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

  • Nightmare in Chinese Cemetary

    by vvink Written Nov 11, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    there will be people offering a tour around the cemetary with charges of 480 pesos.
    since that the cemetry is big, we agreed with the offer.
    The tour guide will bring u round n explain wat he knows about the cemetary, of coz we wouldn't know which is true or fake.
    however, we still continue the tour till the end until he mentioned the charges, I was in the shock of my life!!.. it costs me 2000 pesos!! as he said its 480 pesos PER HOUR!!!... I'd gv the amount if its worth of money.. but this jz the CEMETARY!!!!...
    It's less den 3 hours though, but he insisted that we've walked for more den 3-4 hours.. WHAT A CHEAT!!!...

    Unique Suggestions: DO make sure the charges PER HOUR...
    DO make sure HOW LONG IS THE TOUR...

    Be cautious alwix with what some people offers you.. as they would alwix assume that you r rich and be able to pay...
    even though this might be a way for them to earn some extra money... but sigh~~... this will just restrain ppl from coming another time... and they might even earn less....

    Fun Alternatives: You can just go round the trip yourself instead of with a tour guide...
    there is nothing much though...
    Even though the area is big, but wat i can say... it's just of cemetary that is built tall...

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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  • malbari's Profile Photo


    by malbari Written Sep 24, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Greenhills is known for its flea market-type environment. It is an indoor mall full of individual stalls where you can buy almost everything, particularly local products and native Filipino gifts. It's great for presents to take back home!

    Two warnings:
    1) If you are thinking about taking home a purse, a pair of shoes or some perfume, chances are it will be fake. I'm sure you'll be able to tell by carefully inspecting the product. The store people know its fake but they are not going to be the first ones to tell you that. And if you do ask for its authenticity, please do it politely as to not embarass them. Ask with a smile or a gentle laugh. The store people will more than likely assume that you will be aware that it is not the real thing anyway.

    I have regularly bought various fake items from Greenhills and people back home love it, as some items look pretty darn close to real!

    2) Negotiate!!! Some if not most vendors will "knock down" a price for you voluntarily anyway however in cases when they do not, ask for a lower price. If they know you can handle a good bargain, chances are they will give you the "local" price just to make a sale. But remember, never settle for the first price they offer you.

    Hope these help.

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  • mlt_t's Profile Photo

    Traffic on Roxas Boulevard...

    by mlt_t Updated Sep 17, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Traffic on Roxas Boulevard
    Red streaks from traffic that travel along Roxas Boulevard as dusk sets over Manila.

    I have read some other pages about Manila. I think the worse thing about Manila is traffic. I cannot help it but that is the one biggest problem in the city. Thank God, I live now in a place with less traffic. I love Manila; they have plenty of beautiful and different kind places to go (especially if you are a night person) around the city. Forget about the traffic. Me, I'm used to it when I visit Manila. I still go and have fun going to Manila, especially at night. Nighttime is the best hour to explore the city itself, lots of new places you can go and have fun.

    Roxas Blvd scene at night

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  • mlt_t's Profile Photo

    Slum area around Manila

    by mlt_t Updated Sep 17, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We are an Asian Country. We are not a rich country compared to other Asian countries. I don't know what will my fellow Filipinos going to say about this text or message I'm going to say about my country. I don't want people to expect too much about my country. We have some ugly place you can see or I can say we have lots of slum area in some places here at Manila or in some different places here at Philippines. I don't want my fellow members to expect too much of my country. I don't want to be hypocrite to you since I want to be honest regarding my country. I know that traffic is one of the biggest problems in our country. But our second problem is slum area of the poor people. Our government is doing everything to help poor people to relocate them to some nice places they can stay or they can live. I hope I can do more about this kind of problem. People from provinces go to Manila to achieve some goal. They thought living in Manila is very nice, since they were going to stay in the city (civilized place). They did not know that
    living in the city is the hardest of all.

