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A Guide to the Philippines
The Philippines are situated in Southeast Asia, comprising of over 7000 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. With a total population of around 90 million and a turnover of 155 billion dollars in 2008, the islands collectively make up one of the top 50 world economies, much of the money coming from tourism. The islands are also one of the world’s 17 ‘megadiverse’ countries as ranked by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. This is to say that the Philippines is home to the majority of the world’s species, from apes and snakes to scorpions and puffins. The Philippines also have religious proof of its colonisation by Spain and the US as it’s one of only two predominately Roman Catholic countries in the Asia-Pacific area (the other being East-Timor).
For the tourist experience the Philippines has it all. Sandy shores, clear seas and hospitable locals keen to ply their trade and make you welcome. There is much on offer, with one of the most popular activities being surfing. With long, sprawling coastlines you’ll be able to find consistent waves all year round and the good climate means it won’t be too cold to do so either. Surf schools as well as hire shops are numerous in the Philippines but you should check where you’re going beforehand as the US Department of State and other governments advise that Mindanao, Basilan, Twai Twai, Jolo and the Sulu archipelago should all be avoided for safety reasons. And don’t forget to book your travel insurance before you go with a reliable company like Go Travel instead of taking care of it out there as many companies posing as travel insurers abroad won’t pay when the claim comes in.
Due to its Spanish and American colonial past, the culture in the Philippines is a mix of pre-Hispanic Austronesian, mixed with Hispanic and American. With influence from Chinese, Indian and Arab countries too it makes for a really interesting visit both in terms of what you can see and do. Much like the Caribbean islands, relaxing and enjoying music are high on the agenda. Great to visit by families, backpackers and surfers alike.
Two of the Best Destinations for a Beach Holiday
The Philippines – The capital, Manila, is a great place to visit to experience culture and history. With museums charting the 7,107 islands’ history, including colonisation by the Spanish and, later, the US, it’s an interesting insight into one of the most diverse countries in the world. The culture has Spanish and American influences, with the Spanish being seen in many of its place names such as San Antonio. If you’re looking for a secluded beach paradise then the Philippines offers them in abundance, with miles and miles of untouched beaches. In the quieter areas you may have to make do with more basic hotels or beach huts (which is perfect if you’re travelling on a budget), but there are many luxurious hotels which line the shores and are well worth the money if you can afford to indulge yourself. Two of the Best Destinations for a Beach Holiday
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