Over 7,000 islands make up the Southeast Asian country of the Philippines in the Western Pacific. The capital, Manila, is known for its ancient Chinatown and the waterfront promenade. Old Manila houses a walled city from colonial times, Intramuros, as well as Fort Santiago and the baroque San Agustin Church. There are also Spanish influences here, a legacy from 300 years of Spanish rule before independence was claimed in 1898, including on religion; the Philippines is Asia’s largest catholic country.
Travel Health Information
vaccinations for travelling here
The Philippines is an area which is at extreme risk from terrorist attacks and other violent crime. Visitors to the north of the country should follow government travel advice, and avoid all travel to western and central Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago to the south. There is currently a ‘state of national emergency on account of lawless violence’ in place across large areas of Mindanao, the southernmost group of islands, while other areas are now under martial law with strict curfews imposed.
Crime and violence aside, there are several other factors that visitors to the Phillipines should bear in mind in order to have a safe and incident-free trip. The Philippines is in an earthquake zone, and also commonly experiences volcanic eruptions and typhoons. Check your specific destination for local advice and travel warnings, as well as information about what to do if you’re in an area experiencing a seismic event.
The Philippines has been classified as having a risk of Zika virus, which causes birth defects and has no vaccine. Take steps to prevent mosquito bites. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant you should not visit the Philippines. Medical care in the country is reasonable in major cities, but can be difficult to access in rural areas, and standards of care may be poor.
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For the latest government travel advice
For anyone planning to travel abroad we recommend visiting the following government website for all the latest travel guidance and advice.