Southeast Asia has been the go-to backpacking destination for years now, but the Philippines still remains a favourite among travellers all over the world.
This tropical archipelago has garnered this well-deserved reputation due to its beautiful natural surroundings, welcoming people, and great food. If you’re still in doubt, here are seven reasons to book your next trip to the Philippines:
The Philippines’ reputation for generosity and hospitality continues to draw travellers in year-on-year. English is widely spoken across the archipelago, which means it’s easy for solo travellers to find their way around. Even if you stumble across a community that speaks very little English, rest assured the locals are friendly enough to guide you to your next destination (and maybe even show you around). Lots of young Filipinos are also taking it upon themselves to go around and explore their own country, which means you might even have the chance to befriend some fellow travellers on your trip.
Food, glorious food
It’s no secret that Filipinos love their food. They love entertaining guests whenever they get the chance, and they do so by feeding you whenever possible. Coconuts Manila notes that part of the reason why Filipino food is so hard to describe is because it varies by region, with each province having its own distinct dish. This makes the Philippines a great travel destination for foodies, especially since there’s something new to try with every visit. If you’re adventurous, you know you just have to have the famed balut.
Tons of pristine beaches
Chances are, you’ve heard of Boracay, Palawan, and Siargao. These islands have made it to Condé Nast Traveler’s list of Asia’s best, solidifying the Philippines’ reputation as a premier beach destination. These three sites, however, are just a few of the many islands that the Philippines has to offer. To be more specific, the country has over 7,107 islands, and beaches are scattered everywhere from Luzon to Mindanao, so you’d better pack your sunscreen!
A surfer’s paradise
Speaking of Siargao, the surfing culture in the Philippines is gaining popularity and drawing international attention. You’ll find lots of weekend warriors trekking to the nearby beaches for a quick surf lesson, with La Union and Baler two of the most frequented sites. Young entrepreneurs have even relocated to these beaches to set up hostels and surf shops, adding to the creative energy that surrounds the area.
Come to the Philippines for the beaches, but stay for the mountain hikes. Daydreaming in Paradise suggests that the Taal Volcano in Batangas should be at the top of your list if you’re looking to hike. This half-day trek takes you to the crater of an active volcano that’s situated inside a lake, which means it’s worth the trek even for beginner climbers. More experienced climbers may want to trek up Mt. Mayon, a three-day hike that takes you up one of the country’s most iconic sites.
If you’ve seen photos of tarsiers and whale sharks, a trip to the Philippines may be your opportunity to see them up close. Tarsiers can be found in sanctuaries across Bohol, while you can dive with the whale sharks in Donsol and Cebu. Meeting these creatures is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you won’t forget in a hurry. Just make sure to research reputable tour guides and ensure that the animals are being treated safely!
Exciting urban nightlife
Manila’s nightlife is evolving with clubs scattered across the Metro. There are also lots of up-and-coming restaurants that focus on reinventing local cuisine. Additionally, there are tons of cocktail bars with uniquely Filipino flavours. The best part? These meals and drinks won’t cost you an arm and a leg, even though you’re in the middle of the city. The Z Hostel, located in Makati’s hip Poblacion neighbourhood, is a well-known spot for tourists and locals alike.
With so much to do and see in the Philippines, solo travelling is a great way to ensure that you can see as much of the country as you want. Check out our ‘Top 10 Destinations for Solo Travelers’ posts for more ideas for your next adventure.
This article was written by JBarrick solely for Backpacker Deals. All content and images are sourced by the author.