10 Most Popular Travel Destinations on Everyone’s Itinerary in 2017
Which ones have you been to?
(SPOT.ph) 2017 was a big year for Filipino travelers. Additional flights were added from one local island to another, our very own Palawan got the coveted title as World's Top Island by Travel + Leisure, Boracay received a similar recognition in Conde Nast Traveler's list of 30 Best Islands in the World, new air fleets and cruise ships were launched here and there, and more travel options and experiences opened up to travel-junkie Pinoys.
To celebrate this awesome year for our wandering feet, we round up some destinations—from a metropolitan paradise to a quiet bed and breakfast—that caught everyone’s attention in 2017.
Filipino travelers can't help but be charmed by Taiwan especially now that entry is visa-free for Philippine passport holders. Photos from a Meteor Garden-inspired trip quickly went viral in June after a group of friends visited the famous show's shoot locations all the way to Chiayi County in the southwest. For the more adventurous, Taiwan's mountainous terrain often offers stunning vistas that make the arduous climb to the top worth your while and interesting geographic formations that make amazing photo backdrops. And who can forget the street food? Take three steps and you're right in front of another food stall!
San Juan, La Union, a.k.a. the Surfing Capital of the North
It's easy to get addicted to anything Korean. There's the well-loved K-Barbecue, envy-worthy skincare options, and—of course—K-Pop and K-Drama. It's also a huge plus that this country turns into a splash of red, orange, and yellow during the autumn season. How could you not want to go Seoul-searching?
Siargao, a teardrop-shaped island in Surigao del Norte, has so much to offer Filipino travelers—barreling waves perfect for surfing, white-sand beaches and sandbars, amazing rock formations, and pristine islets with incomparable beauty. It's even the setting of Paul Soriano's newest movie, which explores the love triangle between the characters of Jericho Rosales, Erich Gonzales, and Jasmine Curtis-Smith. If you haven't visited this island, better do it ASAP before its own international airport opens and receives a possibly dangerous (and destructive) influx of tourists.
If you love ramen, then you should definitely go back to its roots—Japan, of course. This country has an old-country vibe but also a hip and happening spirit. You can experience its heritage by visiting historic temples, the Shinto shrine, and even castles that date back to 16th century. Kids and kids-at-heart can head over to Universal Studios, Osaka Aquarium, or Tokyo Disneyland. Don't forget your long list of pasalubong picks!
Garden Cottages, Kilometer 45 Marcos Highway, Baras, Rizal
Rates start at P1,800
Masungi Georeserve in Rizal Province may have been around since 2015, but the people behind it continue to offer new experiences for both hikers and casual visitors. New trails were introduced in May, such as the Sawa—a rapid exit for the handicapped, elderly, and those who just need to tap out in the middle of a climb. It's as if you're strolling through the belly of a giant typhoon until you end up back at the entrance. They even added lights in case you want to explore it at night.
Data from Google says that the Caramoan Peninsula in the province of Camarines Sur is one of the top trending searches for the summer of 2017—and this is definitely not hard to believe. Its white sand beaches, sandbars, crystal-clear waters, and limestone forests make it a tropical paradise that you can't resist. This destination also lets you pig out on bountiful seafood that's very affordable.
Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Rates start at H.K. $2,200
The "happiest place on earth"—Hong Kong Disneyland—continues to offer amazing memories to its guests by regularly adding new attractions to the park. The Iron Man Experience, which lets you experience the high-tech inventions of Tony Stark, opened in January, while the Disney Explorers Lodge started receiving guests in May. The
3083 Halang-Dagatan Road, Purok 6, Barangay Halang, Amadeo, Cavite
Rates start at P7,987
These days, it's not enough that your accommodation is comfortable; it also has to be IG-worthy. Casa del Sol in Tagaytay caught our attention in August, and it's easy to see why. This Airbnb's bohemian-inspired furnishing is complemented with industrial rustic furnishings, old school wood flooring, and colorful beanie bags. Natural light also comes in through large glass windows, giving guests plenty of warmth and comfort.
Samba Bluewater Resort, Olongapo, Zambales
Rates start at P899
Water lovers were treated to a one-of-a-kind beach experience when the Philippines' first-ever floating water park in the Philippines opened in April. It claims to be the biggest in Asia, with a size equivalent to eight basketball courts. Inflatable Island features fun obstacle courses such as trampolines, monkey bars, and a whole lot of slides. Plus, the Bali-inspired resort has comfy bean bags where guests can lounge on after trying out the very tiring 10-meter Tarzan swing and nine-meter human launcher.