Destinations for Great Vacations: Where is the Philippines?
A Guest Post By Nicholas Martin
Sometimes the hardest part of taking a vacation is choosing where to go. There are so many things to consider – cost, safety, travel restrictions, and so on. However, one destination that comes highly recommended is the Philippines. So, where is the Philippines?
Officially, the name of the country is the Republic of the Philippines, though there have been several variations in the past. Names aside, plenty of people are not sure exactly where this amazing country is located.
The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country, so to look for it on a map, first look towards the Asian continent. China is a good place to search from, as it is big and really close to the Philippines. From the southeast coast of China, continue bearing southeast until you reach a group of islands above the equator.
Now that you know roughly where the Philippines is, you may be wondering about the entry points. The capital of the Philippines is Manila, which is found towards the mid-south of the large northern island, called Luzon. Manila sometimes gets a bad rep for being dirty and dangerous, but if you know what you’re doing, it can be a fun and exotic yet easily-accessible place.
You might also be asking where is the Philippines’ best spot for visitors. The answer pretty much depends on what you’re looking for. Divers and beach lovers should head for Palawan. Those who want to enjoy the tropics with not too much hustle and bustle can head down to Cebu and Davao.
For the metropolitan, Manila is a grungy but lively city that nevertheless has its own charm and an indescribable vitality. As for mountaineers and those who want a more moderate tropical experience, Baguio in the north of Luzon is a mountain resort city.
Communication in the Philippines is not difficult if you are fluent in English. About 90% of the population is conversant in English, as it is a national language and is taught in schools. As with any destination, it is best to have a plan of some sort, rather than making it up on the fly. That way, you can get better directions and help, should you need it.
There have been cases of locals taking advantage of naive visitors. Thus, while it is a nice tropical destination, it is not for the happy-go-lucky traveler who doesn’t pay so much attention to what is going on around them. Keep your wits about you and you will find your time here much more enjoyable. For those who want to stay safe but don’t want to think too much, hiring a guide from a reputable company is recommended.
All major currencies can be exchanged in the airports and banks. For the most part, you will need to use Philippine pesos, however some services especially at the airport, will accept US dollars. Exchange a few thousand pesos’ worth of your money at the airport for initial use, and you can exchange the rest at a local bank for better rates.
It’s not a place for the faint of heart, but those who do visit never forget their time in this exotic destination where East and West have found a common ground.
This guest post was written by Nicholas Martin who loves to travel the world. He writes for Passport Visa Travelers Guide where you can find out how to obtain a passport fast before traveling to the Philippines. You can also learn about how to get your USA passport renewal expedited if you already have a passport that is going to expire.