Sunday, 30 June 2013

Travel Planning: The Philippines

A little country split into three, bordering several different seas and oceans, The Philippines is renowned for being a tropical dream.

The ideal time to visit is between March and May because of the amazing weather, November time is a little cooler and the rainy season isn't recommended to travellers - but rainy season means cheap so that's all I need to know!

Filipino food is said to be incredible with a variety of different foods to try - good to know I definitely won't go hungry! A must try food is any of the delicious seafood on offer and they also are said to do world famous shakes.

The main Filipino tourist activities seem to be visiting the beautiful beaches, activities such as sea kayaking, trekking and mountain walks, partying, shopping, eat and...kareoke. Filipino's love kareoke!

Culture wise, after three centuries of Spanish ruling and a number of years of American ruling, a very unique Asian culture exists. The huge Spanish and American influences make it like no other place - this will be apparent in the food, music, art...everything! 

Here you can see just how many islands the Philippines actually has...

[Map from here]

For island adventures, it is recommended you visit Luzon for mountain biking, Mindoro for diving, Panay for trekking and Palawan for sea kayaking.

For beaches you are truly overwhelmed with choice! Southern Negros, El Nido, Boracay, Cebu, Pagudpud and Siargao are supposedly the best beaches the Philippines have to offer, and I can't wait to confirm that as it's currently raining here in 'Sunny' Sheffield. Boracay is a party island which is probably the most highly recommended for young backpackers. While Palawan is a more relaxed and detoxing island.

Manila and Cabu are recommended for cheap shopping, a lively atmosphere and the famous Filipino kareoke, something I definitely have to witness as all I can think of is the scene from Bridget Jones where they are singing Madonna songs in a Thai prison!

A couple of other things I've come across: the Underground River in the Puerto Princesa National Park. It's about 50 miles North of the city centre of Puerto Princesa in Palawan. It's said to be very impressive as it has a mountain-to-sea ecosystem. I don't mean to be ignorant but that confuses me a little, it has got 834 brilliant reviews on Trip Advisor though so it must be worth a visit! 

Camiguin is also a must see for its hot springs, located in Mambajao. Just have a look on the link, there are no words to explain why it is a must visit. Incredible!

For snorkelling there is Malapascua, Balicasag (Bohol), and Apo. And if swimming with whale sharks is your thing, head to Donsol.

The boring bits the currency you will need is the Philippine Peso and Visa wise, if you're a UK citizen visiting and staying for under 21 days, you're good to go. Best to check here though if you aren't from the UK.

It's sounds like the Philippines is going to be all about beaches, sunbathing, eating, drinking and shopping - erm, perfect?!

I know, another jumbled travel entry but I feel like I'm getting closer to being able to plan a rough route, yaaay!

N xo

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