Asia

Philippines

vital statistics
  • Manila
  • 99 million
  • Filipino, English
  • Peso
about Philippines

It’s got 7107 stunning islands to explore and, despite the country’s populous nature, on some you’ll be able to find your isolated Robinson Crusoe moment. Boracay is beautiful but all the beach babies have ditched their usual spots to make it top of the trending lists. Personally, we prefer Palawan for island hopping and snorkelling.

You might not expect it, but there are some decent waves here. The film crew who shot Apocalypse Now back in the seventies left their surfboard at Baler, about six hours’ drive from Manila, and Philippine’s surf culture grew from there. One of the biggest waves is Pagudpud on the northern tip of the mainland, and those who make the trek are likely to have the break almost to themselves.

Divers will also return from the Philippines satisfied customers. Good vis, warm waters and huge diversity of marine life – thresher sharks and manta rays at Malapascua Island, drift and wall dives at Anilao, and whale sharks in Donsol Bay, between November and June – make it suitable for everyone, including those who want to learn.

You’ll also find all the adventure sport staples: mountain biking, rock climbing, sea kayaking and whitewater rafting. Not to be missed is a tour to the underground river at Puerto Princesa.

Three hundred years of Spanish rule certainly left their mark on the country, with some beautiful colonial architecture still standing in Manila. This is a great city to explore for so many reasons: it’s not nearly as hectic as some of Asia’s other capitals, there is fantastic eating and shopping to be had, and the remnants of the Marcos era are, unsurprisingly, fascinating.

Explore Philippines By

ANGELES CITY, PHILLIPINES

If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain you may have already heard about Bale...

If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain you may have already heard about Bale Dutung (the...

LIPA, THE PHILIPPINES

When the frenetic pace of city life has you feeling like a battery hen,...

When the frenetic pace of city life has you feeling like a battery hen, it’s time to put...

CARAMOAN ISLANDS, PHILIPPINES

Yes, the 4000 hectares of limestone karsts bursting from the ocean make it...

Yes, the 4000 hectares of limestone karsts bursting from the ocean make it look like Krabi...

CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES

Zip-lines aren’t particularly novel in South-East Asia, but there’s one a...

Zip-lines aren’t particularly novel in South-East Asia, but there’s one a little...

THE PHILIPPINES

Everyone loves a monkey but these little guys, who more closely resemble a...

Everyone loves a monkey but these little guys, who more closely resemble a mogwai than a...

LEGAZPI, PHILIPPINES

Bicol’s Mount Mayon Volcano is about as picturesque a volcano as you can...

Bicol’s Mount Mayon Volcano is about as picturesque a volcano as you can imagine....