Philippines Tourism - 2020 ( Tours & Activities)

The first thought when you think of Philippines would be the white sand beaches with crystal clear water. However, there is so much more to this island country than its beautiful beaches. A tropical paradise offering the best tourist places in Philippines, with abundance of flora, fauna, mountains and other things to get lost in admiration of. It also has its share of wildlife sanctuaries, marine life and sceneries to explore. The Filipino food is definitely a unique experience by itself as it has a unique taste that is difficult to adopt or get elsewhere. With this archipelago having so many places to explore and things to do that is unknown to majority of the foreigners, they miss out on the true Philippines experience.

Thus, here is a compilation of the most frequently asked questions with the best answers possible to make your trip to Philippines as worthy as possible. Located at the very eastern edge of Asia, the Philippines are home to more than 7,000 islands, which are inhabited by friendly locals and many indigenous tribes. From pristine beaches and marvelous natural wonders to interesting historic sites and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the Philippines pack many exciting things to see and do. Check out the following top tourist attractions in the Philippines.

The Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea is a marine sanctuary protected as the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. The reef is made up of two atolls, North Atoll and South Atoll, separated by a deep channel of approximately 5 miles (8 km) wide. It has become one of the most popular dive sites in the Philippines, counted among the best tourist places in Philippines because of its coral walls where the shallow coral reef abruptly ends giving way to great depths. The marine park is open to liveaboard diving excursions between the months of April to June when the waves are most calm.

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  1. Travel advice:

    • Avoid carrying too much cash in your pockets.

    • Never flash your jewelry or valuables in a crowded place.

    • Avoid leaving any valuables in your hotel room.

    • Do not take a room or a resort in any secluded place.

    • If possible stay in a hotel that offers a room safe. Place all your valuables and jewelry in the room safe.

    • Carry with you a first aid box with medicines that may be needed during the trip.

    • True that people in Philippines are humble and lovely, but never roam around alone post the sunset.

    • Girls must walk around in groups if going in a place or trail that is secluded.

    • Do not photograph in the sacred or religious places. If you want to click a picture in the religious site, seek permission regarding the same from the person in charge.

    • Learn some of the common words of language prevalent here. This will help you in communicating with the local people.  

    • Always greet the locals with a smile.

    • Keep a copy of license or an ID proof with you always.

    • Avoid the touts.

    • When eating at street stalls, check for the quality.

    • Be alert whenever you are at a new destination.

    • Dress appropriately and maintain the decorum of the place.

    • Nudity is not an option here.

    • You can shoot a film or a video without any legal permission.

    • Never get involved in any form of fights or verbal spats with the tourists.

    • Keep a medicine to relieve you from motion sickness.

    • Never indulge in any form of drugs.

  2. Drinking laws

    The legal age for drinking in Philippines is 18 years.

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    Puerto Galera

    Lying south of Manila, is the magnificent coastal town of Puerto Galera. The town is immensely popular for its wide diversity of marine species, alluring beaches and excellent diving spots. Most popular beaches here are the Sabang Beach and White Beach that assure excellent options for nightlife, shopping, dining and hotel and stay accommodation. Muelle Bay is another popular attraction here. Tourists can go snorkeling here to see the best coral reefs of Asia. Diving is another great activity here.  

    Puerto Princesa underground river

    Puerto Princesa underground river lies at the northern coast of the island of Palawa. It is a beautiful island which is every nature lover’s paradise. The island is a home to some rich wildlife. This beautiful town also boasts of the world’s most unique natural phenomena which is an underground river - Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. Tucked within a national park, it is the longest navigable underground river of the world. You can take a guided tour to explore it well.  


    Donsol is a sleepy fishing village that is nestled in the province of Sorsogon. It is a beautiful place embellished with breathtaking waterfalls, pristine beaches, and unexplored caves. You can find some attractive whale sharks here. The ocean giants of Donsol can be seen in the months of November and June with the numbers at peak during the month of February and May. Boat cruising along the River Donsol is one important thing to do here across the palm and the mangrove trees.  

    The Chocolate Hills

    The Chocolate Hills are a great tourist attraction here. These are the unusual geological formations that comprise of more than 1,268 individual mounds that are dispersed across the interior of the Bohol island. Most of the same sized and the symmetrical formations here range from 98 to 164 feet and are usually covered in lush green grass. In the dry season, the green grass turns brow and this is how it gets its name. Even today, there is no consensus on how these giant mole hills came into formation.


