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7 Places to Visit in the Philippines

Recently TransferGo announced that we now offer money transfers to the Philippines.

The Philippines is a truly amazing archipelago consisting of more than 7,000 islands and is a country filled with tradition, beauty, myths and legends. The Philippines is also a major tourist destination, especially during the dry season. You can actually use TransferGo to pay for hotels and other holiday activities prior to a visit.

If you are planning a holiday to the Philippines, here’s a list of items to include on your itinerary; or perhaps they’ll convince you that one should be part of your plans.

Boracay Island

With over 7,000 islands to choose from, it’s not easy to pick the best. Boracay, however, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Boracay is a small island but more than half of its 7km length consists of some of the finest white sand beaches in the world. The island offers vibrant nightlife, entertainment, and excellent hotels and restaurants. Even with a substantial amount of development there are still a number of secluded areas where you can relax and enjoy the outstanding beauty of the island.

Malapascua Island

At the other end of the spectrum is Malapascua Island. This small island paradise offers the perfect spot to relax and unwind.  Life on the island is fairly simple; the electricity frequently goes out and visitors have to drink bottled water. However a stay in one of the small beach bungalows that are available to rent provides a perfect spot to truly get away from it all.

Chocolate Hills

Unfortunately there is no chocolate in the Chocolate Hills but the spectacular views are the next best thing. The Chocolate Hills is a 20 square mile area in the Bohol Province that consists of over 1200 hills. During the dry season the hills gradually turn from a lush green to a dark brown that looks like you are looking over a chocolate landscape.

San Agustin Church

There are a lot of Christian structures in the Philippines, with more than 80% of the population practicing Catholicism. The San Agustin Church in Manila is a stone structure that many describe as breathtaking. The church dates back to the Spanish colonial period and is actually the third church build on the site after the first two were destroyed by fire. The current church has withstood many major earthquakes.

Cebu Taoist Temple

Even though the country is predominately Catholic there is a great deal of religious diversity. The Cebu Taoist Temple’s entrance was built to resemble the Great Wall of China and is entered by climbing 81 steps, one for each of the chapters in Taoist scripture.  This is an active temple and you will typically encounter many worshipers during your visit. The balconies provide wonderful views of Cebu.

Mount Mason

The Philippines is a volcanic island and many of the volcanoes are still active.  One of the more spectacular is Mount Mayon which, due to its symmetrical cone shape, has the nickname of “Perfect Cone”. The volcano, which erupts fairly frequently, is part of a national park.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

A visit to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park will provide one of the more special memories of a holiday in the Philippines. The protected national park has a very complex cave system and an 8km long subterranean river. The river has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of Nature and paddle boat rides offer a great way to see the caves and rock formations, as well as to catch a glimpse of the thousands of bats the make the cave their home.

Go Shopping

It may surprise you that the Philippines is home to some of the largest shopping malls in the world and two of the largest in Southeast Asia. You will find a something to fit any taste from high-end boutique items to the latest fashions.  High-end restaurants, spas, internet cafes, coffee shops and 3D movie theatres abound in the larger cities.

The Philippines is known for its handcrafted items which can be found along with stalls filled with antiques, jewellery, DVDs, and faux luxury fashions. One of the largest such areas is San Juan’s Greenhills Shopping Centre.

Enjoy Nightlife on a Budget

A night out at the pub or local bar is likely to be one of the least expensive outings in the world. Rum is typically less expensive than Coke or many fruit juices. Red Horse beer is strong and a local favourite; a 0.5l bottle is about 50p.

Get a Massage

Surely, one of the goals for any holiday is to relax. Spas can be found throughout the island and massages are a forte of the Philippines. Massage parlours can be found throughout the country and range from high-end luxury spots to small down-to-earth establishments. Masseuses are also found on the beaches. The rates are incredibly inexpensive; a one-hour Swedish massage will cost a little over £6.


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