Backpackers' Guide to the Philippines
The Philippines is situated in the Southeast Asia region. It is known as the 'Pearl of the Orient', and is internationally famous for its picturesque mountain-view spots, its luscious beaches, the delicious food, and the hospitability of the Filipinos.
The influx of tourists from different parts of the world has increased in the recent years due to the development and progress the country has been undergoing. Most of these tourists are backpackers, hoping to catch a glimpse of the beautiful country while experiencing adventure.
The first thing backpackers have to know is the currency exchange. Here are some of the commonly used currencies vs. the Philippine Peso:
USD1 = PHP42.30, PHP1 = USD0.02
GBP1 = PHP68.90, PHP1 = GBP0.02
EUR1 = PHP61.33, PHP1 = EUR0.02
Most Filipinos know Basic English, except in areas that are more rural, due to the Western influence that has penetrated the country.
To get around the country, the Philippines offer a wide range of transportation services:
For airline service, there are Philippine Airlines, Airphil Express, Cebu Pacific, and Zest Airways. The range of the ticket prices has seasonal variations, but sometimes, these airlines hold marketing promos. During these campaigns, ticket prices are slashed to almost half the regular rate.
Boats, buses, cabs, jeepneys, tricycles, and pedicabs are localized per region. Surely, every city or town in the Philippines offer these transportation services, and are very affordable for the average tourist.
Accommodations in the Philippines are luxurious as compared with other countries. Hotels are scattered all over the different areas of the Philippines, and the best thing to do to ensure safety is to go with the cheapest hotel (not a motel). The prices are reasonable enough to guarantee personal safety.
Food and drinks in the Philippine metropolitan areas are affordable, but if the backpackers want something cheaper, the Philippines is filled with budget restaurants that in spite of their humble offerings and services, the delicious and exotic food will surely satisfy the palate.
The most famous tourist destinations are Sagada, Banaue, Baguio City, Boracay, Bohol, Cebu, Iloilo, Palawan, Mindoro, Dumaguete, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and so much more.
Things to remember when backpacking (not only in the Philippines but also in everywhere else):
Keep all travel documents, cash, and credit cards close to the body. This is to avoid loss and theft. These are lifelines in case of emergent situations.
Travel light. Travel itineraries of backpackers are usually spontaneous and adventurous. Lugging around a suitcase and spending time packing will not warrant a good time.
Take advice from the locals. If residents of the area say something about a certain place not being safe, take heed of it. Adventure is not worth life-threatening danger.
Be polite. Most locales' cultures are deeply rooted in respect, and if given to them, it would be probable that they would return the favor.
Adventure is an experience gained from spontaneous trips to different places, especially when experiencing the authenticity of local lifestyles while drinking in the beautiful sights and sounds of the Pearl of the Orient. So, use sunscreen, do not forget to bring a camera, smile, and enjoy!
About the Author
Ms. Pinky is a mom of 3 school children. She is a Systems Engineer, a Technology Researcher and an Independent Medical Billing and Coding Consultant. She and her family is well-traveled all over the world! Her blogs and websites focuses on stay-at-home moms, dads and students who wants to work at home, build homebased business http://www.mommyisworkingathome.com.
Visit her Interesting Site on Asian Travels and Destinations. Discover Asia's Culture and Great Food! at http://www.wheretogoinasia.com.
Author: Ms. Pinky Maniri