The Philippines is one of the fantastic countries on the Asian coast, with its crowded mega cities, more than 20 active volcanoes, world heritage 2,000 years of rice fields, more than 100 ethnic communities, wonderful tropical islands and friendly people. It is not hard to predict the beauty of the Philippines with its islands, beaches and it is one of the longest coastal countries in the world with more than 7,000 islands.
It attracts visitors with its islands offering wonderful landscapes with tropical plants, pristine white sandy beaches, rainforest, interesting places of natural wonder, advanced hotel and service culture, the chance to find all kinds of food, and most importantly, the cheap prices. It deserves more attention with the beauty of the places to visit and see.
Information About Philippines
Located in the west of the Pacific Ocean, 966 km off the Asian continent, the Philippines have of 7,107 islands, only in 880 of them are inhabited. 4,000 islands still have no names. Some of the islands are home to mega metropolises, while others are large enough to lie on and sunbathe. The Philippines is surrounded by the Philippine Sea in the east and northeast, the South China Sea in the west and northwest, and the Celebes Sea in the south. It ranks 4th among the countries with the longest coastline in the world, 36,289 kilometers.
Luzon where the capital Manila was built on, Visayas in the middle and Mindanao in the south are the three main island groups. These 3 islands are divided into 17 regions, 80 provinces, 138 cities and 1,496 municipalities. Metro Manila is the largest city in the country with a population of 12 million.
History of the Philippines
The first Malays immigrated to the Philippine Islands, followed by Indians and Chinese. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan became the first European to reach the Philippines in 1521. Famous sailor Magellan was killed in a clash with Lapu-Lapu, the leader of indigenous fighters.
The country was under Spanish rule for 333 years. The name of the Philippine comes from the name of Spanish King Philip the 2nd. The Spaniards have used the country as a colony for 333 years since 1565. In 1898, after the Spanish-American war, Americans paid the $ 20 million to buy the Philippines from Spain. The Republic of the Philippines was officially established in 1946.
Philippines Travel Guide
Philippines is a very crowded country. Especially metropolitan cities; On the streets of capital Manila and Quezon City, this is easily noticed. The life continues in these cities on crowded and noisy streets, crammed subway stations and jeepneys turn the traffic upside down. Serious air pollution from the exhaust is disturbing. Stepping out of the streets of central Manila, hundreds of thousands of people living in sheds made of tin houses attract attention.
With a population of more than 105 million, the Philippines is one of the countries with the highest population growth in the world. The literacy rate in the country is very high; According to 2003 data, 92.5% of the population is literate. Filipino and English are the official languages of the country. When Ferdinand Magellan came to the country in 1521, the Philippines met Christianity and about 86% of the country belonged to the Christian religion. Approximately 10% of the Philippines, who have introduced Islam since the 14th century, are Muslims. Most Muslims are on the island of Mindanao in the south of the country.
Philippines Travel Forum
Whether you’re a scuba diver in love with the underwater, an adventurer who likes to jump off the cliffs, a vacationer who likes to lie lazy on white sand, a gourmet fond of local delicacies, or a researcher who likes to learn about ethnic cultures and beliefs; Philippines is a country that will meet all expectations.
Fun promising beaches, friendly locals and an extraordinary nature. What more do you get! Although it is difficult to fit all in this blog, let’s list the most visited places in the Philippines.
We are sure chaos will come to mind first for the people who visits Manila. Traffic jammed by noisy jeeps, horns, garbage-filled streets, naked people lying on the side of the road, begging children, street sellers, all of which are monsters of traffic. Also, it is one of the most foreigners settled in a capital in Asia.
Manila, a city blended under the influence of Malay, Spanish, American, Chinese and Arab culture, stands out with its old churches and cathedrals, colorful nightlife and shopping. With skyscrapers, plazas and luxury hotels and nightclubs, the Makati area is suitable for medium and upper budget travelers, while Adriatico Street is suitable for low-budget backpackers. There are numerous hostels, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and bars in the surrounding area.
Manila Attractions; San Agustin Church from 1589, the first university in Asia, University of Santo Tomas, national hero Dr. Rizal Park and Manila Bay, including the monument of José Rizal, the National Museum, Greenbelt Park and the historic Intramuros city walls, which are 4.5 km long, home to churches, schools and some places.
Luzon, the largest and most populous island in the Philippines, is also known as the 15th largest island in the world in terms of land. Northern Luzon is a mind-boggling destination with its smoky mountains, lush pine forests and stunning landscapes. Particularly famous for its 2000-year-old Banaue rice fields, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Filipinos call the Banaue paddy fields the eighth wonder of the world. These areas, which started to be processed by Ifugao tribe 2000 years ago, are also included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list. Rice fields on the Cordillera Mountain in the Philippines cover an area of 10,360 square kilometers at an altitude of 1500 meters.
Manila is a 9-10 hour bus ride from the town of Banaue. Since there is no ATM in Banaue, you must have cash pesos in your pocket. Rice fields around the village can be visited without any tour package. The scenic views can be enjoyed on foot along the road leading to the town of Bontoc.
