Making a choice where to go on your vacation between the Philippines and Indonesia can be hard. Why should you chose one over the other? Can’t you just visit both? What is so similar about them?
Well Let me help you choose a vacation destination between Philipinnes and Indonesia. Both are a good choice to visit, it also depends what you like.
The weather of both countries are very similar, tropical. Both countries have a wet season, but part of the Philippines is located in the typhoon belt. This means that there are yearly typhoons coming during the typhoon season. From June to September it’s the most active, do check your destination as not every part is affected.
Philipinnes versus Indonesia tourism
Philipinnes received in the year 2019 around 8.2 million visitors and Indonesia received about 20 million tourists. This is a huge difference. Both countries are fairly big, you won’t be able to discover everything in a few weeks of vacation let alone months! (Source: Wikipedia and http://www.tourism.gov.ph)
Popular touristic places
Let’s compare the tourist destinations and also the general things it is known for. I want to start off with the destinations in Philipinnes followed by the ones in Indonesia.
Popular tourist destinations in Philipinnes
Do check the video about Philippines as it gives a bit of insight what you are going to see. I am psyched to visit that for sure!
Palawan is a touristic place, a long shaped island and it will take a full days to ride to go from South to North. The most popular parts of Palawan are Puerto Princesa (PPS), El Nido and Coron. It’s a pretty place with a lot of things to do and see. Hiking, swimming, and seeing one of the natural world wonders, the underground river. Coron has the most beautiful beaches and the one of the clearest of waters for snorkeling or diving.
One of the places to visit with beautiful sights and rich in history. The beaches are natural white sand, very beautiful. One of the most Instagram-able moment, swimming with the whalesharks!
Adventure around the chocolate hills. Go with an ATV tour and climb the steps to see the majestic landscape. Besides on land, the beaches and diving for coral reefs will be a sight to see. The centuries-old churches are worth a visit as well
Tropical tourist island with a vibrant nightlife, exquisite beaches. (Young) People do love to come back here again. The experience of Boracay is not to be compared with the other islands.
A more secluded paradise is Siargao. Great for a romantic getaway to see more of the tropical Philippines how it was several decades ago. Untouched. Besides that it’s a surf paradise were yearly competitions are held.
Adventures, hiking, getting one with nature. A lot colder so be sure to find a campfire at an eveningstroll. Sagada is fun for those looking to hike outdoors or inside the mountains. A hike can easily last the whole afternoon and is an adventure you will never forget. With just a lamp, you will overcome obstacles several hours long. Best to do this with your friends and not during the rainy season!
Banaue and Ifugao
the rice terrace are legendary over there. With waterfalls and nature. Also great for hikes and just soaking up the nature. At Banaeu you would look over the pandemonium of rice teraces.
The capital with more than 20 Million people! This city has a lot to offer. A lot of gambling in their “City of dreams”, Resorts World or Solaire. This is what Indonesia doesn’t have what Manila has a lot: Casinos.
Besides that there are so many malls to visit. If you like to negotiate for a price, then Greenhills in Manila is your thing.
Popular tourist destinations in Indonesia
A lot of my content is about Indonesia
Bali (including the islands nearby)
Receiving over 5 Million tourists in 2019 alone, this is the popular place in Indonesia. Some would just avoid it because of the busy tourism. As I live here I can tell you, Bali is big enough and the tourism is mostly concentrated in a small place. The islands nearby, Gili Islands, Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan are an adventure on its own. You can go hiking, diving or partying. Bali has it all (except cold weather).
Bali is also popular to get married or as a honeymoon destination. A romantic getaway, with amazing hotels, resorts to make your stay as comfortable as it can be.
Have you seen the dragons, also known as the Komodo’s? Well apparently here is where you can find them. With luxury resorts build on Komodo Island, you can get pampered, observe the magnificent creatures and enjoy the tropics at the same time.
Great for Diving trip as the water is pristine as it gets in Indonesia. Raja Ampat is more to the east of Indonesia and a great choice of destination if you can afford it. Due to it’s location it’s a little challenge to get there, but worth once you are there.
Just a ferry away from Bali, it’s great place for surfing if you don’t like it too crowded like in Bali. The food is a lot spicier here. There is a 4 days / 3 nights hike available for the adventurers at Mount Rinjani.
A city like no other in Indonesia, Yogyakarta offers a variety of food originated from different places. As of 2022 rapid development happened in Sleman, just a few kilometers north of Yogyakarta’s center. For everyone there is something they would like to see and explore. The tourism here often come for Borobudur and Prambanan temple. Do check what to do in Yogyakarta.
A beautiful less developed islands. Lots of places without a signal for your mobile, but stunning and amazing sights. Due to the shape of the island it’s also a journey to get from A to B on Flores. The prices are a bit steep compared to Bali, but you would be escaping the busy tourism as Flores is much more nature-like and calmer.
A very low key gem is Nias. Popular for surfing, but due to it’s a remote island, not many tourists come here. Great if you would want to have a more peaceful getaway as a surfer, or simply just get away.
Offering the most private exclusive and romantic getaway Sumba is a destination to go as couples. Calm on another island while having the luxury. Sumba doesn’t have as many hotels as the other islands, but it has a lot of nature, and is rich in local culture and history.
The city life brings very different vibes and views compared to Bali, Lombok, Flores etc. For those who would want to explore the urban scene of Indonesia, Jakarta has it all. From malls to theme park. It’s a busy life with lots of congested traffic.
Making a choice between Philippines and Indonesia
There are some differences, besides the obvious. Philippines tourism is still catching up, and can’t compete with the numbers of Bali alone. However this means more areas with less influence from tourism. This alone would make Philippines the adventure.
If you have been to the Philippines already, do checkout Indonesia. And If you have been to Indonesia, do checkout Philippines. That way you can decide which of these 2 destinations you like better. If you haven’t been to either, Bali could be a choice of destination for you to explore, as tourism is pretty developed here.