Top 9 Things to Do in the Philippines

An archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines is a country to behold. It’s truly a haven for travellers. Here are the amazing things you can do in the Philippines:

An archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines is a country to behold. It’s truly a haven for travelers. Here are the amazing things you can do in the Philippines:

Dive like no other

The country is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. Located at the island of Palawan, this site is like heaven for divers. It has a diverse and rich marine biodiversity, and is home to hundreds of species of fish and corals, including whales and dolphins.

Go hiking

From going up a really tall mountain to hiking a small volcano nestled within another volcano, the Philippines offers you a lot of hiking options. It might take you hours to reach the top, but trust us, the picturesque views are totally worth it. Plus, don’t you want to see the clouds?

Visit architectural wonders

The country was colonized by the Spaniards for centuries, so architectural marvels built during that period are all over the country. From towering churches to well-kept ancestral homes, the Philippines will surely wake up your love for architecture. You can even ride horse-drawn carriages while exploring historical places such as Intramuros (located in the capital, Manila) or Vigan (around 8 hours from Manila).

Eat local food

From mouth-watering appetizers to mind-blowing desserts, the Philippines boasts a wide selection of local food that will surely tickle your taste buds. Among the most recommended Filipino dishes are the infamous adobo and the spicy sisig. If you have an adventurous side, you can try the balut, which is an egg with an almost formed duck embryo inside.

Attend a local festival

There are more than 42,000 festivals in the Philippines. Attending at least one is a must. These festivals can last from a few days to a few weeks, and usually consist of parades and colorful costumes. Some people would even welcome you into their dining table for free during these festivals.

Go island hopping

As mentioned earlier, the Philippines has thousands of islands so you should definitely try island hopping. From permanent islands to small ones that only appear during low tide, you will surely be delighted. Plus, taking a boat usually costs from 10 to 20 dollars only.

See the caves

Enormous limestones and rock formations await you in the Philippines. Many caves have historical significance (e.g. being used as a hiding place during World War II), and underground rivers (though you cannot usually swim in them). Caving is one thing you don’t wanna miss.

Interact with amazing animals

From swimming with whale sharks that are as big as buses to touching tarsiers that are as small as your palm, the Philippines is home to many species that you must meet during your visit. Plus, specific species of flying foxes, flying lemurs, and warty pigs can only be found in the Philippines.

Get a tan

The Philippines is a tropical country so getting a tan is easier here than in non-tropical countries. Finding a beach with white sand isn’t so hard, too. The pristine beaches in Cebu, Boracay, or Palawan will surely make your sunbathing experience better. Just don’t forget to put on sunscreen.

It’s never too late to join the traveling bandwagon, and the Philippines should definitely be on your bucket list.

The Coolest Coffee Shops in Europe

Europe has become synonymous with great little quaint cafes, coffee bars, and tea rooms. We’ve compiled a list of some of the coolest coffee shops and cafes in Europe to help inspire you as you plan your next European holiday.

There is something about coffee that brings people together. The warm inviting aromas entice you in, encourage you to sit, and welcome you to experience your surroundings rather than just see them through your camera lens. One of the best parts about traveling is trying local cafes and restaurants and immersing yourself in the culture. A coffee house provides the unique atmosphere for patrons to sit in solitude and people watch one minute, but then mix and mingle and connect with other patrons the next minute.

If you’re looking for that quintessential coffee house café experience, then Europe has got to be on the top of your list to visit. Europe has become synonymous with great little quaint cafes, coffee bars, and tea rooms. We’ve compiled a list of some of the coolest coffee shops and cafes in Europe to help inspire you as you plan your next European holiday, because at the end of the day you can never have too much coffee.

The Antico Caffe Greco | Rome, Italy

As the oldest café and coffee house in Rome, this place has quite the history. Since opening its doors in 1760 the café has served coffee and food to some historical and famous figures over the years. This is your chance to sit in the same spot as some of the most famous artists, thinkers, philosophers, politicians, and composers of history and today.

