Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Philippines - Australians discover a new playground

With its diverse geography of stunning natural wonders, variety of cultural influences and easy accessibility from Australia, the Philippines is fast becoming the destination of choice for holiday makers.

An archipelago of over 7107 islands, the Philippines has volcanoes alongside some of the world's best beaches, rainforests next to mountains and 500 years of Spanish history entwined with multi-faceted indigenous Filipino culture. All of which have combined to make the Philippines a unique destination.

The varied coastline offer visitors a plethora of options for a relaxing beach holiday. One of the highlights is Cebu – the oldest city in the Philippines –which boasts an expanse of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and near constant sunshine, all set against the fascinating architectural and cultural remnants of Spanish rule.

Another option is Boracay, acclaimed as the world's best beach with a more adventurous reputation. Popular water-sports include wind surfing, snorkelling and kite surfing though it is the diving – with the Philippines recently being voted one of the top three diving destinations in the world – that is the major draw.

For a cultural experience, the capital Manila is a cosmopolitan and vibrant city of international status. Set against a fascinating historical backdrop, Manila has an exciting mix of museums, art galleries, shopping destinations, buzzing nightlife and international restaurants.

For more historical context, Bohol with its medieval forts, cathedrals and lighthouses left over from the Spanish reign, is another highlight.

With so much on offer, the Philippines are increasingly a destination of choice for Australians looking to explore new horizons within Asia.

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