5 Unusual Travel Experiences You Get Only in The Philippines
Wikimedia Commons by: GinaD
Humans have inhabited the Philippines for more than 709,000 years! No wonder this beautiful nation is home to some of the most jaw-dropping experiences for a traveler. There are traces of the Hindu-Buddhist philosophies from India, Islam from Arabia and Christianity brought by the European and Spanish occupiers. With such a vast amalgamation of socio-cultural and indigenous variations, the Philippines has become one of the best places in the world to experience the unusual–here are 5 of them that we definitely recommend.
The emerald blue pool fed by the Tinago Falls in the midst of the Mindanao forest is said to have therapeutic powers. Gentle shower of the fall’s water drizzling from a height of 240 ft through the thick foliage will soothe your soul. Get on a bamboo ferry ride to the fall, or if you dare, jump off the cliff into the transparent emerald waters of the basin. Locals believe that guardians protect this beautiful spot and given its pristine beauty that legend is not hard to believe. Entrance fee is 50 pesos, and you will need to prepared for a little hiking to get to the spot. It’s a good idea to carry some water and snacks.
Tubbataha Reef National Park
With the rare distinction of being a 7 Wonders of Nature and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tubbataha Reef is home to 600 species of fish, 360 coral species, and a vastly diverse marine life. The reef spreads across 375 sq. miles and has a spectacular perpendicular wall that rises 100 meters above the floor of the Sulu Sea. The park is accessible by boat, which takes about 10 hours from Puerto Princesa. A live-aboard boat trip is the best way to explore the underwater marvels here. The best time to dive is between March and June, but you will have to book in advance. Make sure to visit Ranger Station for souvenirs.
Tunnel of Lost Gold
During World War II, the Japanese attacked Philippines which was an American stronghold back then. Many tunnels were constructed by the Japanese during this time, and one of them in Baguio is said to be where Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita (also known by his nicknames: ‘The Tiger of Malaya’) stashed a huge loot of gold! Obviously, no gold has been found yet, but nevertheless, the fable has made these tunnels quite famous with travelers. Some of these subterranean tunnels are very long and shrouded in mystery and darkness. Accessing the tunnels is quite easy these days because it has been converted into a botanical park by the Japanese-Filipino community here. Getting here is easy with a lot of buses plying from Manila. If you have a private plane, you can use the Loakan Airport, or arrive at the Clark Airport, or Ninoy International Airport and take a taxi/rented car to Baguio.
Have you ever dined with your toes dipping in water of a waterfall? Perhaps not, and that is what makes the waterfall restaurant in San Pablo city such a hit with tourists. Just make sure to leave your shoes behind because this place has a strict no-shoes policy. The waterfall is a run-off from the Labasin Dam, which also has the distinction of being the first hydroelectric dam in the Philippines. The spread of traditional Filipino cuisine here is some of the best you will get in the entire country, and food served in banana leaves on bamboo tables definitely adds to the unique charm of this place. The restaurant serves from 11AM to 5PM, but you have to book your table latest by 2PM.
Fire Mummies of Timbac Caves
One of the most bizarre mummification rituals was being followed by the Ibaloi Tribe of the Kabayan. The process of mummification began even before the person actually died! It began by feeding the person a salt-saturated drink and after death, the body was washed and placed on top of a fire. It ended by blowing tobacco smoke through the mouth to dry out internal organs. While most of the mummies are protected, you can see a few in the Timbac Caves or in the Kabayan Museum.
For the best experience, plan your travels in advance. You can save a lot of money by renting a two-wheeler to hop around the popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. Make sure to ride safe and use proper riding safety gear at all times.
Humans have inhabited the Philippines for more than 709,000 years! With such a vast amalgamation of socio-cultural and indigenous variations, the Philippines has become one of the best places in the world to experience the unusual–here are 5 of them that we definitely recommend.
About The Author: Aryan Khanna is an avid rider proud of the miles on his odometer! When he is not hitting the highways, Aryan loves sharing his experiences and opinions on solo travel tips, mountain biking, motorcycle riding safety gear and scenic routes across the globe. Over the last 8 years, Aryan has written on riding safety and the best places to visit in the world, as well as on other aspects of road safety.