6 MONTH STAY, GET YOUR ECC
Many tourists end up staying here more than 6 months and arrive at the airport hoping to fly out but are refused to board as recently the immigration department change the procedure. If you stay more than 6 months you must go to the Immigration office at Intramuros and pay for an EXIT CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE, as you will not be able to leave the country without this. This happened to an Italian friend of ours last month and unfortunately she lost her INTERNATIONAL TICKET AND HAD TO PURCHASE ANOTHER ONE.
As is common everywhere in the World, popular beach resorts in the Philippines also seem a whole world apart from the rest of the country.
The few I visited were invariably overpriced, unfriendly places with fat Western men and ugly local bar-girls.
And usually, resorts aren't even on really nice beaches!
Fun Alternatives: There are plenty of beautiful, unspoilt beaches in the Philippines where you can have a much more pleasant time - IF you don't need the resort facilities!
Let's admit it: cities in the Philippines tend to be ugly, dirty, poverty-stricken, functional sort of places. A few of them do have some historical attractions - with Vigan being a true gem, the only city worth visiting in its own right - but most only serve as gateways to the attractions of the countryside.
Cities are usually more expensive to stay in than rural areas, too.
In short, unless you thrive on nightlife, shopping, or have family or friends to visit, treat cities in the Philippines as places to get through as quickly as possible.
Taxi drivers are unreliable..
Although the authorities are trying to eliminate this problem it's us that have to take measures. First of all never ever get into a taxi or tricycle if you haven't agreed on an absolutely clear and definite price. Even if you have done so the driver will try to quote a different one by the time you have reached your destination. Be firm and decisive . Don't look confused. Study your journey beforehand.
If you are in a metered taxi ask them to use their meter and be careful on the route the taxi driver is following. It's possible that he make a big loop if he judges your knowledge of the journey is inadequate.
If you are on a tight badget always ask someone you trust - the hotel staff or a local - about the price of your journey in question . Even so they might lie to you or avoid answering.
When you hop on a jeepney in the countryside don't let him go with you only on the vehicle. He will probably charge the ride as a "private" one despite belonging to the public transport. Make it clear to the driver he should wait for more people to get on. Locals warned me about this!
The first day I arrived at the airport of Manila it was very late at night so I had to take one of those company taxis which are supposed to be fair and safe though too expensive for the Manila standards. When we arrived at the hotel he ..of course asked me for more . To my complaint he stepped back mumbling a cheap excuse...
On another occasion I knew the price was no more than 50 pesos. He asked me for 300 and after I firmly said no he begged me for 100. Another made a big loop before I had time to realize it.
Generally, always negotiate unless you are a rich philanthropist...Have in mind that the official price is about 30p for the flag fall plus 1p for every 100meters so even if you have to cross the entire city of Manila 300 pesos should be enough.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Beware of fake money dealers
Particularly in the tourist areas of Manila you will experience persons who offer extremely good exchange rates. Usually they show the tempting exchange rate on a piece of card board. Oftentimes tricks are applied when counting the Peso notes. you may not notice that from below they are pulling back some banknotes.
Furthermore another trick is not to pay the full amout and force the tourist to reject the deal. When returning the dollars to the tourist in many instances you will get back fake dollars.
Unique Suggestions: Help comes usually too late and the persons run off.
Fun Alternatives: Go to Central Bank accredited Money Changers. You will find their signs openly displayed. They are all over Manila and Makati. Their rates are little bit better than in the banksRelated to:
- Road Trip
In Philippines an air-conditioner is a symbol of luxury and you have to pay for it. Air-con taxis, air-con rooms, air-con shops are always more expensive.
Unique Suggestions: First of all you have to decide if you need an air-con. Personally I didn't need it, temperatures between 28-30 deg are familiar to me, and on my first week in Philippines I caught a cold because of air-cons.
But there is more to discuss on the subject, especially about hotel rooms, bungalows and cottages. Trying to raise the price of cheap accommodations, the owners buy imported scrap air-cons from junk-shops to equip the rooms. The result:
The scrap air-cons are so noisy that you have to turn them off for sleeping, while their efficiency is also questionable...
