"Tawi-tawi - Backdoor Gateway to Southeast Asia" Province of Tawi-Tawi by bike_packer
Province of Tawi-Tawi Travel Guide: 29 reviews and 107 photos
Poring out all over the big Philippine map every now and then when dreaming of a place to go, I consider Tawi-tawi as one of the places I like most to visit in the country yet the least possible to do so. So how come I did it? I was just an incidental tourist to this very lovely place. Me got some work installing generators/transformers to power up the island, and "Bingo", I didn't lose any time exploring the place. I wish, we could showcase the place minus the bad Peace & Order image. -lots and lots of tourism potential.
Dubbed as the backdoor gateway of the Philippines to the rest of Southeast Asia, Tawitawi is the farthest province of the Philippines down South. Ninety percent of the population are Muslims and the natives are of the stilt-houses dwellers confirming their deep attachments to the sea as their main source of livelihood.
The provincial capital of Bongao is the commercial center of the more than 300 islands that compose Tawi-tawi. The point of entry to the country when coming from Malaysia by boat, Bongao is just 4 hours away by fast passenger crafts to the Port of Sandakan in Malaysia. In comparison, Zamboanga City in mainland Mindanao is 8 hours away.
The peace and order problem in the Sulu archipelago is still the main deterrent in showcasing the place as a tourist "sun-sand-sea" destination.
How should I know? Taking a flight from Zamboanga City to Bongao, Tawi-tawi via an 18-seater low-flying plane gave me the best view up there to see the beauty of the islands, islets and shallow reefs of Sulu Archipelago.
About a quarter of the more than 300 islands are characterized by extensive reefs extending out to the sea. Exotic marine life and colorful corals make it a divers' haven. And it's no wonder, fresh fish catch is cheap >> fill your heart's (err.. tummy's) desire when it comes to seafood galore.
White sand beaches on almost every island's coastline with coconut trees dominantly covering the islands vegetation suggest that this is the ideal tropical hideaway. And that's 300+ islands/islets to choose from. Take your pick.
- Pros:Unspoiled white sand beaches and Colorful Marine Life.
- Cons:Grim memories of tourists kidnappings.
- In a nutshell:Less Explored means Nature exists at its Best!
The old tradition of boatbuilding with wood as the building material is alive in one of the villages in Bongao. There... more travel advice
Rent a boat at the pier and go island hopping. The nearest islands are just minutes away and at every dock, the clear... more travel advice
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