Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Philippines Vacation

The Philippines doesn't make it easy for you to enjoy its people, beaches, and wonderful tropical climate. But once you get here, the Philippines enraptures you with its natural charm and beauty, both of the landscape and the people you meet.

Planning your Philippines Vacation involves a couple major tasks:

1) What do you want to do during your vacation?

2) What's your plan and budget for accomodation?

3) Are you traveling alone, as a couple or with a family?

I've lived and traveled all over the Philippines for the last 3 years, and for first-time travelers to the Philippines, these are my tips to enjoy your Philippines vacation.

1) If you're planning on staying Manila for a few days, don't stay in Manila. Stay in Makati. Manila is still a few years away from becoming a place for tourists to stay and until then, I'd personally advise staying in Manila and staying in one of Makati's luxury hotels, such as the beautiful Shangri-La Makati. Don't let the Manila name fool you, like in Manila Peninsula, which is actually located in Makati. Makati is clean, safe, and does not offer the cultural shock value of say staying in Malate, Manila.

2) Unless you absolutely love shopping and the malls, all you need is 1-2 days in Manila and Makati. This isn't a tourist friendly town and thus there are not many touristy attractions that are easy to get to, especially from Makati. If you're looking for beautiful golden temples like in Bangkok, you're not going to find those here. Get out of the capital area and head to what the Philippines will be known for soon, eco-tourism.

3) If you're looking for a party on a beautiful beach, check out Boracay. If you want time in a luxurious resort away from Manila, fly to Cebu and stay at the Shangri-La Mactan Island. If you really want to get away, then go to El Nido Palawan

4) If you're not coming here and want to go diving check out Malapascua, Batangas, La Union. for WW II wreck diving, Leyte in the Visayas which is known for whale shark sightings and the world-famous Apo Reef which offers some excellent diving off the coast of Mindoro Occidental.

5) So you don't want to go diving or hang out at the beach and you're coming alone, then what are you really coming to Makati for? The Makati girls?