Updated: Mar 18
Many famous foreign destinations have a local and sometimes better version somewhere in our country’s 7,614 islands that you can enjoy for a fraction of the price and no passport or visa needed. The Philippines has much more to offer from its unfathomable treasure house. Heck, you don’t even have to go outside the country to do that. As we always say, it’s more fun in the Philippines!!!
With high tech gadgets and right angles, you can trick your friends into thinking you’ve been jet setting around the world at these amazing places in the Philippines.
Here, we will acquaint you with the striking similarity that exists between various places within the Philippines and the other countries in the world.
1. Experience a piece of Africa in Calauit, Coron Palawan
The Calauit Safari Park is a wildlife sanctuary that can be found in a 3,700-hectare island in Calamian Islands. It is home to a substantial population of African animals such as zebras, giraffes and antelopes; hence, earning the nickname as the “Little Africa” of the country.
Take your selfie up a notch. Remember Taylor Swift’s safari-themed video for her “Wildest Dream”? You can cop her elegant style or dress up like Jane of Tarzan in fatigues or khakis and you get a cute adventurer selfie of “Africa”.
2. Experience Greece in Fortune Island, Batangas
Release the inner Greek goddess in you with a blue dress or a flowy white one that will definitely look fabulous against the Grecian columns backdrop.
Oh, definitely wear pretty sandals if you don’t want to wear gladiator ones. Who said taking a selfie is a no-brainer? OOTDs must be planned carefully to achieve a perfect profile photo.
3. Experience Halong Bay Vietnam wreck diving in Coron Bay, Palawan
Aside from the wrecks underneath, its gorgeous karsts cliffs are also hauntingly beautiful. It will remind you of Vietnam’s Halong Bay. Coron Bay is another postcard-worthy destination for the books.
It is not quite off-the-beaten-track, but compared to Thailand’s Phuket or Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay, the archipelago of islands surrounding El Nido offer the increasingly rare opportunity to find yourself alone on a palm-fringed beach.
4. Experience the New Zealand in Batanes
Batanes is almost (if not every) Filipino’s dream destination. Its green Windows wallpaper-inspired views and overlooking torrent waves crashing against the cliffs are a sight to behold.
Just like a scene straight out of Lord of the Rings or Games of Thrones, it’s like another world out there, people. There’s a catch though. If you want to go around Batanes like cross the neighbouring island for an Ivantan experience, you have to ride the angry waves. By Batanes standards, these are just normal “baby” waves. We cannot imagine how angry the waves are during a storm.
5. Candijay, Bohol = Sapa Valley, Vietnam
While the Cadapdapan Rice Terraces in Barangay Candijay in Bohol may not be as magnificent as the one in Batad or Banaue in the Cordillera region, it still has its own charm that will steal your heart. The breathtaking scenery also reminds you of Sapa Valley in Vietnam.
Candijay covers a few hectares of hilly slopes beautifully embedded with rice terraces and you’ll see more than just lush fields. You will face endless carved hills, mountains as you stroll around the Bohol Islands.
6. Experience the Romantic Vibes of Venice Italy in Venice Canal Mall, Taguig
A gondola ride in Manila is possible. McKinley Hill in Taguig opened its picturesque canal complete with iconic gondolas at the Venice Piazza Grand Canal Mall. The attraction offers an Italian experience yet it is more like Macau. You can complete your gondola ride if you sport a striped black and white shirt and angle yourself with a perfect backdrop to suggest you’ve been to Macau or Venice — whichever you prefer.
7. Experience the Floating Market of Bangkok in Sitangkai Tawi-Tawi
If there’s one place that gets the first position atop anyone’s travel itinerary, it is the Venice-looking Sitangkai, which is a popular foreign destination in the Philippines. This enchanting town has its own thing to give a competition to Venice. Sitangkai is an island in Tawi that is largely known as the Venice of the South.