    Boracay is a small island but is filled with several award winning beaches, exquisite resorts and an array of adventure activities such as horse riding, cliff diving, snorkeling, parasailing, kite surfing, motor biking and scuba diving. Not enough? You can take a boat tour and explore the magnificent sunsets and remote coves of azure lagoons and the volcanic caves. Nightlife of Boracay is pulsated with many restaurants that serve authentic food and drinks till dawn.  

  4. What you will like here?

    Arguably the cheapest beer in the world

    Ever since the year 1890, Philippines has been the home to San Miguel. A bottle of beer here costs no more than 50p. The Spanish brewery was once an affiliate however today it has become an independent brewer. Be assured of finding the cheapest yet quality beer in Philippines. It tastes even better when chilled by a beach.  

    There are 7,107 islands to choose from

    Philippines is a home to 7,107 islands. 7,107 is huge? Well, HUGEeee! The majestic archipelago is ringed by teeming coral reefs and pristine beaches. Tourists visiting here can actually have a hard time deciding which one to head to first. Makes for an ideal holiday, No?  

    You can play bingo on the plane over

    As evident from the Cebu Pacific’s mid-air passenger bingo and quizzes, Filipinos indeed has a great sense of humor. You’ll indeed be chuckling all the way and might even win a cuddly toy. It is the lax and laid back demeanor of the locals here that assures a happy experience to the tourists. Philippines very well stands by its tourist board slogan, - "It's more fun in the Philippines. This very well makes Philippines a great tourist destination.  

    It has the world's longest subterranean river

    The PP Underground River of Philippines is the longest underground river in the world. This 8.2 km navigable river runs through a cave system before finally flowing in to the South China Sea. There is a lagoon that is framed by the archaic trees and marks the mouth of the cave. This is also one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

    You can eat quirky purple desserts

    How would it be to hog on a bowl of cornflakes in ice? Yes, that’s one of the many quirky desserts that are served in Philippines. Do try out the interesting Halo Halo dessert of Philippines which is made using a significant purple ice cream. Trying out this dessert is one important thing to do in Philippines.  

    You can cringe at one of the world’s weirdest snack foods

    Balut is one of the most favorite yet a slightly weird snack in Philippines. It is a slightly developed embryo of duck that is boiled and eaten in shell. You definitely must try this weirdest snack of Philippines.

    Rice terraces to make you swoon

    One significant thing about the Banaue is its rice terraces which are simply majestic. Situated at an elevation of 3000 meters, the North Luzon’s Cordillera Central mountains are indeed one of the most tranquil alternative for the hikers seeking some adventure fun. Undoubtedly, Banaue is one of the most significant attraction of this region so much so that it has been listed in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Some of the terraces here are even 2000 years old.

    Tarsiers are the world’s cutest animal

    Tarsiers are the smallest primates of the world. These are nocturnal malls with bulbous eyes and rotating heads. Most of the Tarsiers live in Bohol and can be found in their conservation center. Sized a little less than 6 inches, Tarsiers are furry beings that are endangered and shy.  

    Some of the world's most colourful festivals

    Love wild and crazy costumes, dancing in the streets and bizarre folklore then you must plan a visit that coincides with a celebration like Panagbenga in the Baguio City. Other important festivals here are Sinulog and Ati-Atihan.   

    The beauty of El Nido

    El Nido known for its golden sand and the limestone stacks is definitely best explored via a sailing trip. You can find picturesque lagoons to swim here. This indeed is a beautiful sightseeing attraction of Philippines.

    Some of the world’s best diving

    Enjoy diving? Now, you can enjoy this incredible water sport and explore the marine life at the Tubbataha Reefs National Park which is a Unesco World Heritage site. The park has a perpendicular wall, 2 coral islands and lagoons. You can take a boat ride to see the black coral at the Black Forest dive site off Panglao Island.  


    On of the most fun thing to do in Philippines is Karaoke. There are several spots here where you can enjoy this fun game with the locals.


