Did you know that 7000 stunning, tropical islands make up the Philippines? We are overjoyed to return to this exciting archipelago, because as Intrepid traveller Esbjorn Torstensson explains, it’s the type of place that leaves a lasting impression from the moment you arrive…
“After going through the normal customs stuff we jumped in a taxi bound for our hotel – this was our first visit to the Philippines. Driving out from the airport, our taxi driver took a good look at us and shouted with a big smile “Welcome to the Philippines!” He continued to explain the ‘tradition’ of giving all taxi drivers a gold coin souvenir when arriving to the Philippines.
Somewhat experienced with taxi drivers around the world, I love the bantering, so I continued to ask him if he knew about our hotel. “Yes, it closed down last week, but my uncle has a great hotel very close by.” So I asked him if we could go and have a look anyway, just for a laugh, where upon he smiled again and proceeded to tell us about his family and how much he loved driving a taxi. Meeting our new friend was a fun introduction to the Philippines and after dropping us off at our now miraculously re-opened hotel, we were happy to give him a good tip.
After spending two weeks in the Philippines we came to love the warm and friendly locals who were always up for a chat and a laugh. The stunning beaches of Boracay, the amazing climb to the crater on Mt Pinatubo and the gorgeous little town of Banaue are experiences my wife and I still talk about constantly!”
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* photo by Paul Benefield – Intrepid Photography Competition