I went for the first time to the Philippines in 2017-2018, as you probably know if you have followed me since then or read my posts on the Philippines. If you have not, and want to read more about my visit in the Philippines and what exactly I did there click here!
The Philippines consists of hundreds of islands in the Indian Ocean and are famous for its beaches, sea life and gorgeous nature. Which is so true, the nature is unbelievably beautiful. On my trip we went island hopping, which is something I really recommend doing if you visit. Even the biggest island Luzon, where the capital Manila is located is not really that big. My recommendation is to not only stay on one island. In that way you won’t miss the stunning spots on the other islands. Since the islands are all remotely small you can easily discover a couple of them on your trip, if you have the time. I island hopped between three islands, Cebu, Bohol and Siquior. But there’s so many more islands and places I’d like to explore in the Philippines!
Do your research!!
Every island have their own special spots and are unique in their own way. Which makes you really want to visit all of them!! The waterfalls are really one of the things that I loved the most about the Philippines because they always feel so magical. Nearly like… spiritual, I don’t know but I love waterfalls so much. What I did before going to the Philippines was that I watched a lot of YouTube videos from people that has visited and I did a LOT of research of famous and gorgeous spots around the whole country.
Risky weather, warning for tropical typhoons
Approximately 20 tropical cyclones enter the Philippine area yearly. Among these, 10 will be typhoons and five will have the potential to be really destructive. According to Time Magazine are the Philippines the most exposed country in the world to tropical storms. When we were there we got stuck in a typhoon that is now called Tembin which was on December 23, 2017. We where in Cebu City inside our hotel eating breakfast and looking out of the big glas windows. We got told that we were safe because the building was luckily one of the storm safe buildings in this area.
Outside water was flooding on the streets and wires was flying away with the wind. This was one of the first days of our vacation and we where only in Cebu City because our flight landed there and we were going to take the ferry over to Bohol. But because of the storm, our ferry got canceled and we were stuck there for three days. Which caused a bit of struggles with the house owners of the instant hotels we’d booked. But honestly, we were just happy to be safe. Outside we could see peoples homes getting ruined, especially those who isn’t built up so well.
But you should not be scared of visiting because of the tropical storms. If one would occur, stay inside and wait it out. And always keep track of the weather reports so you don’t go out on the sea in risky weather! And of course there’s some seasons when the risk of tropical storms are bigger.
Affordable prices but a lack of ATMs
The prices in the whole country is not expensive at all which is really good if you’re island hopping since that means you have to stay at several places and that’s not a economical problem since it’s not expensive to find a place to stay at. There’s also a lot of small cute restaurants and cafes around the islands which aren’t expensive either. So this is really a positive factor for us travelers since it makes it easier to travel around and to visit more places in the country. But you should know that there’s hard to find ATMs in the Philippines, especially on the smaller islands. Sometimes there’s a ATM but there’s no money in it. Something that can be good to do is to take out a bunch of cash at the airport or in a bigger city where there’s a ATM, so you have cash for the whole trip.
Book your stay in advance
Often around big holidays lots of hotels and b&bs are fully booked so it’s always smart to be out in time when you book your accommodations. Be smart, so you don’t get caught at a shitty hostel for a week.
Limited taxis, rent a Vespa
So this is the thing, if you’re in one of the bigger cities like Cebu City or Manila you’ll probably be able to find a taxi but if you’re staying at a couple of smaller islands you will have a hard time finding one. If you want to explore the islands and go to beaches etc. my advice is to rent vespas! We did and it’s so much more fun to discover the islands like the locals and it’s an amazing feeling to drive past waterfalls and rainforests. Definitely the best way to get yourself around in the Philippines besides boats.
Be respectful as always
There is poverty in the Philippines. And as whenever you visit any other country in the world, be respectful to all people. Just a reminder. In my opinion Filipinos are very kind and welcoming people. Act the way you’d want tourists to act in your hometown/country.
Hope you found this post helpful! Have you ever been to the Philippines or do you want to visit? And have you ever gone island hopping? Let me know in the comments below!