Manila Tourist Traps

  • Jaz, our negotiator
    Jaz, our negotiator
    by dovalyn
  • Can't figure out which one.  I'll take them all!
    Can't figure out which one. I'll take...
    by dovalyn
  • Sunset at the beach plaza
    Sunset at the beach plaza
    by dovalyn

Most Recent Tourist Traps in Manila

  • P0intman's Profile Photo

    Fix Rate Taxis At Manila International Airport

    by P0intman Written Apr 12, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be advised, do not go down to the arrival area unless you have a private transportation waiting for you. There is no metered taxis available down there. There is a fixed rate taxis which charge outrageous rate. I was quoted to pay Php650.00 just to go to Five Star Bus terminal which is only a few miles away.

    Unique Suggestions: Good thingI asked around where I can find a metered taxi which only cost me Php150.00. The metered taxis are yellow colored and located routside, parked at the front of the Arrival building.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • mobileman's Profile Photo

    Airport Sting

    by mobileman Updated Jun 25, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As a frequent traveller to the Philippines I have had the frequent displeasure of some successful extortion attempts and many unsuccessful attempts. The last one happened when I decided to visit friends for a week and fly from Manila to Bangkok. If there is an uncorrupted or half decent law enforcement officer or other government official who loves their country and wants to help remedy the corruption and many wrongs I will happily provide dates and details so you can track down and remove this scum from your society. (Very wishful thinking)
    How it happened!
    Knowing that you are a target and most at risk when you are in a hurry I arrived at Manila’s international airport third terminal in plenty of time to check in at the Cebu Pacific airlines counter. My lady and I checked in and got our boarding passes.
    My lady was then challenged at the immigration departure counter needing to prove that she was capable of financially existing in Bangkok for five days. (This was our fifth trip together from manila to Bangkok so this was expected and we were prepared). Once we cleared the immigration counters we then proceed to the metal detectors and hand luggage baggage checks. There were two lines one for males and one for females. I help her with bag on to the x-ray machine and then return to my to my line. I was the last on in the line to the x-ray machine. I could see my lady on the other side putting her shoes back on and waiting patiently for me to go through the body and bag search.
    HERE IS THE STING! As I was having my bag and wallet searched the security guard inspector found my asthma medication which was labelled with my name, the dosage required, and the doctors name that had issue the prescription. (Very common medication called Symbicort) The guard said where was the prescription, and replied at the drug store where I purchased the medication. The guard then said you are attempting to smuggle drugs out of the Philippines! I said “what!” The guard then said keep your voice down or I will put you and your lady into a cell until I work this out with you! At this moment my lady got up and started to walk over to she what the problem was. The guard saw here coming and order me to make her sit down away from us or he would put us both in a cell. I complied. At this point the guard was running his fingers through my wallet and said we could fix it. I did not want to argue realising that I was in a no win situation and at risk of missing our plane and replied take what you need to resolve this issue. He then emptied my wallet of all of its cash, equalling around 200 us dollars. He then let me go reminding me that he would be waiting for me on my return flight as he worked this shift with these flights to and from Bangkok so do not say anything! I was lucky as he missed the 2000 thousand dollars that I had in my jacket pocket.

    Unique Suggestions: (1) don’t carry all your cash in one place
    (2) make sure you retain copies any and all prescriptions
    (I still think this may not of helped he would of found another reason)
    (3) don't be the last in the line.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel

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  • lonewolfowl's Profile Photo

    taxis,females the street vender,and walking sales

    by lonewolfowl Written Aug 16, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    manila is bad for rude taxi drivers especially if you are a tourist,make them use the meter or take another taxi,the idea is get going before you realize meter wasnt used and charge 5 or ten times actual fare,meters are required by l.t.f.r.b. the people whom allow them to oerate taxi's get the ltfrb number and tag number if you have problems and report them.females have there own scam,especially if you are the red light district type,they will swear up and down they are 18 go home with you and there friends will call pnp,and unless you pay them off you go to jail for 5-10 to say the least.having lived here for over three years i havent seen someone walking around manila yet that sold real items even the ones stamped u.s.a r fake

