It's a totally bad idea to go to the SM Mall of Asia on Sundays! The whole mall is knee deep in people that it negates the whole concept of relaxing weekend. You cannot appreciate the store displays and the layout of the mall because you are too busy dodging people! It is also difficult to find a good place to eat because most restaurants are full during weekends. :(
It is better to go there during weekdays when most Manilans are at work! The only downside of this is if you love sales. Most mall sales are set on weekends, otherwise weekday visits is wiser.
it is always nice t o have a horse ride around the walled city especially during a sunny day ..but becareful ...the cart ride is per half hour ( Peso 300 ) and its not flat rate , so it person will bring you to a museum and ask you to go down and have a look ( and if you forget that he charges per half hour ) ...then at the end of the trip ..you will have to pay a hefty amount ...just becareful and use the ride for a round the wall trip . Anyway moving from one tourist spot to another is not that far
The most unpleasant episode in the Philippines happened in the men’s loo inside the boarding area. The gents near the gates was strangely empty for an airport toilet. A cleaner was there, presumably busy with his chores. Paying no attention to him, I went about my task. But as I was washing my hands after at the washbasin, the cleaner offered a clean towel to wipe my hands. “What a nice gesture!” I thought, only to realise that the hands remained outstretched and the smile now degenerated to a leeching look of expectance. I had fallen for the oldest trick in the book. No wonder the washroom was empty. I grudgingly paid out a pittance of money and retreated hastily. This was a first – being harassed for money in an airport’s toilet! I avoided THAT toilet like the plague the second time.
When you are coming out of Fort Santiago you will funneled through a room that has a big Guest Book that you will asked to sign then you will shown these huge sums of Pesos that others have donated! I doubt that most of them donated those sums. What they do is get you sign first then if you say no then they write in the amount the you donated which probably more money than you have with you!!
Last year I wrote about the necessity of insect repellant, and after getting bit on the eye while I slept, I'm here to stress the importance of it. There's a product called katol that smells like absolute garbage (it probably isn't good for you) but its effective in keeping the insects away while you sleep. Make sure you use it in a well-ventilated area.
On a side note, sleeping in an air conditioned room works well too because mosquitos hate the cold.
NEW YEAR'S EVE or other COUNTRY CELEBRATIONS
If you're planning on taking part in holiday revelry in the Philippines, be extra wary of stray bullets and fire-crackers. In early New Year celebrations 10 people have already been hit by stray bullets and 156 more have been injured by firecrackers, according to the Department of Health. Extra police and traffic forces will be deployed on New Year's Eve to uphold the peace.
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
i would suggest you to change your money to smaller bills particularly to hundreds, fifties, and twenties.
this would be useful when you're using the taxi. a lot of drivers would take advantage of you especially when you're white. for example, your taxi rate is is 60, some drivers would say that they don't have small bills to change and would wait for you to say , keep the change. also, it has been a practice that the taxi rate is rounded off to the next ten, if it is 71, they will get 80 from you unless you give exact amount, which is absolutely a crap practice. but it's a habit now cos filipinos don't complain.
having small bills also would ease up your buying particulary in small shops. a lot of establishments here would always ask if you have smaller bills if you give 500 or 1000. even 7-11 stores here ask for that which is really crap. it is unbelievable that they don't have change for big bills considering the number of sales they have in a day.
hope this would helpful for you. sorry for the rant.
Only deal with store representatives wearing ID's or store uniforms. I've heard of people posing as employees, then taking the customer's cash or credit card to the "cashier" down the aisle and never returning. Oh and be sure to destroy all credit card carbons.
Do not get in a taxi without advising that it is a meter trip. If you see no meter, get out. If the doors don't lock, get out. Make sure the meter is working, or advise the driver to stop, and get out. From the airport, do not accept the "line" that you must use an authorized taxi service that services the airport. There's no such thing. I was coaxed into thinking that there was a licensed taxi service under exclusive contract (which seemed fishy, but we're dealing with an extremely corrupt country here). I paid about 3 times what I should have (and endured the driver's tale of woe: "I have 9 children, blah blah blah..."). Expect to pay about 200 pesos from the airport, south of Manila, to the American Embassy (for lack of a better reference point). That's about 4 USD. I paid more than double, plus a tip, for which the driver was entirely ungrateful. Riding in a taxi in Manila is about being ripped off. Be smart, and also, be careful to keep cameras, and expensive looking bags/packages out of sight, and LOCK YOUR DOORS! **Jeepneys (shown, picture 2) are very inexpensive, based on distance, and for the horse and buggy rides, (shown in Intramuros) negotiate negotiate negotiate first!**
Whenever you go anywhere in a car/ taxi, I was advised to lock all doors.
The hotel and taxi driver told me this is because westeners are seen as having huge amounts of money and well, if an opportunity presents itself, you will find yourself a victim of daylight robbery.
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!
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
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. :-)
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
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