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Philippines forum

5 weeks of travel that includes the Philippines - please help me plan an itinerary!

Posted by cguzzy on 17/12/2013 at 13:35

Hi there!

I will finally havethe chance to travel to Asia in 2014 for about 4-6 weeks and I'm reallyexcited! I've been looking up different travel itineraries that span over 5weeks for inspiration, but it's difficult to find one that includes thePhilippines.

I am Filipino butborn in Canada, so I've only been once when I was young, with my parents. NextMarch, a family member will be turning 90 and some of my family members areplanning to travel to the Philippines for the celebration. I'm finally doneschool, so now is my chance! My travel plans must include/start in thePhilippines (I'll be going to the province of Marinduque for at least 3 days)but while I'm on that side of the world, I'd like to see as much as I can.

My initial thoughtsare to explore the Philippines (Subic Bay, Palawan, Bohol, Borocay), Thailand(not sure exactly which cities) and Bali. My boyfriend will be joining me for aportion of the trip and we were hoping to volunteer in Tacloban for a few daysif possible. Aside from that, I will travel with a friend or family member. Ifigured if I have time, I'll venture to either Cambodia, Laos or Vietnam, too.I know I can't see everything but not sure what is realistic. I'm quiteuneducated when it comes to all this, and reading the forums can be a bitoverwhelming, so I was hoping for guidance in my situation.

Can anyone suggestany itineraries for someone in my situation? I want to explore the Philippinesand Thailand above all else, but since I'm open to suggestions, I don't mindsubstituting certain cities for others.

I appreciate allthe help I can get!

Thank you,
Charlotte
P.S. By the way, not sure if it was clear, but I would be travelling mid-March to mid-April most likely. If not, then end of February to end of March and then my trip can end in the Philippines instead of start.

I want to do a mix of things: sightseeing, outdoor activities (hiking, swimming), relaxing,shopping (kept to a minimum). I don't want to completely avoid 'touristy'things, since I will be a tourist, but smaller cities with less hustle and bustle would make me equally happy!

Thanks again!

#1 cguzzy has been a member since 17/12/2013. Posts: 10

Posted by goonistik on 18/12/2013 at 01:06

Of the Philippine locations you mention, the one must go to spot is Palawan.

I'm not a fan of Boracay; the idyllic charm that it once had has been lost. But some people like because it is a party place. So it depends what your preferences are.

Is there any particular reason why you want to visit Subic? I'd skip that and spend the time somewhere else.

March and April are the peak travel season for locals in the Philippines; and you have to take into account Holy Week (April 17-20) in case your travel plans extend to those dates.

You are asking for a suggested itinerary. Unfortunately, that is just too vague a question and there are just too many variables. You have to do your research, draw up a preliminary itinerary and than ask for comments.

Right now you are looking to visit the Philippines, Indonesia (Bali) and Thailand in 4-6 weeks. So how do you want to split the time among those destinations?

#2 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
 Where has goonistik been? 


Posted by cguzzy on 18/12/2013 at 18:53

Thanks for the response!

I've done some research, I just feel like there is such a wealth of knowledge out there that it can become difficult to filter through it all. But you're right, so I've attempted a preliminary itinerary.

Assuming I will be in Asia for 5 weeks, I would split the time 3 weeks in the Philippines, 1 week in Bali and 2 weeks in Thailand.

I'd start in the Philippines. I haven't gone so far as to see if the order of travel makes sense, but I've narrowed down the places (at least) to:
- Manila/Makati
- Marinduque (where family is)
- Palawan (El Nido, Puerta Princesa)
- Borocay (I've never been and my Mom has told me about it my whole life, so I do feel the need to see it, albeit not for very long if, as you say, it has lost its charm. Also, I'm 25, so I'm always up for a party!)
- Bohol
- Siquijor
- Tacloban (if this is feasible, to help out a bit)

For Indonesia (Bali), I found the page here on Travelfish which suggests that in a week I see (as per my preferences):
-Kuta, Legian or Seminyak
- Ubud
- Amed or Pemuteran

And Thailand:
- Bangkok
- Surat Thani/Islands
- Koh Phangan
- Koh Phi Phi
- Ayutthaya
- Lopburi
- Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai

This is the result of cutting out some places, assuming I'll have to reduce it more, what could you suggest?

