With over 7000 islands the Philippines is a great adventure. Still a country overlooked by a lot of backpackers because of its distance away from the mainland. With its tropical white sand beaches and turquoise sea it truly is paradise.
Manila is a vibrant city and very western. You have shopping malls seemingly on every other street with all the American fast food chains. Malate is the tourist area with all the bars and restaurants. This may not be to some peoples taste as a lot of the bars in this area are targeted to the single middle aged male.
Not far from Malate is Intramuros which was built by the Spanish in the 16th century, is essentially a town within itself. It is a walled city with a moat that surrounds it (now a golf course). There is many a sight to see within Intramuros with amazing buildings on every corner and great cathedrals and forts. One was to see all the sites is to hire yourself a guide and tour the city with a horse and carriage so you can get to see everything in one day and also get all the information on what you are actually looking at.
South of Manila you have Pansagan, where Pansagan River is located. The banks of this river is where the final scenes of Apocalypse Now was filmed. There is not much in this little town apart from the trip up the river which is great fun. You hire a boat with two boat men who will pull you up river against the rapids to a waterfall where you can get a “waterfall massage” which is essentially where you lay down on your front on a bamboo raft and they pass you underneath the water so that the water falls hard upon your back. It does slightly hurt but is also much fun. After you will then make your way back down the river with the rapids which can be quite frilling depending on what time of year you are there.
On the southern tip of Luzon is Donsol. This is a must trip for anyone who visits the Philippines, from this little town you can get a boat out for the day to go whale shark spotting in which when one is spotted you get in the water with them in all your snorkel gear and swim with them for as long as they wish, in other words until they dive to deep water. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea measuring up to 10 metres in length.
Written By: Wikidtravel