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Philippines forum

Xmas and New Year Advice

Posted by Scribbles on 3/11/2015 at 06:50

I am in the middle of planning a 2 week trip to the Philippines over Xmas and NY and was hoping for some advice on locations. I am travelling with a friend, we are both mid-30s and are looking for a mix of sand, diving, other activities (on land like hikes and water such as snorkelling or island hopping) some night life (not mad parties but a few bars and people to hang out with). we are planning on 1 island for 6 nights over Xmas, leaving from there on the 26th December (will boats / buses etc be running?) and then 4 or 5 nights somewhere else before a final night in Manila - NYE so tips on a good place to stay and were to see the NY in also appreciated!

Ideas so far have included Malapascua (mixed reports - is there much to do other than dive? I dive but my friend does not), Palawan (either El Nido or around Coron area), Boracay (although I think this will be too developed for our liking) but open to other suggestions. We dont mind some travel but have ruled out the rice terraces as depsite their obvious attraction couldnt face the 12 hour bus journey each way.


#1 Scribbles has been a member since 3/11/2015. Posts: 1

Posted by Babalugats on 23/11/2015 at 06:57

I suggest a tour of the Visayas Islands, from Panay to Bohol. You'll travel by bus and RoRo/Supercat. It will take you two weeks. There are lots of beaches in Cebu, while Bohol offers an eclectic range of destinations. The volcanic island of Camiguin can be an option too. If you want to see El Nido and/or Coron, then you can the AirAsia flight from Cebu City to Puerto Princesa. Expect crowded airports, flight delays, and traffic, though.

#2 Babalugats has been a member since 21/3/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 74

Posted by yonderbound on 25/11/2015 at 09:09


It's best to avoid Metro Manila during the holiday season as the traffic gets really bad. You can never go wrong with the Visayan region as this is where the most gorgeous beaches are located, from here it's also easy to move to Mindanao where equally beautiful beaches can be found. El Nido ranks as one of most beautiful islands in the world so this shouldn't be missed! Coron, which is a few hours away by boat is also a good alternative

If you think that Boracay is too developed for you, you're probably right. You can opt for Bohol for something less crowded, you can visit the chocolate hills and then see the tarsiers. You can also go to Guimaras and Suquijor if you want to experience local life. Cebu has a lot of tourists but if you want to have a blast partying on NYE, then Shangrila Mactan is hard to beat! You can also swim with the whale sharks on the 31st, what a way to end the year right?

While you're in Visayas make sure you take advantage of the cheap but very, very good seafood! Hope this helps :)

#3 yonderbound has been a member since 24/11/2015. Posts: 3

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