Best Asian Country for Christian Vacation

South-East Asia is one of the most popular tourists spots in the world, thanks to its beautiful beaches and amazing nature. Combined with low prices and a laid back atmosphere, these countries are perfect for a relaxing vacation. While Thailand is by far the most visited and well-developed, it poses numerous challenges for Christian visitors, who wish to gain value from their holiday instead of just pure, mindless fun.

Don't get me wrong, Thailand is a great place with a rich culture and many things to see and do. However, an overly developed sex tourism scene and overall wild party atmosphere at most islands make it a less optimal family destination. Instead, we'd like to highlight the Philippines as a great alternative for your next tropical vacation.

Many people don't know it, but the Philippines is in fact 95% Christian – with Catholics being the overwhelming majority. Locals are extremely friendly, and they all speak English very well. Prices are even lower than Thailand's, and the scenery is just as impressive. On top of that, there are specific highlights which are unique to the Philippines, and make it a perfect destination for a Christian vacation.

The Churches - fascinating Asian-Hispanic fusion

Spanish influence is heavy here, and there aren't many better ways to witness it than old churches and cathedrals. These holy places also hold ceremonies on a regular basis, which provide a great opportunity to learn how locals do things.

The most prominent location is the capital, Metro Manila. Especially recommended is the old town (Manila City) where you can find many important landmarks. These include the San Augustin Church and the Manila Cathedral. The Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Asia - a religious site with significant importance.

If you are already visiting the old city, consider taking the short walk over to Binondo – the world's oldest Chinatown. The Binondo church has a unique Pagoda bell tower – a truly fascinating fusion of Asian and European styles. Binondo is also a great place to try out the local cuisine, especially the street food.

Cebu is the second largest city in the country, and completely different than Manila. While still a huge city, Cebu has many smaller islands nearby where you can get a taste of tropical paradise. You could go swimming with dolphins, or just relax at a white sand beach. The Basilica del Santo Niño has the statue of the holy child – the oldest Christian relic in Asia. Another important religious site is the Metropolitan Cathedral – where pilgrimage events and religious festivals are held regularly.

It can somewhat difficult to decide where to go and what to do over there. That is especially true once leaving the comfort of the large cities, which is something you'll likely want to do. If you want to visit the smaller islands, consider booking a Philippines travel package. It'll cost more, but will improve your experience considerably and help ensure you enjoy everything the country has to offer.

Family oriented activities

With so many interesting locations, the Philippines' diversity allows different types of groups to find the perfect setting. Younger people could visit Boracay's White Beach – considered the most beautiful beach in the world and a premier party destination. Families and couples could easily skip it, in favor of other, quieter islands.

Bohol is a great example of such a place. Panglao's beaches are on par with those of Boracay's, and are less crowded and noisy. This province is also full of family oriented attractions, and is perfect for any nature lover. You could visit the Tarsier Sanctuary – home to the world's smallest primate, or go swimming with dolpinhs and whale sharks. Then there's also the Chocolate Hills – a great place for hiking in a landscape unlike any other.

Surprising as it may sounds, the best place for families with small children is actually Manila. Not only it's a great place for educational tours – with so many museums and old monuments everywhere – but also offers a lot of options for fun and excitement. Manila Ocean Park is a great example of that – a place where kids can watch entertaining shows and also learn about the unique marine life of the Philippines.

Volunteer and help spread our morals and beliefs

By now you might think the Philippines is heaven on earth and a perfect place for your next vacation. It undoubtedly is, but let's also keep in mind it's still a 3rd world country, underdeveloped and full of poverty. Conscious travelers must not ignore this fact, so you'll do well to spend some time giving back to the local community by making it stronger while reinforcing Christian morals.

One great way to do is by joining a Philippines mission service. There are many of these all over the country, and they usually require no more than a week. You'll get a chance to work with orphans and help restore their faith in mankind. It's a truly rewarding experience that will surly leave a strong mark, and turn your tropical holiday into a substantial self-growing experience.

Another possibility is to take part in one of the many Ecotourism projects available. Ecotourism is gaining a lot of popularity lately – as a way of travelling responsibly and respectfully. Anywhere you choose to go, you can find ways to volunteer and help preserve the local environment and communities. It'll also provide a great opportunity to bond with the locals and create meaningful experiences for you and your loved ones.

Did you find other cool ways of experiencing local customs while travelling? Know of other nice landmarks or islands over there? Don't be shy, leave a comment and let us know!

The Christian Post