    For people who enjoying boxing, it is quite possible that you may have heard about Manny Pacquiao who was recently in the news for a brawl with the Floyd Mayweather JNR in the Vegas. Undeniably, Floyd Mayweather is boorish and Pacquiao is sheer class. So, if you want to watch some quick punches, Philippines has great stuff on offer.


    People and the hospitality of Philippines is second to know. This Asian country indeed has some of the friendliest people of the world. People here are not only welcoming but they indeed have a genuine concern about you, your culture and traditions. Locals here are super sociable. You’ll always find them smiling and happy. Most importantly they all love to single, dance and party! Be assured to be greeted with a ‘Hello Sir’ or ‘Hello Ma’am.’

    Products are cheaper

    Most export quality products like food, accessories, furniture and jewelry here is way cheaper. So, shopping can be a real fun here.

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  6. When is the best time to visit Philippines?

    The best time to travel to Philippines is during the winter season, November to February. The climate is dry during the season and also the country is fully accessible at this time, including its islands and secluded regions. It can get very hot during the rest of the year, especially during March and April, and thus, is best avoided during that time.

  7. How to reach Philippines?

    There are flights from most major cities in India, like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad etc to the city of Manila in Philippines. The route would usually take you via Bangkok, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. The duration of the journey would take around 8 to 10 hours depending on the route chosen.

  8. Do I need a visa for Philippines? How does one get a Philippines visa?

    You need not have a visa if your trip to Philippines is for less than 30 days. The requirements to enter the country are that the passport of the traveller should be valid for 6 months beyond their stay in Philippines and also the traveller must have a confirmed return ticket to country of origin or next destination.

    However, if you happened to visit for more than 30 days, travellers need to get their visa ready before they get there. There is no visa on arrival option available. You can get one from the nearest Philippines consulate to you. Certain documents required for the visa process are passport validation, tickets confirmation, stay confirmation, etc. Once the consulate approves your document, your visa will be given in a week or two.

  9. What is the currency of Philippines and where can I get my money exchanged?

    The currency used in Philippines is called the Philippine Peso and the currency code is PHP. The currency exchange rate from PHP to USD is 1 PHP = 0.020 USD. In terms of Indian currency, PHP 1 = INR 1.28. It is suggested to get your money exchanged at the airport as they have good currency exchange rates. However, if you happen to need to exchange some more money once you are in Philippines, you can exchange it at currency exchange counters found at Malls, that provide a decent exchange rate.

  10. What are the things to do in Philippines?

    Philippines being an island country, has a lot of waterfront activities that one can try. Some of the things to do in Philippines are:

    • Unwind at the beaches of Boracay with their parties and live music
    • Enjoy the view from the Banaue Rice Terrace
    • Scuba Diving
    • Watch the famous Cock Fight
    • Ride on a Jeepney
    • Go snorkelling with Whale Sharks in Cebu
    • Try a hand at diving in Bohol
    • Kiteboarding in Boracay Islands
    • Explore the mystical islands of Siquijor
    • Surf at Siargao
    • Trek at Mount Mayon Volcano
  11. What is the local food of Philippines? Which are the best places to taste this food?

    The local food of Philippines is known as the Filipino Foods. The popular dishes are Lechon, Pancit, Sinigang, Sisig, Balut, Adobo and many more. The dishes are very unique in taste and not easily made or available elsewhere. Some of the best places to taste this food are:

    • The Aristocrat Restaurant – Casual Filipino food
    • The Abe restaurant – Popular dishes are Knockout knuckles and Chicharon Bulaklak
    • Manam Comfort Food – Popular dishes are Pancit palabok and Seafood Bounty Kare-Kare
    • Milky way Cafe – popular dishes are Crispy catfish and Crispy Daing na Bangus
    • Romulo Cafe – popular dishes are Chicharon and crispy crablets.
  12. What is the best public transport to commute around Philippines?

    Philippines provides various modes of public transport. Some of them are:

    • Light rail
    • Rapid transit
    • Commuter rail
    • Jeepney
    • Taxi

    It is a must-try to commute through a Jeepney at least once during your stay in Manila as it is a popular mode of transport not found in too many places elsewhere. However, Taxi’s are the most commonly used mode over here as the rest may be too crowded and not always well maintained.

