Getting around manila is easy most of the people speaks english so asking someone a question is not a bad thing just a tip if you are lost ask someone especially if your preference mode of transportation is the iconic must ride jeepney. because jeepneys dont use numbers for the destination insead they have a destination infront, and streets are somewhat confusing on where side of the street will you ride but drivers do take the extra care on where you would wanna go just tell them that you wanna go to this certain place and they will drop you off infront of the place you wish to be. And if your destination will be in the route of the train be sure to use trains because its easy and convenient but not on rush hour because it gets too busy and crowded. taxis are cheap though you have to say to the drivers to use meter because they wont unless you say it and they will charge you much more.
The ordinary jeepney has been the mode of transportation in Manila and most places in our country. I discovered by chance (after lunch w/ hubby at Harbour Square) that there is now an alternative to the ordinary jeepney or the taxi when going around Manila- the Wow Jeepneys, and I must say they are really a WOW, with their colorful body painting, 20-seater capacity and impressive amenities: air-conditioner, cooler and a tour facilitator, and even videoke system onboard to keep passengers entertained during the entire duration of their trip.
Intramuros is such a small place. It is fun strolling leisurely around the area. However, you can opt to ride the tram or kalesa (horse-drawn carriage) to tour Fort Santiago, and the kalesa or pedicab to tour Intamuros, especially on a hot or rainy day.
For those arriving via Clark airbase and Do not want to waste time trying the budget way by hoping to the nearest town & thereafter Manila, Just get the Philtranco bus from the airport at 350bath/pax direct to SM Megamall Manduluyong City
The Jeepney is the Philippines unique contribution to transportation. There are built from the bodies of old american jeeps and each is painted with a unique airbrush design. Although loud, hot and noisy, they are the incredibly cheap way to get around and no experience will make you feel more like a local than riding around in one of these.
Manila is filled with Jeeps with routes to all corners of the city.
Minimum fare as of Oct2008, is PHP8.50 for the first 4 km.
Addt'l PHP1.50 for every suceeding kms.
Double check the route before you go on board. Its best to actually ask the driver of some of the passengers if you have the right jeep. =)
There is already a "Hop On HOp Off" service in Manila called "Wow Manila Sakay Na!
The vans will be moving around Makati Pasay and Manila.Patterned after Singapore’s "SIA Hop-On Bus" and Europe’s "Busabout" system, Wow Manila’s vans stop every hour at 15 designated pick-up points located near hotels, malls, and other commercial areas around the metropolis. The service operates from 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. every day.Guide drivers take their passengers through Manila, Makati and Pasay to visit various cultural and historical sites such as Intramuros and Luneta and shopping centers like the Ayala Center and SM Mall of Asia. Also in the itinerary are Casino Filipino, spas and wellness centers, and Malate and other entertainment hubs.
Getting around in Manila can be a bit tricky!
Taxis are plenty but they might not always be ready to take you to places out of the downtown.
Buses range from shiny airconed ones to rickety old ones with wooden seats! Not a great idea if you are not very familiar with the routes.
The LRT is a good mode, it runs along the EDSA, the main arterial highway of Manila. Be prepared to face heavy rush though.
Jeepneys are great! They look ornate, oriental, jazzy and are very very airy (considering they dont have glass panes on the windows). But on the flipside they are uncomfortable because of the awkward sitting position.
Tricycles are an innovative idea to make the 125cc kawasaki bikes haul upto 8 people. They are fine for short distances.
If you are driving on your own, just keep in mind that even the elevated "skyway" can suddenly merge into a single lane without much warning ;)
Jeepney or Jeep as it is often called, is the famous trademark of Manila Streets. They are fast and furious! :-)
A regular Jeep can accomodate upto 16 persons but some can accomodate upto 20 persons!
Jeeps, just like any other mode of transport has their own specific route. Their routes are painted on the sides of their jeeps and a small signboard is place infront of the windshield for the passengers to see.
