Location: Philippines

Siem Reap is a backpacker destination with two faces. The first is the breathtaking ancient city of temples that is Angkor, home to the famous towers of Angkor Wat, where many travelers make a pilgrimage to watch the sunrise. The other face comes out after dark in Siem Reap’s infamous Bar Street, where beer is cheaper than water!

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Swimming, snorkeling, or diving with whale sharks is high up on many wildlife-watchers’ travel bucket list. Paddling next to the world’s largest non-mammalian vertebrate certainly gives you some perspective! These giants of the sea grow up to 10, 15, or even 20 meters in length, depending on who you ask – making them the double-decker buses of the fish world (a reputation reinforced by Disney’s Finding Nemo). They may be big in size, but little is known about these mysterious marine creatures, only adding to their allure!

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Oslob is right at the tip of Cebu and not far from other prime diving destinations, such as Dauin and Moalboal. A couple of resorts offer “swimming with whale sharks” experiences, but there are also snorkeling tours available.

However, do note that fishermen here are authorized to feed the whale sharks, which is why they frequent this area in particular. This makes the whale sharks lethargic and causes unnatural behaviors. What’s , there are often large numbers of snorkellers interacting with whale sharks due to the area’s popularity, which isn’t the most responsible tourism practice.

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The tiny fishing village of Donsol, located in South Luzon in the Philippines, was truly put on the map in 1998 when the local government and World Wildlife Fund retrained local whale shark hunters as tour guides. Although there may be fewer fish here than Cebu, the Philippines’ well-known whale shark destination, tours are ethical here (in Cebu, the whale sharks are fed).

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Tumbling torrents, foaming falls, cascading cataracts, and plunges into pixie-like pools, perfect for swimming in after a long, waterfall-chasing hike. Asia’s vast and diverse landscapes are home to a wide selection of wonder-inducing waterfalls, from the tranquil trickles of Japan’s Nunobiki to the thunderous power of India’s Unchalli.

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The beautiful mermaid-lagoon-style Tinago Falls (“Hidden Falls”) can be found on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, between the town of Linamon and the city of Iligan (a city nicknamed as the “City of Majestic Waterfalls”). The trek to the falls is mostly downhill, consisting of around 500 steps. The 73-meter drop of cold water ends in a beautiful blue lagoon and there’s also a small cave under the waterfall, where people can enter and listen to the sound of rushing water.

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Modernization is a global phenomenon; we are often in a constant need to make everything easier through the use of technology. I am really glad to have been born in this era where the world is a global village and information is just a tap away, however, there are some communities in the world that are still keeping their traditions alive and have no desire to join the modern world.

They reside in the Philippines in Northern Luzon. They are famous rice cultivators. The best time to visit is in April during the Imbayah festival. The festival is a celebration of good harvest and abundance.