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BEWARE OF TAXIS, USE THE METER
Another bad experience occurred on our recent trip to Manila so i just thought that i would warn others about it. Recently we arrived at the domestic airport and decided to take a taxi to our guest house which was a very short distance. I observed that the taxi meter was not operating in the normal way and had already clicked to the number 3. I asked the driver what was going on and he said the rate was 20 pesos for each 100 meters. I told him that i have lived here for 20 years so i instructed him to use the meter properly as it would cost us 400 at his rate to where we were going instead of the usual 70 pesos. The driver was very rude and told us 'OK 100 pesos' , then added the word' Each'. I mentioned that the fare usually is around 70 and i would give him 100 which included the tip. He said last price 120. When reaching the destination, i said it is a pity he was not honest as i needed a taxi to go to several places. As i got out of the car he said F*** You so my wife threw 100 pesos in his face. A pity i did not grab the camera from my pocket to take details of his license number to report him.
So next time you take a taxi make sure that he switches the meter on, if he fails to, tell him to stop and get out. Each taxi has a number and also a hotline number to call on the back of the taxi. If you have been abused, cheated the driver may not be able to operate for a while.
NOTE, the taxis in the photos below are taken randomly and are nothing to do with the above incident
TAXI RIP OFFS
Recently i was in Makati and hopped in a metered taxi to Malate, but after a few minutes he was passing Terminal 3 which was 3 kms in the wrong direction. He thought i was a tourist, not a resident but he still told me it as the fastest way. Lies of course. We go to my destination for a fare of 242 instead of around 100. Careful of taxi drivers but i realise it is difficult if you don't know the city
TAXIS AT TERMINAL 3
Last week i arrived at T3 and was in a rush to get to Makati so i thought i would check out the airport taxis but they wanted 600 peso for a ride that goes 100 pesos on the meter, so i walked out of the airport and found that there were several taxis waiting on the main road, so i asked if they use their meter. Yes, metered ride thy answered, fine i said, Makati. I got in the taxi but didn't see a meter so i asked again, metered ride he replied pushing a card in my hand which had prices to various destinations, Makati be quoted at 800. I instructed him i was not paying 800, stop the car and i got out without paying anything.
Be very creful when changing money, particularly in Ermita, where they can short change you. In my 20 yrs in Philippines i have heard of several rip offs. If yoy are offered a very high exchange rate, this will be a scam. They will give you the money, tell you to count it and request that they count it once more, then you will get it back and when you reach your hotel some would have been syphoned off. A safe place to exchange will be EDZENS, and if you are changing a large amount they will even come to your hotel . Located in Mabini street, 200 metres from Pedro Gil Intersection
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In Manila there are many people living on the street and you will be constantly pestered by children and adults begging. Although i feel sorry for those unfortunates i find it quite annoying, trying hard to refrain from being rude. You cannot give a few pesos to one as you will be approached by the others.
The reality is that these people are well and truly stuck at the bottom of the ladder and will find it hard to improve themselves as not much help is given
Security: basic advises
Manila suffered from a very bad reputation in terms of security, but the reality is far better from feedbacks I've got before. So, please, don't be paranoiac nor naive but just take care of you and be city-consciensous.
As a summary:
1/ Money changers: no pbs with them, with one exception. Some of them are changing euros based on the US$ change rate (-30% in november 2008), so, I suggest you to have in mind before the transaction (ask at hotel reception...) the change rate. Anyway, ask for the change rate before the transaction. Split your money, don't change too much at the same time.
2/ Most of the basic informations for tourists are missing (clear map, transportation network, bus stations location, ...) and if you need to find your way, the best is to ask security guards. Most of the filipinos will try to help you in a very efficient and helpful manner, but some of them will not (providing a wrong answer, may-be because they don't know).
3/ Don't let people you don't know holding your arms or touching you. Probably they are pick-pockets (one real experience, without any consequence)
4/ Have your bag in front of you during transportation (MRT, bus,...) or crowded areas, no money or valuables in your back pocket.
5/ Be polite enough in front of unexpected sollicitations (street vendors, ...): "Hindi po" (no) with a smile is enough most of the time
6/ Escape/avoid people coming to you and saying "ho, I've met you in the hotel ...". Scams under preparation.
7/ Rely on locals, most of them will really try to help you. The must is to rely on your VTFriends, because they know the city better than us, with no stereotypes.
