Who Needs A Man?! These Places In The Philippines Are Perfect For Female Solo Travelers.

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Going on a journey all by yourself, especially if you are a woman, has got to be one of the most liberating experiences you’ll ever have. Some people, especially your family, might disapprove of the idea of you traveling alone in an unfamiliar land perhaps because they fear that you will be a potential target of being duped or that you won’t even be able to read a map to save yourself.

However, cliché as it may sound, there’s nothing a man can do that a woman can’t. In fact, women solo travelers from all over the world are now increasing in number. From the United States to India to Southeast Asia, more women are starting to see the benefits of traveling alone.

Thankfully for us, the Philippines, in general, is a peaceful country with very loving and hospitable people. If you’re daring enough to try traveling by yourself, you may want to start with this list of places conducive for solo travelers – especially if you are woman trying it out for the first time.

1. Batanes

Itbayat, Batanes, Philippines

Itbayat, Batanes photo by Harly Limlingan Marcuap

Batanes is the smallest province in the Philippines that has a population of less than 17,000 and with the lowest crime rate in the country. In fact, some even regard Batanes as home to the most honest Filipinos. One concrete example is the Honesty Coffee Shop, a small sari-sari store in the town of Ivana, where the honesty of the Ivatans (locals of Batanes) and tourists alike is tested. No one mans the store. If you wish to buy something, you just get it, list it down in a logbook, and then leave your payment inside a box.

Valugan Boulder Beach Biking Batanes

Biking in Batanes by Nikka Corsino

Public transportation is very limited in Batanes so its rustic beauty is best explored by foot or bike. The straight out of a magazine landscape and rolling hills overlooking the azure sea is definitely a breathtaking sight to behold, a perfect place for people who want some peace of mind. Sabtang and Itbayat, the neighboring islands of Batan, can be accessed via a faluwa or a motorized passenger boat that looks like a small ‘Noah’s Ark.’

Itbayat Batanes Waves

Photo from Harly Limlingan Marcuap’s Itbayat, Batanes post

If there’s anything you need to worry about, it will be motion sickness. Water tends to be very rough in Batanes because you will be sailing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and the West Philippine Sea.

How to get there: PAL Express and Skyjet Airlines fly to Basco, Batanes from Manila.

Map of Batanes, Philippines

2. Coron, Palawan

Coron is located in the Northern part of Palawan. Most, if not all, parts of Palawan are normally safe. The town of Coron in Busuanga is probably the most tourist-friendly, especially to foreigners and backpackers. As a matter of fact, the majority of visitors in Coron are travelers from all over the world so the locals are used to interacting with foreigners on a daily basis.

Barracuda Lake, Coron, Philippines

Barracuda Lake, Coron by Em D.

Dubbed as the Philippine’s “Last Paradise,” Coron is home to the famous Kayangan Lake, the cleanest lake in the Philippines. If you are someone who loves marine life, then snorkeling and scuba diving in Coron’s WWII shipwrecks, rich and unspoiled coral gardens swarming with fish of all kinds, should top your list. Various touring companies offer island hopping in private or you can even join a group tour to get more bang for your buck.

Kayangan Lake, Coron, Philippines

Kayangan Lake, Coron by Scott on Flickr

How to get there: Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines fly daily to Busuanga. Your hotel’s car service will be the one to bring you to the town of Coron.

Map of Palawan, Philippines

3. Bohol

Bohol is famous not only for its Chocolate Hills but for its warm and friendly people. The laid back lifestyle of the locals together with its rich natural resources seem to be the best assets of this quaint little province in Visayas.

Bohol Chocolate Hills

Bohol Chocolate Hills by Frank1890 on Flickr

If you want a quick escape from the stressful life in the city, then book a plane ticket to Bohol. After that, you can lounge on the beach of Panglao, admire the lushly green man-made forest in Loboc and enjoy a sumptuous meal while cruising the Loboc River while being serenaded by the cheerful locals.

Loboc River Cruise, Bohol, Philippines

Loboc River Cruise photo by krookroo on Flickr

How to get there: Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and Air Asia fly daily to Tagbiliran City, Bohol.

