Good Afternoon on this warm, sunny day from your friends at White Chocolate Hills Resort!
We know many of you who read our blog are from other parts of the world, and may be researching a great place to visit on your next vacation. We also know a lot of people like to visit the Caribbean, due to many of the ‘All-Inclusive’ deals you can find on the internet these days.
Here at White Chocolate Hills, we’re a little biased, and of course, think the Philippines is the best vacation destination you can get for your money.
Here is our Top Six List of reasons your next vacation should be in the Philippines instead of the Caribbean.
#6 – The Beaches & Diving
Everyone doing research for a vacation in the Caribbean is always entranced by the pictures of crystal clear water, white sand beaches, impressive dive spots and vibrant marine life.
While it’s mostly true that the Caribbean is beautiful and has nice beachfront…the Philippines has all of that and more!
In fact, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte is home to the longest continuous stretch of white sand beach in the world, and rivals even Hawaii for awesome surfing. Borcay has over 300 white sand beaches, was named ‘Best Island’ in 2012 by international travel magazine Travel + Leisure, and has a vibrant nightlife, for those that like to club-hop & stay up late.
Like we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, the Philippines is part of the ‘Coral Triangle’….While the Caribbean houses 8% of the world’s coral reefs, the Philippines owns 30% of the world’s reefs…..and 75% of all coral reef species can be found here. We have over 4,000 types of fish, and 6 of the 7 world’s turtle species can be seen in our waters. For avid divers, the Philippines is a treasure-house, and certainly not to be missed.
#5 – Places To Stay
The best part about the Philippines is the quiet, laid-back peacefulness you experience everywhere you go….the Caribbean is obviously one of the most famous vacation destinations in the world, so the beaches, resorts, and towns tend to get overcrowded.
You can easily begin to feel like your vacation is being shared with hundreds of other tourists who had the same idea as you.
The price difference between the two destinations are clear-cut….In the Caribbean, car rentals can cost upwards of $40-80 a day, meals at restaurants are pricey, and hotels and resorts can be almost $350 a night for a good-quality stay.
In the Philippines, you can rent a car with a driver and air conditioning for a whole day for around $20, and if you don’t mind driving a motorbike, you can rent one for about $10 per day.
It seems like every street corner has someone selling Barbecue, Tinola, Lechon, or other tasty eats, and you can buy a full meal for under $5.
And as for hotels and resorts? Our resort is around $90 a night for European-standard accommodations, free Wifi, Plasma Ion Air Conditioning, pool & beach access, and absolutely delicious complimentary breakfast.
A few of the other more well-established resorts around town can be pricey, but if you don’t mind mingling with locals, hotels in downtown Dumaguete can be as cheap as $20 a night if you know where to look!
#4 – Island Hopping
We know this one is a bit of a jab…the Caribbean has 7,000 islands to explore..the Philippines, like any local can tell you, has 7,107.
#3 – The Weather
The Caribbean is a great destination for the cold, winter months…a place to get away and work on your tan…but the rain is unpredictable, and it’s the kind of land area a storm likes to linger around….trapped on all sides by land, a hurricane or downpour can last for days.
In the Philippines, the weather stays at an average of 28 Degrees Celcius all year long…That means you can work on your tan every single day of the year…and we’re beside the equator, so the sun is brighter, and closer to the earth.
When it rains, it’s usually on it’s way to Hong Kong & Thailand…stopping in only to say a brief ‘Hello’!
Since our climate is always (Dare we say…) perfect, a spot or two of rain is usually a welcome guest, and it never slows the party down!
#2 – The Night Life
The Caribbean is known for being relaxed and laid-back…it comes close to matching the Philippines in ‘Rasta’ living.
The downside in the Caribbean is that a lot of places close down around ten pm, and it can be hard to find something to do if you’re more of a night owl.
The Philippines also tends to close up shop on most big business around 9-10pm….but it’s only so they can get off work and go party! The Philippines is absolutely world-famous for being the ‘Country That Never Sleeps’, and could even put the Irish to task with the amount of rum they can drink in a night!
Walk down any neighborhood street to find a group of locals drinking and singing Karaoke at a Sari-Sari….or check out the downtown nightlife at Whynot…a well-known foreign hang-out.
#1 – Tourist Friendly Zone!
There are many different horror stories that you hear about the Caribbean being dangerous to Tourists…it’s a well-known bit of advice that if you stay at an ‘All-Inclusive’ resort or hotel, you shouldn’t leave the grounds without a guard or escort….and walking around can mean you’re constantly hounded by hustlers, beggars, and swindlers.
In the Philippines, your only worry is the problem of meeting too many awesome people in one day….not only is almost every fourth or fifth word ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’, Filipinos are known the world over for being unbelievably hospitable, helpful, and cheerful to foreigners….They are, arguably, even more friendly than Canadians!
There are many children who do beg for change in the downtown core, but if you tell them you have no money, the other kids will learn through ‘The Grapevine’ to leave you be.
And there you have it!
Our Top Six List of reasons your next vacation should be in the Philippines instead of the Caribbean.
Until Tomorrow, we wish you all a great night!
-White Chocolate Hills Resort
Photo Credits: All photos from Wikimedia.org, except the last one, ‘Sound of Laughter’ by local Photographer Hersley-Ven Casero.