Antarctica & Arctic
Travel from Manila to idyllic Dumaguete, Bohol's Chocolate Hills and historic Cebu to the spectacular Palawan Island and the most beautiful beach in the country, Boracay.
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Destinations > Philippines
The second-largest archipelago in the world, with over 7000 tropical islands, the Philippines is one of the best undiscovered treasures in Southeast Asia. It’s a great place to get off the beaten track and avoid the hordes of tourists that descend on other parts of the region. This string of coral-fringed islands boasts some of the world’s best snorkelling and diving, however, ask anyone, and it’s the people that make this country so unique and special.
The Philippines is warm and a great place to visit all year-round but the most pleasant weather is between December and June. The rains start in July and peak in August. The height of the typhoon season in central and eastern Philippines is July to November however other areas of the country are fine to visit during this time.
El Nido is the showcase of Palawan’s geology and wildlife. Its majestic limestone cliffs tower over crystal clear waters, which are home to hundreds of species of fish and coral, and three species of endangered sea turtles.
Bohol, the country’s tenth largest island, is adorned with natural beauty – the rolling Chocolate Hills, crystal clear springs, verdant rivers and stunning white sand beaches. It is also home to the world's smallest monkey, the Tarsier.
The world famous Boracay Island, roughly shaped like a dumbbell, is often rated as having some of the world's best beaches. It has more than 30 beaches and coves, among them the famous White Beach, 4kms of pure white sand beach!
Often referred to as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World', the Banaue rice terraces were constructed over 2000 years ago by the native Ifugao people. These remarkable rice terraces, carved in the mountainside, stretch like stepping stones towards the sky.
Vigan is one of only a few Hispanic towns in the Philippines that retains its colonial buildings and cobble stone streets. Its unique architecture, a fusion of Asian design and European buildings, is not found anywhere else in Asia.
With its towering pine trees, subterranean caves, limestone cliffs and scenic falls, Sagada is an incredibly unique and picturesque place to visit. It is world famous for its hanging coffins, a traditional way of burying people.
Country Code for the Philippines: +63
Visa Global Assistance: 1800-14410015
Emergency number – 117. The emergency services may not have English speaking staff. To avoid delay it may be best to seek the assistance of a Philippine speaker to call the emergency services.
In the Philippines, greetings are formal and carried out by age and status. Therefore the eldest or most important person is greeted first. The standard way of greeting is with a handshake and you are advised to use the person's academic, professional, or honorific titles with the person's surname until invited to do otherwise.
For the most up to date information regarding visas for Australian passport holders to the Philippines, visit www.dfat.gov.au/visas/
Shopping hours are Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm, but these can vary. Most department stores and supermarkets are open Sunday and there are some 24-hour convenience stores. Banking and post office hours are 9am-3pm Monday-Friday. The standard lunch hour is noon to 1pm. Most businesses and government offices are closed during this time.
A tip of Php 20.00 to Php 50.00 for cabs, maids, etc is customary. When eating out, if the restaurant does not incorporate a service charge, leave a tip corresponding to about ten percent of your bill (up to a maximum of Php 100.00). For truly excellent service, you can leave a larger gratuity.
Transportation in the Philippines is relatively underdeveloped, partly due to the country's mountainous areas and scattered islands.
Jeepneys are the most popular mode of public transportation in the Philippines and they have also become a ubiquitous symbol of the Philippine culture. Another popular mode of public transportation in the country is the motorised tricycle; they are especially common in rural areas. Trains are also becoming popular in the country, especially in the bustling metropolis of Manila.
Taxis and buses are also important modes of public transport in urban areas.
The Philippines has 12 international airports, and has more than 20 domestic airports serving the country.
Filipino (based on Tagalog) is the national language, although it is the native tongue of less than a quarter of the population. English is widely spoken, Spanish much less so. There are around 170 indigenous languages in total, with hundreds more dialects.
The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a traveller's individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor.
Vaccination against Hepatitis A is recommended for travellers to the Philippines and vaccination against Typhoid should also be considered. Depending on a traveller's itinerary and activities, vaccination against Hepatitis B, Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis may also be considered. Care with food and beverage selection is important. Malaria and Dengue Fever are present in the Philippines, as such insect avoidance measures should be taken and Antimalarial drugs may be required.
Food and drink: Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products that are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. Australians travelling to Vietnam should also ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. For further information, please visit the Smartraveller website, www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Philippines
Electrical Plug Type: USA
Voltage: 220 volts whilst the standard frequency is 60 Hz.
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