Map of Bohol, Philippines

4. Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Go on a road trip and head to the northernmost tip of Luzon. The 11-hour bus trip is butt numbing so hitting three birds with one stone is probably the best way to go to avoid boredom inside the bus.

On your way to Pagudpud, drop by first in the World Heritage Site – Vigan, walk along the cobblestone of Calle Crisologo and have a blast from the past with the houses’ colonial architecture. Just a two hour-bus ride away from Vigan is Laoag, where the famous La Paz Sand Dunes and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Paoay Church are located.

La Paz Sand Dunes, Laoag, Philippines

La Paz Sand Dunes, Laoag by Wanderpaul

Your third and final stop, the small coastal town of Pagudpud, is a perfect place to unwind. All the tourist attractions in Pagudpud and its neighboring towns can be accessed by hiring a tricycle. The peaceful rural communities and absence of mass tourism make Pagudpud visit-worthy.

Pagudpud Patapat Viaduct, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Pagudpud Patapat Viaduct by Ilocos Norte on Flickr

Crime rate here is also pretty low so no need to fret even if you are a solo traveler. In fact, the only threat to travelers when touring Pagudpud is the absence of enough streetlights at night, even on the national highway, so make sure to be back from your tour before dark.

How to get there: Ride a Partas Bus to Vigan. From Vigan, take an ordinary bus to Laoag, then ride another ordinary bus to Pagudpud. For a more convenient trip, you may take a plane to Laoag via Cebu Pacific or PAL Express.

 

Ilocos Norte, Philippines Map

 

5. Davao City

Davao is probably the place with the most disciplined people. In fact, it is even regarded as the safest and most livable city in the Philippines. In terms of getting around, taxi drivers are monitored by the local government and it is actually safe to walk around the city even at night.

Davao is a good balance of urban living and nature. You can challenge yourself to try out all the best durian-infused desserts in the city or go to a mountain resort.

When you’re done exploring the city, go on a 15-minute boat ride to the Island Garden of Samal where Davaoeños and tourists alike spend a whole day or two to retreat from the noisy and fast-paced city.

Coral Garden, Island Garden of Samal, Davao del Norte, Philippines

Coral Garden, Island Garden of Samal | Photo from Trialaland

If you are up for some adventure, you can also easily arrange a trip to Mt. Apo, the tallest mountain of the Philippines.

How to get there: Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Air Asia fly daily to Davao City.

Map of Davao del Sur, Philippines

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About Author

Toni Alvarez

Having been bitten by the travel bug, exploring the world has been an obsession to her. Toni Alvarez sees to it that not a year will pass by without her satisfying her wanderlust and writing online itineraries after every travel has been automatic to her.

  • Michael J Fenelon

    Has your writer, Toni, ever been to Bohol? It is not a friendly place. I’ve been there four times (because it’s near Cebu where I live and there’s an inexpensive roro ferry service) and i’ve found it one of the least friendly places. Perhaps because of excessive tourism the locals have an unjustified superior attitude and treat visitors as walking atms. The contrast with friendly Cebu is striking.

    • Juan

      Hi Michael! I’m from Bohol. How long did you stay here? It’s surprising to know that you didn’t get the treatment that you were expecting from us locals.

      • Michael J Fenelon

        Stayed up to a week. Unhelpful hotel staff and obnoxious taxi drivers ( one made sure we missed the river trip, no apology). O/W didn’t meet many locals. The difference from Cebu is dramatic.I’ll take my own car on any future trip. The fresh fish on Panglao was great.

        • Thenutcracker Traveler

          why not try to visit davao city?

      • JovicEspanol

        I’ve been to Bohol several times and the experiences were different each time. I experienced difficult people and also hospitable ones but yeah…ive been ripped off most of the time. Boholanos are proud, as they say, when you’re in Rome, do what the Romans do, it’s the same in Bohol.

    • Hello, Michael. Yes, I’ve been to Bohol several times. So sorry to hear about your not so pleasant experience in the province. But yes, I still find Boholanos friendly. =)

      • Red

        Maybe Dumaguete is a better place. They wouldn’t name it “The City of Gentle People” if the people aren’t gentle to visitors. And its close to Cebu and Bohol.

