When it comes to convenient escapes from the Philippines, the chances are that the Solomon Islands wouldn’t be the most obvious choice.
However with direct flights between Manila and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, the islands are just one of a host of pacific island nations that are easy to reach.
The Solomon Islands is a former British colony with a population of 600,000 that consists of six major islands and more than 900 smaller ones.
It gained its independence in 1979, and is a member of the British Commonwealth of nations, with Queen Elizabeth as its head of state.
During World War Two some of the most intense fighting of the Pacific campaign occurred in the Solomons, something very visible when you visit its capital city of Honiara, or indeed do any exploring around the islands.
Since independence, the country has gone through some major ethnic strife between 1998-2003, but since then things have not only calmed greatly, but the country is actively trying to court tourism to the islands.
When you visit the Solomon Islands your first port of call will be its capital city. Honiara is not Manila, and there is a slow laid back Pacific charm that makes it an interesting city to visit.
There is a lot to do in and around Honiara, from the famous market, World War Two wreck dives, amazing street food and even casinos, if you are that way inclined.
Accommodation in Honiara, while not exactly setting the world alight, has options to fit all budgets, from high end beach resorts, down to hostels.
Our personal favourite place is Honiara Hotel, run by an eccentric ethnic Chinese man that has hosted Prince William and Kate, among others. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!
Depending on your time and budget, travelling across the rest of the country offers as many adventures as you’d expect from a country with more than 900 islands.
Honiara can also be used to connect to some of the least visited countries on earth such as Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu. How big your adventure is depends on you.
Philippines Airlines and Air Niu Ginea both offer direct flights from Manila to Port Moresby, from where you can transit to Honiara.
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