Visiting the Philippines? 7 things you should know before you go
The Philippines are more and more starting to become a great destination for tourists. The islands are beautiful, the locals are friendly and the beaches are amazing. There is a reason the beaches of the Philippines are always listed when people are summing up the best beaches in the world. There are many more reasons to visit the Philippines, but there are also some reasons why other Asian countries may be a better option for you. Read about them here!
No language barrier
When you go to Asia, you sometimes may experience trouble understanding the people you meet there. This won’t be the case when you go to the Philippines, because everyone speaks English! In the Philippines children get taught English in school, so from a very young age they will be able to understand you and speak to you. The national language of the Philippines is Filipino, but English is also seen as the official language of the Philippines. If you don’t want to seem like a complete tourist, it might still be a good idea to learn some Filipino before you go there.
You are probably not a fan of doing visa runs – I mean, who is? While in Thailand or Indonesia you need to leave the country once every while when you have a tourist or Non-Immigrant B visa, in the Philippines you can stay for years without having to leave! Depending on the type of visa you get and which country you are from, you are allowed to stay for 2 to 3 years. Most people don’t need a visa if they are only staying for 30 days. You do need a ticket out of the country. So, if you are looking for a place to stay for a little while, the Philippines might just be the right choice for you.
Don’t go there for the food
Do you often hear of people going to Filipino restaurants? I bet not. That’s because the Philippines are not exactly known for their amazing cuisine. First of all, the food is prepared poorly, but this is not very different from some other Asian countries. Ingredients are not covered by lids, there are a lot of flies and bugs and the food may lay in the sun for a full day. But this does not say much about the taste. Filipino food generally contains a lot of sugar and salt. It is oily and it just doesn’t feel like the food is any good for your body. You may feel bloated and nauseous after. The country doesn’t seem to be very proud of its national food, because it is very hard to find famous Filipino dishes. If you’ve got a sweet tooth though, the Philippines is heaven. They have lots and lots of cookies, doughnuts, pastries and all other types of sweet stuff.
Food is amazingly cheap in the Philippines and so are other living costs. The problem is that you are probably not going to stay in just one place and that’s when it can get really expensive. There is no such thing as hopping on a €2 bus or taking a cheap train. To go around the Philippines you need to take a plane or a ferry. Also the costs of a hostel or a hotel are higher in the Philippines than they are in other Asian countries. If you are not a big fan of the Filippino food, you might also spend quite a bit of money on eating out. Since most hostels and hotels don’t have kitchens, you will be forced to eat out three times a day. Of course it all depends on the person how much you are going to spend, but if you are traveling around the Philippines is not the cheapest place in Asia.
White sand beaches
Whatever brings you to the Philippines, there is only one reason why it is starting to become so popular for tourists: its white sand beaches. The crystal blue water and the beautiful nature really make it look like a paradise. There are thousands of islands to visit in the Philippines and many of them are stunning. Go to White Beach in Boracay or visit El Nido in Palawan. You can travel around the Philippines for years without being able to discover all of the country’s islands.
Though you may often hear that the Philippines are dangerous, there are many places where this is not the case. As in every country and even in your own, you should watch all your valuables and always be aware of people with bad intentions. But in general people are super friendly and really polite. Because they speak good English, you can really connect with the people and there won’t be many misunderstandings, such as in other Asian countries.
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