        • imongredneck

          This is one best kept secret that should be kept that way. I do notice the changes in the Boholano attitudes since their tourism boom. We cannot let this happen to Dumaguete.

    • grace bangoy

      I’m a local and sometimes I’m also ripped off in Bohol like other foreign tourists because I don’t speak the local dialect.. but generally it’s a friendly place, it’s one of my favorite islands in the country.. sorry I think you just got unlucky..

    • Ruby Ann Stone

      Hi Michael, how come you were treated as such? I am from Bohol and i dont think so we are what you think. With regards to the walking atm maybe because of the Badjaos on the streets or you were hanging around with some cruel people but in general Boholanos are friendly and hospital and no one can compare with our island as one of the best.

      • Enforcer123

        Ann, Michael is right I was there two times with my wife and not hanging around with any as you say cruel people, well Just loving my wife and she is not cruel… I find Michael’s statement on the money, they are greedy and as I call it STUCK UP, and I tell people to stay away. sorry but this is Life. God Bless!!! I am from New York and travel alot so I see everything. people are not Pleasant……

      • richard

        Grabe ka nmn michael ito na nga oh pilipinas na nga oh tpos ganyan ka pa >_<

        • J0peth

          maraming nga naman tourist spot sa pinas na pwedeng ipagmalaki and inviting foreigner to try and visit these places… in fact.. kahit isang foreigner lang makapunta jan and he assured that these places in really secure and have friendly people sila na ang mang-ngayo sa kapwa nila. bakit di nyu nalng kausapan ang mayor sa lugar ng mga to keep this place secure for foreigners. bago nyu sabihin “it’s more fun in the philippines” atleast think first the security of the visitors coming to these places at makasigarado kang babalik sila…

    • Enforcer123

      Ann, Michael is right I was there two times with my wife and not hanging around with any as you say cruel people, well Just loving my wife and she is not cruel… I find Michael’s statement on the money, they are greedy and as I call it STUCK UP, and I tell people to stay away. sorry but this is Life. God Bless!!! I am from New York and travel a lot so I see everything. people are not Pleasant..

  • Recheck your map photo in #4. Says Sorsogon instead of Ilocos Norte 🙂

    • Map already corrected. Thanks, Demi! =)

  • grace bangoy

    It’s Tagbilaran, not Tagbiliran, thank you ^_^

    • Emmerson Acorda Ong

      And also the man made forest is located at Bilar, Bohol not Loboc..Hehe

  • dingding

    who needs a man when you can get raped in those places in the Philippines. fyi 2 Swiss citizens killed in the Philippines just recently

    • Alex Granada

      more than 30 Australians died in the Bali bombing. just the other day, 7 foreigners died in the bombing at the Bangkok Shrine that killed 20 others. foreigners die in other countries all the time, some more violently than others. so what’s your point?

  • dingding

    Former U.S. ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas wrote an article who needs a woman? these Places In The Philippines Are Perfect For male Solo Travelers.

  • פרעדדיע קרוגר

    You can ride a bus straight to Laoag City. There are buses that you can ride not only Partas.
    Fariñas Transit and Maria De Leon Transit are the two most known bus you can take straight to Laoag City.

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  • pranzer

    Batanes is the home province of DAP-notorious DBM Secretary aBad.

    • Jason Yap

      so?

      • pranzer

        Visit the house and his properties and look what progress the Abads have contributed to Ivatanes.

  • JD Calto Subire

    Davao!

  • neilabarca

    Local Pilipina / Pilipino tourist and backpackers just need an assurance that the place ay walang MANDURUGAS, walang MANYAKIS, CHEAP accomodation, may CULTURAL value and walang mga SCAM….
    Open o bukas ang pinto ng mga hotel / accomodation at walang nangangahas na INTRUDERS….Kahit iwan mo ang mga gamit, maibabalik at walang gagalaw dito….

    Sa halos lahat ng napuntahan ko, BATANES, Camotes Island near Ormoc, BALER and SAGADA, MT. PROVINCE..ay perfect puntahan..

