a VirtualTourist member from Sydney asked on Nov 28, 2016
my wife and I are planning a 2 week visit in April and are looking to have a relaxed break only visiting 2 or 3 places, one of which will be Manila as we flying in/out of there.(we will come back again so no need to rush and try to see everything).
I have looked at a range of sites which present so many beautiful destinations that I am finding difficulty in identifying what would work best for us.In addition when I read a number of posts they present some places as being not quite as the brochures show (eg some of the posts below relating to Palawaan.
We are interested in being on picturesque beaches, seeing some cultural and historic sights and possibly doing some snorkelling/diving.
I would appreciate any thoughts from those who have visited or live in the Phillippines
I am going to The Philippines for the first time and am staying for a few days at Bataan, not too far from Manila. It seems to have some good history and nice secluded beaches too. Bataan featured prominently during World War II. Prior to the 1941 Japanese invasion, the US Army stored nearly 1,000,000 US gallons (3,800 m3) of gasoline there.
Also Bataan National Park is a protected area of the Philippines located in the mountainous interior of Bataan province in Central Luzon Region, and looks great
I found this very reasonable hotel The Oriental Hotel Bataan which may suit your needs. The ferry to Bataan I understand does not run now so best way is by taxi or bus (2-3 hrs)
I have lived in Palawan for 20 years and I can recommend Port Barton
Sorry, posted prematurely. Port Barton is a small town on the west coast with a palm tree lined bay which is very safe for swimming and not a party destination like El Nido. There are good snorkeling trips from there and it is really a place to relax. We go there often for a long weekend.
[original VT link]
I am afraid that Philippines is not the country to visit if you are a history buff, but I canrecommend a day trip to Corregidor from Manila, perhaps even stayinga night there. This is a marvelous place to see and part of the island has been left untouched since the end of ww2 .
[original VT link]
Another place which should not be missed would be the old Spanish settlement of Intramuros
Sorry I am in Vietnam at the moment and the internet connection is not the best so I cannot write anymore, but please come back with further questions
I'm originally from Cebu where I grow up and finish my degree..... Philippines is a beautiful country with so many beautiful places, but most of it is an island which are not easy to travel sometimes
Palawan is nice, but takes an effort to travel there.....you have Port Barton, El Nido, Coron this three places are worth while
If you are looking for a picturesque beach and easy to travel where you can do diving and snorkeling I recommend you "BORACAY".....you have a direct flight to Caticlan from Manila with Cebu Pacific [original link] and Philippine Airlines [original link]
Cebu has plenty of beautiful beaches and has a small historic site (Fort San Pedro)
Bohol is less than 2 hour from Cebu is also known for its beach and beautiful nature
The beautiful place I can recommend you for historical site is "VIGAN" this place is UNESCO HERITAGE a beautiful place to wander in day and night time....you have direct flight to "LAOAG" and from there is less than 2 hour by bus
Hello, @[VT member dcdb0]! The Intramuros in Manila is composed of Spanish ancestral houses which are perfect to see if you're into historic sightseeing. Entrance fee is just about a dollar or two. You can see some of the oldest structures in the Philippines here including the San Agustin Church, which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Fort Santiago. The 64-hectare walled city can be a tough place to roam so if you don't like getting ripped off, you can ride a Calesa or rent a Bambike (bamboo bicycle). There's also this popular electric chariot for rent. You also won't get lost finding something to eat as there are numerous food chain and restaurants within the city. If you'll explore more of historic places in Manila, the National Museum and the Paco Park are both 15 minutes (approx.) drive from Intramuros.
For picturesque beach and diving, I have to go with @shavy's suggestion, the beaches of Boracay. The White Beach is the most famous among all. Though many tourists arrive here during Summer, you won't get tight as there are a lot of places to go and activities to jive in the place especially during the month of April. The day and night activities are always active. The Tambisaan Beach is one of the popular sites for snorkeling and diving which is just about 12 minutes drive from the White Beach. My friends also recommended the Crocodile Island (just next to Tambisaan) for snorkeling. If you're getting into Boracay by the first week of April you might also enjoy the Sand Lantern festival.
Have a great trip!
Palawan Islands I visited once, stayed at the "Sea Dive Hotel" best thing we ever did. Took the "super ferry" from Manila was about 10hr trip. Scuba, snorkeling, hot water springs. Everything was cheap. Hotel is beach front, bonka boat will take you anywhere, Banana Island has sunken WW2 Japanese vessels and a white float marking the sight. There were German divers there that visit once a year. My only hang up is that its close to hostile territory in the east. One week before we left a super ferry exploded killing everyone. Bombed by the NPA. I should be going back in February. Good luck_Dan
Coron that's right. The town did seem a bit on the down side, went to a bar that only had a card board sign hanging out - said "DISCO" Told me I was the first American to be in there. Grabbed me a girl for the day was fine. Place was primitive nice people for the most part.