The Philippines, the exotic nation in Southeast Asia, is known for its expansive beaches, lush landscapes, picturesque islands, active volcanoes, and bustling megacities. Though these are the major attractions for the tourists looking to explore the country, there is a lot more to the Philippines beyond all of that.
Endless exciting and fun experience awaits the ones who are ready to deviate from the beaten track and try something different. Right from taking spas in a cooking pot to sand-boarding in the desert, the Philippines is a treasure trove of unique activities that you’ll not get to enjoy anywhere else.
Are you ready to take a closer look at the lesser-known side of this beautiful tropical country? Let’s take you through the nine unique experiences that you can only have in the Philippines.
1. Get A Kalinga Tattoo at the Cordillera Mountains:
The Kalinga community hails from the Cordillera mountain region of Northern Luzon. They are famous for their fondness for body art. If you like ink on your body, then you can get it done here from the legendary Whang Od.
She is a 100-year-old tattoo artist who uses a hand-tap method and rough thorns to create her tattoos. The pain intensity is way higher than your average tattoo, and this is not for the faintest of hearts.
2. Get a Taste of Balut on the Streets of Manila:
Filipinos are known for their unique food and distinctive tastes, but nothing beats the exclusiveness of balut. Balut is a hard-boiled duck egg that has a developing embryo in it.
Known as one of the most iconic delicacies of the Philippines, you just need to crack open the egg, add a little bit of salt, and enjoy it. Balut is a popular street food all over the Philippines, though it is the most famous in Manila. While shopping on the streets, Don’t forget to keep all your shopped goods on the roof rack before heading towards the next destination. These roof rack will ensure a comfortable journey.
3. Relax in A Cooking Pot At Tibiao In Panay Island:
Are you ready to get cooked in a giant wok in Panay Island? Jokes apart, you can get into a huge water-filled pot with a fire pit burning at the base at Tibiao. The traditional cooking pots have now been made into hot tubs for a spa experience called the Kawa hot bath.
Don’t worry, the water will never get too hot to handle, and you can just relax and enjoy the lush green sceneries around you.
4. Try Out Sand-Boarding at Ilocos Norte:
How about changing your plans for snowboarding to sand-boarding for your next vacation? Sand-boarding is the joy and pride of Laoag City in Ilocos Norte. All you need to do is head to either La Paz Sand Dunes of Paoay Sand Dunes to try your hand at this adrenaline-thumping activity.
The coastal deserts overlook the grand South China Sea and have huge dunes to let you surf the sand. Just remember to keep your mouth closed while sand-boarding if you don’t want to munch on sand grains.
5. Witness the Firefly Tree By The Abatan River In Bohol:
The mention of Bohol is usually associated with colorful coral reefs and the famous Chocolate Hills, but there are other hidden gems to explore here too. Have a look at the firefly tree after going through the mangrove forests and canoeing down the pretty Abatan River.
The lightning bugs end up engulfing an entire tree making it look like the tree is glowing. As you stare at it in awe, also try to know about the efforts to conserve the fireflies.
6. Enjoy Dining at Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant:
Imagine sitting beside a gorgeous waterfall while enjoying the finest delicacies like lumpiang gulay and Ensalada-bagoong. That’s what you get at the famous Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant!
The restaurant is located right at the foot of the gushing Labassin Waterfall and lets visitors play along in the water while preparing yummy local kamayan-style lunch for them. Get soaked in the water or just dip your feet in it while enjoying your meal: the choice is yours!
7. Get A Snake Massage at the Davao Croc Park:
If getting a massage from a massive python is not something that makes you run away scared, then the Davao Croc Park is the perfect place for you.
Lay down on the mat and relax (if possible!) and let trained professionals put pythons on you. The heavy snakes of nearly thirty kilograms are supposed to pressure your body while slithering around, and thus, imitate a massaging session. After all, you’ve never had a real massage till a 30 kilo Albino Burmese python wraps itself around you!
8. Watch the Hanging Coffins at Sagada:
The traditional practice of the Igorot tribe of the Sagada region was to hang their coffins from the side of the mountains.
In the olden times, when tribal warfare was common, this unusual burial method was supposed to protect the dead from the enemy tribes’ headhunters while keeping them close to the ancestral spirit. It is a tradition that is about 2000 years old and is hardly followed by the tribe these days.
9. Swim in Dazzling Hinatuan Enchanted River at Mindanao:
The emerald green shores of this saltwater river end into a deep blue colored lagoon. The magical mix of colors has earned it the title of Enchanted River.
The river doesn’t run for a great distance, but the crystal clear waters attract tourists from all over the world. The mystery about the saltwater source of the lagoon is yet to be solved. Though you can’t swim in the main lagoon, you are allowed to take a dip downstream.
The Philippines has a lot to offer for the tourists who are curious enough to look beyond this incredible archipelago’s usual attractions. The next time you visit the Philippines, make sure to explore these hidden wonders of the country that are nothing like anything you have ever tried before. Get ready to make some memories and have a wonderful time in the unforgettable Philippines.