    Unique Suggestions: Just ignore... :-)

    slum area around Manila

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  • we2364's Profile Photo

    Taxi Drivers in Manila is so nice

    by we2364 Written Jul 2, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Comparing to the latter unfavorable experience in Cebu, almost all of the taxi drivers I met in Manila is very helpful and nice. But from what my friend told me, I am probably very lucky to meet all the good ones here.

    I met a young and handsome driver after visiting intramuros, when I felt going a different way back, I suspiciously told him(politeness is always needed even others are doing sth. wrong). He then explained to me that was one way which he could not turn left. He told me no worrys at all and afterwards we had a great conversation, talking about the country, their female president Alojo, average income (the monthly income of the stuff works in the office is only $200. Comparing to what we earn in Shanghai, we are much developed country). Finnally he sent me to the destination and good tips is always something I can appreciate his help and good time spent.

    Another good one I met is the one whom drove me to see the cockfighting.
    After getting on one taxi, I just told the driver that I wanted to go to the place for seeing the cockfighting. Instantly, he felt surprised that I would do this by myself and told me it was highly not recommended to try this on my own(I was terribly unintelligent as I didn't know how dangerous that could be). Finally he companied me for 2 hours by driving me to the court, companing with me in the taxi before the game started and helping for getting all kind of information I would need for watching this event. I can tell without his help, it is impossible to have this visit on my own. Ultimately, good pay is something I can appreciate his help (even it is a bit higher, but personally i feel it is still very worthwhile).

    Unique Suggestions: Pls refer to the same section in Cebu page.

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  • whvcebu's Profile Photo

    Manila Transport - Beware of pick-pocket thieves

    by whvcebu Updated Feb 29, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In public transportation, particularly jeepneys and busses take good care of your valuables. Never keep your purse in the rear pockets of your trousers, always in front pockets.

    For ladies, hold your hand bags on your lap, never keep it on your side. Bags are snatched or slit open with sharp knifes and the thieves disappear just by jumping of the slow riding busses.

    Unique Suggestions: Don't pay with big bank notes. Always look to it that you have available some small change

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Theater Travel

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  • whvcebu's Profile Photo

    Manila - Calesa

    by whvcebu Updated Feb 20, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In General - negotiate the price before going onto a Calesa.
    Despite prior arrangements the driver of the Calesa tries to increase the price when you get off. It is also common to let you off only at the "Calesa Waiting points' because there are many of the drivers who would help them in a dispute to argue for a higher fare. Don't get irritated.

    Unique Suggestions: Get off a Calesa somewhere near to the place away from any of those waiting areas and pay only the agreed amount.
    Make sure you will have exact change as they will pretend not to be able to change your money if you pay with bigger bills.

    Fun Alternatives: Ride an airconditioned taxi with a meter. Insist of switching on the meter. It is definetely cheaper than a Calesa ride through the poluted city. If the driver says the meter doesn't work tell him to stop and leave without paying anything.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Theme Park Trips

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  • herzog63's Profile Photo

    Rizal Park - Calesa Drivers

    by herzog63 Written Jan 30, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You gotta watch out for the Rizal Park Calesa drivers. They are friendly enough but they will hound you for more money! Even after you've both agreed to a price. My son wanted to ride on one so I agreed but I told him that I would have to negotiate a price first. So I approach one of the drivers and ask him how much a ride is and says something like 300 pesos for a ride around Rizal Park hhhhmmmmm...sounds expensive to me so I say "nah that's ok and we walk away a then the price drops to 50 pesos!! Ok So we hop in and I ask the guy if it's 50 pesos to go around Rizal Park without any added fees "Sure" he answers! Well we take off Clip Cloping down the road and my son is having a blast!! It was a nice little ride around the park. Then when we get to the end of the ride the guy wants 100 pesos and I said "I thought it was 50?" and he said "Yes 50 each" Hmmm...I'm being scammed!?! Then here comes his buddy from out of nowhere holding some sort or Calesa Regulations Sheet that stated that the fees were per person!! ahahaha I'm having fun so I say kind of loud "Come on Buddy?" And then I said "I'll tell you what, I'll give you 60 pesos total but my son gets to pose in your Calesa while I take a couple of photos" The other guy said no and then I said Well I'll give you 50 pesos then! Then the driver agreed to the 60! We took pictures but they didn't come out good as the sun was behind the Calesa. My son got a lesson in South East Asia bargaining and Bait and switch tactics!! When something like this happens don't get mad just keep smiling and having fun and everything should work out fine in the end!!

