If you’re planning an international trip but are little sceptical about travelling all the way to another continent, maybe you should consider visiting the Philippines. Not too far from home, the Philippines are a cluster of over 7,000 tropical islands in Southeast Asia. All the beach lovers out there will go crazy exploring the Philippine islands, as there’s an island to match every taste – from marooned and deserted little ghost islands to volcanic islands that look like they’re straight out of a fantasy fiction novel. There are also mega-islands that are the island versions of metropolitan cities, such as Luzon and Mindanao!
In a country full of islands, you can certainly expect the best watersport possibilities. While surfing is as common in the Philippines as cricket is in India, kayaking in Northern Palawan, kiteboarding in Boracay and Pagudpad, and diving just about anywhere are all activities that you wouldn’t regret trying out.
Whether you’re a beach person or a mountain person, this is the perfect destination for you! After you’ve had enough of the watersports and want to dry out but are still feeling quite active, you can go trekking, mountain-biking, canyoneering, or zip lining through the mountains of the Philippines. Whatever mode you choose, once you get to the top of a mountain, you’ll find your reward. An absolutely breathtaking view of the vast ocean awaits, complete with sandy islands and ant-sized people scurrying about through land and sea!
The Filipino culture is a mixture of ancient customs, widespread Catholicism that’s a result of 350 years of Spanish rule, and subsequent colonisation by the Americans. The result is a unique concoction of exuberant town fiestas with an indigenous influence celebrated by the welcoming, warm, and English-speaking Filipinos. These relentlessly optimistic and loving people make life extremely easy for any traveller, and in our opinion, this is what ultimately makes people fall in love with the country. Local travel is fairly easy and lots of fun. You’ll rarely find yourself lost, and in case you ever do, just locate a native who’ll gladly help you get back on your way.
While travelling in the Philippines, we advise you to let go of your pre-planned itineraries. The country’s laid back vibe really shouldn’t be ruined by rushing through a packed schedule. Besides, the tropical climate can sometimes dampen (pun intended) your plans. Many a traveller has been left with pre-booked but unused tickets and stays, thanks to the meteorological uncertainty. By all means, do your homework on the different islands and weather conditions; but once you get there, spontaneity is key. Book your tickets, enjoy the sight of rice fields, smouldering volcanoes, and bright blue waters as you fly over the country, but wing it as soon as you touchdown!