Philippines consist of more than 7 000 islands and it is typical Southeast Asian country but also quite different. The region was ruled by the French, British, Spanish, then came the Americans, and all these nations has left their mark on the Philippines. So the country has became a fascinating hybrid of colonial Catholicism and everything modern. Here are seven of the many beautiful places to visit here:
Created in the XVI century, Vigan is a well-preserved example of Spanish colonial town that would be in a right place somewhere in Andalusia as well. The town survived intact during World War II and today is one of the sites of importance to the World Heritage listed by UNESCO.
Vigan is one of those places in the Philippines, which is unlike any other. The tranquil atmosphere while walking on the pavement streets is not inherent in other Philippine cities. Explore the wide squares, street market and the hidden garden.
Do not forget to visit Vigan Empanada (sellers of empanadas in one of the squares) and to escape from the city to the beach Mindoro.
2.The Tubbataha Reef Natural Park
Since the Philippines is an island nation, perhaps it’s no surprise that some of the most beautiful places to visit are on the shore or in the water.
Tubbataha reef is located in the middle of the Sulu Sea, about 160 km from the nearest port (Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island) and is one of the best dive sites in the Philippines.
Tubbataha consists of two atolls and reef is quite large – with an area of about 130,000 hectares.
The underwater world is very rich due to several factors.Remoteness from the coast and the short season to visit (mid-March to mid-June), allowing coral colony to recover and remain untouched.
Beautiful Boracay – the beach that never sleeps. In the Philippines, there are countless beaches, but Boracay is considered the best.
Although there are actively build tourist infrastructure, Boracay has managed to keep clean and beautiful with its cashmere sands and crystal waters.
Whether you stretch on the sand, ride a banana boat or dance the night away at a beach party, Boracay is a great place for any of these things.
Bohol Province is one the best places to visit in the Philippines. One of the most popular attractions here are the Chocolate Hills.
Other famous attractions are some of the best dive sites in the world and the beaches on the island of Phangan, and the provincial capital – Tagbilaran, River Lubbock.
You can ride a cruise boat while enjoying a traditional dinner and try to see a special kind of lemur, which is the smallest mammal in the world and lives only in these lands.
Fruits play an important role in Philippine menu (including smelly durian) and one of the best places where you can taste all is the island of Camiguin. The local delicacy is lanzone – fruit that looks like a litchi.
Every year the festival is held on lanzone and you can eat it for free. But the visit of Camiguin is not worth only for the local cuisine. Due to the large number of volcanoes, the island is known as “fire island”. Here is one of the most visited beaches in the Philippines. White Island is a small sand beach in white color that appears only during the day – at night it is hidden under water because of the tide.
6. National Park, Puerto Princesa (Puerto Princesa Subterranean River)
The park is one of the places in the Philippines, which have been declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Palawan is one of the last unexplored islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Even researcher Jacques Cousteau acknowledges that nowhere in the world has seen other such amazing seascapes as in Palawan.
The biggest attraction here is the underground river, which is considered the longest underground river in the world. Its length is 8.2 kilometers, and the current passes under its beautiful limestone mountain St.Paul.
The mountain is named so because its shape resembles the dome of the cathedral St.Paul in Italy. You can ride a boat to explore the underground river and look out for monkeys and Vara that live here.
7. The rice terraces in Banaue
Although not unusual for Asia, rice terraces in Banaue are one of the most beautiful scenery in the Philippines.
They were aged 2000 years and follow the contours of the mountains, using natural water sources for irrigation.
Most notable are – big terrace rice (because of its size), Batad terraces (where you can swim in waterfalls Tapia) and terraces Mayoyao that are beautifully preserved because of its inaccessibility.