Must See in Philippines
The must sees in Philippines are the following in my opinion:
- Palawan (St. Paul’s Subterranean River National Park, El Nido – Bacuit Bay Archipelago)
- Banaue Rice Terraces (Batad Rice Terraces are supposedly even better in region)
- Boracay (Dive Spot / Best Party Life)
For many people, you could also add Chocolate Hills to the list.
What to do in Banaue Rice Terraces?
From doing research on the Rice Terraces, many people claim that Batad is even better than Banaue, which is 1 hour further from Banaue.
Banaue is 9 to 10 hour bus trip from Manila. This is why most buses leave at night. There are no flights into Banaue.
When to go to Banaue Rice Terraces?
Harvest time is in August in Banue.
Many people feel that best viewing is a month to two months prior to harvest (i.e., June/July)
September is planting season in Batad.
Article talking about different seasons:
Article talking about Batad over Banaues:
Person suggests skipping Banaue and head to Batad (1 hour away) where most spectacular rice terraces are located
Reviews of Banaue Rice Terraces:
What to do in Palawan?
The main item to do is St. Paul’s Subterranean River National Park (aka Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park or Underground River). This is considered one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. It is arguably the longest river in the underground world.
The Underground River is a full day activity where someone will arrive back at night.
Example Underground River Tours:
(6:30 am – 5:30)
After Underground River, you then should head up to El Nido, which one of the most beautiful places in all of Philippines. It takes 5 hours. The earliest transportation heads up at 7, 9:30, 11, 1:30, and 6:30 pm. The bus heads back at 5, 7, 9 am, 1 pm, or 6pm.
Video of Island Hoping Experience
http://www.squidoo.com/top-palawan-tourist-attractions (Watch Video) – Hidden Beach
This is link that confirms these are two of the hottest items in Palawan:
Partying up in Boracay
Boracay is considered the best place to party in the Philippines.
Discussion all highlighting that Boracay is the best:
Chocolate Hills could be added to Itinerary if time permitted
The hills are best when they are brown showing the most contract.
In August, they are green.
You could do visit the location in 1 day or less (60 km from airport)
Cebu Pacific has flight daily from Kalibo to Bohol Island (Tagbilaran City) or could fly from Manila.
Given my limited time, I will pass, but it doesn’t seem like something that is more than a day activity.
Day 1) Fly into Manila and take bus up to Banaue
Day 2) Banaue/Batad Rice Terraces; Take overnight bus to Manila
Day 3) Spend Day in Boracay
Day 4) Spend Day in Boracay; head to Palawan
Day 5) Underground River; Trip up to El Nido
Day 6) El Nido and head back to Puerta Princesa and then head back to Manila (maybe able to fly to other location)
Learn more about my trip to Philippines
While I ended up taking a slightly different trip within the Philippines (partially due to floods in Banaue), it is confirmed that Philippines is a great place to visit. Click here to learn more about my adventure.