Philippines - Make Your Holiday Truly Special - Philippines is one of the most compelling and attracting tourist destinations not only in Asia but the whole world. It is an archipelago nation located in Southeast Asia and it is as charming a destination you can ever imagine.
The Philippine archipelago consists of 7,107 beautiful islands, spreading a total area of 300,000 sq km with Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao constituting the main island groups in the country. Known for its scenic islands, exotic beaches, fascinating volcanoes, fantastic diving spots and elusive wildlife among many more attractions, the Philippines is a lovable place to visit. Philippines boasts of hundreds of seductive tourist destinations, making it a popular choice for nature lovers, honeymooners and adventure seekers from across the world.
Philippines is home to some of the most enchanting beaches in the world comprising the famous White Beach on Boracay Island, which is conferred the tag of the most beautiful tropical beach in the world. Cebu, which comes after the capital Manila for its popularity, possesses some of the most excellent diving spots in the world, making it a favorite destination for adventure seekers.
The islands of Panglao, Balicasag and Pamilacan in Bohol also have world-class diving spots. Bohol also has beautiful beaches which includes the famous Alona Beach at Panglao. The highly sought after Tall Volcano and the amazing Tall Lake at Tagaytay never fail to quench the thirst of its visitors for natural beauty.
Besides its unbelievable scenic beauty, Philippines has a lot more to fascinate its visitors. The cultural, historical and architectural heritages of the Philippines are set to enchant those who are interested in exploring the historical background of the nation. The beautiful colonial structures of Vigan in Ilocos and World War II markers of Manila are ever lasting heritage sites.
The Filipinos are generally energetic and relaxed people and choose to enjoy almost every occasion with great flourish. The lively and colorful festivals are major tourist interests in the Philippines. Philippines conducts numerous colorful festivals, celebrated across the year in all parts of the country.
Those who want to flex their muscles a bit will never leave Philippines disappointed. Philippines offers a compelling range of leisure and adventure activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, trekking, and a rich diversity of water sports. The lovely beaches of Philippines give you the perfect ambience to relax, sunbathe, and numerous other exciting beach activities.
Filipinos are extremely hospitable people. Guests are often considered like royalty in Philippine households. This is revealed noticeably during fiestas when even absolute strangers are accepted and permitted to partake of the feast that most, if not all, households within the town arrange during the occasion. Quite often, this hospitality is mistaken. Some households allocate their complete savings on their fiesta offerings and sometimes are even indebted just to provide splendid food on their table. They use the next year compensating these debts and readying themselves for the next fiesta.
The country features an excellent blend of cultures; in the Philippines, you can witness the jelling of East and West cultures. The roots of the people in this nation mainly lie in Indonesia and Malaysia. You can also find tints of Chinese and Spanish elements as well. The American rule of the past and indulging with merchants and traders resulted in a rare blend of East and West. You will be able to find this in the appearance and character of the Filipinos, or people of the Philippines.
There is no question about the artistic versatility and scenic beauty of Philippines. You are now familiar with the diverse attractions available as well. It is up to you to ensure that your next trip is to this majestic country.
About the Author: Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and manages 54 hotels under Shangri-La and Traders brands with a rooms inventory of over 27,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services.
Article Source: Articles Beyond Better
Editor's Comments: If 'Gregory Smyth' hasn't already convinced you of the merits of a Philippines holiday, here are several more reasons why you might consider going there:
1/ Along with the Thai's, Filipinos are the most enjoyable, accommodating and fun loving people in the Far East.
2/ San Miguel is the best beer brewed in Asia (personal opinion), and very inexpensive.
3/ The Philippines, along with Thailand, is the most inexpensive travel destination in the world, as long as you don't insist on five star luxury hotels and resorts.
4/ Almost everyone speaks at least some English. It is widely spoken as a second language and makes travel easier.
Editor's Note: The U.S. State Department has recently renewed a 'Travel Warning' for the Philippines due to local insurgents. Personally, I have traveled extensively around the Philippines (accompanied by Filipinos) and never felt uncomfortable anywhere. But maybe I'm just a fatalist.
