The Philippines is strangely underrated. We think it is a great country to visit - and that it won’t be long before it is ‘discovered’.

Sure it has problems but, sadly, there are several other countries in South-East Asia about which the same could be said. Thailand for one.

As of November 2015 the Australian Government’s Travel Advice for the Philippines was very similar to its advice for Thailand. In both cases they advise people to stay away from some of the most unstable provinces, and to be very cautious elsewhere. See

Since the 1960s, when both had very little tourism, Thailand has left the Philippines behind. Today, 26 million tourists go to Thailand while less than five million go to the Philippines. We don’t understand! 

The Thais are friendly people, but the Filipinos are among the friendliest in the world. And almost every Filipino speaks English - it's a compulsory subject in every school. Tick the Philippines!

Thailand's tropical islands are beautiful, but we believe that the islands of Palawan are the most beautiful in the world. And if that’s not enough, some of the Philippines' islands facing the Pacific have great surf. Tick the Philippines!

Thai cuisine is one of the world's great cuisines, up there with Italian and Indian, and we admit that by comparison Filipino cuisine is a little plain. But it's still good, with great tropical fruit and seafood. What's not to like? Half-tick the Philippines!

The fact that Filipino food can be a little plain certainly doesn't adequately explain the fact that Thailand gets 21 million more visitors! 

Around The Sun is convinced that as the Thai resorts become more crowded people will discover the Philippines. Right now, however, the Philippines is very good value. It's off the beaten track - and you definitely get bragging rights when you return home!

Around The Sun only offers one Philippines trip - but it's one of our all-time favourites. Paddling the islands that lie off the Bacuit Peninsula in northern Palawan involves everything we love about travel. You travel - slowly - through beautiful scenery. You can have as much - or as little - activity as you want. You get to meet friendly people and are exposed to a fascinating new culture. The weather is warm and the beaches… well the beaches are … like something from your dreams! To top it all off, food and accommodation are extremely good value. 

We Paddle’s ‘Paddling Palawan’ trips are a perfect example of what Around The Sun calls ‘comfortable adventures’. The trips are led by Tim Altman, an expert kayaker and ocean paddler who has represented Australia. Tim is joined by local guide, and supported by a local bangka fishing boat.  If you get tired, you can ride along in the Bangka boat. If you feel like a quiet day you can stay in your luxury resort and let everyone else disappear off to explore caves, hidden beaches, and untouched villages!

Click here for more information about the Palawan trip.


Paddling Palawan

The Paddling Palawan trips are the best possible way to explore the world's most beautiful islands. Explore remote beaches, snorkel in hidden lagoons, island-hop across crystal clear waters... All the trips are accompanied by Tim Altman, a champion paddler, and a safety boat (actually a traditional fishing boat). You can choose to paddle, or catch a ride on the boat, whenever you like.

Luxury:budget / luxury / top-end
Type of Tour:Expert Leader / Special Interest Tours
Experience: Ocean Paddling & Kayaking
Challenge: Medium
Cost: from AUD$3790

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All ATS itineraries can be run for private groups or adapted to meet your interests.

Philippines Trips

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Congratulations on finding Around The Sun! We’d love to talk to you about your next holiday adventure.

Around The Sun trips are based on the expertise and knowledge of Richard Everist and Lucrezia Migliore – and the expertise and services of a select group of friends who operate the best tour companies in the world.

Around The Sun showcases a careful selection of small group trips (with guides and expert leaders), and we design customised private journeys (both guided and self-guided).

All our suggested itineraries can be run privately, or customised, so the departure dates and itineraries completely suit you. Many of our itineraries can be adapted for those who wish to to travel completely independently. See Create Your Own Journey.