The Philippines attracts tourists from all over the world with its beautiful islands and mountains. For any traveler to know more about the country’s spirit, you do have to stay for a while to cover the interiors and get the essence of the place.
Some travel to just cover the most popular tourist destinations while some might want to avoid the crowded touristy places and get to know the real culture of the area. The Philippines has a lot of history and stunning natural landscape than just sunny beaches. On your first trip to this place, we suggest you get a taste of everything rather than just a suntan. So dive into our beginner’s guide of best things to do in the Philippines that will help you plan your foolproof itinerary.
The tropical islands and beaches of the Philippines are the best among the world. Situated entirely in the Coral Triangle, this Southeast Asian country also boasts some of the best diving spots. So if you are thinking about when to visit the Philippines, summer would be the best.
The beauty the of Philippines extends much beyond the shores. The more you explore the mountainous region that lines the backdrop, you will find the country more intriguing. There are many more lakes, lagoons, and volcanoes awaiting you. The less traveled provinces like Ifugao and Batanes are homes to one of the rich cultural diversity in Asia. There are more than 170 ethnic groups and even those with cross-cultural influences like Spanish, Chinese and American.
The remains from the Spanish colonial era and the remnants after the WWII in Pacific has some history that’s worth exploring. But on the other side, the colonial invasion erased much of the ancient culture that heritage that belonged to the country. The Philippines is in the middle of identity crises with influences from Pop and American culture. Right now, as a developing country, the infrastructure is fundamental and is still picking up from its destruction during the Second World War. This leaves this country’s interior parts for those who are devoted to ultimate insider experience.
To make your trip to Philippines worthwhile, you have to visit the iconic tourist destinations and get a glimpse of the authentic villages too. But the thing you have to keep in mind is that if you decide to travel by public transport, then you need to pull in all your patience and energy.
Now, Palawan Philippines and Boracay top the list of main destinations. There are the two most beautiful islands, and they offer great infrastructure and facilities to the tourists. The next set of popular destinations would be Bohol and Cebu. Similar to the first two, these two are also gorgeous beaches and its worth visiting.
The main problem with the Philippines attractions is that there is only very less information available on the internet other than some travel threads on websites. So in case you have any confusion, we recommend you get a vacation package from a famous travel agency This way, you don’t have to worry about the transportation too.
One good thing about the Philippines is that even the luxury accommodations are comparatively inexpensive. So choose an elegant resort with services and pamper yourself a bit.
When it comes to the accommodation, only very few websites can be trusted. Even in many popular travel sites, the information provided by the owner might not be entirely accurate. So better go for established hotel brands. If you are looking for cheap ones even then, you have to be more cautious. Always make sure you read through the reviews rather than the ratings.
Again if you are booking via a reputed travel agency, they would help you with accommodation. It is always better to get some professional assistance in this regard.
Now, don’t go to the Philippines expecting high-quality infrastructure. Like many other developing countries, the Philippines is still finding its way around means of transportation. To be clear, it doesn't mean the country is in a bad state. It is just that the standard of infrastructure might not be as great as your country.
An archipelago of more than 7000 islands, it is a little difficult to commute in the country. The roads are narrow and old and not wide enough for city traffic. The buses might not adhere to a strict schedule or proper stops, especially outside towns.
The whole place is not that disappointing though. If you stick to only the main tourist places, it would be easier to find transportation. Some faster ferries and flights will take you to islands. It is also easy to find cheap international flights to these destinations. This is for places like Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Cebu and recent addition, El Nido
But if you are keen on visiting Banaue and Sagada or Ilocos, the journey might test your patience.
In conclusion, all the points mentioned above come down to two main factors, money and time. Depending on your budget you can opt for a high-end package that will include all details, and you wouldn’t have to worry about anything at all.
But if you are planning to backpack in the Philippines, it is imperative that you keep in mind what to expect when you step on to the country. If your trip is short, we suggest you stick to the touristy places itself. If you want to spend a longer time, be prepared for the hardships, but in the end, you might be leaving with some remarkable memories and life-altering experiences. After all, that is what travel is for.
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