MANILA, Philippines - The lure of luxury resorts that feature pristine white sand beaches in small, unknown surfing towns secured the Philippines' position in the New York Times' list of 46 places to see in 2013.
The Philippines, listed as No. 17, seems to be in good company.
The list is topped by Rio de Janeiro in Brazil which is staging a comeback in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Other Top 5 places to see include Marseille in France which features Mediterranean art at its finest and other exotic destinations such as Nicaragua, Accra in Ghana, and Bhutan.
The New York Times said "a new generation of luxury hotels" is opening in the Philippines, particularly in Siargao island, which is a known local surfing destination. These hotels include the new Dedon Island resort in Siargao which features an outdoor cinema, as well as spa and paddle board classes for guests.
"And the private island resort of El Nido Pangulasian opens this month in the Unesco biosphere of Palawan, right by some of the world’s most pristine diving spots," the New York Times said.
"Although the Philippines has been subject to travel advisories in the past, they mostly focus on Mindanao in the south. For extra security, outfitters like Asian expert Remote Lands organize private transfers and local guides," the Times added.
The list includes 16 places in Europe, 13 places in Asia and the Pacific, 7 places in the United States, 4 places each in Latin America and Africa, and 2 places in Canada. - Rappler.com