Located in the east of Banaue, the village of Batad is renowned for its ethnicity and paddy fields which made into the UNESCO World Heritage list. Rising in the valley like amphitheater and passed from generation to generation with traditional farming methods paddy cultivation, this place with cool climate, wonderful nature, waterfalls are also enjoyable. The Ifugao tribe is a convenient place to study local homes, clothes and simple lives.
It is possible to go to Batad by taking private tours from Banaue. You can take public buses, get off at the Batad Village crossing and reach the village of Batad with a 1-hour trekking. The village should have clothes suitable for the cool air at night. The village offers homestay or simple rooms. Tappiyah Waterfall must be seen.
Sagada, which stands out among the mountains with its unique culture from thousands of years ago, is a place worth seeing with its natural beauties and warm tribal people. Sagada is located in the mountainous region of Cordillera at the north-eastern end of the island of Luzon, 140 km north-east of Manila.
It is a place worth seeing with its hiking, the discovery of mystical caves, waterfalls and historical and cultural places. After a tour of Banaue and Batad, I moved to Sagada through the town of Bontoc. The tiny town of the Igorot tribe and its six sub-ethnic groups is one of the few places in the world with a tradition of hanging coffins.
Sagada is an attractive place with its local culture, songs and dances. Trekking routes, waterfalls, caves are the top places to visit. The cave tours must be accompanied by a guide shouldn’t be done alone!
Baguio, a summer town, where the Filipinos come, fleeing from the heat in the summer, is located 1,500 meters above sea level. This mountainous city with a cool climate is located in the valley among the surrounding rain-covered mountains. Burnham Park, Wright Park and the famous Mines View Park.
Session Road and Harrison Road are lively nightlife. Located in the heart of the island of Luzon, Baguio is a 5 to 7-hour bus ride from Manila. For those who have a short time to tour the Philippines, it is sufficient to reserve a maximum of 1 night.
The harmless whale sharks, one of the world’s largest creatures, weighing about 3 elephants and the size of an average bus, live in the depths of Donsol Bay on the Philippine island of Luzon. In order to see Butandings with local name, it is necessary to sail off the coast in the morning. In some months of the year they live closer to the coast.
Busuanga Island is one of the Calamian Group Islands and Coron Town is the largest settlement of this group. The island of Coron, which stretches across the town, is one of the must-see places with its beaches and Kayangan Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. It is easy to be captivated by the color of the emerald green water.
In World War II, about 12 Japanese ships hiding in the bays here were sunk by American bombers. It is one of the 10 best diving destinations in the world by Forbes Traveler Magazine. An unmissable place for those who like to dive on sunken ships.
The town of Coron does not have any beaches, but the island is surrounded by dozens of white sands, beautiful beaches, interesting calcareous rocks, and island lakes. Take boat trips. There’s a plane from Manila to Coron Island.
Palawan Island promises much to see, with more than 1,700 islands, each is attractive from to another. Luxury resorts, beautiful beaches, wildlife, untouched forests and national parks attract attention. Palawan Island is an island rich in biodiversity, with exceptional land and sea views.
Puerto Princesa is the capital of Palawan Island. It is the greenest and cleanest city in the country. Although Puerto Princesa city center is not very attractive, Palawan Island itself is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. Honda Bay, Butterfly Garden and the Palawan Museum can be found 25 km away. Those who want to see crocodiles can join the Palawan Wildlife Rescue & Conservation Center tours.
Puerto Princesa Underground River, Sabang; It is one of the largest underground rivers in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The formations in the underground river and caves, which can be reached up to 8.2 km, flow like a highway under the mountains, are worth seeing. Located in the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, this underground river has managed to be included in the New Wonders of Nature list. If you want to tour the Puerto Princesa Underground River, you need to make a reservation at the tourist office in Puerto Princesa in advance.
The capital city of Manila can be reached by a 1-hour flight from the capital Puerto Princesa. Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines and Zest Air Manila operates daily flights between Manila and Puerto Princesa. It is also possible to go from Coron Island to El Nido, Palawan Island by boat.
9. El Nido
If you are looking for sea, sand, sun and good food, El Nido is for you. El Nido is located at the north-east of Palawan Island. The region is under protection by the government and attracts attention with its magnificent and interesting islands consisting of interesting limestone rocks. As a result of millions years of erosion of limestone rocks with rain, waves and wind, many caves, lagoons and hidden bays have been formed in the region. It has a very colorful undersea life; corals, fish and sea turtles… There are more than 30 diving spots in and around El Nido.
The village with its back rested on the high mountains, consists of several streets. The hotel has a wonderful beach with a range of hotels, hostels, restaurants and bars and has a wonderful view of the town. I would say this town is an excellent holiday destination for those with limited leave periods, where the costs of eating, drinking, accommodation and amenities are reasonable.
