Travel agents give nod to beaches of the Philip­pines

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TRAVEL SPECIAL - By HAO NAN hao­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Beaches of­fer a great place to re­lax and un­wind dur­ing a well-de­served hol­i­day, which is why Planet Travel, a “pri­vate travel but­ler”, rec­om­mends the Philip­pines for those who want to tem­po­rar­ily es­cape from work to re­ju­ve­nate their minds and bod­ies.

The Philip­pines con­sists of more than 7,000 beau­ti­ful is­lands that fea­ture amaz­ing beaches be­side bril­liant blue seas. There, co­conut trees sway gen­tly in cool ocean breezes while vis­i­tors mark the time by the com­ing and go­ing of the tide.

The cu­mu­la­tive length of coast­line on all of the coun­try’s is­land to­tals more than 17,500 kilo­me­ters.

The coun­try also has a num­ber of other scenic wa­ter re­sources, in­clud­ing bays, rivers, lakes, falls, gulfs, straits and swamps.

Be­cause of the low level of in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion lo­cally, the coun­try’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment re­mains pris­tine.

Many travel con­sul­tants in Planet Travel agree that the Philip­pines has the world’s most beau­ti­ful and crys­tal-clear sea­wa­ter. Be­cause of that, it has been listed as one of the top tourism des­ti­na­tions around the globe among se­nior ex­ec­u­tives and celebri­ties.

Planet Travel has ar­ranged count­less trips to the Philip­pines for years. It can pro­vide in­de­pen­dent and re­li­able travel in­for­ma­tion for cus­tomers about ho­tels, lo­cal travel agen­cies and side trips off the beaten path.

It also helps trav­el­ers to avoid tourist traps, show­ing them where to find value and how to avoid be­ing ripped off.

There are sev­eral air­lines serv­ing reg­u­lar route to the coun­try, and Planet Travel will choose larger ones to en­sure the safety of cus­tomers.

Kuang Jiang­nan, a travel con­sul­tant with the com­pany, vis­ited lo­cal travel agen­cies ear­lier this year to com­mu­ni­cate the lat­est ways to of­fer bet­ter ser­vices to vis­i­tors.

She also went div­ing at dif­fer­ent is­lands to make proper sug­ges­tions ac­cord­ing to dif­fer­ent de­mands from cus­tomers.

If vis­i­tors dive into the blue-turquoise wa­ter of the Philip­pines, they may see some of the rich­est bio­di­ver­sity in the world’s seas, she said.

Of the coun­try’s many is­lands, the most wor­thy of a rec­om­men­da­tion is Bo­ra­cay Is­land.

With a length of only 4.5 miles, Bo­ra­cay is small enough to tour around by bi­cy­cle or mo­tor­bike. But it will im­press vis­i­tors with sev­eral mar­velous beaches.

For in­stance, White Beach, as its name sug­gests, is fa­mous for its fine white sands. This is be­cause there are al­most no coral reefs on the sea floor within 1 kilo­me­ter around the beach. Shell­fishes are also rarely seen in it.

It also has cap­ti­vat­ing sun­sets that burst into myr­iad col­ors, rang­ing from rosy and dark red to or­ange-red blend­ing with golden light.

Bo­ra­cay is also an ideal place for sports en­thu­si­ast. Leisure ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude scuba div­ing, snor­kel­ing, wind­surf­ing, kite­board­ing, cliff- div­ing and so forth.

Bu­la­bog Beach, lo­cated on the eastern end of Bo­ra­cay, is the per­ma­nent home to Bo­ra­cay In­ter­na­tional Fun Board Cup com­pe­ti­tion, a week- long event usu­ally held in Jan­uary.

One of the big­gest con­cerns tourists have is find­ing the best time to travel in the Philip­pines.

Ac­cord­ing to Planet Travel, it is ad­vis­able to make a trip there from De­cem­ber to next April dur­ing the cool and dry sea­son. Dur­ing that pe­riod, the tem­per­a­ture av­er­ages 25.5 C.

So, hol­i­days for Christ­mas, New Year’s Day and China’s Spring Fes­ti­val are good op­por­tu­ni­ties to go there.

Nev­er­the­less, it does not mean peo­ple can­not visit the Philip­pines at other times. An Ital­ian cou­ple en­joyed a joy­ful hol­i­day there in Oc­to­ber last year.

Scott All­ford, a vet­eran trav­eler, once said those who come to the Philip­pines to seek out the beauty of this coun­try will not be dis­ap­pointed.

How­ever, “first time trav­el­ers to the Philip­pines should be­ware, just like me and many other for­eign­ers, this amaz­ing coun­try may com­pel you to stay quite a bit longer than you ini­tially planned,” he noted.

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