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What are the best areas of the Philippines to visit? Is Manila a good base for traveling in this area?

Asked by Ian C via Site_iconTravellr.com

12 Answers

  • +1

    Hi ian!
    In the Philippines I have been to the island of Palawan. I went there with some friends last November and it was amazing!
    I hear most tourists go to Boracay but I haven't been there so i can't tell you about it.
    I havent gotten a chance to visit Manila. All i can tell you is that it is a very dangerous city for foreigners and you have to pay great attention to where you go, especially at night. For example, taxi rides in most districts are not considered to be safe. I had to stay in Manila for 2 days to apply for a Visa and i didnt move too much around for that reason. Also, there doesnt seem to be too much worth seeing there.
    My friends and I then took a plane to a town called Coron on Busuanga island. We stayed there for one day but I would recommend staying at least 3 days. You can do shipwreck diving there and there are some minor hikes to do to see waterfalls etc.
    From there we took a boat (i advise to look for an older guy called Ricaedo in town who will take you on his boat Jessabel) to a town called El Nido. The ride takes 8 hours... take plenty of water with you as well as food, and if you are taking a boat smaller than Jessabel make sure the water is calm enough since many of those boats are said to sink during bad weather...
    El Nido is a small town, developed enough to make it a base for daily boat tours. Everything is rather simple and you will mostly encounter backpackers or locals. You can stay there anywhere from 4 days to a month and still not see everything there is (i was told...). In any case make sure you plan enough time to stay here, since it's as close as i have ever been to paradise! You will be taken on daily boat tours (it sounds cheesy but really has an adventurous touch to it!!) where you will see secret lagoons and beaches, go snorkling with sea turtles (if you are as lucky as we were), and see amazing coral.
    From El Nido we took a bus down to Salvacion and then up to Sabang, where you can see the current (continues) almost 8 years ago

    Answered by Oliver L. via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • +1

    world wonder, the Subterranean River. My friends and I thought it was well worth the journey there.
    From Sabang we went to Puerto Princesa, a major city in Palawan and from there caught our plane back to Manila.
    I dont know what kind of traveling you are looking for, but if you are into backpacking then Palawan is the place to go, absolutely! I have pics on my facebook, so if you want just add me and take a look!
    Hope this helps, and feel free to ask about details!
    Cheers,

    Oliver almost 8 years ago

    Answered by Oliver L. via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • +1

    Boracay! One of the most beautiful places I've ever been. The beaches are white, the water is crystal clear and there's lots to see and do – snorkeling, banana boat rides, jet skis, fishing, hire a boat, shopping, swimming, sunbaking etc. Plus, you can stop in Kalibo on the way there and say hello to my Grandma!

    The only downside is the number of hawkers that hassle you as you walk along the beach, trying to sell you sunglasses and massages. I guess it depends on what you want to do. Boracay is very much a resort island now (10 years ago it was a different story). If you're after a chilled out experience in the sun I'd suggest Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam. almost 8 years ago

    Answered by Raelene Morey via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • 0

    Hello Ian, Manila is expensive, having read some of the replies, I have to say I found Manila Safe, more problems in my own country than Manila
    cheaper places are Bohol, Cebu
    I advise against traveling south, in Davao there,s probably a 2-1 chance of being taken hostage, iv'e been there but my gf has relatives there over 6 years ago

    Answered by PAUL via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • 0

    FYI never travel between El Nido and Coron with the company having the MBCA Jessabel boats. You might get in serious trouble and the problem is you might end up risking you life. They acted totally insane and unprofessionally when we traveled with them in very bad weather. As a result of their reclessness the MBCA Jessabel was sinking after an hour in rough (2-4 m high waves) which the boat could not handle but which they assured us it would. Most people were terrified even before it broke down but the crew kept on going out to the open sea, laughing and drunk. Once the boat was sinking people had to save themselves on little pieces of floating wood because the lifeboats were not seaworthy and taking in too much water. Everybody made it in the end, some by swimming to an island 2-3 hours away and some stayed on the sinking boat and the coastguard was able to get there in time.

    The Jessabels are a family business and the family name of the crew is Bozar.

