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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Philippines Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors – What the destination is all about
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Philippines Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors – What the destination is all about

This group of islands in Southeast Asia is the only country in the region without direct links to the mainland. This means that a trip to the mainland would be out of the way. Still, the Philippines today has grown into a tourist hotspot. Travellers seem to be allured by the country's culture, forests and beaches.


Why visit the Philippines you ask?

With more than 7000 islands that belong to the Philippines, when it comes to experiences there are plenty of unique travels one is bound to have here. The Philippines was a country ruled by the Spanish; therefore, a Latin vibe still remains here. This makes places such as Manila a piece of the past, but also a piece of the present. Mellow, adventurous, fun, party, the Philippines has got it all. So, take that chance and plan out your holiday here for a change.


The weather

The Philippines is situated close to the equator and so, is a tropical archipelago through and through. When it comes to the weather here, most days are sunny. Still, there are those one-off weeks and months where torrential rains may dominate. The island of Luzon, however, seems to have 3 seasons. During the months of November to February, the island weather is quite cold, the period from March to June is where the dry, hot summertime sets in while rains and typhoons are seen from July to October. Typhoon Pablo as called by the locals is the most frequent one here.


Transport to and through the islands

There are flights available from Singapore, Hong Kong and many other international hubs surrounding the group of islands. The flights will land at NAIA Airport in Manila. When it comes to travel within the country, since it is an archipelago, travelling by bus from once place to another doesn't always cut it. Thus, there are many flights and boats which allow one to cross over from island to island, and yes...its is cheap! Domestic airlines like Cebu Pacific, PAL Express and AirAsia Philippines are convenient and easy on the wallet.


It's all about the money

Well, on arriving in the Philippines, you'll need the local currency to get things done. While one is sure to have cash in hand, it is sure to run out sooner or later. But the best part is, in the Philippines, money exchange options are readily available. The many malls here have ATMs that allow you to withdraw cash using your own bank card. Money changers are always available here if you have foreign currency you need to exchange for the Philippine Peso. If you are unsure of how to get about things, simply consult the friendly concierge at hotels like Ascott Makati in which you might be residing in.


Local delicacies

If you are lodged at one of the serviced apartments in Makati, then its best you step out onto the streets and begin your food journey with the local street food. However, be warned! The food might not always look appetizing or might look great but end up being something you never imagined it would be. Therefore, the food tasting tours in the Philippines are more for the foodies who dare to challenge their taste buds on the dishes with the most unlikely ingredients!