The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands of varying sizes, located north of Indonesia and Borneo, and east of Vietnam. Each island is a new and exciting escape of lush, mountainous interiors full of age-old rainforest, all encased with incredible, white beaches. There are over a hundred ethnic groups which each stem from either one of the indigenous communities or one of the many foreign influences, from Spanish to Chinese to American. This fusion is clearly seen in their culture and arts which further enhance the uniqueness of the Filipino race. Due to American occupation at the end of the World War Two, English is a widely spoken language which makes it very easy to get around.
The Philippines is a paradise blessed with idyllic waterscapes and white coastlines, but also rugged interiors which are waiting to be explored. Adventure can be found everywhere. On the coast you can dive, snorkel, surf and kayak, as well as island and beach hop. One of the most dream-like setting islands is El Nido in Palawan which is famous for its turquoise lagoons and jagged rocks. On land, find the wide-eyed Tarsier at the Tarsier Sanctuary, hike through the jungles of Bohol to find bat caves, and take in the iconic Chocolate Hills around sunset for that golden hour.
Nightlife & Party with Locals
Partying in something which the Filipinos do well and they will celebrate everything, and you can join them in the cities or in the livelier beach areas such as Alona Beach in Bohol. There is a choice of bars, clubs and even karaoke bars! On the coast you will find lots of reggae influences at beach bars as well as a selection of live music.
Gourmet Cuisine & Dining Out
The Spanish Colonial period has left traces of European flavours, and the American occupation introduced many fast-food chains, along with other restaurant styles including Tex-Mex and American Grills. Traditionally, Filipino cuisine is very meat-heavy but hotels and western-influences restaurants will be able to provide vegetarian options.
Each cluster of islands has their own ‘national dish’ which stem from any one of the multiple cultural influences. For example, Pork Adobo (pork belly in soy sauce and garlic marinade served with rice) is the dish of Palawan, whereas in Cebu you will find Lechon (roasted pig) to be prominent. You will find rice and noodle-based dishes but there are less of these here compared to other parts of southeast Asia. If you’re feeling adventurous, Balut is a developing bird embryo that is boiled and eaten from the shell, with a bit of salt. It is very popular in the Philippines!
World’s Best Scuba Dive Sites
The Philippines is a paradise blessed with idyllic waterscapes, but it is what is below the surface which will leave you in awe. Popular destinations for diving include Bohol, El Nido and Mindoro, but the truth is that there are more than enough places to dive. Many of these areas are nature reserves also which means only a handful of diving boats are allowed out at one time making the experience all the more special, and the marine life even more spectacular. Dive sites also include Japanese ships which sank during World War Two. Even if you’re not a diver, you can tag along on these boats to go snorkelling.
Luxury Family Holiday in the Philippines
Not only do many resorts have family facilities such as kids clubs, but the Philippines is an incredible family adventure in its own right. The adventurous jungle hikes, exciting zip-lines and water activities into the magnificent azure ocean. It is an ideal location for very adventurous families.