I might be living in Ireland right now, where winters are much milder than back in Canada, but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream of getting away to a warmer destination. Recently I’ve noticed a lot of travel bloggers visiting and talking about The Philippines, a country that was never really on my travel radar until now. Here are four places in the Philippines that I would like to visit for myself one day. Hopefully, this visit will be sooner rather than later.
Manila is the capital of the Philippines and the country’s largest city. Chances are if you’re flying into the Philippines you’ll be flying into Manila, so it is worth taking a few days to explore this city nicknamed the Pearl of the Orient. The great thing about visiting Manila is there are many beautiful hotels to stay at, and lots to do. All I need to do is go on online booking sites like Traveloka to book myself a room and I’m all set.
One site I’d want to visit in Manila is Fort Santiago. This is historic site is where José Rizal, a Filipino nationalist who wanted a peaceful reform to the then Spanish rule of the country, was incarcerated while waiting for his execution. Today Fort Santiago has beautiful gardens and fountains and a museum where people can learn about Rizal and the history of the Philippines.
Bohol is a province in the Philippines that consists of Bohol Island and some smaller islands. What you might recognise from Bohol is the famous Chocolate Hills. Over 1200 hills spread out for 50 kilometres across the countryside on Bohol Island. They are called the Chocolate Hills because the vegetation on the hills turns brown in the dry season (November to March) making the hills look like chocolate. In Carmen, Bohol is the Chocolate Hills Complex where you can see this natural wonder for yourself.
About 350 kilometres north of Manila on Luzon Island in the province of Ifugao is the Banaue Rice Terraces. This UNESCO World Heritage site is considered to be the eighth wonder of the world by many people. The Banaue Rice Terraces were first hand carved into the mountains over 2000 years ago and are irrigated by the rainforest above the terraces. Even today farming continues by many on these rice terraces. There are many tours of the Banaue Rice Terraces and the tribes that live in the region. The Banaue Rice Terraces is an important site in the Philippines that shows the ingenuity and hard work the ancient indigenous people of the area had.
The Philippines is made up of over 7000 tropical islands, and one such island is Palawan. El Nido is a municipality in Palawan that is exactly how you would imagine a tropical paradise to be; white sand beaches, bright blue waters, coral reefs, and lush green jungles. Now I must admit I do not swim, but the idea of relaxing on a beach in El Nido sounds like paradise. For those who do swim, there is plenty of places for snorkelling and diving if you’re certified. Another favourite activity on El Nido is to take a boat charter to explore some of the beautiful islands nearby like Big Lagoon, Snake Island and Pinagbuyutan.
With 7000 different islands there certainly is a lot you can see and do in the Philippines. I’m certainly looking forward to the day when I can visit these places in the Philippines for myself.
This post was written by me, and all opinions of me wanting to escape the cold and head to the Philippines are my own. Photos in this post are courtesy of Solitary Wanderer. This post contains a link to a third party website that generously supports Take Me to the World.