10 Must See Places in the Philippines

Must See Places in Philippines

Southeast Asia has been one of the most famous destinations for many backpackers and holidaymakers coming from Europe or the Northern Americas.   Among the more famous tourist routes include Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia.  Tourists would usually go straight to Bangkok or fly to Singapore.  Some would include Indonesia to visit Bali.

With tourist arrivals are high on these countries, the Philippines is still trailing behind.  Well maybe, I guess, is due to the fact that the countries I’ve stated all border each other, except most of Indonesia.  This makes backpacking easier as tourists can simply take a bus or take hours long of train rides to reach the neighboring country.  This is compared to the Philippines wherein the main means to reach is by air travel.

With a more challenging means to reach the Philippines, many simply skip the country.  Many probably do not know much about the Philippines except maybe that it’s a group of islands and maybe because of the thousands of shoes of Imelda Marcos, plus the other political problems we had in the past.

And so, what do tourists are probably missing as they skip the Philippines in their itineraries?

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Trip to Banaue

PauTravels in picture taken with Ifugao elders

Christmas last year (2006), my wife, two cousins, and myself embarked on a journey to visit a land among the mountains, the land of the Ifugaos.

Through the Philippine Tourism Authority, we have procured a travel package to see two Philippine tourist destination that are found off-the-beaten track.  We took a 3-day/2-night travel package to see Banaue, Bontoc, and Sagada.  The package includes transport from Banaue to Sagada and back via Bontoc, breakfast and a packed lunch for the Sagada trip, tour guide, accommodation, and some souvenirs.

Banaue is situated in the mountainous province of Ifugao, around 10 hour bus ride north of Manila.  This is also the site of the majestic Banaue Rice Terraces which are rice paddies terraced on the mountain sides.  These have been carved by the Ifugao tribes for thousands of years, even before the Spanish colonization.  These are also composed of four UNESCO world heritage sites.

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