Enjoy your stay in Manila.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Business Travel
Anywhere that people congregate and need to utilize taxis, there will be people there using their personal vehicles to rip you off.... I mean, take you somewhere. They are most likely a very reliable form of transportation but they quote you prices that are 4-5 times higher than what a metered cab would charge.
Unfortunately, just because someone works at the hotel you are staying at does not put them above such deception. When enroute to my VT meeting, an employee of the hotel offered to take me to the location for a mere 700 pesos (about $14). Instead, I took a metered cab and got there for about 180 peso during heavy rush hour traffic. Thank you Alan (an Aussie staying here in the hotel) for the clue about how much it should cost to get there. :-)Related to:
- Budget Travel
Save some money Php for the airport departure tax
Don't spend all your $$ before you arrive the airport, you need to pay 750Php before you get to the immigration office, you need to present your boarding pass when u get tax. If you like to pay US$, they accept it.
Pollution due to urbanization
You may find some places in Manila where pollution is kinda unbearable. It's best to visit those places at night since lesser vehicles travel by that time, minimizing pollution rate. Also bring a hankerchief that you can use to cover your mouth and nose.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
If your planning to visit a crowded place like wet markets and you don't know your destiantion very well, be sure you have someone with you who is familiar with the place and knows the language well. Although most Filipinos are friendly and helpful, be reminded that some of them are not. When riding a public transportation, be sure to secure all your valuables and never show off classy cellphones.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Watch out the flying golf balls
While you take a walk over Intramuros, you will see signs like "Beware of flying golf balls" since there is a golf course located just there. It is better to watch out since there is no protection barrier around the golf course. A novice golf player could turn your vacation into a disaster.
Young white girls
Generally, in the Philippines, usually depending which island/area you are in, it is dangerous for white women to be on the streets alone, especially at night. Just be sure you are with people at all times and don't wander alone at night or in suspicious places. Also watch your bags/purses especially in china town or areas with high amounts of people.
Cash Money! Money! Money!-
As I found out the hard way, not all ATM's are not geared for most all credit cards and ATM cards. I use Visa and found it difficult to find a ATM that accepted my card. Mastercard is the most commonly accepted card in the Philippines. Also, don't bother with a Discover credit card either. Some places accept them however I recommend you get a MASTERCARD.
Also if you need money wired to you, Western Union is widely available.
My best recommendation is to bring large note cash bills due to giving you a better exchange rate. Cash is your best option, and all hotels I ever stayed in had safety deposit boxes.
Corruption of the police.
This is common sense but I feel you have to know.
Although I haven't personally had this issue, I have been warned about an increasing problem of local police. Filipino police are notoriously underpaid and the lure to make some cash on the side has become more previlent.
When dealing Philippine police officers, it is extreamely important to be polite and avoid a confrontational attitude. Most issues can be settled amicably, especially with police supervisors, unless you put on a arrogant display, which may offend personal or national pride.
Again common sense, but some need to be told!
Away from townhouse hostel manilal
this hostel is run by same owner of casa camilla boracay which boasts about worst reputation in all budget accommodation in boracay(check casa camilla)
we stayed here for 2weeks .nobody controls this hostel.that irresponsible owner is in hawaii mostly.so staff can do everything they want .
many customers complain about the attitude of the staff.we also had many complain.so talked to there staffs about that .then they said manager will be angry with u.what is this .who pay there salary .
we had many many many complain about the hostel.
anyway in short its worse than we expected .this is comment from the other guets .they run away the hostel next day morning .
I had travelled inside Asia for 12years .and I been to india ,laos,cambodia.indonesia .thai.china,korea,taiwan ,bangladesh and others...almost 15countries ,and I always chose bottom end of t he cities,but I did not experienced such a bad hostel.if u want to know which is worst hostel in Asia ,u must check this hostel also.
and location of the hostel is one of worst in manila.
and the location of the hostel is very dangerous,manila is famous for security problem for the tourists.but this location is even worst in manila,one man was killed during our stay just 2minutes walking from the hostel.
and this hostel do not want to pay for security guard,though they give us overpriced foods and room.so everyvody can enter the hostel until PM11 ,next victims may be u
This is my Makati Shangrila Tips with the Newer Pictures. The Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is a...more
Interesting... Sometimes ,yes, yes, yes, means no ,no ,no. --Very disappointed with staffs English...more
Stay was ok. The worst part is if you are a member, you get to be passed around until you get a NO!...more
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