Friday, February 23, 2018

Top 10 Things to Do: Philippines



top 10 philippines boracay beach philippines

              The Philippines is full of fun and exciting things to do; so many it’s hard to do them all in just one trip.  So, to help you decide on where you should focus your vacation time, I have compiled a list of my personal top 10 favorite things I did while in the Philippines. 



1. Island-Hopping El Nido

 
hidden beach el nido palawan philippines
Hidden Beach

              Island hopping in El Nido tops the list of my favorite things to do in the Philippines.  Palawan has been rated the most beautiful island in the world, and El Nido as its jewel, it is easy to see why it tops the list.  With five different island-hopping tours, with stops that include activities like beach bumming, snorkeling, and exploring caves, there is something there for everyone. 


2. Coron Island

 
banul beach el nido philippines palawan
Banul Beach on Coron Island

              CoronIsland comes in second on my list for both its beauty and adventurous activities.  An island set across the bay from the town of Coron, Coron Island offers a lush escape for those wanting to hike through the rainforest, snorkel or dive at one of the many coral reefs or inland lakes, or bum around on one of the beautiful white sandy beaches. 


3. Sea Turtles of Apo Island

 
sea turtle snorkeling apo island dumaguete philippines
Snorkeling with sea turtles

              No one should go to the Philippines without enjoying some of its wildlife.  There are many places to see the varying wildlife here, but the sea turtles of Apo Island were some of my favorite.  This small island has created a sanctuary for the sea turtles, allowing tourists to snorkel or dive and see them up close in their natural habitat. 


4. Kawa Baths

 
kawa hot baths tibiao philippines
Kawa hot baths in Tibiao, Philippines

               If you need a day to unwind, but still want to try something new, the Kawa Baths of Tibiao is definitely worth a visit.  Overlooking a rolling river, these hot tub like baths are filled with herbs and flowers, creating a relaxing environment to soothe your spirits. 


5. Nightlife in Boracay

 
night life boracay philippines
Night life in Boracay

              There is no other place in the Philippines like Boracay.  During the day the beach invites all those who want to hangout on its white sand or enjoy the many shops and restaurants that line it, but at night the beach clubs open, the bars go into full swing with drink specials, and there is even a pub crawl excursion. 


6. Craft Beer

 
craft beer baguio craft brewery philippines
Seven of the craft beers at the Baguio Craft Brewery

              For all those beer lovers like me, the craft beer scene in the Philippines is something worth looking forward too.  The craft beer scene has exploded in the Philippines in the last few years and it is said there are as many as 50 craft breweries across the islands.  I can’t attest to all of them, I was only able to visit six of them during my trip, but they are definitely worth a visit if you are in the area of one.  My three personal favorites were Turning Wheels, Baguio Craft Brewery, and Palaweno.


7. Maquinit Hot Springs


maquinit hot springs coron philippines
Maquinit Hot Springs

              After days of travel and adventure everyone needs a day of relaxation and there is no other place like Maquinit Hot Springs.  One of the very few saltwater hot springs in the world, Maquinit Hot Springs gives you a unique opportunity ease your aching muscles in a salt water bath while experiencing the tranquility of the surrounding ocean. 


8. Street Food

 
corndog street food philippines
Best corndog I have ever eaten!!!

              If you’re a foodie like me then the Philippines will not disappoint.  The street food scene might not be as strong in the Philippines as it is in other countries in Southeastern Asia, but they put a unique twist on some all-time favorites.  Whether you are wanting a coconut shake, tempura seafood, or the best corndogs I have ever eaten, the Philippines has some great food in store for you.


9. Chocolate Hills


chocolate hills bohol philippines
Chocolate Hills

              Whether you are looking for a quick daytrip or a roving adventure the Chocolate Hills is a great place to experience.  Made up of rolling hills, that turn the color of chocolate brown during the dry season, this area is a sight to behold (even if it is not dry season).  Climbing to the top of the observatory you will see these rolling hills sticking out of lush forest and rice fields as far as the eye can see. 


10. Intramuros


intramuros manila philippines
Intramuros - The walled city in Manila, Philippines

              Intramuros, or Manila, may not be on most peoples top 10, but I think it is a worth contender for anyone who likes history (especially when it comes to historic architecture). Intramuros is an old walled city within the capital city of Manila that still holds many of the original buildings and churches (including a UNESCO site) within its walls.  You can easily get lost in time here as you stroll atop the old city walls.


Honorable Mention: Tarsiers


tarsier monkey loboc bohol philippines
Tarsier monkey in Bohol, Philippines

              It might not have made the top 10, but I can’t go without mentioning the monkeys.  Tarsiers, the smallest monkey in the world, can be seen in two conservation areas on the island of Bohol, Philippines.  If you’re a lover of monkeys like I am, or just want to see these little guys up close, then they are a must add to any travel literary. 

              Have you done any of the things on this list?  What were some of your favorite things to do in the Philippines?

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