    Unique Suggestions: before you get in a taxi gotten from the street ask if they can take you there and if they use the meter otherwise you are in for a expensive ride. if you are the red light district type,at least go to a bar or lounge where they have to show id to drink but still this does not make it always either,just remember you came from another country,that meanas alot of dinners for people here for along along time if they can get you nailed ok. dont even deal with the walking saleperson, almost 100% the items are fake and even the medications they try to sell are also fake,go to the nearest drugstore and ask for the generic name for what you need chances are you maybe able to acquire what you need,ok simple beware

    Fun Alternatives: dont deal with taxis whom refuse to use the meter,actually you dont have to pay if they dont use the meter, but police will get involved or you may get shot also,dont get in a taxi where they wont use the meter,and dont forget the toll is meter plus 20 pesos for added fuel costs by law.
    dont deal for anything o9n the street other than directions,stay safe

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  • margaretmcguffin's Profile Photo

    Taxis in Manila, Philippines

    by margaretmcguffin Written May 6, 2010

    When using taxis in the Philippines, is be careful which taxis you take. when our friends did not arrive to pick us up from Manila airport, we hailed a taxi, forgetting which kind were recommended ( and not able to recognise them anyway). Before we jumped in, some kind of police came rushing over, handed us a card and said "ring this number if you have any problems." The parting words of them were, "Good luck Ma'am.) Sure enough the taxi driver tried to con us by firstly requesting the card and then pitching us a hard luck story. Also we got a hotel taxi to take us to a shopping centre, and then picked up a cab to get back. On arrival at the hotel, the asked price was 3 times what we had paid for the hotel taxi. We gave the equivalent of the cost of the hotel taxi, then got out and ran inside.
    Another trap is when the driver of your conveyance, be it taxi or horse and buggy, picks up one of his relatives and tries to stand over the passengers for extra money.

    Unique Suggestions: Get up-to-date information on which taxis are recommended by reliable travel sites and learn how to recognise them.

    Fun Alternatives: Use a shuttle bus if one is available and will go to your accommodation.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Seniors

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  • Manila Hotels accomidations

    by sharkness Written Nov 27, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are thw prices for everything in Manila and all third world countries for that matter. There is the price for the locals and the price for the foreigners. My last stay in Manila was in a four star hotel called Manila by the Bay directly across the street from the American Embassy. I stayed 21 days with my then Fiance and it costs us less than $800.00 US. That's because I had my future Sister In-Law book the room.

    Fun Alternatives: Also, be on your best manners! Most Filapino's think all Americans are the dirty over weight old men that come to Manila to have sex with the bar girls (and boys). All they see is the bottom of the barrel as far as Americans go and they judge us all be these freaks that travel their to have sex with under age girls and boys. If you see one of your fellow Americans participating in this behavior turn him into the American embassy! It is illegal to go to another country for the purpose of having sex with underage girls and boys (underage being determined by American Law)

    Be Generous! The Dollar Peso exchange rate is about 48 Pesos to one US Dollar. I used to have my pockets filled with Peso coins for the street children that would mob me when I can out of my hotel room. I would drop handfuls on the ground and watch the children scoop up as many as they could with glee before I dropped another handful making sure all got enough to provide for food for themselves and their parents who were always close by. After several days of this the locals were helping me out with everything form doing my laundry to providing me protection from unscrupulous individuals that might of tried to rob and/or hurt me

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  • manila- beware!

    by janaris Written Jun 22, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    there's a lot of pick pocketer. also the so called 'SALISI GANG'.

    Unique Suggestions: have an eye to your belongings all the time. try to avoid the crowded area in manila like QUIAPO, DIVISORIA and BACLARAN.

    Fun Alternatives: always place your body bag in front of you.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • GenuinelyCurious's Profile Photo

    Get rubbed the wrong way

    by GenuinelyCurious Written Jun 24, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was offered an hour-long massage at Radiance "Spa" on Polaris street on the corner of Makati Av, very close to the Burgos street entertainment center.

    I was pummeled and mis-handled for about 45 minutes, was told it was "almost" an hour, got offered a hand job and told I was taking a shower in the wrong place after they asked me if I wanted one.

    Service is poor, service nearly surly

    Unique Suggestions: IF you go, let them know your requirements and get it clear as possible up front.

    Watch your stuff! They also claim no responsibility for your belongings and they were so extreme about it, that I worried too.

