Why the Philippines is My Next Destination
After travelling so much in the beautiful East, I decided it’s time to think about where my next stop would be. I wanted something exciting and new, and after some research I’m convinced the Philippines is the perfect place for my next vacation.
I’ve already been to the Philippines, but only for a short vacation in Boracay. It always seemed like you need at least 2 weeks over there, and I never found the time. Now, I did some research and found all the things I must do there, and explore the region and its culture, and I thought I would share that with you.
1. Swim with Jellyfish!
The first fun place in the Philippines is the Tojoman Lagoon or the Jellyfish Lagoon in Surigao del Norte province. This is the only place in the Philippines where you can swim with a million stingless jellyfish! Seems like a great thing to get off the bucket list, don’t you think? The only downside is that Suirgao is pretty remote, but hopefully I can still manage to squeeze it in.
2. Indulge at an all-inclusive resort
Last time I went to the Philippines I stayed at the amazing Lind Resort in Boracay. It was our honeymoon and we wanted something special, and besides that, we figured we could spend a bit extra because it was a relatively short vacation.
What I didn’t know about the Philippines back then, is that thanks to the relatively low prices, you can enjoy high quality luxury hotels even if you come for a longer time. Sure, all inclusive resorts are never cheap, and in some of the islands it can be hard to tell which ones are really worth it, but overall, it is quite possible to enjoy such a vacation at a very reasonable budget.
During my research I came across these Philippines all inclusive vacation packages, all of which seem very fairly priced and quite easy to customize. Seems like with these, it shouldn’t be too much trouble going anywhere I want and still keep to a high level of luxury accommodation.
3. Enjoy the longest coastline
You’ll love this country if you love spending time at the beach. The Philippines islands are made up of 7,107 islands and 36,289 kilometers of coasts! This places it in the 5th place for the longest discontinuous coastline in the world – the humongous number of beaches is making me drool already!
4. Breathtaking views at the Chocolate hills
In Bohol, the 1,260 dome-shaped limestone hills are covered with green grass which turns chocolate brown in the arid season. Calling all chocolate lovers! You won’t be able to eat all the chocolate, but imagine the lovely view. Apart from that, Bohol is an overall great place to visit, with tons of water based attractions – including some of the best diving spots in the world.
5. The 2000-year-old Banaue Rice Terraces
Want to experience the 8th wonder of the world? They are so vast and extensive, If you could separate the rice terraces and line them up in single pieces, join them end to end – they would cover halfway across the globe! This means they could be 10 times longer than the Great Wall of China! Isn’t that astounding!? Well, I’m waiting to soak in all that beauty!
6. Rum that’s cheaper than even Juice!
In most spots across the Philippines, Rum is much cheaper than fruit juice. A bottle of beer may cost less than even a dollar! Having said that, on most islands you also get great milkshake that is not made from real milk but milk powder! Yes, especially in Boracay, a very popular island destination for tourists from all over the world, they sell great milkshakes that can up the island vibe just like beer can!
7. The Jeepney ride
The Jeepney is a kind of a mini public bus and is one of the most popular ways to get around Manila and other large cities in the Philippines. The famous Jeepneys are adorned with bright and colorful artwork and are laden with decorations but are actually made out of old US military jeeps that were left on the island from World War II. This is art and history both, in one single ride.
8. Taste of local food – at the waterfall restaurant
The Villa Escudero Resort in San Pablo City sells great local cuisine at a restaurant – the Waterfall Restaurant – where one can taste lip-smacking local dishes, while seated at handmade bamboo tables while cool, crystal-clear waterfall water flows over your feet. You can either spend a night at the resort, or visit it as a single day tour going from Manila.
9. Sing at the capital of Karaoke
If you love karaoke, you’ll love this! In 1975 Roberto del Rosario, a karaoke lover and passionate singer patented the Karaoke Sing Along System. Since then, the Philippines hasn’t looked back! It has been the karaoke capital – it’s so popular that even the supermarkets promote grocery items using karaoke!
10. World’s smallest monkey!
Have you watched the YouTube movie called “Dramatic Tarsier” that shows a cute little animal opening his eyes wide? This lovely creature hails from the Philippines and is called a Philippine tarsier. The Philippine tarsier isn’t really a monkey, it’s counted as one to be the world’s smallest monkey. I am excited to see this little baby in person. For this, I will need to visit the chocolate mountains or the islands of Samar, Leyte, Bohol, or Mindanao.
11. Sail over the enchanted river
Apart from the many other cool things to do in the Philippines, there is also a river that can blow one’s mind away! The Hinatuan Enchanted River in Mindanao, Philippines, is a flawless saltwater river that flows into the Pacific Ocean. It is 80-feet deep and just long enough to be considered a river. The flow attracts enthusiasts from over the world and they want to experience the beautiful waters that locals have long thought to be miraculous. It’s named the “Enchanted River” from a poem by Modesto Farolan. It is a short stretch of river that seems to pop up out the ground just to send its miraculously clear, blue water out to the sea.
12. The unusual burial ritual in Sagada
The Sagada people follow a very unusual burial ritual. The older people carve their own coffins out of old logs. If they are frail or ill, their families do the needful instead. The dead are kept inside their coffins, sometimes even breaking the bones in the process, and then those coffins are brought to a cave in Sagada for burial, only, instead of burying them into the ground, the coffins are hung either inside the caves. Sometimes, even on the face of the cliffs, near the hanging coffins of their ancestors – this is why it makes the place so eerie yet fascinating!
13. The Barracuda lake
Barracuda Lake is situated on the North shore of Coron Island. It offers one of the most unique diving experiences ever because there are thermoclines and haloclines unlike anywhere else. Occasionally it is also called as Luluyuan Lake by locals. The lake has crystal blue waters hidden between majestic rocky formations which are very unusual and mesmerising. I am already looking forward to this! Divers who have dive the depths, have talked about a sense of “weightlessness” when they were exploring the hot and the cool depths of this lake. This unusual and sensorial experience has often been expressed to what it must feel if one was walking on the moon! There isn’t any noticeable wildlife flora and fauna in the pool, making it even more alien and outer-worldly!
14. Puerto Princessa Subterranean River
This is one of the world’s longest underground waterways – the Cabayugan River passes through 15 miles of caves! The course is studded with stalactites and stalagmites. The water goes rising and falling with the tides of the South China Sea at its end and the visuals are already alluring me. The caves have been a National Park since 1971. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and was also named one of the “New Seven Wonders of Nature” in 2012. All this really sparks interest. It is easy for groups of people, say, families and groups of friends to book the tour of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River using a travel agency. They take dinghies like a guided tour and they are in town or in Manila. You can also go on your own, if you want.
15. Hundreds of islands to hop over!
The island – hopping tours are big in the Philippines. Since there are so many islands across the nation and it is indeed an island nation, there are island hopping tours easily and cheaply available all the time. You can avail any, from a huge array of options whilst on any island. This is the beauty of the ocean and the islands – never a dearth of things to do.
That’s Why the Philippines is My Next Destination
I can’t wait to visit the Philippines now! With such amazing stuff to do on land and on the islands, it is going to be quite a vacation!
I must start planning – travel is calling!
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