Thanks again!

#3 cguzzy has been a member since 17/12/2013. Posts: 10

Posted by goonistik on 18/12/2013 at 22:00

I regret I cannot help you with the volunteering opportunities in Tacloban. I have no info about that. Tacloban gets all the news but a wide swath of the Visayas got hit badly by the typhoon.

So this is what you have

Manila to Marinduque.
Marinduque back to Manila for flight to Palawan.
Palawan back to Manila for flight to Boracay.

At Boracay, you can either fly to Manila to connect to another flight; or you can fly to Cebu. Cebu is a transit hub for the Visayas. You can get ferries there to the other destinations like Bohol and Siquijor. Depending on how you budget your time in Manila/Marinduque/Palawan/Boracay you might be able to squeeze in one or two more destinations.

#4 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
 Where has goonistik been? 

Posted by cguzzy on 19/12/2013 at 11:03

Thanks goonistik, very helpful!

That's true about Tacloban. I do have family friends who live in Iloilo that were affected. However, if as you say, I could squeeze in more destinations depending on how I budget my time, I prefer to volunteer more so I'll look into that. Otherwise, a friend of mine went to Bicol last year to swim with whalesharks, but that is all I know about it.

#5 cguzzy has been a member since 17/12/2013. Posts: 10

Posted by adamyoshimite on 21/1/2014 at 22:22

Thanks for sharing your insights. These information really helps me since I also plan to travel to Philippines this year. :)

#6 adamyoshimite has been a member since 21/1/2014. Posts: 4

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 4/2/2014 at 01:27

U still need to cut the number in half if u want to enjoy yourself instead of moving so.much

#7 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by cguzzy on 4/2/2014 at 09:50

Thanks for the advice.

I've booked my flight. I'll have about 2 weeks in Manila and about 2 weeks in Thailand. My boyfriend may have to work in Dubai for a week, which obviously was not planned for, but that's life and have to roll with it.

For the Philippines, I'm planning on mainly seeing Marinduque, Borocay, and Palawan. In Thailand, I'm most interested in going to the north (Chiang Mai) and finishing with some time on the islands before I return home. I'm not sure of how much I will be moving around, but at this point, I consider myself to be more of a 'vacationer' than a traveller - if I had more time, I would see more and do more, but I'm satisfied with having the opportunity to travel and see another part of the world, even if for a shorter period of time.

#8 cguzzy has been a member since 17/12/2013. Posts: 10

Posted by leababes on 3/3/2014 at 09:48

I just came back from 2-weeks of travelling in Palawan and still cant get over with how beautiful that place is, so maybe I can help if you have any question.

#9 leababes has been a member since 5/2/2012. Location: Philippines. Posts: 3

Posted by cguzzy on 3/3/2014 at 10:00

2 weeks! I'll only have 5 days! I guess my question would be - do you think it's feasible to go to El Nido AND do the Underwater River Tour (Sabang) in 4.5 days? I arrive Mar 12 to Palawan and fly out on Mar 17. After which, I'm heading to Baler Quezon for a couple of days and ending my time in the Philippines in Marinduque with family.

#10 cguzzy has been a member since 17/12/2013. Posts: 10

Posted by leababes on 3/3/2014 at 10:48

Yes you have enough time. I assume you are flying in/out from Puerto Princesa? What time? However, as much as I would want to advise you on doing the underground tour on your own, it might be too much of a stretch (remember that you have to secure your permit a day in advanced). Benefit of doing it on your own is being able to do the tour at the earliest schedule (8:30 AM), away from the crowd. If you take a packaged day-tour, try to ask around for one that leaves at the earliest from Puerto. Day-tour costs 1,500 PHP (including a buffet lunch). On the way back, you can ask the driver to drop you off (about half-way) where there are vans going to El Nido (you don't have to go back to Puerto).

#11 leababes has been a member since 5/2/2012. Location: Philippines. Posts: 3


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