The only drawback when riding a jeep is that, they dont have a specific jeepney stop which means, anytime and minute they can just drop or pick up a passenger along the way.
The mufflers are really ear bugging plus the fact Jeepney's are of great contribution on the city's air pollution.
But, The good thing about riding a jeep is that , any foreigner can feel the honesty of the Filipino's - it is through handling over their fare to the other passenger's until it reaches the driver. Honestly, if the driver doesnt have a good memory he wouldnt know who already paid or who does not.
Light Rail Transit or LRT has 18 stations which will take you to 3 major cities in Metro Manila - Caloocan, Manila and Pasay.
LRT is considered as the fastest way from North to South. Though the speed may not be as fast as the bullet train or any train in the world still it is the most convenient way of staying away from the traffic below :-)
LRT was my companion in my 5 yrs of working in Manila. Everyday, large numbers of commuters are taking this mode of transport. During peak hours, dont expect to take the first, second nor third train that will come your way esp in the mid stations. All the trains will be full packed, jam packed, sardines like or whatever you call it.
A little puch here and a little push there and definitely you can go inside the train (standing!)
Fare: 15 pesos
Mrt, LRT 2 are also operational running through Manila & Quezon City
Major Airlines like Philippine Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, Asiana etc. have their daily flight schedules to and from Manila.
There are 2 international terminals (as of this time) located in the boundaries of Paranaque and Pasay City.
Centennial Airport is exclusive for Philippine Airlines flights while the rest , they still used the old NAIA airport.
In Bangkok, it is the tuk tuk. In NYC, the yellow cab. In Manila, it is the jeepney.
Your experience in traffic congested and people everywhere's Manila is not complete without a ride in the local jeepney. I tried a few times.
Difficult to know where the routes and destination and just hop on board. Ask around. If it is the wrong direction, you can stop, get off and wait for the next one.
The jeepney are individually decorated and a Manila lifestyle.
As EDSA (main thoroughfare in Manila) is usually clogged 24/7 (maybe not on a Sunday), just take the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) which runs from north to south of EDSA. It takes you from Pasay (South) to Quezon City (North).
The MRT is elevated so you can see skyscrapers, houses, trees, and cars/buses/jeeps moving like turtles during rush hours.
Here are worthwhile stops:
Pasay - nearest station to SM Mall of Asia's IMAX Theater; closest station that links MRT to another Light Rail Transit which goes the whole stretch of Taft Avenue.
Ayala - for CBD - Makati, skyscrapers, hip place to be seen
Shaw- largest shopping mall SM Megamall has 10 theaters, ice skating rink, and bowling alley. The station is linked to the posh EDSA Shangrila mall.
Ortigas - for bargain hunting of good copies of designer bags, shirts, and shoes, take another jeep going to Greenhills
Cubao - Araneta Coliseum (for concerts of big bands and university basketball playoffs), stations of long distance buses going to northern provinces like Baguio, Pampanga, Subic. Cubao MRT is linked to another MRT which runs from Marikina to Recto.
Quezon - Quezon Memorial Circle, Parks and Wildlife, government offices (Quezon City used to be the capital of the Philippines), University of the Philippines
Avoid the MRT on rush hours.
For a complete joy ride, buy the stored value card for P100 (roughly $2) and go from station to station. Journey from end to end takes some 35 minutes. Fare ranges from P10.50 to 16.
When you are at Fort Santiago and the Intramuros area, as well as Manila Cathedral, you will be approached by the horse carriage vendors who will pester you to ride on one of their horse carriages (just like many other cities). I did not give it a try but you could consider trying but it will not be cheap.
There are many buses in Manila which offer a cheap mode of transport but you need to be familiar with the routes and be careful of safety as these buses tend to be very crowded. There are also buses from Manila to the surrounding cities and towns as well. Not advisable to take the local buses unless you have some local friends bringing you around.
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