Embrace both the laid-back island life in the Philippines and the hustle and bustle of business-focused Hong Kong. This 12-day itinerary is the perfect balance of adventure, culture and relaxation. Travel from Manila to Corregidor, Vigan, Laoag and Bohol in the postcard perfect island nation of the Philippines. Next, finish your adventure with a bang as you explore exciting Hong Kong.
Arrive in the lush Philippines - an archipelago of 7,000 incredible tropical islands. Fly into the capital city of Manila. With a population of 12 million, this is no small island town, but is indeed actually an amalgamation of many cities in one. There are several fantastic hotel options in the area. We recommend the Makati Shangri-La, Raffles Makati, the Peninsula Manila or the Fairmont Makati.
Enjoy an extensive tour of the pulsating city. Begin where Manila began - Intramuros, the walled city where Manila was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century. Continue onto the charming residential district of Quiapo. Here you will find numerous shopping bazaars with unrivaled bargains. The 1981 Coconut Palace warrants a visit - the octagonal building is made entirely of local hardwoods and coconut shells.
Spend the day on an excursion to Corregidor Island. The island sits at the entrance to Manila Bay. The island is a goldmine for history-lovers. Learn about Corregidor’s role in World War II. Return to Manila in the evening and relax back at your hotel, or head out into the city to check out the buzzing nightlife.
Take a step back in time, to the cobblestone streets of Vigan. The historic city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although Vigan is separated from Luzon by the Mestizo River, it’s officially part of Luzon. We recommend staying at the Sitio Remedios - a beautiful vintage hotel that’s cozily tucked into its own private village.
Begin the morning with a tour of this heritage city. Make sure to ride a horse-drawn carriage, also known as a kalesa, a popular mode of transportation on the romantic cobblestone. The area’s pottery makes for fantastic souvenirs. There are several UNESCO sites in the area to explore.
Enjoy an excursion to Laoag in the sand dunes of Suba, just outside the city. Peruse the elegant baroque Church of Saint Augustine. Next, visit the oldest working lighthouse in Asia as well as several other architectural sites. Paoay is the next stop. The northernmost coastal town is filled with natural wonder. Return to Vigan in the evening and retire to your hotel.
Travel to intriguing Bohol, where you will check in to the luxurious Eskaya Hotel. Visit Bohol’s Tarsier Sanctuary, where you can see the darling creatures at play. Gain an incredible view of the stunning natural terrain that is the Chocolate Hills, so named due to their resemblance to large Hershey’s Kisses. Cruise down the Loboc River and peruse a local butterfly farm. Relax in style at your beach resort this evening.
Today take a tour of the dense mangroves surrounding Bohol’s Abatan River. This is the perfect spot to check out local wildlife. Climb into a kayak to glide across the water, passing local river communities. The people are friendly and will treat you to your own special cultural demonstration. After viewing incredible cultural aspects, return to your hotel for your last night on the island.
Leave island life behind for the fast-paced business capital of Southeast Asia - exciting Hong Kong. The island offers the utmost in luxurious hotel options, we recommend the Mandarin Oriental or the Upper House for an excellent, comfortable stay. After getting settled, take a half-day walking tour of the city. Climb Victoria Peak on the steep tram to catch unrivaled views of the island. Take a ride on the longest escalator system in the world, and make sure to fit in some shopping before calling it a night.
Enjoy a gourmet breakfast at your hotel and then take a tour of Hong Kong’s artistic scene. The galleries feature a wide variety of art. Check out the wet markets and sample fresh, delicious market food. Take an authentic Chinese cooking class and learn to make the favorites yourself! Finish the day by taking a Feng Shui lesson with an expert in the art.