having travelled thailand,laos,vietnam and cambodia recently i found it on the whole extremely safe to travel maybe with the exception of phnom penh which felt dodgy and slightly lawless but still a worthwhile experience.i am considering a trip to the philippines but realise there has been recent bombings and kidknappings there of tourists.i want to know how it compares in safety in comparison to thailand etc for a tourist.i'd prefer replies from people who have travelled without the assistance of a philippine national so it's not a byist answer,thanks!!!
I have been to Philippines several times and I have always found it a very safe place indeed. You have to remember that there are over 7000 islands in the Philippines and everywhere is a bit different from everywhere else. I have always found filipinos to be friendly, apart from when I am with another filipino! This sounds a bit weird but some filipinos think that a westerner with a filipino girl is an american with a prostitute, or if I am with a filipino man then I am also american (i'm not buy the way) and I am in some way a bit dodgy! This is a bit annoying as my filipino friends certainly are not prostitutes or dodgy in any way!! But as you say you will not be with other filipinos then you shouldn't come across this. Also the threats of terrorism are very small and only really relate to the south western islands off of the island of Mindanao where there are some muslim extremists that want mindanao to be a muslim country of its own. They have targetted places in mindanao where there are no tourists so I wouldn't be worried really. There was a kidnapping some years ago in Palawan of tourists but basically they have since killed the leader of the group responsible for the kidnappings (and 1 murder).
As far as feeling safe walking around in the Philippines I can only report that I have always felt very safe. The Philippines does not get the amount of tourists that Thailand etc gets so you have to realise that you will be stared at a lot of the time and that people will really want to speak with you as a lot of them never see tourists if you go to the smaller towns. Even in Cebu (the 2nd city of the Philippines) I was sometimes the only westerner walking around as I would go to the older parts of town where tourists usually steer clear of for no good reason apart from the fact that there are no western bars there!!
I would really recommend the Philippines as so far it has not got the tourists so you can have the most amazing beaches all to yourself!! Also it is very cheap, especially compared to Thailand with a beer in a bar costing about £0.30p ($0.60US). It is a lot harder to get around than the other SE Asia countries because of the fact that it is an arpichelago so lots of island hopping, and it doesnt yet cater for tourists as well as its asian counterparts. But this is one of the things that make travelling here so great, you really are travelling like a local, so no air conditioned coaches etc!!!
Anyway, go there and experience it I amsure you will love it!!
is manila safe?is this a regular occurance or every now and again? http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=N4h-fF5IEwc&feature=related
the Philippines is generally safe... the kidnappings of tourists happened more than 5 years ago.... there may be some insurgents occuring but is limited to a small island in the south of the Philippines... very far from Manila... it's just like a toe-nail of the whole archipelago
so, please don't be discouraged by the news told of these security threats as the news networks tend to generalize the situation... also, if you still feel uneasy because of these news and travel advisories from your consulate, I'd say just keep off the island of Mindanao but on the other islands of Luzon and Visayas you don't need to worry.
it's very safe here... though of course when going to very crowded areas, like i think in other major cities in the world be just aware of pickpockets...
I have been there twice, once for 2 x months around Manila and Northern Luzon, and once for a month recently staying in Cebu and Bantayan Island. I regard the places I went to as just as safe as where I come from, which is NZ.
I went everywhere alone, but I didn't go out late at night on foot, or down dark alleys, or into some of the unlit corrugated iron drinking halls that only served locals.
I felt I was LESS of a target for petty theft, but MORE of a social target for being a "rich" Westerner from some of the "macho" (read threatened) males I occasionally encountered.