The Philippines, located in SE Asia near Borneo, is actually an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands – not just one country. The Philippines are home to some of the most beautiful beaches and breathtaking natural scenery in the world. Due to its abundance of natural resources, The Philippines is one of the richest areas of biodiversity on the planet. Today, tourists flock to The Philippines to soak up the sun on its beaches and lose themselves in the tropical paradise it has become. In this article, we’ll take a look at the ten places in The Philippines that every traveler should visit during their stay in The Philippines.
The Beaches of The Philippines
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The beaches of The Philippines are numerous, due to its tropical island makeup. Some of them are world-renowned as tourist and celebrity hotspots, like White Beach on Boracay Island – which is said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Panglao, Balicasag and Pamilacan Beaches in Bohol offer world-class diving opportunities for scuba enthusiasts.
Bat Caves On Boracay Island
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This network of intricate caves is truly a sight to behold at twilight. That’s when thousands of fruit bats emerge from the depths of the caves on their nightly hunt for food. Natives that live locally will act as your unofficial tour guides and show you the best place to view the bats from a safe distance, as to not disturb their routine.
The Hanging Coffins Of Sagada
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The Hanging Coffins of Sagada are actual coffins with actual corpses inside. The natives of Segada prefer to be buried in the cliffs to in the ground so relatives entomb the bodies in hollow logs and place them in caves on the sides of the limestone cliffs that encircle the region. It gives the impression that the coffins are “hanging” from a distance. This practice has been ongoing for 2,000 years and many of the elder residents of Segada craft their own coffins before they die.
Banaue Rice Terraces
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The Banaue Rice Terraces are considered by many to be the eight wonder of the world. The brainchild of the indigenous Batad natives, these level terraces were formed out of the sides of mountains and filled with soil in order to give the people flat ground to grow their rice some 2,000 years ago. The terraces are at an altitude of 5,000 feet and are still irrigated by the original system that was used when they were first built.
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Katibawasan Falls on Camiguin Island is one of the natural wonders of The Philippines. Cascading over 70 meters straight into a crystal clear rock pool, the falls is an idyllic place to picnic, swim or just explore. Tables and other facilities are provided for doing just that. Surrounded by native flora and fauna of the country, this peaceful, yet spectacular display of nature is truly is a must-see.
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Coconut Palace was born from an idea of former Philippines First Lady Imelda Marcos. Built in 1981 especially for a visit by Pope John Paul, seventy percent of the palace is constructed from parts of a coconut tree. The palace contains seven suites that are decorated to honor seven regions of the country. One of the suites features bedding made from pineapple plant fibers and décor crafted from pearls.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP)
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Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) is the tourist attraction to end all tourist attractions. An amazing display of nature’s beauty, this park is home to an eight meter long river. In fact it is the longest navigatable underground river in the world. The river flows directly into the sea, which is another interesting feature about it. The park contains some of the most important components of biodiversity in all of Asia with its ecosystem and protected forests. The park has also been designated as a World Heritage Site and is in the running to be named one of seven new World Wonders Of Nature.
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
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Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is another designated World Heritage Site in The Philippines. The park, which attracts visitors and guests from all over the world, has some of the most gorgeous specimines of coral reefs and marine life on the planet. Hailed to be an underwater sanctuary for some of the rarest and endangered marine life species in existence, great measures have been taken to preserve the integrity of the reefs and conserve them for future generations. Although these are protected waters, divers are welcome in designated areas of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, with the supervision and permission of the park rangers on duty.
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Dating back to the 1500s, Manila’s Chinatown is the oldest such designations in the world. The parcel of land that it sits on was given to the Chinese by the Spaniards in 1584, tax free. They were given free reign over the land and allowed to implement their own government. Today, Chinatown Manila is a popular destination for shopping and dining because it has some of the most authentic Chinese food and handicrafts anywhere in the country. There is also an abundance of Chinese architecture, statues and other Chinese influences to tour in Chinatown as well.
Manila Bay Walk
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The harbor at Manila Bay is a popular spot for tourists and families. Open air cafes and fresh sea air welcome visitors. Taking a stroll along the harbor at sunset while watching the boats come and go from the harbor is a favorite activity of visitors and locals alike and the perfect way to end the day.
- Make sure you have bottled water on hand. The water is sometimes safe to drink in the larger cities, but is iffy, at best.
- Keep lots of small bills and change with you when you’re out shopping. Most shops refuse to change large bills.
- Visa requirements are somewhat fluid and tend to change often. Check with your local embassy or travel agency for the latest requirements before planning your trip.
Tags: banaue rice terraces, bat caves, boracay island, chinatown manila, coconut palace, hanging coffins, katibawasan falls, manila bay walk, philippines, philippines beaches, places to visit, puerto princesa, sagada, tubbataha reefs