When it comes to the end of the busy travel season and The Dragon Trip’s operations team finally have their turn to get out and take a holiday, there is one destination which seems to pop up time and time again as a favourite… The Philippines. We had a chat in the office to try and pin down just what it is about this backpackers’ paradise we love so much, and we have narrowed it down to 5 key points. If you want to experience these 5 tropical charms for yourself, then be sure to get yourself booked on our Philippines budget tour where you’ll experience all these plus a whole lot more!
Although there are over 120 languages spoken in the Philippines, a convenient aspect for visiting backpackers is that almost everyone you’ll come across speaks a fairly high level of English. This coupled with the fun, hospitality, friendliness and openness of so many of the Filipino people mean that it’s a very easy place to make friends and have a blast! Our adventure leader will help unlock some of the cultural quirks of this nation.
The Natural Beauty of the Islands
The islands of the Philippines tend to be covered in lush jungles and topical forests and adventuring through them to explore countless waterfalls and and a wide array of wildlife is a lovely way to spend a few days. When you’re done hiking, there is always a white sandy beach to lie out on and rest those achy legs.
There is a little bar at our dive school in Moalboal where backpackers come together as the sun goes down to drink cold San Miguels (the national beer of the Philippines) and watch the stunning pinks and reds of the sunset bounce off the lush green canopies of the islands dotted in the bay. It’s a truly special stop of the trip.
Being a nation comprised of over 7,100 Islands, it’s no surprise that seafood is a major part of Filipino menus. At the end of our Philippines budget tour, we offer Dragon Trippers the chance to stay at a scuba dive school in Palawan’s El Nido for a few days to complete their Padi dive course. Our top tip here is to get yourself down to the local market, barter with the traders for fresh lobster, prawns and fish, then head back to the dive school where they’re happy to BBQ it up for you free of charge. You won’t get fresher or cheaper seafood anywhere else, and eating on the beach as the sun goes down is a highlight of any Dragon Trip.
The Natural Beauty Below the Waves
Of course the natural beauty above the waterline, is matched only by the stunning vistas on offer below it. You can free dive in Coron to see sunken ships, scuba dive with thresher sharks in Malapascua, make friends with the inquisitive turtles in Palawan’s El Nido or be awe inspired by schools of sardines off Moalboal. There is a whole underwater world in the Philippines waiting for you to dive in and explore.
There is arguably no country quite as musical as the Philippines. Many an evening in a beach-side bar ends up with a sing-a-long between backpackers and local people, all bellowing along together to the bar’s well used karaoke machine. If it’s not karaoke, then more often than not there will be a live band playing, who often demonstrate levels of musicianship more skilled than many of the famous acts they cover.