Thinking about travelling to Asia? How about the Philippines?
I did a trip to the Philippines this spring and it was quite spontaneous. I was not planning to travel to Asia before my friends began suggesting vacation destinations including the Philippines and suddenly we had a great group of friends willing to travel to Asia. It was my first time in Asia and it was very exciting to me since I had only travelled in Western countries. So why travel to the Philippines? First, you will meet the most kind-hearted, polite and hospitable people. Locals are well-mannered and very helpful. There are great places to travel in the Philippines but you might want to choose carefully where you are going to travel and where you want to stay in the Philippines in order to make the most of your trip. So, here are my pieces of advice what to do in the Philippines:
This island is beautiful and not crowded of tourists at all. We didn’t stay in the popular scuba diving destination in Panglao but instead we headed to Anda, a less popular place but also a more unique filipino attraction. We stayed in a very nice resort called East Coast White Sand Resort which I can recommend to everyone travelling to Anda! The staff was super nice, kind and genuinely helpful. Not to mention, the resort was a paradise with the ocean view and the facilities right beside the beach. Many would think that this is not a typical student accommodation but the night cost us less than some hostels in Europe (around 24 euros per night) so I was happy to pay for the experience like that. Below are some pictures of our resort:
The water was clear and turquoise, the sand was white and the view was spectacular. The only downside was that at times the weather changed rapidly. Suddenly it was pouring rain or the sky was blue again and the sun was shining. So you might want to get prepared for that (we travelled in February-March so it shouldn’t be the rain season then either). However, we didn’t mind the cloudy weather since quite many of us got sunburnt during the first days (typical Finns lol).
What I was astonished about was our first scooter trip to the local village in Anda. It was fantastic to see how the locals were excited about us and the little kids waved to us when we passed them. Also, seeing the local village with its local life where people seem very happy and all kinds of dogs and roosters stroll on the streets – that’s pretty cool too. Below are some pictures presented of Anda village:
One thing that I can also recommend to do in Alda is to go explore the cool cave pools! We jumped to the cave pool from 5 meters and it was a great experience!
Our next destination was Palawan and we flew from Cebu to Manila and from Manila to Puerto Princesa and then we took a van to El Nido. There are great places to see in El Nido but it is also a crowded tourist attraction so you might want to acknowledge that before starting to plan your trip. We were not able to get the accommodation we wanted because we were too late (a few months before the trip, but it was a high season). So we had to book the Airbnb which didn’t turn out as nice as we expected. The apartment was okay and met our expectations but we also had unwanted company there known as bed bugs. Bed bugs are quite common in Asia and they can be in any kinds of hotels or hostels but I highly recommend to check the rooms carefully before spending a night there. The other thing I didn’t like about El Nido was the constant traffic and it didn’t have the same unique vibes as Anda – I guess it’s because it’s more popular among the tourists.
Different tours to see the Bacuit Archipelago are very popular. One tip: get physically prepared for those tours. Some of them can be extremely exhausting and ours lasted for 7 hours. Spending the day under the burning sun and swimming to the attractions while trying to swim against the waves and not get hurt is very tiring. I hurt my foot on the coral in the first attraction and it was not very pleasant. So here is a list of the must things you want to take with you to those tours: water shoes for snorkelling, LOTS of sun screen (+50 sph recommended), something to cover your shoulders so you’re not exposed to the sun all day, bikinis, food (something salty for example chips so you don’t get sea sick and you also need salt since you will be sweating and consuming energy a lot), WATER lots of water!!!! in most tours they bring water to the boats but you might want to make sure you also have at least 5 litres of water with you, a towel, sunglasses, a cap or a hat and a camera. You can also bring other things with you but these are the necessities.
And here are some pictures of beautiful El Nido:
The Philippines is a pretty magical place at the sunset. So you might want to take a good camera with you if you decide to travel to the Philippines. If I travelled to Palawan again I probably wouldn’t go to El Nido again. Instead I would head to Port Barton because I’ve heard so many great things about that place. That will be the next attraction in my bucket list.
Have a great week! Cheers!