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Whether you’re visiting the Philippines for a short break or planning to settle on a long-term basis, there are always plenty of things to see and do. For tourists as well as locals, the country provides a rich and diverse cultural landscape, full of music, art, sports and incredible food. In 2019, this part of the world remains one of the most popular holiday destinations due to the mixture of breath-taking natural beauty and modern-day tourists’ attractions. This is our guide to some of the best things to do in the Philippines in 2019:
This charming, fully working bee farm isn’t just an attraction for tourists, the people here are doing some important work. As the bee population diminishes across the globe, scientists have begun to realise the importance these creatures play in our ecosystem. Milea Farm is dedicated to breeding and caring for several species of honeybee which helps to maintain the overall population of nature’s hardest working insect. The farm is open to visitors on the first Saturday of every month and food is available. This is an authentic experience that is very different from a commercial tourist spot and you can expect rustic, locally sourced ingredients and real, hardworking people. There are also tours and talks, where guests can learn why Bees are so essential to the survival of the planet as well as other information such as how they interact with plants and flowers. If you’re looking for something a little different and that changes your perceptions of the Philippines, this is a great choice.
A trip to this imposing natural wonder is a must for anybody who visits the Philippines. There are several tours that can take you to the best vantage points to view this ancient volcano. Famous for its perfect cone like ship, this breath-taking spectacle is available free of charge if you are willing to make the trip out. Even if you aren’t based in Luzon, the island is large enough for you to explore over the course of a few days.
For a real taste of the past, this fascinating living museum is one of the best places in the Philippines for tourists to visit. Unlike a traditional museum, everything here is a living exhibition, which means you can see ancient hand crafts, bush craft skills, art and food preparation techniques in action before your eyes. Many of the displays are interactive so visitors can join in and even take part in some activities. The hosts are very attentive and enjoy explaining the ancient traditions and rituals in detail. Guests should prepare for all weather eventualities as most of the exhibits are outdoors or not sheltered.
For the epicure or just those with a keen interest in food, the El Kusina Filipino Cooking Class is a fantastic way of experiencing the best flavours the Philippines has to offer. Guests are invited to partake in some of the cooking, learn new techniques of course, taste a wide range of delicious dishes, too. With a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, though this is a little more refined than a cheap and cheerful hostel experience, it is far from a formal affair. For those who like to explore the culinary world, this is an absolute must.
If you enjoy walking and aren’t afraid of a few days of trekking, the Batad Rice Terraces are one of the best ways to see the unspoiled, rural beauty of the Philippines. There are several options for tours that take in some of the most popular sites around the area and many of these will include a knowledgeable guide, who can explain the details of this famous landmark’s history. Those who struggle with walking or reduced mobility may want to avoid this attraction as there are very few wheelchair accessible areas. Young children may also find the sharp accents and descents a little too difficult, so this is probably something best enjoyed with a partner, as a solo traveller or in a small group.
As the first waterpark of its kind in the Philippines, Ocean Adventure quickly became a popular attraction amongst both tourists and locals. Guests can learn about the importance of ocean conservation while enjoying some incredible displays. Sea lions, dolphins and many other forms of aquatic life can be seen up close and in action while the expert staff keep the visitors entertained with their lively and knowledgeable commentary.
For younger travellers, groups of friends, couples and anybody else who would like to enjoy the party side of the Philippines, the Borcay Pub Crawl is one of the best ways to meet like-minded people. There are four stops on the tour and admission price includes 10 shots as well as entry to all the bars. You are of course free to purchase more drinks yourself if you choose to, though a responsible intake is always recommended. The locations can change from time to time, but generally, you can expect to experience lively, intense and overall, fun places that encourage their guests to have a great time.
This unique and unusual experience is a great alternative to full scuba diving and offers the same kind of immersive interaction with the world under the sea. Trips last 20 minutes and participants can expect to meet a wide range of exotic fish and sea life, often just inches from their helmets. Suitable for anybody without any significant health conditions, this is a great way to enjoy something a taste of the undersea world without having to pay for a full scuba experience, which is generally a lot more expensive. The hosts will even provide you with a free CD recording of your experience so you can watch it back when you get home.