    Fun Alternatives: Visit the much better, much more professional and even less expensive Touch of hands massage parlor which can be found at my tip here

    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort

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  • sirenna's Profile Photo

    Pedicabs

    by sirenna Updated Feb 8, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Oh, what fun we had! We exited the Hobbit House (having had a great night, as there was an excellent blues band playing there, 'Huka') and decided, as we were slightly drunk (OK, a lot drunk) that we would take a pedicab for the three blocks back to our hotel. Ha! After 10 minutes or so of this young guy frantically pedalling his little bike, we eventually realised that we were in a completely unfamiliar district, and callled a halt to the proceedings. "Bianca's Garden!" we said! "You are going the wrong way!" .... "OK, sige", says the driver, "Bianca's" whereupon he proceeds to take us on another scenic tour of some of the less pleasant parts of the city. Finally, we gave up. "Stop!!!" we slurred "Do you actually know where you are going?" The answer, basically, was, "Er, no, not sure Ma'am". So dutifully we hopped out and paid (oh yes, you still have to pay, even if the person didn't manage to complete the task...) and found another pedicab driver who claimed to know where we were staying.. We were now hopelessly lost in a strange district of the city. We told him the name of our hotel, and off he set. Twenty minutes later, we were still circling around aimlessly, while the driver whistled a merry tune, and greeted a cheery hello to his drunken friends along the way. Finally, I lost my rag. "Do you actually know where Bianca's is?" I yelled - "It's on Adratico St, just off Remedios Circle!". So the guy turned and looked at me in mock surprise and said "Oh, Bianca's - I though you said Victorias!" Sigh...
    It was just around the corner, and he took us there. I won't even tell you how much money we wasted on this b0llocks, but I'll tell you this, they had a good laugh out of us I'm sure!

    Pedicab Driver
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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  • dovalyn's Profile Photo

    Green Hills Mall

    by dovalyn Updated Nov 26, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    OMG! If you ever wanted to buy anything, this mall certainly has it. Two full floors of hundreds of restaurants and shops co-existing side by side. Multitudes of local people and tourist alike swarming this small inner city within a city. Bargains can be had for a song but there is much to negotiate as local owners do not like to "give the store away". Walk around for a bit and if you can remember where your better bargains are, let them wait to offer you a good deal. They definitely don't want to loose a customer to a competitor. The name of the game here is: negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.

    Unique Suggestions: If the shopping gets to be overwhelming, take a break and enjoy the many inexpensive restaurants within Green Hills and each one trying to out do one another as they tempt you with samplings of their food and try to lure you to their booths.

    Fun Alternatives: Hail a taxis and go to the beach or boardwalk. It's not too far from Green Hills and an inexpensive ride. Be sure to negotiate the fare before stepping into the cab. It is approximately about 40 minute ride in traffic and seat belt yourself good because in the Philippines, everyone drives chaotically there! The driving lanes seem to make no sense at all to them. Not once did I see an accident but many close calls and the people love to "honk" their car horns alot! A taxi can bring you back to Green Hills and again, negotiate the fare.

    Jaz, our negotiator Can't figure out which one.  I'll take them all! At the beach plaza Sunset at the beach plaza This bus came within touching distance of us!
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Singles
    • Budget Travel

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  • Always taxi strife

    by englishlalaki Written Oct 11, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    getting a taxi to or from an airport in manila or Cebu is always a pain in the backside due to drivers trying to make a quick buck from white travellers. My fiancee always tells me to stay out of sight while she gets a taxi and arranges a price, cos she knows if the driver sees me he will bump up the price. generally taxi's never use meters for airport trips. just last week a driver agreed on 800 pesos, but when we got to the destination he asked for 1,000 and wouldnt give in asking until we slammed our house door in his face.

    Unique Suggestions: If you are travelling with a filipino, then let them arrange the price of a taxi while you keep out of sight. It's maybe a good idea to confirm the price as soon as you get in the car so the driver doesnt try to ask for more after you've set off. If he tries to raise the price when he sees a white man getting in his cab, then simply say no thanks and find another cab. chances are he'll give in cos he's already making more than if he used his meter.

    Fun Alternatives: If you have only 1 or 2 pieces of luggage, finding a jeepney to take you closer to the airport is a big advantage. Unfortunately it's not always easy to spot where the jeepney will be going, so try to get advice from locals. Jeepneys do not raise their price for white people so if you can use one it's a big help. You wont be able to make the whole journey to the airport in one, but if you are a long way from the airport it will save you a lot. I stayed in cavite and would have to pay 1,000 to 1,200 to the airport in a taxi. Instead we got a jeepney to alabang metropolis for just 28pesos each, from there the taxi driver tried to ask for 500, but accepted 300.