Or Espresso | Brussels, Belgium

This industrial-looking coffee shop roasts their own coffee and are even distributors. They even have their own school teaching up-and-coming baristas the art of all things coffee, pretty cool.

Tim Wendelboe | Oslo, Norway

Tim Wendelboe brings fresh, creative and energetic ideas to coffee and his café. He continues to offer unique and interesting combinations and has spurred on the coffee craze in Oslo specifically.

Café Central | Vienna, Austria

It’s not often you can have a cup of delicious coffee in a rare 19th century historical building but you can at Café Central. This famous and beautiful coffee house opened in 1876 and has been enticing people in ever since.

New York Café | Budapest, Hungary

Nicknamed ‘The Most Beautiful Café in the World’, the New York Café is one of the most elaborate and exquisite coffee house and tea rooms around. Very popular with long lines, this café serves Austro-Hungarian cuisine and sweet treats all day. You’ll feel like you stepped back into the 1800s when you step through these doors.

The next time you’re on a European holiday make sure to take the time to sit and experience the café lifestyle that Europe has perfected. Try to learn how to order your favorite coffee drink in the native language (trust us, they’ll appreciate the effort of you trying even if it’s not perfect), people watch, don’t be afraid to make conversation with others around you, ask for recommendations for a great coffee or dinner spot, and open your heart and mind to your surroundings. You may be surprised, you could go in for a coffee but leave with an experience to remember.

7 Amazing Facts About Indian Culture

India has always been a strong advocate of the fact that unity is diversity. Housing a total population of 1.3 billion people, the country is engraved with unique cultural nuances. Here are a few facts about Indian culture that account for its multifaceted identity.

India has always been a strong advocate of the fact that unity is diversity. Housing a total population of 1.3 billion people, the country is engraved with unique cultural nuances. Here are a few facts about Indian culture that account for its multifaceted identity.

All Major Religions of The World

Although the majority of the population is Hindu, the country houses well-established communities of major as well as smaller world religions. Churches are visible across Goa and Kerala. Magnificent Jain temples are common in cities like Rajasthan, Delhi and Gujarat. Uttar Pradesh & Bihar is home to numerous Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Punjab is the official home of Sikhism. Muslims constitute 14% of the Indian population. Mosques, mausoleums and shrines are visible throughout the country.

The Namaste Greeting

You may already know about this famous Indian tradition. It is one of the five ancient forms of greeting mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. The word Namaste translates to “I bow to you”. Greeting one another with Namaste is also a way of saying “May our minds meet”.

The System Of Arranged Marriages

The Indian society strongly advocates for arranged marriage. The system of arranged marriage is still followed, where parents are responsible for finding the perfect matches for their children. In some cultures, love marriage is a huge taboo.

Atithi Devo Bhavah

The phrase translates to “Guest is equivalent to God”. It has become a traditional code of conduct for the Hindu community. Whenever a guest arrives, he/she is treated with utmost respect and provided unparalleled hospitality.

The Traditional Indian Wear

Women in India are often observed wearing saris. A sari is a garment that has an unstitched drape. It is typically wrapped around the waist with one end of the garment placed on the shoulder, leaving a bare portion of the midriff. For casual occasions, Indian men wear simple “Kurta Pyjamas”. For formal occasions, they are observed donning “Sherwanis”.

The English Language

The English speaking population in India is the second largest in the world, USA being on top. It is also one of the twenty-two official languages enshrined in the Constitution of India. You will be able to communicate almost everywhere in the country.

The Largest Population of Vegetarians

India houses the largest population of vegetarians, which made KFC introduce its first-ever vegetarian menu in the entire world, exclusively made for India.Cooking in India differs from region to region, which results in the diverse cuisine. Species herbs are extensively put to use when it comes to Indian food. However, rice and wheat are staple grains.