At least not if you’re staying in Chiang Mai… I…
I barely scratched the surface of this Amazing country. I definitely plan to go back some day to see the beaches of Boracay, the rice fields of Banaue and the underwater river of Puerto Princessa. And so much more that I haven’t even heard of yet. With 7000 islands The Philippines has something for everyone.
Where Did I Go?
Manila – 4 nights
Cebu City – 3 nights
Camiguin – 5 nights
Cebu City – 1 night
Donsol – 3 nights
Legazpi – 2 nights
Manila – 1 night
How Much Does 3 Weeks in The Philippines Cost?
I found The Philippines to be the most expensive country I went to in South East Asia. On average it was about $15AUD a day more expensive that Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia. This had a lot to do with the fact that getting between the islands gets expensive.
I found hostels to be consistently expensive. I also splurged $30AUD a night on the cottage in Camiguin. I’ve heard that you can do home stays though which are generally cheaper.
Total spent for 19 nights $367.32
By far my biggest expense for this country. I took 5 domestic flights to get between the islands which really pushed up my expenses. There are ferries that go between islands but information is hard to find and they take upwards of 10 hours for most journeys. It’s one of those things you really have to weigh up. Do you want to save money? Or do you want to save time? I went with time. On the ground transport is pretty cheap though. Jeepneys will only put you back between 7 and 10 pesos. I was, however, consistently ripped off by taxi drivers. Use them with caution.
Total spent on getting into, around and out of the country $552.13
Food and Drink
Eating was a pain in the neck in The Philippines. Filipino food is not vegetarian friendly. I met an American woman that had been in the country for a couple of years working in the Peace Corp. She was originally vegetarian but started eating fish again because it’s hard to be healthy on a plant based diet here. I mostly stuck to eating what I could find in mini-marts and eating pastas from the italian restaurants while there.
Total spent on eating and drinking $240.54
I mostly treated The Philippines as a relaxing holiday so I didn’t really do a lot. I did tick off my dream of swimming with a whale shark though. It’s relatively inexpensive in this part of the world.
Total spent on the fun stuff $41.37
Kinda sucks when you have to add things like x-rays and doctors visits onto your expense list but at least they’re cheap in South East Asia! I only paid 5 bucks for an x-ray on Camiguin. As always this category includes souvenirs and other bits and pieces.
Total spent on the other stuff $146.33
Total $1333.19 or $66.66 per day
The Highlights and the Not-So-Great Bits
My #1 Highlight – Swimming with a whale shark
This was my whole reason for coming to The Philippines so it makes sense that it was my favourite. Putting aside that my snorkel was broken and the ethics of it anyway. You can read about my experience here.
The Worst Experience – Crashing a bicycle in Camiguin
Scrapes on each limb, a nasty bruise and a cracked rib make for a pretty crappy day. I killed my camera too which I was a little bit more upset about. It’s a bit too long a story for here but if you skip to the Camiguin Island section of my A Quick Tour Of The Philippines post you can read about my moment of misfortune.
The Strangest Sight – The black sand beaches of Camiguin
I’m Australian so I’m used to lovely white sand beaches. So it was a little bit of a novelty to see a black sand beach for the first time.
The Craziest Experience – Riding a Jeepney
A remnant of WW2 left by the Americans. Jeepneys are now a very popular method of public transport in The Philippines. You’ll see these brightly painted hybrids trundling past everywhere you go, occasionally with a few brave souls clinging to the outside when they couldn’t get a seat. They’re the cheapest way of getting around too. They’re not made for tall people though. My back touches the top and I still have to have my knees bent when I climb in and out of them.