Top Philippine Destinations in 2014

Rought Guides, a leading travel publication, has included the Philippines in its list of Top 10 countries to visit this year.

Rough Guides, which was first published in 1992, ranked the Philippines 10th in its “Top 10 countries” list for 2014, citing the archipelago’s “dazzling array of pristine reefs, volcanoes, sleepy backpacker islands and the famed rice terraces.”

It also noted how the Philippines recently suffered a blow from super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan).
“In the wake of the terrible devastation wreaked by typhoon Haiyan, tourism has become even more important to the Philippines, bringing crucial support to the economy,” Rough Guides said on its website.

“An estimated 97 percent of the country remains unaffected, including Boracay and the southern parts of Cebu… the country mostly remains off the beaten path, despite being relatively safe for travellers – flare-ups of political violence (mainly in Mindanao) are easily avoided,” it added.

Rough Guides also encouraged European travellers to visit the Philippines, citing direct flights from London to Manila.  “New direct flights from London to Manila mean that it’s now easier to get there from the UK,” it said.

It said aside from the island paradise of Boracay, other “things not to miss in the Philippines” are the Ati-Atihan festival in Kalibo, El Nido resort in Palawan, the Banaue Rice Terraces, the Filipino dessert halo-halo, Vigan in Ilocos Sur, swimming with whale sharks, Coron island in Palawan, Chocolate Hills in Bohol, and San Agustin Church in Manila.

Topping Rough Guides’ list of must-visit countries this year is Ethiopia, followed by Madagascar, Brazil, Turkey, Georgia, Rwanda, Japan, Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Meanwhile, the online edition of the British newspaper The Telegraph has included the Philippines in its list of 20 destinations for 2014.
Travel writers at The Telegraph made it clear, however, that “it’s no sympathy vote,” given how the Philippines has suffered a huge blow following the onslaught of super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan) in November.

“The archipelago is made for island-hopping between sugary beaches that receive far fewer tourists than they should,” The Telegraph said.
Other travel spots that made it to The Telegraph’s list are Glasgow in Scotland, Matera and Egadi in Italy, Bordeaux in France, Jerusalem, Charleston in the United States, Chengdu in China, Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia, Sumatra in Indonesia, Alacati in Turkey, Canouan in The Caribbean, Papua New Guinea, Kashmir and the Ganges in India, El Salvador, Iran, Stewart Island in New Zealand, Darwin in Australia, and Red Mountain in Canada.

Travel writers at The Telegraph said they opted to include destinations that rarely make it to brochures of mainstream tour operators, as well as a handful of new city spots.  The Philippines recently made it to Rough Guide’s list of Top 10 countries this year for its “dazzling array of pristine reefs, volcanoes, sleepy backpacker islands and famed rice terraces.”

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