  13. Do I need to have any vaccinations before the trip to Philippines?

    Yes, it is safer to have some vaccines taken before your travel to Philippines. Some of the vaccines recommended by the CDC and WHO are : typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Cholera, rabies, Japanese encephalitis and influenza.

  14. What is the local language in Philippines and which are the most commonly used greetings?

    The local language spoken in Philippines is Filipino. Some common phrases that may be useful to you during your travel are:

    • Hello - Kamusta
    • Thank you - Salamat
    • Good morning – magandang umaga
    • What is the price of this?– ano ang presyo nito?
    • How far is this place? – gaano kalayo ang lugar na ito?
    • How are you – Kamusta ka?
  15. Which are the best shopping places in Philippines and what are they famous for?

    Most of the shopping places are in the metro city of Manila. You can get the best deals of clothes, accessories and shoes in these places. The lesser known fact is that it is home to one of the world’s top 10 shopping malls too. Some of the best shopping places to visit are:

    • SM Mall – it is a multiplex with a huge supermarket, food court, massage parlours , etc. It is one stop destination to buy whatever you want. You may also find the best exchange rates at the currency exchange counters here.
    • Glorietta and Greenbelt – mid priced shopping mall with a great massage parlour.
    • Trinoma – It has a landmark departmental store with huge varieties.
    • Divisoria and 168 – local flea market shopping experience.
  16. Here are the best tips Thrillophilia has to offer for your trip to Philippines

    Some great tips to keep in mind during your trip to Philippines are:

    • Travel during low seasons
    • Book flights as early as possible with flexible dates, you might want to extend
    • Eat at street food counters and local market food stalls
    • Do not bargain too much, especially with taxis, as they may seem to lose their cool.
    • Some places have better exchange rates outside than the airport
  17. Which are the famous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Philippines?

    Philippines has a list of conservation and protected areas of wildlife and national parks. Some of the popular ones are:

    • Agusan Marsh – Wildlife Sanctuary
    • Aurora Memorial – National Park
    • Bantayan Islands – Wilderness area, Fish Sanctuary
    • Puerto Princesa underground river – national park
    • Rizal Park – national park
    • Minalungao National park
    • Lignon Hill Nature park
  18. Where can I do water sports activities in Philippines?

    Philippines is an island country and thus undoubtedly has various water activities to try. Some places to try water sports activities are:

    • Swim with whale sharks – Donsol Bay
    • Learn diving at The Visayas
    • Diving at Mindoro
    • Spelunking and swimming at the island of Samar
    • Mindanao for white water rafting
    • Palawan for sea kayaking
    • Stand up paddle boarding at Bohol
  19. How is Philippines for Honeymoon couples?

    The Philippines is an ideal destination for honeymoon couples as it has many dreamy and scenic islands to explore. At Philippines, you can get adventurous with nature as well as find many places for privacy and quietude, perfect for a honeymoon. While you can relax at secluded islands, you can also party at their beaches and once you come off the shore, towards the centre, places like Manila have everything you need that the city can offer you.

  20. Which are some famous beaches in Philippines?

    Philippines has an array of beaches with various activities to try, different scenic views to enjoy and spots to relax at. Some of the famous beaches in Philippines are:

    • El Nido, Palawan
    • Pagudpud
    • Panglao Island
    • Siargao Beach
    • Boracay Beach
    • Puerto Galera
    • Samal Island
    • Coron Beach
    • Mactan Island
  21. Which are the UNESCO world heritage sites in Philippines?

    Among the plentiful of world heritage sites in Philippines, the top UNESCO sites are:

    • Baroque Churches of the Philippines (1993)
    • Historic Town of Vigan (1999)
    • Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park (1999)
    • Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (1995)
    • Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (1993)
    • Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
  22. How is the nightlife of Philippines?

    Nightlife in Philippines is definitely a must-try. It has everything that makes it a great sport for partying from VIP clubs, karaoke bars to laser light discos and gastro pubs. Summers in Philippines see a more happening nightlife as schools are on break, and there are young crowds flocking to party their night away. Although many clubs are carefree with the dress code for entering, there are a few exclusive pubs that have certain requirements to adhere to. Some of the best places to experience nightlife in Philippines are:

    • Boracay Island for the beach parties
    • Metro Manila for its upmarket clubs
    • Angeles city for some adult entertainment
  23. What are famous cruising destinations in Philippines?

