Hotels & Travel

Postcards from The Philippines

Postcards from the PhilippinesIf you haven’t already heard, 2015 is the year to visit the Philippines.

Having never traveled to Asia before, I was pretty eager to tick the region off my travel bucket list and was lucky enough to be invited by the tourist board to see for myself just how much fun their country is.  After trawling through images of the Philippines on Pinterest, visiting the Island Province of Palawan, the first part of the trip itinerary, was what I was most excited for.

From London, we made the 14 hour plane journey with Philippine Airlines and landed early evening in the beautifully humid and bustling city of Manila. I fell asleep in my serene room at the Ascott Makati, gazing out into the bright lights of the city, which was still buzzing when I stirred 5 hours later ahead of our early morning flight to Palawan.Postcards from the PhilippinesWhite beaches and crystal clear waters had been taunting me from my computer screen for almost a month and suffice to say I was not disappointed when we set sail on a traditional ‘Banca’ boat for our Island hopping adventure.Postcards from the PhilippinesThe Philippines consists of over 7,000 islands, each more stunning than the next. We visited just three of these Islands within the Palawan province; Starfish, Pandan and Cowrie, which has certainly given me a taste for more, and the perfect excuse for a return visit!7Although all three of the islands featured bright sands and aqua seas, each had their own unique charm.32 Starfish Island lived up to its name and whilst snorkelling we discovered its large orange inhabitants resting on the sea floor. Postcards from the PhilippinesPostcards from the PhilippinesPandan Island was littered with coconuts, freshly picked by locals and as I went for a walk around I discovered in the shallows a starry seabed of more tiny starfish scattered out to the horizon. Postcards from the PhilippinesPostcards from the PhilippinesCowrie Island was our last stop and we took the chance to stop for a fresh mango daiquiri at the Island bar before hopping back on our Banca and heading for our hotel.Postcards from the PhilippinesPostcards from the PhilippinesWe stayed at The Sheridan, an eco resort, which overlooks the picturesque Sabang beach. It didn’t take us long to settle in, dive into the inviting waters of the pool and swim up to the bar oasis in the centre for another cocktail.Postcards from the PhilippinesPostcards from the PhilippinesPostcards from the PhilippinesDinner was served at The South Sea beachfront restaurant, which takes all its ingredients straight from the resort’s own organic farm conveniently located down the road. I was seduced by the sound of the garlic and ginger lobster and skipped all starters to ensure I would appreciate it. Postcards from the Philippines30Our second day in Palawan was when we really experienced the adventure and fun of the Philippines. After a hearty beachside breakfast buffet of freshly made waffles, fruit and omelettes we boarded another banca (our new favourite form of transportation) to explore one of the new 7 wonders of the natural world, the Puerto Princessa Underground River.Postcards from the Philippines

Postcards from the PhilippinesThe 8.2km underground river (the world’s longest) winds through a cave within a limestone mountain and features several large chambers and significant stalactites and stalagmites.Postcards from the PhilippinesPostcards from the PhilippinesTo be honest, it was a little eerie, journeying through the pitch black in a small boat with nothing but a torch to guide the way (so as not to disturb the bats and other cave dwellers) but the experience was truly remarkable and showed us yet another example of the Philippine’s diverse natural beauty.Postcards from the PhilippinesHungry from our cave expedition, we were treated to a private tour of the Sheriden hotel’s organic farm and a traditional ‘Kamayan’ lunch where cutlery is forsaken.Postcards from the Philippines Our feast was laid out on palm leaves before our hungry eyes and consisted of fresh farm produce including grilled chicken, black rice, sautéed vegetables and deliciously sweet papaya.Postcards from the PhilippinesOur lunch had barely settled before we embarked on an afternoon of adventure including ziplining from the top of a mountain over the ocean, a boat tour through the mangroves where we were a spooked by snakes hanging from tree branches, and riding quad bikes through the deep mud of the jungle.Postcards from the PhilippinesPostcards from the PhilippinesAfter another hearty beachfront dinner I crashed into bed reliving all the incredible memories of just one day spent on such a magical island.Postcards from the PhilippinesPalawan showed me that the Philippines are incredibly versatile and a trip here is exactly what you make of it. If you seek nothing more than to maroon yourself on a spectacularly beautiful beach, completely losing track of all sense of time and obligation, it’s the perfect destination. Postcards from the PhilippinesOn the other hand if you’re seeking adventure and fun, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy and I’ve only just skimmed the surface…

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  • LisaLDN

    I’m heading to the Philippines for the first time this New Year’s, and I am so excited! Will you write a post about Manila? My friends and I are only staying there for one night before heading to Boracay, and I really want to make the most of it.

    This is definitely making me more excited to go!

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    Wow! It looks so beautiful and unspoilt! I found Thailand has changed a lot since I first went and is now really touristy I’m definitely on the look out for more blue seas and clear beaches.
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

  • Philippine Postcards

    What stunning photos! If you are in the Philippines, you probably want to send your friends postcards! Here there are not only postcards but also other souvenirs with the Philippines: