BENCH BLOG hops across hostels in Manila and asks a couple of travelers what they’re loving local.
Hi Ashleigh and Rebecca! What brought you to the Philippines?
Ashleigh: We’ve been backpacking for five months already and some of the friends we’ve met while traveling have been here. They said the beaches were amazing and that we would be missing out [if we didn’t go].
Any experiences you could say are “Only in the Philippines”?
Ashleigh: We got lost from the jeeps! It’s two jeeps away from Intramuros. It was very easy. We got there. No problem! But then when we went to Rizal Park, the one with the big flags, and we also went to Ocean Park, the big aquarium thing. To go back from there, the police said to take the sky train. We got out in the middle of nowhere, then we got into another jeep, and then everybody was like “Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know where you’re going.” We stopped somewhere, and they said “We’re here!” but it was not here. Then we had to get one of those little bicycles. So instead of paying 14 pesos, it costed us 150.
What else is on the itinerary?
Ashleigh: We’re going to Palawan, all around Cebu, and then Boracay. Probably the nicest beaches in the whole of Southeast Asia. We’re also interested in seeing the lagoons. After the Philippines, we’re planning to continue our backpacking to Indonesia, Australia, and then we’re going back home to work for a while.
Makati Junction Hostel
Hi Shaun! What brought you to the Philippines?
Just traveling around. I’ve been in the Philippines for almost two weeks and I’m already leaving tomorrow. But before the Philippines, I was in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam. Then after Philippines, I’ll be going to Thailand and Japan. A total of eight months of traveling before I head back home to Australia.
Anything you’ve come to love so far?
Definitely the beaches and the islands. Also, the people I’ve met here are very kind. The Filipino people and the Thai people are probably the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life.
What’s on the itinerary?
Well, I’ve been to Palawan. I stayed there for nine days. But I’ve also heard of Cebu, it was recommended to me. I think it’s a very cheap flight away from Puerto Princesa? Maybe the next time I’ll go here to the Philippines, I’d like to go to Boracay. I’d also like to go to Bohol for the Chocolate Hills. But in general, I’d like to go where the scenery is the most beautiful. Not too much of partying or going to malls. I really would like to see the natural beauty of the Philippines.
Have you experienced anything unique during your stay here?
Riding the jeepneys. I’ve never seen that in any other country. It was so unusual for me. Oh, and also swimming with the sea turtles in Palawan! What an experience.