Top 5 Must Do's in Philippines

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The Philippines offer a vast array of things to do, what with the thousands of islands and incredible variety of landscapes. Luckily, travel between the islands has become a fairly simple process, with multiple airlines and plenty of airports, not to mention the network of roads, bridges and ferries that help to connect the islands. Most areas in the Philippines are worth visiting, but if you're looking for the Philippines' Must Do's, look no further than these:

1. Palawan

When you visit this gem of an island, start off at Puerto Princesa. Apart from the crocodile and butterfly farm there's not a whole lot to do, but you can pick up your essential supplies at the stores and, more important, stock up on the cash you'll need for the rest of your time on the island. Head up to Sabang for some of the most unspoiled beaches and reefs in the Philippines. You can also tour the Subterranean River, a beautiful natural wonder that also includes wandering monkeys and monitor lizards. El Nido offers some incredible beaches, restaurants and diving, and those who really want a diving adventure can take a ferry to Coron for some wreck dives.

2. Malapascua

This tiny island off of Cebu is a land of incredible beaches and resorts. If you want the luxury, stick around the outskirts of the island and book yourself into one of the many resorts. There are also plenty of restaurants lining the beaches. If you'd rather experience a bit of Filipino culture (and save some major cash!) head a few minutes inland to the bungalows and the restaurants frequented by locals. The real draw to Malapascua is the thresher sharks, so head to any of the local dive shops to book a trip out. Just be sure to stop in Cebu City before going to Malapascua to stock up on supplies and money.

3. Northern Luzon

Start off in Baguio for a taste of city life and for the essentials. There are also some excellent hospitals in Baguio, if you happen to need anything from antibiotics to diarrhea caplets. Catch the bus out to Bontoc to view the famous rice terraces of northern Luzon. The local market is colorful, and you can even book yourself a massage or facial at the local spa. Then move on to Sagada to see the mountain tribes and museums. The waterfalls and the bat cave are a big draw, as are the hanging coffins and burial cave. Don't forget to pick up some textiles, a Sagada specialty.

4. Donsol

There's not much going on in this sleepy fishing town, but underwater is the gentle giant, the whale sharks. You can snorkel with these giant fish that get up to 60 feet long and weight 15 tons. The experience is occasionally petrifying, as you can't see more than 4 feet in front of you and the giant sharks can just suddenly appear on collision course with your tiny self. It's the ultimate must-do experience. You can also dive with manta rays, another surreal experience, as they get up to 6-meter-long wing spans and also appear out of nowhere.

5. Bohol

For incredible beaches and reefs, head to Bohol. You can also check out the chocolate hills, a famous landmark, or visit the tiny tarsiers at the Philippine Tarsier Foundation. Go dolphin watching or explore the numerous caves and waterfalls. And don't miss out on some of Bohol's incredible churches, a sight to behold in themselves.

December 19, 2009 new by tiffanymparker

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