    The most famous cruising destination in Philippines happens to be the capital city of Manila. This is where most cruise lines top over during their tour. With several neighbouring islands to hop to, there are some small time cruises available to places like Boracay, Batan Island, Bohol, Aparri, Coron, etc.

  24. Which are some best destinations for surfing in Philippines?

    Philippines has quite a few beaches with great waves for surfing. Some of the best destinations would be:

    • Baler – suitable for advanced and novice surfers. Sabeng beach has medium waves and Cemento beach has stronger waves and supports various surfing competitions and activities. October to April would be the best time to go surfing in Baler.
    • Siargao – also known as the surfing capital of Philippines, ranks 8th amongst the best surfing destinations in the world. Not suitable for novice surfers as the waves are pretty strong.
    • San Juan, La Union – Good for surfing throughout the year, however, the peak season is during December and January. It is a great place for beginners to get some surf lessons at affordable prices. Very convenient for non regular surfers as you can rent your surfing equipments instead of buying them.
    • Real, Quezon – the waves here are friendlier than any other beach mentioned above. Cheap surfing lessons are available over here for as less as PHP 500.
  25. Which are some famous treks in Philippines?

    Trekking at Philippines will take your breath away, not necessarily literally, but definitely mentally and emotionally with the magnificent views the treks have to offer. Most treks are suitable for even veteran climbers. Some of the popular treks of the region are:

    • Mt.Balagbag – suitable for beginners. It has an elevation of 780 metres above sea level. It is popular among mountain bikers as well. It is best to take the trek before the sun’s peak hours as the mountain lacks shelter from trees.
    • Mt. Makiling – abundance of flora and fauna are found there, making it a frequent place to visit not only for trekkers but also scientists. The climb is moderately easy and takes about 4 to 5 hours to reach.
    • Mt.Batulao – perfect for beginners, rises 811 metres above sea level. The total trek up and down takes about 4 hours. November to February are the best times to take this trek due to the cooler temperatures then.
    • Mt.Tibig- this trek will have you rejuvenated due to the lush green lands it is surrounded with. It is an easy trek that takes only 2 hours to reach the summit.
  26. Which are the best places for Snorkeling in Philippines?

    With various spots to plunge into for your snorkelling experience in Philippines, one of the most asked questions is which is the best place among all. Here are a few best places to snorkel in the island country:

    • Nalusuan Island, Cordova, Cebu – is a paradise for snorkelling and has been designated as a Marine Sanctuary. You can witness soft and hard corals and observe a variety of small and big fishes.
    • Siete Pacados, Palawan – the clear turquoise water makes it easy to witness the numerous species of fishes living in this region. You can also see sea creatures like baby sharks, small squids and octopuses here.
    • Coral Garden, San Antonio Island, Puerto Galera – covered with a plethora of colourful corals and fishes.
    • Apo Islands, Dauin, Negros Oriental – fun snorkelling around underground rock formations. You can witness so many sea turtles in this region.
  27. Which are some of the most breathtaking waterfalls of Philippines?

    Amongst the variety of beauty this country has to offer, are the numerous beautiful and scenic waterfalls. These waterfalls will make you stand in awe admiring the natural beauty gifted to Philippines. This one characteristic makes Philippines a great place for nature lovers. Some of the breathtaking waterfalls of Philippines are:

    • Tamaraw Falls – Situated in Puerto Galera. This waterfall is a collection of mini waterfalls that intertwine to form this majestic 423 feet waterfall.
    • Kawasan Falls – This water is situated in Cebu and is hidden deep inside the forests. It takes a 30min hike through the mountains of Badian to get there. There are many thrilling activities to indulge in and around that area.
    • Alalum falls – This relatively smaller waterfall of 128 feet is located in Kisolon, Sumilao. The waterfall is closed with lush greenery of shrubs, wildflowers and trees. It is easy to get to this falls.
  28. Where is the famous underground river of Philippines located?

    The famous underground river of Philippines is the Puerto Princesa subterranean river located in the Puerto Princesa National Park. The park is located in Saint Paul Mountain Range. It is a protected area 80 km from Palawan region. You need to take a short hike or boat ride from the town of Sabang to get to the river. It is also one of the UNESCO world heritage sites in Philippines and is a must visit for nature lovers visiting Philippines.

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