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From Phuket to Boracay, from Siargao to Ticao—each is a version of paradise. Where do you want to be? Why do you want to be there? Read up and take your pick.
Phuket: Covering around 543 km2, Phuket is the biggest island of Thailand. It is also one of the country’s most culturally diverse locations. Head down to the Southwest, where the busy stretch of Patong awaits, and one can find tourists engaging in a flurry of hedonistic nights. At the northwest, however, visitors enjoy a sense of peace and seclusion on pristine beaches facing expansive horizons. Once sustained by tin mining and banana farming, this geographic pearl facing the Andaman Sea now relies on its natural beauty to make a buck or two.
Boracay: From overrated to underrated, from clandestine to wellknown, from mythological to legendary, Boracay is one of the most popular islands in the Philippines. It only covers about 10.32 km2 of land, but this paradise—found at the heart of the archipelago—is known for taking in yearly tourists by the millions. As one of our writers quoted in her essay about the island, “Why go abroad when you can come to Boracay? Here, the world comes to you.”
Ticao: For a time, Ticao Island wasn’t really much of a household name. But thanks to “the Manta Bowl,” the nearby dive site known for its sightings of manta rays, its popularity has been on the rise. Covering about 334 km2 of land, it is the smallest of Masbate province’s major islands. Land size, however, is hardly a problem for a place whose wealth can be found greatly in the sea.
Mactan: For the metropolitans of Cebu, paradise is but a short drive away. Located a few minutes from the provincial capital is Mactan. The island’s earlier fame stems from its thwarting of Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan.These days, the around 62 km2 coral island is known more for its beauty than its brawn. It currently prides itself for being the home of numerous high-end developments like Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa, Mövenpick Hotel Mactan, Abaca Boutique Resort, and Crimson Resort and Spa Cebu.
Mykonos: Don’t let the dichromatic houses fool you. Mykonos, located in the South Aegean region of Greece, is an island of diversity and adventure. At 105.2 km2, the land has more than enough room for somewhat-inimitable Grecian cuisine, interesting landmarks, and popular tourist attractions. Dubbed the island of winds, Mykonos has all that it takes to sweep visitors off their feet.
Mindoro: Spanning around 10,572 km2, Mindoro is the seventh largest island in the Philippines. Found off the coast of Luzon, the land is rich in natural resources, allowing its economy to rely heavily upon agriculture. But with places like Puerto Galera situated within its territory, the province also found its tourism to be quite lucrative. Currently, the island is home to a rich ecosystem of flora and fauna which includes the endangered tamaraw.