Top things to do in Philippines

Top Choice Island in Coron Town

Coron Island

This island, only a 20-minute bangka ride from Coron, has an imposing, mysterious skyline that wouldn’t be out of place in a King Kong film. Flying over Coron, you see that the fortresslike, jungle-clad interior is …
Top Choice Beach in El Nido

Nacpan Beach

For an easy day trip out of El Nido, head north by tricycle or motorbike to this incredible, golden-hued, 3km beach. Development is limited to a few snack shacks and some basic lodging, but change is imminent so enj…
Top Choice Cafe in Manila

Van Gogh is Bipolar

Every bit as interesting as it sounds, this chaotic restaurant inhabits a tiny space packed with curios and artworks. It's run by artist Jetro, who cooks entirely original, delicious food in a riotous atmosphere tha…
Top Choice International in Tagaytay & Lake Taal


One of the finest restaurants in the country, this upscale French-Euro-Filipino eatery offers the chance to rub elbows with politicians and oligarchs over delightfully presented dishes from foie-gras raclette to roa…
Top Choice Beach in El Nido

Duli Beach

This incredibly beautiful, jungle-backed, stretch of golden sand toward the north tip of mainland Palawan is the centre of El Nido's surfing community. The season is November to March and board rental is available (…
Top Choice Cafe in Manila

Coffee Empire

A chic industrial open-plan warehouse setup with hessian sacks of single-origin green beans on display in the glassed-in 'green room', plus drawers of roasted beans for sniffing. Excellent food, including huge break…
Top Choice Bar in Puerto Galera

Point Bar

Our favourite bar, the Point Bar is a mellow sunset-and-beyond meeting place with great views and eclectic music. It’s one of the few bars in town where solo women travellers can feel comfortable.
Top Choice Historic Site in Vigan

Mestizo District

The Mestizo District, or Kasanglayan ('where the Chinese live'), is a grid of streets hemmed in between Plaza Burgos and Liberation Blvd and bisected by the beautifully preserved Crisologo St. You can wander in a da…
Top Choice Nature Reserve in Loboc

Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary

In Canapnapan, a barangay of Corella, you can see saucer-eyed tarsiers in the wild at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary. Over 100 of these territorial primates hang out in the immediate vicinity of the centre, though…
Top Choice Fort in Manila

Fort Santiago

Guarding the entrance to the Pasig River is Intramuros' premier tourist attraction: Fort Santiago. Within the fort grounds is an oasis of lovely manicured gardens, plazas and fountains leading to an arched gate and …