I’m an American living in the Philippines and when I was asked to write an article on Vacation Rentals, I thought I might be able to save some lives.
There is no doubt that the Philippines is currently a poor choice for a vacation. Although these are some of the most beautiful islands in the world, they are also some of the most dangerous.
I’m sure many of you heard about the tourist bus that was held hostage in Manila recently. Eight Chinese tourists lost their lives in the botched rescue attempt orchestrated by Philippine authorities. In addition to that, a 41 year old American was killed right here in Iligan City where I live. He was shot six times in the back. At almost the same time, two Brits were killed in Manila, execution style. Almost none of the perpetrators are ever caught!
The Philippines is wracked with poverty. Poverty begets crime and crime begets violence. In addition to poverty, the government is weak and corrupt. It exercises only modest influence outside Manila. Add in the Islamic separatists, the Islamic terrorists and the communist rebel faction and you have a recipe for mayhem. I lived in Chicago, no stranger to violent crime, and I assure you that you are much safer on Chicago’s south or west sides than you are in the Philippines.
The caring, compassionate and humanitarian government of China issued travel warnings to its citizens regarding the Philippines, and that speaks volumes about circumstances here.
Tourism has never been a big industry here and outside of Manila and the odd resort, Filipinos are poorly equipped to handle tourists in any meaningful way. Even the resorts are not immune to violence. Just a few years ago, a German, a Swede, a Brit and a filipina housemaid were hacked to death in Boracay, one of the top resorts in the Philippines.
Foreigners in the Philippines are targets of opportunity. Scammed, cheated and victimized in ways you have yet to imagine.
That said; let’s take at look a destination that gives you an excellent chance of survival. Beautiful, serene Bali would be an excellent choice. Although Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim and it is certainly poor by any measure, Bali is safe and the Balinese are experts in pampering tourists from all over the world.
Bali is predominantly Hindu and Buddhist. Bali was bustling with trade from as early as 200BC. Early written records from 800AD confirm the Hindu and Buddhist influence. Bronze statues in both Hindu and Buddhist styles further demonstrate this, which makes my point that Bali is a culturally rich and sophisticated destination.
The scenery is spectacular and the wildlife is unique.
Whether you choose a vacation rental or conventional hotel accommodations, the service is exceptional, the food is out of this world, and the luxury is palpable. I can offer you no destination in Southeast Asia that offers more to the tourist, especially the Western tourist, in comfort and service. Put Bali on your “bucket list” or you’ll regret it forever!