Wherever you're travelling, it pays to find out much as possible about a country before visiting.
The Philippine capital mixes the best of Asian and Latino cultures for offbeat fun, creative cuisine and inspired design, writes Belinda Jackson.
Louise Southerden floats past jellyfish and limestone cliffs while paddling a remote archipelago.
Its white sand beaches, warm blue waters and easy-on-the-wallet style make Boracay a contender for the ultimate beach escape, writes Belinda Jackson.
On wheels, Louise Southerden explores a city with a taste for trifle sundaes and a passion for shopping.
Gary LaPersonne encounters tailored service and royalty on a six-star sailing from Singapore to Hong Kong.
It's hot, it's steamy ... just the weather to spend in an airconditioned super-mall that is this shop-mad city's specialty, writes Belinda Jackson.
It's little known in the West that three of the world's 10 largest malls can be found in the Philippines.
Made up of 7000 islands, this Southeast Asian jewel is the one to watch. Why? Its beaches rival its neighbours, without the tourist hordes; the backdrop for any scene is a volcano, smouldering ominously; dazzling green rice terraces are carved out of incandescent valleys; its plucky and embracing people; its tiny, bug-eyed tarsiers that cling to trees like limpets; and the beautiful bumpy landscapes of Bohol.