The Philippines consists of more than 7,000 islands, sandwiched between Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, flanked by the South China Sea. But only about 1,000 of them are inhabited. The 11 largest islands make up more than 95 percent of the country’s area. Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is the nation’s largest city and busiest port.
Independent travellers who like to wander off the beaten track, and do not mind doing without the conveniences of running water will find plenty to occupy their time whilst in the countryside and coastal parts of the Philippines.
The Philippines has a hot, humid climate. During the hottest months, from March to May, temperatures may reach 100 °F (38 °C). The weather cools off during the rainy season, which lasts from June to February, but the temperature seldom falls below 70 °F (21 °C). Manila has an average temperature of 75 °F (24 °C) in January and 82 °F (28 °C) in May.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
POPULATION: 92.6 million
LANGUAGE: Filipino, English
CURRENCY: Philippine Peso
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 220V, 60Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or a two pin plug is required.
COUNTRY CODE: PH
COUNTRY DIALLING CODE: +63
TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC +8
We advise against all travel to mainland Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of ongoing terrorist and insurgent activity. There have been terrorist attacks against civilian targets in Mindanao in the past two years these have included roads, buses and shopping malls. Since 10 August there have been clashes between insurgent groups and the Philippine Armed Forces in North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte provinces of Mindanao. There have been reports of civilian fatalities and thousands of people have been displaced.
There are also ongoing clashes between the military and insurgent groups in the Sulu archipelago including Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Jolo.
Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk