The Philippines has more than 7641 lush tropical islands surrounded by turquoise water. For years, this incredible destination has gone under the radar. But Australian travellers are starting to take note.

It’s an incredible destination that is perfect for Australians’ considering their love of adventure, travel and passion for discovering unexplored destinations,” Norjamin Delos Reyes, Tourism Attaché at Philippine Department of Tourism Australia and New Zealand says.

“Our lush, tropical backdrops, stunning sunsets, and dreamy tropical beaches make the Philippines one of the most exotic holiday destinations.

“As a destination, it is still relatively undiscovered and offers unparalleled value, so there’s no better time to get to know our tropical archipelago, world-renowned for its abundance of beauty, wildlife and bio-diversity.”

Here are 10 things you may not know about the Philippines according to Norjamin:

1. The Philippines officially has 7641 islands. The number increased in 2018 when more islands were officially recognised and counted.

2. We are a county of smiling, highly skilled, English-speaking people. Don’t be shy about approaching a Filipino and starting a conversation. We’re not just fun, we’re officially friendly too. ranked the Philippines as the friendliest country in Asia and the eighth friendliest place in the world.

3. The Philippines is officially home to the ‘Best Islands in the World’, with the stunning destination’s islands consistently recognised in the highly acclaimed Conde Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice. In October 2018, the awards were categorised into regions, with the Philippines scooping the top three best islands in Asia: Siargo, Boracay and Palawan were listed respectively.

4. The Philippines was also named ‘Asia’s Leading Beach Destination 2018’ at the prestigious World Travel Awards.

5. The Philippines offers excellent value for money, with a bottle of beer only $1.

6. The town of Vigan in the province of Ilocos Sur was officially inaugurated as one of the Seven Wonder Cities of the World in May 2015.

7. The Philippines is the heart of marine biodiversity. The Philippines archipelago is located within the Coral Triangle and has 76 per cent of the world’s coral species, six of the world’s seven marine turtle species and at least 2,228 reef fish species.

8. The ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ marketing campaign, stemmed from a single question asked to the Department of Tourism ‘why would a tourist want to come to the Philippines?’

9. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature.

10. The Philippines was named in honour of King Philip II of Spain. Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, during his expedition in 1542, named the islands of Leyte and Samar Felipinas after the then Prince of Asturias. Eventually, the name Las Islas Filipinas would be used to cover all the island of the archipelago.

Republished with permission of MyDiscoveries.