The Philippines is made up of over 7000 islands, and boasts many of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s people are the friendliest and kindest I’ve ever met. Because there are so many islands, it’s relatively easy to get off the beaten path and find your own slice of paradise in the Philippines. Island interiors are just as stunning as the coast – covered in endemic tropical forest, terraced rice fields with water buffalo, and spellbinding waterfalls.

It’s not as cheap as other destinations in Southeast Asia and is more tricky to get to than the countries on the mainland. Travelling around the Philippines can be a logistical challenge too, with island hopping, poor roads and congestion in big cities. But English is widespread and people everywhere will do their best to help you out.

The Philippines is one of my favourite countries. I spent most of my time in northern Palawan, where I loved the laid-back culture, minimal commercial development and jaw-dropping scenery.

Kayangan Lake