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Introduction to this site
We currently do not offer tours, just advice on this webpage for you to construct your own tour! This website offers an overview of destinations to help you plan a tour. For more detailed and comprehensive guides I would suggest a guide book such as the 'Phillipines Travel Guide' by Jens Peters (you can order this book from my Travel Guide Books page) or research further on the internet by typing in specific place names after you've seen the overview on this site.
I have been lucky enough to see a lot of the Philippines. When waiting for a flight I am often asked 'where are the best places to visit in the Philippines?' The answer is not easy, as the Philippines offers a huge diversity of landscapes and activities. One thing is consistent, however, wherever you choose to go you will be warmly welcomed by the smiling, happy faces of Filipinos.
Why visit the Philippines?
A westerner visiting the Philippines will feel at ease immediately. Filipino's speak excellent English and have inherited much of their modern culture from the American influence over the last 110 years. A strong Spanish colonial history underpins much of the modern culture. The main religion is Catholicism and the older churches and cathedrals are in a Spanish style.
In contrast to Indochina, you will not find ancient temples, pagodas and more pagodas! Instead you will be rewarded by the amazing range of landscapes available: volcanoes, mountains, forests, rice terraces, cathedral-like cliffs, white beaches, mangroves and coral reefs. Enjoy the natural beauty of rare birds, whales and dolphins, thousands of colourful fish in the coral reefs and unique wildlife like the Tarsier. Island hop on the distinctive 'bangka' boats with bamboo arms: the Philippines boast over seven thousand islands!
For those interested in history you'll be pleased to know that the Philippines boasts a long history from stone age caves, to intricate 800 year old gold artifacts, chinese traded pottery from shipwrecks, 300 years of Spanish rule which left some superb architecture and to the destruction of the world wars with the now silent guns of Corregidor.
If action sports such as jet skiing, paragliding, water skiing and quad biking are your thing then you'll love some of the resorts available, such as Boracay. In the evening you'll find excellent nightlife is available in Boracay and in the city of Manila. If this isn't your thing then you can also find solitude in the provinces. Away from the crowd you'll also enjoy bargain food and accomodation!
Maybe you like shopping? Well so do Filipinos, rivaling Italians in their fashion consciousness! In Manila you'll find amongst the biggest malls in Asia that will take all day to navigate. In the middle of modern high-rise areas you'll find classy new arcades boasting all the names: Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada to name a few. Adjacent, you'll find fine dining from all around the world at very reasonable prices. On the streets you can barter for some antique bargains and sample some of the local cuisine.
Perhaps the biggest draw to the Philippines is the Filipino people themselves. Whilst the Philippines is a poor country, you will be surprised how happy and friendly people are: they will fill your heart with joy. Even in the big cities people will go out of their way to help you. Everywhere you go people are singing, a favourite pass time in the Philippines, and if you are not careful you'll be invited to Karaoke! Most Filipinos are 'god fearing' and this typically creates a very safe environment, probably safer than many western cities.
The Philippines appeals to those seeking both luxurious and private accomodation and basic cheap, but clean, accomodation. Everyone from Hollywood stars to backpackers will find what they desire. You can come for the beach, the wildlife, the people, the scenery, the spas, adventure, scuba diving, bargain shopping, history, a city break, a provincial retreat or all of the above! What's more, the relatively low numbers of tourists compared to Indochina and Malaysia means that the Philippines is still largely unspoilt! Many tourists are cautious about the unknowns when first visiting the Philippines, but once you've visited I guarantee you will want to come back again and again!
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I'm sorry, but we cannot give individual advice on touring the Philippines.