippines
Top Places To Visit In The Philippines
If you’re planning a visit to Southeast Asia, then the usual countries might spring to mind. Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia are all popular right now, but there is one country that still goes nicely under the radar of destinations to visit.
That country is the Philippines.
Before people travel to Asia, especially for the first time, many will do similar things to prepare and excite themselves even more. Perhaps buying a guide book on the region, trying out the food before the real thing and even watching the movie ‘The Beach’ staring Leo Di Caprio way back in the year 2000. That movie is set in Thailand as we all know, but did you know the author of the book that inspired the movie, actually was so drawn back by the islands the Philippines, he decided to write about it? The Philippines is an amazing place and here’s the top spots to visit and why:
Many who decide to visit the Philippines will know that this country promises paradise. Out of 7,000 islands the country is made up from, Palawan Island is probably the most known and sought for out of them all. Arguably the best ‘paradise’ islands in the whole of Southeast Asia (that we know of), Palawan is a dream. El Nido will be the spot most visits, with awesome scuba diving, snorkelling and boat trips here. Surround with crystal clear waters and lush jungle, Palawan is a #1 choice here in the Philippines. Plus, whilst you’re here, you’ll learn about the other islands dotted near that are just being discovered. We hear Coron Island is meant to be incredible, as well as Puerta Princesa.
Around 10 hours north of Manila are the majestic Banaue Rice Terraces. Looking like winding huge green staircases fit for a giant, these 2,000 year-old rice terraces are UNESCO Heritage certified just waiting to be explored. With Banaue itself being a simple town, the place still feels a little off the beaten track despite more tourists in recent years. With the clouds coming lower than the terrace peaks, numerous hikes and walks until you get adventurously lost, this is one of the top things to do in the Philippines if you love the outdoors.
Chaotic, non-stop and grungy, Manila sometimes doesn’t get the plaudits that you’d expect. But this city is underrated really, and if you give the place more than a day or two you’ll see why. Learning about Jose Rizal is fascinating with his input on the Philippines recent history, so if you’re a history buff you must get on that. Manila has other historical and religious sites to add to that too such as Fort Santiago, San Agustin Church, National Museum of Philippines and Baroque Churches. Also not forgetting. Less of that, head over to Robinsons Mall for some good old-fashioned Filipino shopping, and if you like food you’ll be in for a treat. Filipino food such as Chicken Adobo and Sisig Sizzling Pork are delicious – wander around Manila’s Salcedo Market, or the Seafood Market on J Bocobo Street. If you’re into nightlife then take a visit to Greenbelt over in Makati for popular options on bars and restaurants.
White sand, blue waters, gorgeous weather all situated on a small but vibrant island – this is Boracay! The Philippines most famous tourist island is a must, although getting to it isn’t easy. Either fly in to the neighbouring island airport or get a bus from further afield, either way we assure you it’s worth it! The food and bar selection are top notch, the accommodation has everything from stylish hotels to budget hostels. The activities are daily such as boat trips, cliff jumping and water-skiing. Everyone loves Boracay as it has something for everyone. If you want a bit of an itinerary for Boracay, check out Spider House Resort for cool cliff views, and have lunch at the restaurant Smoke,
Where else in the world can you visit chocolate hills? Bohol’s unusual geological formations have created chocolaty-looking hills, over 1,000 of them, to become dry and apparent in season. One of Bohol’s main attractions and a top one in the Philippines, getting out to a good viewpoint is a must for these. Also in Bohol, the tarsier, one of the world’s smallest primates, exists. With it’s googly eyes but cute nature, getting a close up with these creatures is another thing to do in Bohol at the Tarsier Sanctuary. Although there isn’t anything definitive to do in Bohol’s centre, head out to Alona Beach for some great seafood.
Although like Manila in the sense of a fairly undervalued city to some tourists, Cebu is a place we’d still recommend visiting for a few reasons. Not only is it only a few hours away from Oslob (famous for Whale Shark watching and the once secret Tumalog Waterfall) but it also has the gorgeous island location of Mactan close by. Malapascua, another island paradise but this time in the Visayan Sea, is technically part of the Cebu province too. Yet, Cebu is more known for one thing, as it throws the biggest party of the year in the Philippines. Sinulog Festival typically on the third Sunday of January, is quite the frenzy and many have compared it to the carnival that famously happens annually in Brazil. With a Catholic religious base, extravagant costumes, parades and shows, Cebu holds its own for several days and is a must visit event if you’re around at that time.