    Never ever trust your life with these people because they don't have any regard for safety. almost 6 years ago

    Answered by via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • -1

    how you so sure Ian,,, the they don't have any regard for safety? Anywhere, somewhere accident could be happen... You already old you should know that... I know is your job... But can you write it down,, do i believe you? Because you are not a passenger ,,, how do you know this? Or you just make your own history? I don't care that family or their business they are not belong us... But i want to make cleared with you...How do you know laughing and drunk? you drink with them or you was there?
    Can you answer my question?
    Remember IAN accident could be happen, airplane, boat, Bus,,motorcyle,, car...even your walking on the street..
    very important is Everyone Safe....100% this is not true... you know WHY???? you did not see it,,, and your not in there.... over 5 years ago

    Answered by via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • +1

    2-1 chances of being taken hostage in davao? Puhlease... Where do you get your info? From some ignorant Luzonian? No offense. But Davao is alot safer than manila. ALOT! Im a girl and I can walk around the city at 3 am and still manage to come home unscathed. Try walking around in manila by yourself at 3 am and you could get yourself nabbed, raped, robbed and God knows what.

    Take it from a local. And, um... If you do have plans to go to davao, go to Samal. It's just 5 minutes off the coast and the beaches there are divine. You can also go to eden nature park for a whiff of fresh, mountain air... Or take a one week trek to the top of mt. Apo. Seriously, there are like, a hundred of things to do in davao. (dont forget to eat durian. If the stench bothers you, buy yourself the durian candies... They're heaven in a little plastic wrap) over 5 years ago

    Answered by andy via Site_iconAsk a Nomad iPad app
  • 0

    Andy, why single out "Luzonians" for spreading baseless rumors about Davao? You should know that a lot of your city's tourism revenues come from Luzonians. In fact, a lot of Luzonians LOVE Davao.

    No need to slander your fellow FIlipinos just to prop up your city. Davao can stand on its own merits. Show some respect. almost 5 years ago

    Answered by Liquid Druid via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • 0

    Boracay is beautiful, the beaches, the people, all great. Puerto Galaria on Mindoro is nice for a few days too. If you like adventure go from from Cataclan on the ferry to Roxas and travel across the island. Very few tourists and great places to stop off. I loved Palawan too, especially El Nido. Regards safety, never saw any trouble at all. If you are into diving, Coron is a great place too. Have a great trip. I love the country. almost 5 years ago

    Answered by Soloart via Site_iconAsk a Nomad iPad app
  • 0

    Try Sagada before (or after) you head for the beaches. almost 5 years ago

    Answered by Theo C via Site_iconTripping
  • 0

    Must consider my top 3 list 1st Boracay 2nd Palawan and 3rd Bohol have a happy trip to the Philippines over 4 years ago

  • 0

    I beg to differ on some of the former answers.

    If you want a big City, sure, Manila and Cebu have everything like shopping etc. But for Oliver (from his question) these are not what he wants.

    Boracay is indeed beautiful, but it has become very crowded and expensive in the past 10 years.

    Bohol is a really nice place, but is also becoming very expensive. Panglao island (joined to main island by two bridges) is where most of the resorts are; the biggest being the overpriced Bohol Beach Club. It has basic accommadation and food, but fantastic private beach and good pools. Further south down the Highway is Alona Beach area. This is a very busy area with many small resorts and dive shops. One the main Island there is of course the Chocolate Hills and Tarsier.

    I will skip Palawan islands as they have been covered above.

    If you want a quieter time; I would suggest Southern Leyte. The drive from Maasin City (the capital) to Sogod via Padre Burgos is fantastic. There are white sand beaches stretching from the far edge of Maasin to Padre Burgos. This area is argueably the best diving area in the Philippines. It is very famous for it's Whale Shark (the biggest fish in the world). There is a Zip line near Sogod and a new adventure park in Maasin (outside city). The area is not near as developed as Boracay or Bohol, and in general it is cheaper and quieter. Accommadation varies from pension house (around $10 - $25) to Hotels ($40 - $250). There are now several new hotels from Maasin City to Padre Burgos. Southern Leyte has one of the lowest crime rates in The Philippines.

    Further South is Davao on island of Mindanao. You can get there from southern leyte. Hop on a bus in Maasin or along the route to Lilloan and it will take you to Davao via Surigou (bus/ferry/bus). I think twice a week you can get a boat direct from Maasin to Surigao. Davao is a model City. Low crime rate. Zero tolerance. Reasonable hotel rates. It is by far the cleanest, safest big cities in The Philippines. over 4 years ago

    Answered by Patrick via Site_iconWorldNomads.com

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