    • Jhel

      I’ve been to Camotes Island and I love it! 🙂 (planned to go there every summer)

    • imongredneck

      “Open o bukas ang pinto ng mga hotel / accomodation at walang nangangahas na INTRUDERS….Kahit iwan mo ang mga gamit, maibabalik at walang gagalaw dito…..”
      Are you sure you were in the Phl?

    • JMT

      are you dreaming of utopia? we live in an evil world…kaya nga merong mga tips sa mga travelers esp. solo backpackers para huag sila mabiktima ng mga masasamang loob.

  • Jason Yap

    I’ve been in Batanes twice already, one of my friend lives there and they were very kind, definitely a nice and safe place to visit.

    • Alexandra Esp

      want to see to Batanes too kuya!

    • Alexandra Esp

      Mr. Yap i hope you could help me with some infos tho. thanx. 🙂

  • Natx Bacalzo

    nice piece Toni but all provinces or islands in PH have a lot to offer to tourists, local and foreigners alike.

    • TrueTwit

      Absolutely incorrect. There is garbage, corruption, ignorance, theft and poverty almost everywhere. Why do you think 20 million Filipino’s live outside the country?

  • TrueTwit

    I’ve lived in the Philippines for 11 years and frankly the locals will do anything to get money out of a foreigner and when they’ve got it, you’re their enemy. The country is full of rubbish, poverty, ignorance, violence, anger and corruption, so don’t believe a word Filipino’s tell you about their nation including the journalist above. For more information read the Facebook website – Foreigners surviving in the Philippines -. It makes sorry reading.

    • imongredneck

      So, you wasted 11yrs of your life in a miserable place like that? Why?

      • TrueTwit

        Because my children were born here, so i feel a commitment to be with them and nurture them even though there is nothing else for me here and the number of problems here are a nightmare. If you went to the facebook site ‘ foreigners surviving living in the Philippines’, you’d see the reality of living here for people from the developed world. It is ‘death by a thousand cuts’.

        • JMT

          sorry to know that that is your experience here in the phils. i think not all foreigners who have been living here for a long time feel the way that you do.

          • Alex Granada

            don’t mind him. he’s a troll.

        • Mafalda Reyes

          So what if they were born here? Why in heavens name would you let them suffer living in a miserable, god-forsaken place such as you so vehemently describe? Why not bundle them up and immediately take them to another place that is clean, wealthy, full of knowledge, peace and goodwill, purity, honesty and honor? To your own country perhaps? Why oh why not? I just wonder why!

          • Alex Granada

            bcoz America is an even worst shithole than the worst place we have here. they’re this close to having a full-blown race war, underlying an even unbridgeable, more toxic dispute between conservative/christian ideologues and the liberals. in some cities like Detroit, LA, or Washington DC, the murder rates are 3 times the rate in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. In LA alone, there are more street people than in the whole Metro Manila .Theater massacres, school shootings that targetted and killed the very young, drive-by murders, white cops gunning down unarmed black boys, red-neck militias, KKK, etc..these are things he expects to find when TrueTwist returns home. are you still wondering why despite what he said about the country, he is still here?

        • Mafalda Reyes

          Just to let you know. i got this from the site you mentioned and I beg forgiveness from the one who posted for appropriating his post for this site —

          Filipino Girls Filipina Girls Philippine Women Philippines Ladies

          June 8, 2013 ·

          Just want to share.. some things are funny! ————————–Living in the Philippines, I freely admit that Americans here typically complain way too much; and being fairly typical, I am no exception. If two of us are talking you can bet that our conversation will eventually get around to our latest complaint. I’ve lived in many countries and never have I been anyplace where so many whining citizens from another country continue to live in the country about which they complain. Our grumbling covers almost every imaginable thing from unbelievably dreadful local drivers, to bad roads, to the predictable flooding during rainy season, to the constantly failing power. The conundrum is that even though so many of us find reasons to continuously carp, thousands of us continue to live here. That fact begs the question: If it’s so bad, why don’t we leave? It must be that there are things here that we DO like. I won’t presume to speak for my fellow expatriate Yanks, but I will make an effort to list what I personally find likeable.

