With the opening up of 25 borders for Filipinos, the opportunities to let wanderlust take over and explore the world have increased as well. Last issue Filipino Life looked at 10 countries Filipinos can travel to without having a visa prior to their visit, and this issue the list continues, as we look at 10 more countries waiting to be discovered.
Historic surroundings such as Cartagena, and the coffee regions are already popular tourist sites with fairly recently Bogota, the capital, also becoming recognised as a major tourist destination due to the restoration of museums, entertainment facilities, development of parks, renovation of public areas as well as creating a network of cycling routes. Colombia’s rich geography also includes the Amazon and Andean regions as well as the Ilanos, Caribbean and Pacific Coasts, which makes it a potential site for ecotourism.
With its greenery as far as the eye can see, delicious food and breath-taking monuments, India is a treasure for everyone who visits. Home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Taj Mahal is situated in Agra and plays host to millions of tourists every year. Additionally, the Khajuraho Temples are a site to marvel at with their detailed carvings and sculptors, and are among the many tourist attractions across India. Tourists also get the chance to explore the backwaters of Kerala where they are given a tour in the houseboats. These boats were originally meant to transport rice but over years have turned into fully furnished one or two bedroom boats with a kitchen, living room and big window that looks out to the surrounding beauty. One of most popular places in India is Goa, an island popular for its beaches, parties and world heritage architecture. With an endless list of tourist attractions, India is every bit ideal for those interested in some history and culture.
Host to some of the most exotic wildlife, Ecuador is one of the most bio diverse country in the world. The Galapagos Islands are rightfully famous for their wildlife, yet Ecuador still has plenty to offer on its mainland. A paradise for nature-lovers, Ecuador has rich national parks such as the Yasuni National Park and the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. For those just looking to relax, the beaches in Ecuador provide a nice spot for relaxation such as the Salinas, Bahia de Caraquez, and Manta among many more.
The Southeast Asian country known for its mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, and Buddhist monasteries, Laos has been untouched by the modern demands of life. Sticking true to their traditions, heritage and culture, the Lao people work hard to preserve the country’s lush landscape. For the history buffs, the site of That Luang, a reliquary that holds Buddha’s breastbone, will be an ideal place to visit as well as the Patuaxi war memorial. For those looking to pick up interesting souvenirs, the Talat Sao (Morning Market), shopping complex has food, clothes and craft stalls.
Encompassing 34 provinces in over thousands of islands, the fourth most populous country in the world, Indonesia, is one of the most popular travel destinations with Bali being a tourist- favourite. Home to a population of 252million people, Indonesia’s culture is comprised of 300 ethnic groups with influences from Indian, Arabic, Chinese and European sources. Each province is rich in its culture and history, allowing tourists to explore each and every aspect that comprises Indonesia’s identity. From the Bromo Moutains, to the Singosari Temple, and even the Jampit Coffee Plantations, Indonesia has plenty to offer its visitors.
Consisting of over 500 islands, Palau is popular most for its scuba-diving and snorkelling sites. The city of Koror is the largest city and is the main hub for shopping, hotels and restaurants. The largest dives also operate out of Koror.
Sharing borders with Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Mozmbique is one southern Africa’s gems with popular beaches like Tofo and offshore marine parks. The 250km stretch coral islands in the Quirimbas Archipelago is rich with history as the mangrove-covered Ibo Island is has colonial- era ruins. Another popular archipelago is the Bazaruto Archipelago, which has reefs protecting rare marine life such as dugongs. Not only that, the national parks such as Banhine and Limpopo preserve country’s nature and wildlife, makes it a perfect tourist-spot for animal lovers.
Offering a peaceful environment, Tuvalu is one of the smallest countries in the world making it free of any hustle and bustle of every day life. Staying true to their Polynesian culture, the atoll island people maintain their art, crafts, simple and unique architecture, and music and ensure any visitors get the true feel of their traditions and history. The marine environment consists of the Pacific ocean interspersed with atolls, lagoons, coral reefs and small islands, which provide a South Seas environment. Tucked away in the corner of the Pacific, Tuvalu is perfect for a rejuvenating trip.
Comprised of the main island of St. Vincent and a cluster of smaller islands, this southern Caribbean nation is known for its major sailing destinations such as the reef-lined Bequia Island, surrounded by white-sand beaches like Princess Margaret. Yacht-filled harbours, private isles and volcanic landscapes create the beautiful scenery of this stunning destination, ideal for tourists looking for a relaxing getaway.
Popular for its diverse wildlife and endless beaches, Sri Lanka is a true combination of lush scenery and history. Home to ancient Buddhist ruins, including the 5th century citadel Sigiriya, the tiny island south of India is cultural melting pot. Its flavourful cuisine expresses the history of the country and its diverse culture. Also home to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Paradeniya, Dambulla Cave Temple, as well as the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka is offers its tourists flourishing greenery as well as a quick history lesson at each visited site.