Rejse to the Philippines: 5 places you should visit is written by Anne Marie Simonsen
That's why you should travel to the Philippines
Phillipines is still relatively unspoilt and a really good alternative to the now very touristy destinations in Thailand and the Bali. So if you need to get a little away from the gray weather and everyday life, then the Philippines is a really good bet.
The Philippines is probably most of all known for its white sandy beaches. However, the country also offers a rich history and culture and fantastic natural areas. The Philippines is made up of more than 7000 islands and the climate is warm and tropical.
When are you going to travel to the Philippines?
There are usually three seasons, but basically there is no bad time to visit the country. Even if you come in the rainy season, which is from June to November, it usually rains only a few hours a day. You therefore still get plenty of sun for the money.
It is easy and relatively cheap to travel to the Philippines and it is also easy to travel around the islands - both in terms of transport, but also the language, as everyone speaks English. It gives you a unique opportunity to get really close to the locals, which is something so sweet and helpful.
I have been coming to the Philippines for the last 15 years. Although I have been to most places in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is my absolute favorite destination. Here are my 5 best recommendations for what to experience when considering traveling to the Philippines - go ahead!
Manila - the historical cultural gem of the Philippines
Most of them on their trip to the Philippines rush out of the capital Manila, which with its 21 million inhabitants is one of the world's most populous cities. Manila can undoubtedly be overwhelming and unmanageable.
However, the city contains some of the cultural gems of the Philippines, which are worth seeing to gain a better understanding of the country's interesting and sometimes violent history.
Start by visiting the new Ayala Museum in the Makati financial district. Here you will get an insight into the cultural melting pot that the Philippines is. The Philippines has previously been under Spanish rule and since then American.
It is clear and audible how much influence the West has had on the countryside. Manila offers, like Bangkok, on excellent and cheap shopping and a wealth of exciting restaurants.
Traveling to the Philippines is also experiencing Manila
Next stop is Rizal Park and Intramuros, which is the city's oldest and original district. The old city walls were built by the Spaniards in the early 1500th century and it is impressive how well maintained everything is. Here it becomes clear how much influence the Spaniards had.
The old colonial houses are kept in Spanish style with parks, open squares and churches as well as two large impressive cathedrals. It is recommended to have a guided tour of Intramuros. Book well in advance online, as the guided tours are very popular.
Most people get fast enough from hectic Manila. Therefore, do not spend more than a day or two in the megacity before the trip goes either north or south.
Banaue - the eighth wonder of the world
Banaue in the northern Philippines is an area known for its 2.000-year-old rice terraces. They are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and can be seen on the Philippines' 20 pesos banknote. The Philippines itself calls them "the eighth wonder of the world", and you understand why when you stand there. They are impressive.
The rice terraces cover 10.000 km². It is said that if one laid out the terraces in a long line, they would go halfway around the ground. Although it is a relatively long trip from Manila and there are only a few good hotels in the area, it is well worth the whole trip.
I would definitely recommend staying one night in Banaue before heading north to some of the more deserted beaches. I even ended up booking a house through AirBNB overlooking Banaue. It cost half of the hotels in the area and was at least as good. A great tip for your trip to the Philippines
Taal Volcano - Experience an active volcano
The Philippines has 37 volcanoes, some of which are active and closed. Others have not been in outbreaks for many years. One of the probably most famous is the volcano Taal, which is active but which you can still visit.
If you come from Manila, you can easily hire a driver to drive you to Taal - unless you yourself have the courage to try driving in the chaotic Filipino traffic.
Taal Volcano, located about 2 hours drive south of Manila, is 400 meters high and is located on an island in a crater lake. To get to the crater, you therefore have to go on an approximately 20 minute boat trip.
To get to the top you can either choose to walk or rent a horse. We probably rented some horses, but ended up walking a good distance. We thought it was a shame for the little horses to have to carry us all the way up in the hot weather. There is an absolutely incredible view from the top and it is quite a wonder to stand on a still active volcano.
Boracay - the most beautiful beach on your trip to the Philippines
Boracay is located in the northwestern corner of Panay Island, which belongs to the Visayas archipelago. Every year, Boracay's 'White Beach' is hailed as one of the world's most beautiful beaches, and for good reason.
I visited Boracay for the first time in 2004 and visited the island again last year and something has happened the last few years. It has now become one of the country's most popular tourist destinations and an international tourist destination for both Asian and Western tourists.
I would without a doubt recommend staying on the north side of the island at the beaches of Diniwid Beach, Punta-Bunga Beach or Bulabog Beach. It is much more local and less touristy. Again I used AirBNB. Here I found the most beautiful place overlooking the water and owned by a Swedish-Filipino family.
Diniwid Beach is just a 10 minute walk along the beach from White Beach. It is full of restaurants, cafes and bars and is a great place to go if you need a little life and a walk into the city. In connection with White Beach is 'D-Mall' with lots of small cafes, exciting shops and a myriad of life.
Puka and Iligan Beach
Apart from lazing by the water's edge on the beach and taking a dip in the crystal blue sea, you can also rent one of the traditional boats and sail around the island.
You can stop by to enjoy the most delicious local dishes with freshly caught fish at Puka and Iligan Beach. Alternatively, on your trip to the Philippines, you can get around easily with one of the local motorcycle taxis - it's fast, cheap and incredibly noisy.
Bohol - the mountains that look like chocolate tops
In the central Visayas, not far from Cebu, lies the island of Bohol Island. And although the island is not large, it offers great nature experiences. Bohol is probably best known for the fun 'Chocolate Hills', which are more than 1000 small round hills. During the dry period, they change color and look like giant chocolate tops.
At Bohol, you may also be lucky enough to spot the smallest monkey in the world, the tarsier monkey or the ghost monkey. It is small and cloudy with large round eyes. At Balicasag Island there is also really good snorkeling. It is recommended to take your diving certificate here. It is a lot cheaper than in Denmark, but still of a high international standard.
So if you have plenty of time or for example fly to Cebu, then the trip to Bohol is undoubtedly a must. Malapascua is another exciting opportunity from Cebu.
But now remember to visit Phillipines, before it is completely overrun with other Danish tourists. Really good trip to the Philippines!
What to see in the Philippines? Sights and attractions
- The capital city of Manila
- Ayala Museum - Art, culture and history
- Rizal Park and Intramuros
- The rice terraces Banaue
- Volcanoes Language
- Boracay Paradise Island
- Puka and Iligan beach
- Bohol Island
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