9 Tips for Visiting the Philippines For the First Time

palm trees in front of beach

Every now and then I come across a country and for one reason or another we don’t get on – that was my experience with the Philippines. Don’t get me wrong, the country is beautiful, the people even more so it really was not them – it was me. Three months breezing through Hawaii at the end of last year and time spent in Thailand have both given me a false sense of ease when it comes to travelling around islands. Relaxed entry requirements, and cheap flights and boats were the norm. However, in the Philippines, things are different and … Read more

Manila Sunday Brunch at the Sofitel Hotel – Review

Sofitel Manila Sunday Brunch

After almost three weeks trying and unanimously failing to find food heaven in the Philippines, I stumbled across the food phenomenon that seizes the palette of wealthier Filipinos and ex-pats alike each weekend – the Sofitel Manila Sunday Brunch. I should start by saying that there is very little that is Filipino about the food that blossoms from the cooking stations of every high-end hotel in the city each Sunday except that they take place in Manila. Sure, there is usually a Filipino cooking station, serving first rate pig ears to those who want it, but mostly people are swarming … Read more

Food in the Philippines: A Lingering Taste of Salty Disappointment

Food in the Philippines

“Food in the Philippines isn’t very good,” they were words from a fellow traveller and they came as a crushing blow. How could that be? I was in Asia – one of the cornerstones of the spice trade, a region that had sent its cuisine global with pandemic success.  The Philippines had to have good food, it was its geographical birthright.     I looked down into my plastic bowl of pale brown watery sauce and floating pig fat (no meat, just fat). The restaurant had been recommended to me, the dish I’d ordered all on my own.  Surely, it … Read more

How To Visit the Batad Rice Terraces in the Philippines

Batad Rice Terraces

My visa for the Philippines expires in two days so I was determined to take a trip to the north of Luzon and the Cordillera mountains to visit the Batad rice terraces. The terraces are dubbed the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ and although I have come across many self-proclaimed ‘eighth wonders’ on my travels, I’d say that the stunning emerald-green Batad rice terraces could well take the title. If you find yourself in the Philippines, this journey is definitely worth the effort (and it can feel like an effort with a minimum 18-hour round trip on broken roads from … Read more

How To Get Around Manila

How To Get Around Manila

Manila, like any capital city is a sprawling mass meaning you’ll need to investigation various forms of transport to see the sights – having navigated the Philippine’s main city (with varying degrees of success) here’s my guide for how to get around Manila. Taxi The huge plus to Manila is that the taxis are super cheap compared to most capital cities and if you’re feeling nervous, lost, lazy, too hot or all of the above, catching a taxi can be a great option. There are two main types of taxi – the yellow airport taxis and the white metered taxis. … Read more

Entry Requirements For The Philippines – One Way Tickets

Entry requirements for the philippines

I’ve been a fan of one-way tickets for some time now, mainly because of the flexibility they lend to my travels, but this buy and fly method doesn’t always work, as I discovered this morning when I was introduced to the stringent entry requirements for the Philippines. Booking A Flight To The Philippines I booked my ticket to the Philippines for two reasons – with over 7,000 islands to explore, there was surely some sand-based fun to be had and, equally importantly, a one-way ticket cost me under $50 from Kuala Lumpur. Air Asia confirmation received, I flew just over … Read more