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  The Philippines

The Philippines is a very exciting place to visit. Most westerners go to Manila or Boracay near Cebu, although other more adventurous souls will head to the provinces for fun and excitement.

It seems that everyone in the Philippines is always on the move, and the traffic in Manila is horrid in peak hours, which seem to last from 6am to midnight with a small break in the mid morning, but not always.

You should never expect to get too much done in Manila in one day, mostly due to the traffic but also partly for the local attitude to time, it's not all that relevant. A 10am meeting is more likely to start sometime after 11am, but everyone is always busy and always pleasant so you just sit back and relax and as Eliot will say ‘ Go with the flow’.

Makati is the jewel of Manila. It is where the better hotels and shopping malls are. It is very safe, compared to the rest of Manila. Restaurants here are world class. You can spend most of your time in Makati and never get bored.

Other parts of Manila, like the port area, Quezon City, Ortigas, EDSA etc are best visited with a local, they are relatively safe but it is very easy to get lost.

Cebu is a long way south of Manila and seems to be in a different universe. People are quiet, no traffic and very relaxed. From Cebu you can easily visit Boracay with it's perfect white beaches, live music, cheap accommodation, food and drinks. Give it a go.