    Related to:
    • Work Abroad
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • IamCCunnings's Profile Photo

    Six Undeniable Reasons Why Roxas Boulevard Rocks!

    by IamCCunnings Written Aug 6, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Formerly Dewey Boulevard in the American colonial times, Roxas Boulevard takes its name after the fifth President of the Philippines, Manuel Acuña Roxas, when the country gained its independence in 1946. The long stretch of Roxas Boulevard offers a scenic view of Manila Bay, which most local and foreign visitors like to capture on their cameras. Known as the sunset strip, Roxas Boulevard has six undeniable reasons why it rocks as a worthy stopover.

    Unique Suggestions: Glittery Lamps on Baywalk. At dusk, the Baywalk, a popular promenade along Roxas Boulevard, comes alive with an estimated crowd of 30,000 to 40,000, who come to enjoy the many restaurants and street performers that populate the area. One of the main attractions: colorful street lamps that illuminate the Baywalk's paved footpaths in multicolored lights.

    For more details, check on this link!

    To read more, link!

    The long stretch of Roxas Boulevard
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Backpacking

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  • joysweet's Profile Photo

    calesa ride at baywalk

    by joysweet Written May 23, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    before getting on the calesa for a leisurely trip along baywalk or malate area, please make sure that the rate that the driver has quoted is for your group and not individually priced. they normally give out a low price (say 500 pesos) only to find out at the end of the trip that the 500 pesos quoted is PER person and not per trip.

    Unique Suggestions: you can always take the calesa ride at intramuros instead where they have a relatively fixed price for the tour/ride

    Fun Alternatives: go to binondo instead, and ask for a short round trip ride that will cost you about 100-200 pesos per ride, although not really going through the scenic places.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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  • one of biggest liar asiabill

    by dame_akanbo Written May 12, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    http://asiabill.pages.web.com/id2.html
    HOW SPECIAL our place is by maintaining a friendly, family atmosphere. We appreciate your feedback and hope you will return the favor of recommending our place near the Manila airports should someone ask you

    that is asiabill homepage and some comment he wrote in homepage .

    but this is all lie .he is not interested in management of the hostel.he only
    is interestead in income from guets who believed his words.

    u will know this if u check reputation of casa camilla which is run by same owner.

    bill say he made hostel for budget traveller.because he had bad experience from his travel during asia and africa when he was budget traveller,

    but now he gives other budget traveller worst memory in there travel and gets money to live with his filipina wife.

    do not believe all comments of ASia bill.

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  • johannlucas's Profile Photo

    RIDING A CALESA IN MANILA

    by johannlucas Written Apr 29, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I would just like to warn tourists who hire a horse drawn CALESA to be careful on dealing with them as there are some of them who duped tourists by charging them more than what the price you've agreed to EXAMPLE..... THEY SAY THAT YOU WOULD PAY HIM 500.OO PESOS for the cith tour BUT WHEN YOU'VE GOT OFF ON THEIR CALESA & PAY HIM THE AGREED AMOUNT,,THEY WOULD ASK U $500.00!!!!! SO THIS SHOULD SERVE AS A WARNING TO TOURISTS WHO WANT TO HIRE A CALESA!!!!!!!!!!!

    Unique Suggestions: CALL THE POLICE!!!!!!!! SCREAM!!!!!!!!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • Frank&Yan's Profile Photo

    Money Changers In Manila

    by Frank&Yan Written Jan 24, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When converting your cash into the local currency, avoid touts who offer good rates. They will bring you to an unauthorized Money Changer outlet and you will get ripped off. First is they will request you to change more than what you need. The reason being that they are offering you a good rate and in return you should reciprocate the favour. Later, they will count the money in front of you and asked you to count again. After you finish counting, they will count again and hand over the cash to you. Once you put it into your wallet, any short change will be your responsibility, because you have been short change of at least 30 percent. This is how they make money by offering good rates.

    Unique Suggestions: If you do not have any choice, this is what you should do. Count your money several times with a friend and never let them touch the money again.

    Fun Alternatives: Always go to the authorized money changers whose licences are being advertized clearly on the front of the office/counter.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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Manila Tourist Traps

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