    Rizal Park

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  • jltan's Profile Photo

    Beware of People (Eagerly) Befriending Tourists

    by jltan Updated Nov 26, 2002

    I have heard of businessmen being victimized by the so-called 'Ativan Gang'. Their modus operandi involves somebody (usually a woman) befriending a visiting businessman and offering him a drink. Next time the visitor knew, he's alone somewhere (usually in a hotel room) with all his belongings/valuables gone!

    I'm not saying this to scare people but please be aware of this. If somebody approaches you who looks suspicious or looks too good to be true, maybe he or she is a crook...

    Inquirer article:

    I have to point out that we, generally as a people, are very hospitable to visitors. And like other people, there are bad elements in our society who want to take advantage of other people.

    Unique Suggestions: Stay away from them... Tell them you're not interested.

    Fun Alternatives: If you know a local. Stick with your host...

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  • BLSM's Profile Photo

    Del Pilar Street

    by BLSM Written Nov 16, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dell Pilar Street was pretty much Manilla's Red lite area. They didn't have the brothels but they did have the bars with the bar girls and bar dancers. I hear that they have cracked down but i am sure some of it is still there. The guys learned early not to buy a drink for the girls. $10 for a girls' drink and most of the time it was only soda. It was fun to watch the young sailors on their first liberty.

    Unique Suggestions: Watch your belongings.

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  • syllybabe's Profile Photo

    Metered Taxis vs. Rental Cars

    by syllybabe Written Sep 20, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When you get to the airport, whether arriving on a domestic or international flight, you can either take a chauffeur driven airport taxi or a metered cab. Metered taxis are cheaper as long as you make it clear to the driver you know where you're going and make sure he turns the meter on. You'll end up paying 5 times more if you hire a car but you usually get newer more comfortable models than the metered ones. Regular metered cab fare to Makati is about $2US and airport taxis about $10 or $11.

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  • Photo shows a Kalisa,...

    by yen_2 Updated Sep 8, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Photo shows a Kalisa, traditional ride;-)

    Avoid places which are not very familiar with you, specially those dark streets, you may not want to lose your money because you're being robbed by a street boys...well, a piece of advice avoid that places.

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  • Voicu's Profile Photo

    Taxi cabs

    by Voicu Written Aug 31, 2002

    When travelling through Philippines you have to be very careful with the taxi drivers. Ask before you go in how much is the fee, because you might find out that he is driving the taxi of some hotel, thus the fees are a lot more expensives. It happend to me, I had to pay something like 100 pesos for a 5 mins drive, when the usual fee for cabs is somewhere around 30 pesos.

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  • kylian74's Profile Photo

    From June to September is...

    by kylian74 Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    From June to September is rainy season in Philippines,there might be typhoons and maybe some flooded area in Manila, so, be aware of that months. Personally,the best time to visit the country is December,normally no rain but happened sometimes, then the weather is not too hot just the ideal between 24 to 30 degrees. Well, if you really love the SUN try going there on summer time ranging weather temperature between 28 to 35 or more,real tropic temperature.

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  • Manila is an 8 million strong...

    by demonsword Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Manila is an 8 million strong metropolis and can be compared to Bangkok and Jakarta as far as 'tourist traps' are concerned. There are many caveats to observe that the best advice is to find a relative, friend or business associate to provide guidance. Veteran travelers know these pitfalls.

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Manila Tourist Traps

Reviews and photos of Manila tourist traps posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Manila sightseeing.

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