2 Weeks in Asia - Where to go?

Hello,

I’m going to Asia in November, from the 15-30th. My first stop is the Phillipines, I have an office there and am meeting with my team for the first time (never been or seen them, we’ve worked together on the internet), I don’t want to spend too much in Manila, maybe 2-5 days - so I was thinking of heading to Palawan for 5 days, but then venturing out of the Phillipines and going to Laos or Cambodia or Thailand (still undecided). And then ending the trip with a few days of refreshment in Bali or may skip Bali if it makes the trip to crammed.

I’ve been to Thailand (10 years ago when I was 8, so you can probably write it off as a never been) I’ve also been to Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, KL, Bali, Japan. - so want to avoid those areas (excluding Thailand) - but I think 2 weeks is really limited.

Things I love are beautiful waterfalls, turquoise beaches/reefs, exploring incredible places – I don’t want to be bored lazing by the beach all day for days. I was in Kuala Lumpur for 5 days a couple of weeks ago and found myself bored by the 3rd day, so I think I like to move often.

What do you think I should do to get the best out of this? I’m going with my best friend and meeting one of my employees/friend from Venezuela whose coming from a 40 hour journey so I want to make this trip the best for all of us.

This is my first proper trip to Asia / taste of digital nomadism, so I want to make it great :slight_smile:

Way too short IMHO to get any taste of it really.

You’ll be mostly flying and traveling in those two weeks (which is the not fun part of travel I think).

I’d consider staying in PH for 2 weeks or extending it to 3 months and then PH, TH etc.

Also PH isn’t a place you want to visit now with all the drug killings by the government.

Phillipines is fine, I think you’ve been reading too much western media articles.

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Is the chance of getting killed in an extrajudicial drug raid low when there have been 1,500 killings recently in a country of 98 million, especially if you’re clearly a foreigner and not involved in drugs? Sure.

But there have still been 1,500 extrajudicial killings recently in a country, which is 1,500 more than most places outside of active war zones: enough to give people pause, whether out of rational concern for their own safety or just “wow, that’s a lot more executions than back home” surprise/worry. It’s a natural reaction.

Bali is probably one of the nicer places in Asia to chill thought its pretty congested with tourist. Internet there is decent. If you do get sick of the beaches can always head to Ubud for a more relaxing environment.

I heard Koh Lipe in Thailand is good. Haven’t been there myself but heard a lot of good things about it. If you dive, head towards Sabah, Malaysia. The islands around Sipadan is a haven for divers.

An American guy just got detained for a corrupt set-up where they put a bullet in his luggage! Luckily, he was cleared after the US put lots of pressure on the gov.

But there have still been 1,500 extrajudicial killings recently in a country, which is 1,500 more than most places outside of active war zones: enough to give people pause, whether out of rational concern for their own safety or just “wow, that’s a lot more executions than back home” surprise/worry. It’s a natural reaction.

Exactly. The point is it’s a country that’s now beyond corrupt with a leader that’s doesn’t have any respect for the justice system. Now if I’m traveling somewhere, I’d want to have at least some hope that I don’t get arrested by corrupt police for something I didn’t do.

This happened 4 days ago by the way.

I mean, what the heck do I do then? I’m suppose to be going in November to celebrate 6 months since I began my start up. I’m flying my assistant from Venezuela, our team is a team of 12 with 11 of them being in our Phillipines office. I trust your opinion. - but honestly, I’ve read your blogs and you seem like a pretty non airy fairy person (using your Laptop in Colombia at cafes, haha) – I cant seem to feel that sense of, being too creeped inside my shell, kind of like that feeling of not wanting to ride scooters in Bali because you’ll crash, but when you do it, it’s like ‘heck this is fun’. The whole phrase “If you live in fear, your not living at all” - are the media reports just milking it, since it’s become a top gossip thing (Philippines president). - I go on trip advisor sites and people are saying to not listen to the media who’s telling it from a western point of view.

100M People, 3.5K killings of suspected drug dealers…

Would you seriously not go their yourself right now, I mean, you’ve been to Colombia?

I’d spend the whole two weeks in the Philippines & as little as possible in Manila. I have met only one foreigner who loved life in Manila & he had $120K a year plus the company paying for apartment, car & driver. Others complain of overcrowding, traffic, scams, …

Most Western governments advise avoiding Mindanao, the country’s southernmost major island; there’s a Muslim insurgency. I’ve been anyway, but I’d say you should take that advice unless there’s a Filipino you trust who wants you to come along to his or her home town; even then I’d decline if it were toward the West of the region.
https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Mindanao

Palawan is indeed lovely & reportedly Vigan (cobblestone streets & old Spanish buildings) and Baguio (in the mountains, so relatively cool) are as well. V & B are both North of Manila and on the same island (Luzon) so you might plan a route that included both.

Boracay is the country’s best-known beach resort area, but I’d suggest either Puerto Galera if you want heavy partying and/or lots of whores, or Bohol if not; both have gorgeous beaches.

My favorite place in the Philippines:
https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Dumaguete

Another, nearby, that I liked & some consider the best in the country:
https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Panglao

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Yes, Coron and El Nido, as well as Boracay are a must-see, then Samui, Lipe or Krabi in Thailand. You can do both countries within that period but the traveling may be a bit exhausting.