Hundreds of large and small islands, hidden beaches and bays, lagoons to visit by boat tours must be done. White sandy beaches, emerald green sea, rich underwater life, great snorkelling spots, fish, sea turtles, mantras, wonderful islands to be seen in postcards, extraordinary views and more. Full and enjoyable place to spend.
10. Boracay Island
Boracay is the most famous and touristic of all the islands of the Philippines. Boracay Island has become a center of sports and entertainment in recent years. It offers snow-white dazzling beaches, a turquoise sea, beautiful sunsets and lush nature. It is not possible to go and not be satisfied. Whether you’re looking for sea, sun and sand, amenities, nightlife and entertainment, Boracay offers all the comforts and conveniences of home.
While it was only a small place where only a few villagers were engaged in fishing until the seventies, Boracay is now one of the main tourist destinations in the country. With the increasing interest of Russian tourists every year, the island becomes more crowded. With resorts, luxury resorts and activities, it can be ideal for those looking for a fun and enjoyable holiday. It is especially recommend to couples who love to have fun and those who are looking for honeymoon holidays.
Vigan, with its colonial architecture, was founded in the 16th century, but still remains the Spanish town from that time. Untouched by World War II, the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on the northern tip of Luzon Island, Vigan is a 6-hour bus ride from Manila.
12. Taal Volcano
Taal Volcano, the world’s smallest active volcano, can be reached on day trips from Manila. Near the village of Tagaytay, famous for its gardens and lovely restaurants, the volcano rises in a large crater lake. Inside the Taal volcano is an acid crater lake. Talisay village on the shore of the crater lake can be reached from Tagaytay by jeepney or trycle.
The summit is easily accessible by climbing a half-hour path from the island or going on horseback. It takes 2 hours to reach Tagaytay from Manila. In times of heavy traffic, it may take double hours.
Bohol, known for its Chocolate Hills, is considered to be the number one tourist destination in the Philippines. The second smallest mammal in the world, the tertiary animal, lives here. The island, with its limestone karstic cliffs and dazzling white sandy beaches, can be explored by renting motorcycles, cars or buying organized tours.
It is one of the most popular places in the Philippines. It is possible to fly from Manila or from Cebu to Bohol. Panglao Island near Bohol Island is one of the most famous places. It is a place worth seeing with its numerous historic buildings and churches, rivers, waterfalls and forests that bear traces of colonial architecture. Also a private island, Sumilon Island is perfect for holiday and honeymooners. From here, go diving or snorkeling in the nearby Oslob with the giant Whale Shark.
Known for its multicolored festivals, Cebu is the place where famous sailor Magellan made his first step ashore in the Philippines. Cebu Island, which has one of the busiest airports in the country, is an island that meets all the expectations of its guests. World-class luxury hotels and resorts, restaurants, being close to the cities of Dumaguete and Bohol, is a popular city with ease of access to other islands. The Sinulog Festival, which stands out with its colorful dance performances in January, is reminiscent of the Rio Carnival.
Airlines Silk Air, Malaysia Airlines and Cathay Pacific operate direct flights to the international airport of Cebu. Airlines flying from Manila to Cebu operate flights from PAL, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, Asian Spirit, Astro Air and Grand Air.
Nightlife in Philippines
Almost every city in the country has a night life street with bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants. With the music of famous DJs, an atmosphere of party atmosphere is experienced in these streets until morning.
The Philippines nightlife is the most colorful and vibrant nightlife in Asia. Although not as much as Pattaya and Bangkok, certain parts of the country have remarkable activity: the Malate district in Manila; Greenbelt, Glorietta, Rockwell Center in Makati; Resorts World Manila in Pasay City; Timog and Tomas Morato Avenues in Quezon City and the Ortigas Center nightlife in the Eastwood Libis and Pasig City districts attract enthusiasts.
It is possible to see talented Filipino bands at nightclubs in many Asian countries. With their brilliant English and influential scenes, the Filipinos make absolutely fantastic music.
Located 80 km north of Manila, Angeles City is the capital of nightlife and entertainment in the country. Clark International Airport is 10 minutes away from the city, which attracts nightlife enthusiasts, more than 500 foreign and domestic bars and nightclubs. Angeles City is, in a way, the Pattaya of the Philippines.
When to get to the Philippines
The best time for vacation in the Philippines is the hot and dry period between January and May. For lovers of cooler weather, it is more convenient from November to February. Between July and October, the rainy season, storms and typhoons are very common and are not conducive to holiday. In this season, typhoons can cause enough destruction to be the subject of newsletters. Nevertheless, it should be noted that this season is suitable for cheap flights and reasonable hotel prices. The country’s Cebu and Davao regions are suitable for visiting almost every month of the year.
Visa for Philippines
A free 29-day visa is provided at the entrance to the Philippines. Those who wish to keep their Philippines tour longer can pay the Philippines visa for another 29 days by paying 3130 pesos ($ 60) at the imigration office in Intramuros near Ermita, Manila’s historic district. If you want to extend it again, you have to pay 5400 pesos. Apart from Manila, there are branches in many other cities as well for you to extend your visa.