Introducing the country
Made up of over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is a nation of tropical beaches, colonial cities and natural beauty. Located in Southeast Asia, it's rapidly becoming a firm fixture on the back...
Made up of over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is a nation of tropical beaches, colonial cities and natural beauty. Located in Southeast Asia, it's rapidly becoming a firm fixture on the backpacker circuit, thanks to its budget friendly activities. The countryside is rice paddies and ramshackle villages, while urban centres are teeming with noise, culture and energy.
The architecture of the capital, Manila, has echoes of the country's colonial rule and it's also home to a buzzing, popular Chinatown plus the famed San Agustin baroque church. Home to 98 million people, the Philippines is a diverse, welcoming country and you're likely to encounter plenty of friendly Filipino locals along the way. Unlike its Asian neighbours, Catholicism plays a big part in the culture, thanks to 350 years of Spanish rule.
The Philippines is the place to be for outdoor enthusiasts because of its hikes, trails and water sports. Foodies are well looked after too with the abundance of fresh seafood.
Best way to get around
To get to the heart of the Philippines' natural beauty, hire a car and explore rural villages and deserted coves at your leisure.
Jeepneys are one of the country's most popular forms of transport. Originally military jeeps, these brightly coloured trucks function as a sort of cowboy's bus.
There are three rapid transit lines out of Manila which offer a good alternative for exploring. Fares are relatively inexpensive.