Tag Archive | lake

The Top Destinations For Beach Holidays In The Philippines

palawan_mimaropa_philippinesThis beautiful group of islands in the South China Sea is without doubt one of the best places in the world to enjoy blue seas and golden sands, and there are destinations to be found across the country depending on the features you’re looking for.  One of the most popular seasons to visit the country is between March and May which is the hot and dry season in the country, while December to February is still pleasant enough and avoids the worst of the monsoon season.  As well as the wonderful beaches, many of these islands also boast some wonderful cultural sites and events that can be enjoyed too.


This is probably one of the most well known beach holiday destinations in the Philippines, having won numerous national and international tourism awards for its stunning beaches.  Boracay is a small island that lies a short distance away from the much larger island of Panay, and has been one of the foremost sites to see tourism development, with numerous water sports being promoted.

Among the events that are held on the island of Boracay, it is one of the most important destinations on the Asian Windsurfing Tour, and also holds a water sports festival every January.  Visitors can enjoy varied activities such as scuba diving, kite boarding and cliff diving, while those looking for a more refined afternoon can enjoy one of the great golf courses available.

El Nido, Palawan

One of the more interesting beach holiday destinations to be enjoyed in the Philippines is the El Nido Marine Reserve Park, which is made up of the northern tip of the island of Palawan along with a number of small offshore islands.  The area itself has been protected because of its populations of birds and rare turtles, and the resorts within the reserve offer a very different type of experience.

The places to stay on El Nido tend to be much more basic than major hotel developments, and are particularly focused on being sustainable and not harming the environment.  However, for those who enjoy amazing beaches, then El Nido has a wealth of beaches around the island that are great places to relax.


An island that lies at the heart of the Philippines is Bohol, and this is wonderfully located as a beach holiday destination because the waters here are almost always calm during the holiday season.  This is because there are various islands around Bohol that take the brunt of the prevailing winds from the Pacific, meaning the beaches here enjoy clear waters and golden sands.

As well as being a beach holiday destination that is growing in popularity, there are also a number of attractions for those looking for some culture and sightseeing too.  The Chocolate Hills are unusual hills that rise from the forested valley floor, yet only grass grows on these hills, and this grass turns brown in the summer giving the hills their name.

Great Santa Cruz Island

One of the islands of the Philippines that enjoys enduring popularity among visitors is Great Santa Cruz Island, and unlike much of the rest of the islands across the country, the beaches here have a distinctive pink hue.  As the island itself is a protected area, those looking to enjoy time on these beaches will have to stay in Zamboanga City which lies a short boat ride away on the significantly larger island of Mindanao.

The distinctive color of the sand is caused by the erosion of the red coral that was until recent years a particularly attractive part of the island’s ecosystem, but illegal mining of this coral has left the majority of the reefs off the island dead or dying.  The island is receiving significant investment as an ecotourism site to bring more people to its wonderful beaches.

The Top Tourist Attractions In Islamabad

Faisal-Mosque-PakistanAlthough Islamabad is a fairly new city, having been founded in the 1960s to become the new capital of Pakistan, it is surrounded by historic monuments and signs of its important location in the region.  Being one of the newest cities in the country it is also the most developed, having been designed to function well as a city rather than the natural haphazard development that is seen in so many cities around the world. As the name suggests, religion plays an important part in the city and there are many mosques and religious sites to be found around the city.

Faisal Mosque

As an important Muslim city it was vital that Islamabad would have a mosque that it could be proud of, and the Faisal Mosque is one of the largest in the world, and has a very contemporary design.  The construction and the design of the mosque were both sponsored by Saudi Arabia to support the fledgling state of Pakistan, and by the time it was finished in 1986, it had been in process for over ten years.  The design itself is more angular than the traditional round dome of older mosques, and the central building has a minaret at the four corners.

Although the Faisal Mosque is frequently visited during the day, it is lit up during the evening making it a popular place to view.  The mosque and the street on which it is located is named after King Faisal of Saudi Arabia who commissioned and sponsored the building of the mosque, but was sadly assassinated before he could even see the beginning of the building work.

Rawat Fort And Pharwala Fort

The Rawat Fort is one of the ancient reminders of the different cultures that have lived in the Islamabad area long before the new capital of Pakistan was built.  The fort itself dates from the sixteenth century, and was built by a belligerent warrior tribe known as the Gakhars who were notorious for raiding and stealing from their neighbors.  The fort is almost square in shape, and has only two gates which would have made it more defensible.  Within the fortifications there is also a mosque with three large rooms beneath each of the large domes.  Rawat Fort is around ten miles outside Islamabad.

Pharwala Fort is another of the Gakhar tribe’s forts in the area, and dates from the early sixteenth century.  The fort is located with one wall facing the river, with the bank from the river to the fort being particularly steep and rocky, meaning attack would be unlikely to come from this side.  Because of the fragile nature of the site, foreign visitors are only allowed to view the site from the outside.

Pakistan Monument

The PakistanMonument is a site that has been developed over the last decade to celebrate the flourishing of Pakistan as an independent nation.  The design of the monument itself is said to represent a blossoming flower, a metaphor for the growth of Pakistan, and has four large petals and three small ones to represent the four provinces and the three territories of Pakistan.  The interior of each petal has been elaborately decorated with images from across Pakistan, and since it was completed in 2007 has attracted many visitors.

The Shrine Of Bari Imam

Bari Imam was one of the most important Muslim figures in the history of the region, and is also the patron saint of Islamabad.  Bari Imam was a particularly well traveled and knowledgeable Muslim teacher, and is noted for converting the people of Chorpur Shahan to Islam.  There is a large gathering held at the shrine every year, and it is estimated that well over a million visitors come to the site every year.

 Rawal Lake

This is an artificial lake that has been created in the hills above Islamabad to collect water from the streams flowing from those hills, but has also become an important site for wildlife in the area.  With a wide variety of parks and attractive gardens set around the lake it has become a popular place to relax for the people of Islamabad, and is also a hub of many of its recreation activities.

It is also a good place to enjoy water sports such as diving, sailing and water skiing, and for those looking for a more peaceful way to spend the afternoon it is also a pleasant fishing spot.