In the Philippines, a country that is comprised of over 7,100 islands, traveling between points is important and transportation is a relevant factor when going to the different locations within the archipelago. There are various means of transportation options available to help you get to where you need to go and some of these are typical and others unique only to the Philippines.
The main international gateways to the Philippines are Manila, Cebu, Clark, Davao, Laoag and Subic, and all international flights diverge to any of these cities with the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) located in Manila being the primary gateway. This airport is served by over 30 international airlines which fly to and from different cities around the world. In Cebu the Mactan International Airport (MIA) handles regular international flights from Australia, Japan and Singapore in addition to chartered flights from countries like the United States, Hong Kong and other major countries. The Davao International Airport located in the south of the Philippines handles flights for Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. In Central Luzon, the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga and Subic Airfield in Zambales service both chartered flights and cargo planes. To the north of the country, the Laoag International Airport in Ilocos Norte handles regular flights from both Taiwan and Macau.
The country's national carrier is Philippine Airlines (PAL) considered as "Asia's First Airline", and to this day remains as the largest airline company in the Philippines, with the largest number of international and domestic flights. PAL has routes to over major 14 cities in 8 countries and regularly flies to 41 Philippine destinations outside Manila.
There are other airlines that fly to the domestic skies and these include Air Philippines, South East Asian Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Laoag International Airlines, Asian Spirit Airlines, and Pacific Airways. Each of the airlines services flights to popular tourist destinations. If you are looking for a personalized experience, then there are also chartered flights offered by smaller air companies such as Airspan Corporation (helicopters), A. Soriano Aviation, and Aerolift Philippines (small-to-medium-sized planes)
The Philippines being an archipelago of thousands of islands separated by bodies of water, travel by sea is an integral part of the transportation system. A wide range of sea faring options are available which include small ferries to huge cargo vessels, and liners. From the major port of Manila you can take sea trips that can last for a day or two with any of the regular ship lines that ply the sea routes or perhaps take shorter trips with the larger ferries.
For long distance inter-island travel the ferries of major Philippine shipping companies such as WG&A are most ideal and these ferries most often include first class cabins. If it's a short island hopping transport you need over the seas, then there are the small motorized boats called banka's which you can avail of to take you between nearby islands and islets.
Even in a country with over 7000 islands, getting around by land is easy with the Philippines national highways connecting major islands and the availability of an extensive public transportation system which includes the Jeepney, an exotic form of transportation unique to Paradise Philippines. Other forms of land transportation include the trains, buses, taxis and trikes which make up the main modes of public transportation. In most major cities, the calesa, which is a horse pulled carriage, provides a more elegant form of traveling but is more commonly used for tourist rides in parks across the country.
For long distance land travel a railway system locally called Metrotren and run by the Philippine National Railways can be used. The route goes as far south as Carmona in Cavite and up north to Mecauayan in Bulacan. The rail system within Metro Manila composes of the Light Rail Transit (LRT), which plies the routes from Caloocan to Baclaran, Pasay City and the Metro Rail Transit which traverses the whole length of the EDSA (Metro Manila's main highway) and also connects North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City. The MRT passes through all major arteries of Metro Manila including Makati's financial district.
The easiest way to get around is using the taxis and they travel any routes throughout Metro Manila. The taxis are also a cheap form of travel with a Flag down fare of 20 Pesos (approximately 30 US cents) on the meter. There are also the buses that ply the main roads of cities in Metro Manila in addition to the provincial buses that travel to various destinations throughout the country. For short distances you can make use of the trike, with a motorized version commonly called a tricycle, or the human powered version of the trike called the pedicab.
Being the Philippines, the undisputed "King of the Road" is the Jeepney, which has become the most common fixture on the roads throughout the whole country. The jeepney is the Philippines' version of the American jeep which first emerged in the country after the Japanese occupation and has now become a symbol of national pride. Every jeepney you will see is adorned with colorful designs, with each design or theme different from the other, and uniquely Filipino.
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