The 7000-odd islands that comprise the Philippines are the forgotten islands of Southeast Asia. Off the main overland route and with a recent history of martial law and endemic corruption, the country has struggled to attract tourists in the numbers many of its South-East Asian neighbours have.
However, most of the Philippines is laidback, stable and relatively safe. The locals are, by and large, an exceptionally friendly and helpful bunch. On top of this, transport is cheap, the food is good, accommodation is plentiful and (for the monolinguistic) English is widely spoken.
The Philipines has been dogged by trouble. In 2000 a Brussels-based research centre declared the Philippines the most disaster-prone country on earth. It named typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, garbage landslides and military action against Muslim insurgents as just some of the problems both locals and tourists have had to deal with.
Facts for the traveller
Money & Costs
Off the beaten track