I want to leave to backpack southeast Asia in a couple weeks and want to include the phillipines, Cambodia and Thailand (including Ko sumui etc.). The problem is, I don't know anything about the Phillipines and I'm finding it difficult to navigate this trip by myself. I am traveling alone and have been to Thailand and Vietnam before... But I used a travel agent and did not backpack. Could someone please help. I would like to go for a about a half month.
#1 Jbarry has been a member since 11/3/2010. Posts: 10
Just to clarify, are you looking to spend half a month just in the Philippines or on your overall trip? 3 countries in 2 weeks sounds like a hell of a lot of work. I went backpacking in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia last year and it wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated, I'll be only too happy to share some tips.
Well, I was thinking 3-4 weeks but the thing is, I have been to a few places in SE Asia so could skip around a bit. I was thinking maybe a few really good locations. Maybe spend about 5-6 days in the Phillipines and then Ankor Wat since I missed it last time, maybe Phenom Penn and finally, Ko-Sumei, Ko-Pha Ngan and then if there is time, check out a day in Bangkok as I depart. So, I think I could put togethr the entire trip with the exception of the Phillipines because I have no idea where anything at all is over there. One more thing, I basically plan on having a rough itenerary and then just flying there and doing whatever.
#3 Jbarry has been a member since 11/3/2010. Posts: 10
Love love love your plan! I don't know a lot about the Philippines but a friend of mine was there last year, he spent a few days in Manila then went to Boracay Island which he said was stunning. Might be a good starting point!
That sounds about perfect. Just something to get me started. . . to take a little bite of the Phillipines before heading to Cambodia and Thailand. Thanks.
#5 Jbarry has been a member since 11/3/2010. Posts: 10
Cool! I was a bit nervous about going solo the first time but I have to say it was the best experience ever, and so much more straightforward than I had anticipated.
Have a fantastic trip Jason! :)
Jason, I visited Philippines in the June, 2008. It was "dedicated" trip, so I spent 1 day in Manila, then several days of scuba diving in Dumaguete (Negros Oriental), then 2 nights on Siquijor (mysterious island, where the healers live), visited Bohol/Panglao (to see tarsiers) and at the end - Mactan (the island, where Magellan was killed).
Because Philippines are only part of your trip, you can easily skip Dumaguete and visit only Manila, Siquijor and Bohol.
Connection are very simple:
1. From Manila you can fly to Dumagete, than get ferry to Siquijor.
2. From Siquijor to Bohol you can also get by ferry.
3. You can get from Bohol to Cebu by ferry (surprise! :) ).
4. From Cebu city there is direct flight to Bangkok.
By the way, Cebu airport is located on the nearest Mactan island, so you can visit place of last battle of Magellan.
that sounds great. So what about Borcay? I really really don't know anything about the Phillipines but I bought a book that I will start reading but as of now...
#8 Jbarry has been a member since 11/3/2010. Posts: 10
Philippines is a big country (7100 islands), so it is impossible to visit every famous place during one trip :)
I visited only Vysayas (central part of Philippines), and Siquijor is my favorite place. Boracay is very nice place too, as far as I know, but because I wasn't there, I can't give any advice about it :)
Sounds good. Appreciate all the advice
#10 Jbarry has been a member since 11/3/2010. Posts: 10
Last time I was in Boracay was in the 1980's. It was already becoming a tourist trap and I found it sad to see such a beautiful place being desecrated by the unrestricted development. My friend, who went there a few years ago, described it as a red light district by the beach.
So if you are looking for a party place, Boracay can be on your list. If you are looking for unspoiled nature, I would recommend Northern Palawan over Boracay. You could probably spend a week there or even longer.
If you like the mountains, there is always Sagada or Bukidnon.
thanks again for all the great advice. It really helps because I am still a little nervous about going to the Phillipines. I mean, like I mentioned, I've backpacked through India and other places but never southeast asia.
#12 Jbarry has been a member since 11/3/2010. Posts: 10
No need to worry. Filipinos are nice and accommodating. Some are hospitable to a fault. However, that doesn't mean that incidents of theft or being duped don't happen here. Especially in Manila. So if you have the time, you may visit the Department of Tourism to know the contact numbers of the local tourism office. They can provide assistance.
If you want a white beach, Boracay is the first option. You can also try isle hopping in Caramoan (in Luzon's Bicol region). There are lots of white beaches there, and based from experience, any beach facing the Pacific Ocean is the best.
The island of Bohol (in southern Visayas) has natural and cultural destinations.
You can check out my blog (http://franz-goingplaces.blogspot.com) to know more. I hope this helps.
The itinerary that bluenov suggested is good. I live in Manila. And a weekend in Boracay or Cebu or Bohol getaway from work is a really popular option for us here. And popular option for foreign tourists as well.
Don't think you have to worry about travel in the Philippines. Just keep check up on prices early - a 15-minute tricycle ride in boracay shouldn't cost you more than P40. Ask how much first, he may take advantage of you not being a local and charge P200!
Your experience in travelling in Thailand- similar climate, surrounding (lots of coconut trees, traffic in the city!). goonistik is right about Boracay. the small island is 'exploding'with resorts, very commerical. but the reason why it's so great is that there's so much to do (for both those on a budget and those who are willing to splurg) from just chilling at the beach and having a drink during 'happy hour' to doing water sports -from jetskiing, flying fish, bananan boat rides, snorkelling.I'd also recommend Palawan - less commerical, stunning beaches and islands - either Busuanga or Puerto Princesa. But in general, you'll enjoy the phlilippines- so many beatuiful beaches here. And as mentioned, most people speak English. =)
Enjoy your trip. =)
#14 LGR_2010 has been a member since 2/4/2010. Posts: 23
There are many places to visit in the Philippines. Places to see like Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Donsol, Siargao, Davao etc
Visit this website Philippines travel pictures for ideas on where to start.
Hope this helps.
#16 dannyfos36 has been a member since 30/9/2010. Posts: 4
bluevoy, since you mention the fact you are a travel agent i will ask a question of you. i will be bicycling in Malay and then in the Philippines. i thought of coming by ferry Sandakan to Zamboenga, what do you know of that trip? i was thinking easier then bike on plane. otherwise 'cebu pacific airlines' into cebu, from KK in Borneo. would love to visit Palawan but far from cebu where i meet a friend in mid jan. thank you all of you for info.
#17 sapote has been a member since 12/10/2009. Posts: 27