1. People can speak English
One of the best things about the Philippines is that most of the people speak fluently English. This makes it so much easier to travel and saves you a lot of trouble. Asking for the right bus is easy, ordering food without confusion is normal and if you are lost in the streets, you find someone who can help you. It’s also a big plus to get in contact with locals and get the real travel experience.
2. People are the friendliest ever
People all over Asia are friendly – the people in the Philippines, however, go a step further. I got so many messages just with “Welcome to the Philippines” or “Hope you enjoy my country.” People are willing to help you where they can, and even the security personnel on an airport is super friendly to you and goes the extra mile to help you. People always told me to come to the Philippines because the people are so amazing. They didn’t disappoint me. It’s hard to describe how friendly the people are – the best thing is that you visit the Philippines by yourself and see what I mean.
3. Bad internet connection
A downside of the Philippines is the Internet connection. It’s one of the worse in the world, and I agree with that. Especially on smaller Islands like Siargao, the connection is really bad or even not existing. This might be good for some people to calm down a little from social media, but if you want to book flights or hotels for the next destination, it can be a big pain in the ass. I also struggle a little bit to keep my blog on track as the internet is so bad that I can’t even upload photos or edit my text.
4. You drive on the right side of the street
Most Asian countries like Thailand drive on the left side of the road, not so in the Philippines, where people drive on the right side. Coming from Europe, that’s a good thing; coming from Australia or the UK you have to get used to it and pay extra attention to the first days.
5. Food is a lot better than you heard
Pork Sisig – one of the best things ever and they prepare it differently everywhere in the Philippines and still always amazing. Chicken Sisig, Seafood Sisig, Chicken adobo or their amazing bakeries are also things you must try. More on these and other dishes in my next blog about the food in the Philippines. In the end, Thailand and China win in terms of variety and also the taste of the food in general. However, I find the food a lot better then what I heard before.
6. Book in advance
This one is probably the most important advice I can give you. I made a mistake and didn’t book my flights in advance, and so I ended up spending tons of money on expensive last-minute flights, or I couldn’t fly on the day I wanted. If you book your flights in advance, you can continue by booking your accommodations in advance as the choice is limited and not always the best. That’s a little annoying as you can’t travel as spontaneously as in Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia but that’s mainly because you are forced to fly in the Philippines. I’ve written an entire blog entry on that topic which you can find here.
7. Restaurants need forever to serve the food
In some touristic places, it is better but especially if you go and have dinner in local restaurants is not so busy areas you can end up waiting 90 minutes for your food. The good thing about it is that your food is freshly cooked for sure – the bad thing is that you need to starve. So, either go to the restaurant before you are hungry or be prepared to wait a while. Advice: Order a fresh smoothie, they are ready much faster and will give you the patience to wait for the food.
- Total countries I visited until now: 35
- Planes: 14
- Busses: 41
- Trains: 18
- Boats: 23
- Km driving: 7000
- Km running: 2136