Travel misconceptions refer to false beliefs or misunderstandings about travel. These misconceptions can be about various aspects of travel, such as cost, safety, language barriers, age limitations, and the overall experience.
Travel misconceptions often prevent people from exploring and experiencing new cultures or cause unnecessary anxiety or fear. It’s important to recognize and address these misconceptions to make informed travel decisions and to fully enjoy the experience. The Philippines is not exempted. Good thing many travel blogs in the Philippines showcase how beautiful the place is. Nonetheless, these blogs could only do so much.
Common travel misconceptions about the Philippines
There are several misconceptions about traveling to the Philippines, some of which include the following:
Misconception #1: The Philippines is unsafe.
This is not entirely true. Like any other country, some areas may be unsafe due to crime, political unrest, or natural disasters. However, most places in the Philippines are safe for tourists to visit. Nevertheless, exercising caution and being aware of your surroundings is always best.
Misconception #2: The Philippines is just like any other Southeast Asian country.
While the Philippines shares some similarities with its neighboring countries, it also has a unique culture and history that sets it apart. The country is known for its diverse languages, traditions, and cuisine, which makes it a fascinating place to visit.
Misconception #3: English is not widely spoken in the Philippines.
English is actually one of the official languages of the Philippines and is widely spoken throughout the country. In fact, it is the language of instruction in schools, making it easy for tourists to communicate with locals.
Misconception #4: The Philippines is only for beach vacations.
While the Philippines is known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, it has many other attractions worth exploring. From historical landmarks to bustling cities, there is something for every type of traveler.
Misconception #5: The Philippines is expensive.
The cost of traveling to the Philippines can vary depending on the type of accommodations and activities you choose. However, the Philippines is relatively affordable compared to other popular tourist destinations in Asia. Proper planning makes it possible to have a fantastic vacation without breaking the bank.
Indeed, these are just misconceptions because the truth of the matter is traveling to the Philippines is one of the most precious experiences you will ever have in your life.
Where to go in the Philippines
Traveling to the Philippines is half the battle. The other half is deciding where to go in the country. You will get confused because the Philippines is home to many beautiful and unique destinations worth visiting. Here are some must-visit places in the Philippines:
This province is known for its stunning beaches, limestone cliffs, and crystal-clear waters. Some popular destinations in Palawan include El Nido, Coron, and Puerto Princesa.
This small island is famous for its white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and vibrant nightlife. It’s a popular destination for beachgoers, water sports enthusiasts, and partygoers.
The capital city of the Philippines is a bustling metropolis that offers a mix of modern and traditional Filipino culture. Some popular attractions include Intramuros (the old walled city), the National Museum, and the Manila Bay sunset.
4. Chocolate Hills
These unusual geological formations in Bohol comprise more than 1,000 cone-shaped hills that turn brown during the dry season, resembling chocolate kisses. Visitors can climb up to the top of the hills for panoramic views.
5. Mayon Volcano
This active volcano in Bicol is known for its perfect cone shape and scenic surroundings. Visitors can go on guided tours, hike up to the crater, or go on ATV adventures.
This group of islands in the northernmost part of the Philippines is known for its rolling hills, stone houses, and breathtaking landscapes. It’s an excellent destination for nature lovers, photographers, and cultural enthusiasts.
This mountain town in the Cordillera region is known for its scenic rice terraces, cool weather, and unique culture. Visitors can go on hikes, visit caves and waterfalls, and learn about the customs and traditions of the Igorot people.
These are just a few of the many must-visit places in the Philippines. Each region and province offers something unique and special, so explore as much as possible.
Things to consider when visiting the Philippines
The Philippines can be visited all year round. But the best time to go depends on what you want to do and where you want to go. Here are some things to consider:
The dry season in the Philippines runs from December to May, making it the best time to visit if you want to avoid the rainy season. However, keep in mind that this is also peak tourist season, so prices may be higher and popular destinations may be more crowded.
The Philippines is known for its colorful and lively festivals held throughout the year. Some popular festivals include the Ati-Atihan in January, the Sinulog in January, and the MassKara in October.
The Philippines is known for its beaches and water activities, so if you plan to go snorkeling, scuba diving, or island hopping, the best time to go is during the dry season. On the other hand, if you’re interested in surfing, the best time to go is from September to November, when the waves are the highest.
The Philippines is generally affordable, but prices may be higher during peak tourist season. If you’re on a tight budget, consider traveling during the low season (June to November) when prices are lower, and there are fewer tourists.
Traveling during the low season (June to November) is best if you want to avoid crowds. However, remember that this is also the rainy season, so you may have to deal with occasional heavy downpours.
Overall, the best time to visit the Philippines depends on your preferences and priorities. Just be sure to check the weather and travel advisories before you go.
Things to remember when traveling to the Philippines
If you’re planning to travel to the Philippines, here are some things to keep in mind:
You may need a visa to enter the Philippines, depending on your nationality. Check the Philippine Embassy website in your country to see if you need a visa and what requirements you need to meet.
The official currency in the Philippines is the Philippine Peso (PHP). You can exchange your currency at banks, hotels, and exchange counters at the airport. Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas. Still, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller purchases and in case of emergencies.
The Philippines is a tropical country, which means it can be hot and humid all year round. The rainy season is from June to November, so be prepared for occasional heavy downpours during this time.
Public transportation in the Philippines can be challenging, especially in big cities. Jeepneys, buses, and tricycles are the most common forms of public transport, but they can be crowded and uncomfortable. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Grab are also available in major cities.
Filipino cuisine is a fusion of Malay, Chinese, Spanish, and American influences, so there are plenty of unique and delicious dishes to try. Some popular dishes include adobo, sinigang, and lechon. However, if you have dietary restrictions or preferences, it’s always best to check with the restaurant before ordering.
Respect local customs
Filipinos are friendly and hospitable, and respecting their customs and traditions is essential. For example, when visiting churches, temples, and other religious sites, dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering. Also, when meeting someone for the first time, it’s customary to shake hands or nod as a sign of respect.
As we’ve already debunked, the Philippines is generally a safe place to travel. Still, like in any other country, being cautious and aware of your surroundings is essential. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and avoid traveling alone at night. If you’re traveling to a remote location or a place with a history of unrest, it’s best to check the latest travel advisories before you go.