          First, I like the year round balmy weather. I spent my high school years in Michigan, a frigid place where I learned to hate the cold. Now I have even more reason to avoid chilly weather because of my aching osteoarthritic joints. Even in the supposedly warm climes of some southern states like Southern California or Florida–even those places have their frosty wintry days. No thank you! My tender joints and painful tendons prefer the heating-pad-like weather right here in the Philippines.

          I like the fetching smiles and friendliness of the people here, and being me, I’m especially fond of the wonderful smiles of the ladies! Seriously, Filipinos are naturally gracious and welcoming. By contrast, Americans are friendly as well, but we tend to be a bit more reserved, particularly if we happen to come from certain parts of the U.S., namely from the big cities of the northeast, but I generalize. Having lived all over the globe I can say for certain that as a people Filipinos are the quickest to give a stranger a pleasant smile and welcoming words.

          I like the cost of living here. The prices of many things in the Philippines are well below the costs of the same items and services in the states. Many of the foreigners living in this country survive on pensions; finding a job here that pays anything substantial is pretty much out of the question for an outsider (and for a local for that matter). Therefore, it’s important to us that essential living expenses such as rent, food, and transportation be affordable. Although you can find deluxe accommodations here, it’s more important to have available reasonably priced housing, victuals, and conveyance; and all those things can easily be had no matter how limited the budget.

          In my case I also include the cost of secondary schooling in the list of affordable services. As a military veteran I get paid to go to school, and the more economical it is the more educational benefit monies I get to put in the bank. The cost of college in the U.S. is so high that it has become prohibitive. For instance, a stateside textbook can cost as much as 5,000 Pesos (around a hundred bucks) and more, so you can imagine how high the cost of a single class there. It’s easily the price of a complete semester at my school, Systems Plus Computer Foundation, taking a full load of credit hours.

          It’s ironic that one of the things I like most about Filipinos is their composed attitude while driving. It’s ironic because although I like this one aspect about them as drivers, I abhor their generally poor driving. What I appreciate about their attitude is their absolutely non-American style of patience with other drivers and their lack of the road rage so prevalent in United States society. It seems that nothing really upsets a Filipino behind the wheel. Situations and the actions of other drivers that would drive an American back home into paroxysms of middle-finger-waving fury cause the Filipino to merely tap his horn, or more often than not, to have absolutely no reaction at all. I strive mightily on a daily basis to attempt to copy this admirable characteristic. So far I’ve had very little luck in accomplishing this change in my driver’s persona.

          And finally, my mom used to tell me that if I couldn’t say something nice about someone that I shouldn’t say anything at all. Well, I’ll doubtless keep on complaining about irritating aspects of this place, but I’ll also try to keep reminding myself about the good things, because there are many! Did I mention how cheap it is to buy a San Miguel beer? Hey, there’s another one! (source: http://answers.yahoo.com/…/index;_ylt=AuiQd.m5UfVC_u7bBQTQx…)

  • imongredneck

    Nice travel article if only not sexist.

  • Rukon

    it’s really sad that my country is now infected by feminists.
    If you’ll put it that way, men also don’t need women..

  • JMT

    you gotta include Lake Sebu, Sagada among others.

  • Alexandra Esp

    i wan togo to batanes but i hope there is a cheaper way and people to trust with. ty sa infos..

  • Ping Gillesania

    Hi.. i will travel to el nido this summer.. id like to ask if its safe? it will be my 1st to travel alone and im a woman so im kinda scared. 🙂

  • abbiadair

    All of these places are truly amazing and wonderful for all travelers and nature lovers.

  • Scorpion_J

    The Philippines is a poor nation, a very corrupt government, the weather is miserable and traffic horrendous. Give them a chance, and many people will rip you off real fast. Other than that, the place is not all that bad. Bohol is my home.

    I have smooched many island ladies.

  • Jolly Rose Simpas Deasis

    i really want to go to batanes that is my dream and i want to grow old there ! … peace and quit place!… i will never starve to death there coz it is full of natural resources.