Philippines is truly one of the most unique countries in the world. Thousands of people have at least heard about its many wonders, but it is still an enigma to most of the travellers. The country comprises more than 7,000 islands of various shapes and sizes with 20 active volcanoes scattered across their territories. With typhoons and various harsh weather conditions, Philippines is still one of the most wondrous countries to explore. Its accommodation choice is also versatile. Whether you are looking for a posh hotel with staggering views or a beach hut near the ocean, www.asiapacifichotels.com.au has everything you might need. Here are a few must-try things you shouldn’t miss upon your visit to Philippines.
Enjoy the spectacular beauty of the Banaue Rice Terraces
Thousands of people believe they have found the 8th Wonder of the World and even tourist guides have started calling the rice terraces of Banaue like that. You will easily understand why the name appeared once you take a glance at the vast greenery of these 2,000-year-old terraces that were carved into the slopes of the Lfugao Mountains with the simplest tools. Manmade by their nature, Banaue Rice Terraces have become a truly fascinating part of local landscape that looks just as organic as the plant life surrounding them. Today locals still use the terraces to plant rice and vegetables for their everyday use. The irrigation of the rice fields is provided by rainforests and is completely natural.
Marvel at the Mayon Volcano
Thrill-seekers will be delighted to visit the Luzon Island which is home to one of the many active volcanoes in Philippines. Often referred to as Mount Mayon, the Mayon Volcano has a history of many eruptions which caused massive evacuations of surrounding villages and towns. Due to its beautiful symmetrical cone, the Mayon Volcano has received a nickname ‘Perfect Cone’. This is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque mountains in the country that draws hundreds of visitors to take unforgettable pictures. Please mind that the eruptions are frequent and the island is not safe as ash and mud often run on the towns and people below the volcano. The last most horrendous eruption happened in 1814, taking the lives of more than 1,200 people. Today the Mayon Volcano is part of a national park that is among the must-see places in Philippines.
Spend an unforgettable day at the Cebu Taoist Temple
It might feel a bit weird going to a Chinese Temple in the midst of Philippines, but it is one of the most elegant and beautiful constructions in the country, so it’s definitely a must-see. Built by the Chinese people inhabiting the surrounding area, the Cebu Taoist Temple rises tall and proud for 300 meters above the sea level with three different paths weaving to it through the rainforest. Many worshipers come here every day as this is an active Taoist temple. 81 steps lead to the main entrance of the temple – each step for one of the chapters in the scriptures of Taoism. You also might find it peculiar that the main entrance resembles the Great Wall of China – such was the initial design idea created by the architects of the temple. Climb up to the balconies and enjoy a truly unprecedented view of Cebu.
Explore the peculiar Chocolate Hills
Visit one of the most iconic landmarks in the country as you travel to the Bohol Province in Philippines. The Chocolate Hills are favored by photographers from all over the world who come here closer to the dry season to enjoy the most peculiar color change that begins to happen in the hills. More than 1,260 hills begin to lose their fresh neon-green color rapidly and turn into brown ones with a completely staggering chocolate hue. The hills can be up to 50 meters high and blow all the visitors away by the sheer number of them. It’s like looking at hills and meadows made completely out of chocolate! This National Heritage sight stretches for 50 square kilometers and makes for a truly splendid one-day trip.
Feel the power of nature at Mount Pinatubo
Being the land of spectacular volcanoes, Philippines is home to one of the most devastating out of all of them. Mount Pinatubo became the source of one of the most powerful eruptions that has shaken the whole world back in 1991. Located on the Luzon Island, the volcano spewed out tons of lava and sulphur dioxide which has affected the whole planet. Before the eruption, almost 30,000 people lived on the slopes of the mountain. Lucky for them, scientists were able to warn them of an upcoming catastrophe and thousands of lives were spared. Experience the incredible power of nature as you climb up the volcano slopes. This is one of the most popular trekking spots in Philippines.
Head to the Hundred Islands National Park
Island-hopping is one of the most popular pastimes in Philippines. With more than 7,000 islands to explore, you can travel for weeks and still not see even the half of what the country has to offer. It’s wise to pick no more than 100 islands to start with and then come back to Philippines some other time for more adventures. This way you won’t stress yourself and will still see plenty of wonders. Rent an outrigger and go from island to island exploring local cuisine, lavish nature, spectacular wildlife and numerous diving and fishing spots. Some islands have hills and caves you can explore, others are available for camping. On the Governor’s Island you will even find houses for rent. Some islands bear truly spectacular names like the Devil’s Island or Kissing Island, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to something that just sounds exciting – go out there and see what Philippines has to offer!