I am one of the biggest fans of holidays destinations in Asia. I have visited Cambodia and Vietnam and loved both. I would like to visit the Philippines early next year and I would love to gather as many information as possible about the country with special regard to accommodations. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find info and prices on budget motel and hostels/guesthouses in Philippines or at least very little on internet. I was told that one of the best places of Philippines is the south. I am not fussy though, as long as there are beautiful beaches and the weather is acceptable. I am on a budget, a tight one and I am wondering what are the prices for clean rooms in hotel and guesthouses along the coast? I am not looking for luxury, just normal clean rooms with a toilet and a sink. I know I should be more specific about the locations but at this stage I can't because I am not familiar with the country. If I could have an idea, at least on the price range, that would be great.
Thanks for your help
Mabuhay Andrea !!!
I'm glad that you made Philippines as part of your itinerary. I'll try my best to be of help to you.
December is relatively a good season to travel around the Phils. You might experience a bit of monsoon or tropical rains during these times. But it would be good though to see some rain. Basking on the rain in tropical beach is a different experience altogether. Any new experience is good experience I suppose.
These are some of the interesting places I would recommend:
Palawan offers the best beaches in my opinion. Really cheap accommodation are available the place is tourist friendly so u may ask around. Most of the people can understand and speak English, so I dont think you'll have a problem. You may visit Coron, El nido then you may go to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Around two weeks is enough to do all these. But if you intend to do just one thing, and not explore around, they offer a 3 days package, which shouldnt cost too much. But you have to budget your time. People are the nicest and place is really rustic and charming.
Bohol beaches are good too. There are nice diving spots there Balicasag or Panglao, you may also do some dolphin watching.
If you want a nightlife and beach rolled into one. Boracay, is your place. Party nearby the beach, have drinks and hip music.
You may also visit, Cebu, where the beaches are just near a business district unlike Manila.
You have to understand that each of these places are plane ride or at least a ferry ride away from Manila. You have to tell me the things you intend to do, so that we can prioritize, in order for you to maximize your time here in phils.
You may visit www.wowphilippines.com or www.lakbay.net.
Cost of living in the Philippines is very cheap, so is traveling. Depending on where you are going, the accommodations vary and so is the price. But on an average plane fare is around US$100 back and forth, Manila to various places. Accommodation = a five star hotel in Manila is around US$50/person/night. But thats in the city, which is reasonably more expensive than the ones in the provinces. You can have a decent meal in McDonalds for US$2. Fine dining would cost normally around US$10 per person. Depending on your appetite. A pack of Marlboro would cost US$.50 cents.
I hope you will have a great time here. And I hope that you'll give me your honest thoughts on your experience here. Anyway, keep the questions coming… I’ll answer them as acurately and promptly as I can.
Hope you have fun here in our home.
I've travelled in the philippines for more than 7 months. I can not agree about the beaches in Palawan although I admit that I've only been to Puerto Princesa, Sabang, Port Barton and El Nido. None of the beaches I've seen there was particularly great. The beaches of the small island in the Bacuit archiple near El Nido were neat but always was something missing. When the sand was nice the coral reef was destroyed, if both was nice then the current was too strong.
Armi, are the beaches of Coron better than in El Nido? I'm planning to visit the Philippines again on March and April. Gonna make a trip to Coron and to Palawans south although I haven't found any info about the south yet. It seems like an off-limit place...is it allowed to go south? I could imagine that the beaches in the south, especially of the south east coast of Palawan are great.
Napoli28, here're some more infos: You should be fine with a daily budget of 10 €, that's what I spent on the average. Guesthouses vary a bit, if you take a fan room you should not pay more than 300 pesos (4.5 €) per night on the islands (Manila is the big exception). Food is cheap, eat the local dishes which are mainly fish and rice but very delicious and quite healthy. One meal normally is around 100-200 pesos. Island hopping is great in the Philippines, on your first visit with only a few weeks left I would recommend to go to the Visayas (Cebu and around). Malapascua is a great place, also Bantayan. Don't forget to dive with the whale sharks in Donsol and pay a visit to Bohol. There is such a multitude of islands to visit in the Philippines...
Thanks guys for your advices, this certainly gives me an idea on where I am standing financially but also gives me a sense of security about the country I am going to visit. Now I am making up my mind as I go. What I am looking for in terms of location, I would like to stay for about 3 weeks and visit 3-4 interesting places I was thinking to come there around May next year. I am not interested in seeing 21 cities in 21 days, it's not my style. I prefer to see less but understand more! I love the beach life and therefore I don't think I will have any problems in the Philippines and I also love the night life although I am not interested in meat markets! So, yeah, a bit of beach, some deserved tranquillity and night life for fun when I feel like, and all this should come preferably cheap Is this asking too much? Probably but it's an holiday and you hope your wishes come true! If I can also make good friends in the process would be a great bonus. Thanks again for your help.
If you love the nightlife and want to meet people I believe Boracay is the best place for you. Unfortunately, I haven't been there so I can't give you tips about that place.
I would otherwise suggest you visit Palawan. If you stay in Puerto Princesa you could go island hopping for just P600 ($12). Some islands do require an "entrance" fee P25 (less than $1), but you could opt to spend a day in just Snake Island. It's free and is a nice place to snorkel.
You could also go to El Nido. Although, it is best known for its high-end resorts you could get really cheap accommodation in El Nido proper around $30 a night or even less. There are several restaurants there and a meal costs $10 a person. Like in Puerto Princesa island hopping is just $12, but there are no entrance fees to the islands. At least to those I went to. However, El Nido's electricity is rationed. If I remember correctly they only have electric power from 1pm to 1am.
There is also Camiguin Island. This is in Mindanao. When I went there in February there are hardly any tourists around.