The Philippines

Travel Consultant Alex from Travel & Cruise Bright
shares her recent experience of travelling around the Philippines.

Having just returned from this amazing part of the world, I thought I’d share some of my pictures and some travel tips with you. The Philippines is made of up over 7,000 islands, each of them offering something different – beautiful white sand beaches, friendly people and breathtaking landscapes are to be found throughout.
There is an island for everyone (and every budget) in the Philippines – from the beaches, resorts and party atmosphere of Boracay, to the unique Tarsiers and “Chocolate Hills” of Bohol, Siargao Island for surfers, and of course Palawan which was my personal highlight.

 

Recently voted the number 1 island in the world (for the second year in a row – http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/islands#palawan-philippines), the landscapes of the islands of Palawan, and aquatic life, coral and water colour needs to be seen to be believed. Cebu, Palawan and Bohol are all popular with divers, this offers some of the best diving in the world. There are also many shipwrecks around the coastline that are easily accessible. Island hopping by boat is very accessible and cheap, you’ll hire a boat and friendly guide for the day and head off to explore. Lunch is generally included also, most likely local seafood freshly caught.

Cebu is a great gateway city to the outer islands, and Mactan Island where the International Airport is located offers some beautiful resorts, of all sizes and budgets. From Cebu there are day trips to Oslob to swim with whale sharks, visit multiple waterfalls and also canyoneering adventures (a must do).

 

How to get there

Philippine Airlines fly direct from Melbourne to Manila, with flights connecting to the outer islands every day. Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Cebu Pacific also fly to Cebu also ex Australia.

Palawan islands can be accessed via Coron airport in the North, and Puerto Princesa airport in the south. Air Swift also fly from Manila to El Nido. We can take care of the logistics of this for you and organise all of your flights as part of a package along with your accommodation.

Where to Stay

Recommended hotels:

Coron Town: The Funny Lion Hotel or Two Seasons Coron Bayside
Cebu (Mactan Island): Plantation Bay Resort
Boracay: Movenpick Resort & Spa Boracay which has just opened
Bohol: Bohol Beach Club
Manila: Peninsula Manila
Indulge: Stay at Two Seasons Resort Coron Island Resort & Spa to be truly pampered and off the grid in a remote island in Palawan
Backpacker budget: There are multiple islands that offer basic beach shacks right on the beach to stay at for a very low cost – wake up on the water! Check out Banana Island, Palawan for comfy hammocks and laid back island vibes.

 

Travel Tips

The Philippines have two seasons – rainy and dry. The rainy season is from June to September so expect some rainy days if travelling during these months

  • Be patient. You’re on island time! Simple things like ordering a drink can take a little longer than expected. Tours can often run over time, things are not always right on schedule. Relax and go with the flow and enjoy the warm and friendly Filipino hospitality
  • The local food is delicious (and cheap) – especially the pork belly, which is seen as a bit of a delicacy, but readily available. Fresh squid was also a definite highlight, very tasty.
  • Some of the major attractions such as Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon can get quite a few visitors during the day – ask your tour guide to depart as early as possible to beat the crowds
  • Choose a window seat on your flights to the islands – great views from the plane!

 

We can tailor-make any itinerary to suit your interests, dreams and wish list. Just come in and see us or email your enquiry… We look forward to working with you!

Email: Contact Alex

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