While cruising along the canal, one can observe footbridges that link the communities from both the sides of the canal. Boats solely are the chief medium of transportation on the island. This place will surely give you a glimpse of Bangkok’s floating market. A slow-boat is the best water transport to take in the area. The natural and unadulterated beauty is so overwhelming that it will make you visit time and time again.
8. Experience stunning Bahamas in Siargao or Boracay
The archipelago of the Philippines is dabbed with amazing islands that offer white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters. When you will saunter through the Siargao, Bantayan Island, Samal Island, Boracay etc you will feel as if you are in the Bahamas though you would be on one of the famous Philippines’ attractions.
After you’ve done island-hopping, visitors can explore the city life as well. Teeming with history, dynamic nightlife, shopping and cuisine, it’s a totally different world out there. Enjoy clubs with traditional music, fantastic bar scene, cocktails and chat with the locals.
9. Experience Maldives in Amanpulo, Palawan
Palawan is a beautiful island but what would it be without Amanpulo? It is a luxury dream escape complete with Champagne and canapés on arrival.
Reachable only by private plane, guests at Amanpulo are treated to an enviable array of experiences – both over and under azure blue waters – including scuba diving, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing, snorkelling and sailing.
Aman's legendary service standard is best showcased at the Aman many of its fans – or Amanjunkies¬ as they are known – call home on a frequent basis. Smiling, attentive staff who somehow manage to anticipate your every request, desire and whim and respond accordingly, always with a beautiful smile that is a hallmark of the Filipino people and local staff who also call Palawan home.
10. Experience China in Binondo Manila
Binondo has also been dubbed as THE LARGEST CHINATOWN ARCH IN THE WORLD. You will agree on this when you will step upon Manila and see the place yourself. Binondo has its own character, colourfulness, diverse smell and affluent history. Nothing is more exciting than food and good bargain shopping. A visit to the Manila Chinatown is incomplete without exploring Escolta – a hot shopping district where you can shop from classic brands, enjoy authentic food and shop for souvenirs.
Binondo served as a traditional centre of community life for the Filipino-Chinese. It is not surprising that it became the world’s oldest Chinatown.
11. Sirao Flower Farm, Cebu = Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Celosia booms in rows, resembling rows of fire. It’s called “celosia” because of its flame-like blooms, which means “burning” in Greek. To take a selfie among the Celosias is like being burnt alive while smiling. The Sirao Flower Farm is now nicknamed the #littleAmsterdam of Cebu.
12. Experience Spanish colonial in Vigan Ilocos Sur
When you are looking for places to visit in the Philippines, don’t forget Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Vigan City is a famous tourist destination in the Philippines with a 16th-century Spanish colonial setup. Here you will find some ancient treasures of Spanish-influenced World Heritage UNESCO sites like the Heritage Village of Vigan which will take you back in time.
The most popular tourist spot in Vigan is the Calle Crisologo. This half-a-mile long street displays a rich tradition and antiquity. The cobblestone roads are lined up with heritage homes. Vehicles are not allowed to enter inside. Enjoy walking down the unsoiled aisle to shop and dine.
13. Bilar Man-made Forest, Bohol = Sagano Bamboo Forest, Kyoto, Japan
In Bilar, Bohol, there is a Mahogany forest that stretches around two kilometres. It is a man-made forest that is so unique and perfect in shape that it inspired many filmmakers to shoot some movie scenes in the area. No doubt, this place is listed as one of the top tourist spots in the Philippines that look like foreign cities.
These forests definitely resemble the Sagano bamboo forest in Japan. This man-made forest looks exceptional due to the height of huge trees, the spread-out branches, and the unique design of the leaves and some of the older trees. The forest plays host to several visitors and locals alike who do not forget their cameras while going into the green forests.
The Philippines has its own beauty and charm. As they say, don’t be a stranger to your own country. Explore it! Don’t forget to take in the beautiful landscape and be in the moment as you soak in the awesomeness of a certain place. Then you can immortalise your trip with an amazing selfie afterwards. Perfecting it requires patience, creativity and the right angle to get the desired photo you want.