Thinking of traveling to the Philippines? There’s a lot to see and do in this beautiful South East Asian country from stunning cities to natural wonders to gorgeous beaches. Here are some tips for making your trip here a success.
Time it right for good weather
The Philippines is warm all year round – however, it does have a wet season, starting in June and ending in October. This season is also common for typhoons, resulting in strong winds. This can still be an exciting time for visit, but if you don’t want the rain or wind you may be better off traveling out of these months.
Research the food
Filipino food gets a bad rep. Finding authentic Filipino food isn’t easy in touristy areas (there’s a lot of American, Chinese and Spanish restaurants) and those that are most notable tend to serve a number of notorious dishes such as balut (egg that contains an embryo), however there are places where you can find good authentic Filipino food that’s not too wild. Going off the beaten track may allow you to try more of these local foods. On the whole, such food is also very cheap.
Take advantage of internal flights
The Philippines is made up of a number of islands. If you want to explore different parts of the country, you’ll need to get from island to island. Coaches and boats can be a slow way to travel – if you don’t want to fritter away days traveling, you’re best off taking internal flights. It’ll cost you more, but you’ll be able to see more of the country without spending too much time traveling.
Don’t run on too tight a schedule
If you’re backpacking around the Philippines, you may want to be wary of trying to catch trains or buses at certain times. Filipinos have a laid back approach to time-keeping and it’s not uncommon for trains and buses to run late.
Due to the heat, it’s easy to get dehydrated when traveling around the Philippines. Make sure that you’ve always got water with you – like much of South East Asia, it’s best to stick to bottled water.
Pay for pocket wi-fi
There are areas of free wi-fi across the country, but it’s not common. The best way to get internet access on the go is to pay for pocket wi-fi – there are lots of places where you can buy your pocket wi-fi in the Philippines. You can usually share this connection across multiple devices, which could be useful if you’re traveling in a group.
Make friends with the locals
To experience the true Philippines, it’s worth getting to know some of the locals. This is a great way to get discounts, and you may even be invited to try some home-cooked food (which is usually much better than the stuff you’ll find in restaurants). Homestay accommodation could be a great way to meet locals and it could save you money compared to staying in a hotel.
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