Philippines

The Philippines stands apart as the largest majority Christian country in Southeast Asia. Some 350 years of Spanish colonial rule has left Philippines with impressive colonial buildings, majestic churches and never-ending fiestas. However, this is not the place to practice your Spanish; thanks to American influence in recent times, English is widely spoken and cities are filled with fast food chains and designer clothing outlets.

Made up of 7,000 islands, and with only 11 of them inhabited, Philippines is a beach lover’s paradise. Whether you are a sun worshipper, an adventure seeker or a beach bum who prefers sipping mojitos in a hammock, there’s an island in the Philippines for you. Palawan has the most popular paradise beaches, and the Visayas area in the center of the country is known for island hopping opportunities and deserted beach adventures. Head off to Luzon in the north or Mindanao in the south for sprawling beaches with modern infrastructure.

Inland from the dazzling coasts of the Philippines are cultural and natural wonders. Head off away from the beaches to experience fascinating tribal villages, mesmerizing rice terraces, volcanoes with multicolor crater lakes and jungles brimming with exotic wildlife like the unique Filipino tarsier. Bohol offers excellent eco-adventure options and you can marvel at the world-famous enigma that is the Chocolate Hills. Party all you want in up-and-coming cities like Manila and don’t miss out on the delectable local cuisine.

The Philippines is notorious for typhoons so always check the weather report before visiting a certain area. Generally, July to September is best for visiting the eastern parts of the country as the western regions are affected by the southwest monsoon. Weather is dry with occasional rain from December to May countrywide.

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