Fun Alternatives: If you decide that it worths paying for an air-con, the first thing to do when getting in your room is to check how it works... and decide if you will stay in this room or not...Related to:
- Budget Travel
Don't stay in Manila
Get out from Manila and you will enjoy the Philippines! Go island-hopping. Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, or go to the Mountain Province: Benguet (Baguio City), Bontoc (Sagada).
You will love the Philippines. There is so much hassle in Manila. I can't stand it. Neither could you!
Sorry, but that will be my advice.
I will come back and renovate this site.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Female "Students" in Nightlife?
In every city where entertainment belongs to the service of a bar you will have to excersise some caution. Naturally this applies also for Manila.
In most of the bigger restaurants one will have to pay a cover charge or table charge, although sometimes one will have to ask afterwards for what the amount had been paid.
Unique Suggestions: Therefore, it is quite adviseable to ask the waiter or at the reception what is included in the charge or which kind of program will be shown.
Be also very cautious when the waiter will ask you whether you wish to be entertained by a charming nice student.In many cases these students turn out to be professional hostesses and charge you 300 Pesos per hour or even more.
Be aware also that a "Ladies Drink" will cost you up to three times as much as the same drink you are drinking, although sometimes there is nothing but tea in such Ladies Drinks.
Fun Alternatives: Avoid second and third class night clubs, if you are not familiar with the location.
The better nightclubs with shows are in Pasay City, Makati and Quezon City, though these VIP Clubs do not guarantee that the "Inexperienced" will not be harmed. Take care!!Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Tourist = rich
Ususally Filippinos think that if you are in the Philippines you must be rich therefore they will try to get some more money out of you! This is general with the Taxi drivers, tricicle drivers, beach vendors, massage girls ...
Unique Suggestions: Be a bit courageous, act like being familiar with prices and don't hesitate to offer the half of the price what you just have been asked! It helps a lot also if you use some tagalog words (local language) because they will think that you are since a long time in the Philippines and not just a pleasure tourist.
Believe me it works! I have 8 month experience.
Beauty of the Philippines!
Banaue Lies in the Ifugao Province. Here you can find the famous rice terraces, regarded as the 8th wonder of the world.
Unique Suggestions: You can reach Banaue by car from Baguio. The drive takes you on a beautiful sightseeing trip around the Cordillera mountain range.
For things to take home, silver craft and local weaves crafted by the residents of the Tam-An Ifugao village are a must.
And for a taste of true adventure, only two hours away from Banaue are the terraced trails of Sagada-a breathtaking encounter with nature. Explore caves, scale the mountainside, or swim in natural pools.Related to:
- Religious Travel
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Guys! learn to bargain !
When you are in Philippines and outside´s Mall and u are going to buy cloths try to bargain them haft of its prices at least. But one thing the quality of cloths outside´s mall is very bad. try not to shop there. But something like soviniuer.
Dont go in Philippines in High Season Like Dec untill april the hotels is very expensive special the spot places. Just go in Low season like June and Oct. then you get more cheaper rates of all hotels and is not so hot iether is normal heat, you wont burned like hell but you will be brown as you wish.
Unique Suggestions: *** Important ***
Pls try not to wear gold or expensive Jewerlys. They have lots of mug in Philippines and try not to walk alone special at night.
Then when you are In Manila and staying at hotel and You are going somewhere and you need Taxi, the best thing to do is not to book a taxi at hotel is tripple prices of normal Taxi. OF course is normal they have standard prizes. Then when u try to get a Taxi outside try to get the plate number of the taxi and ask the licensce of the driver , write it up, special when u are going far away or outsides Manila, just take it for a security percursion. Then sometimes a normal taxi Driver outside s from hotel, they give a prizes, but dont take that if you think is so very high, ask the driver instead for running/meters, then u can get more cheaper.
Fun Alternatives: Boracay Beach
One thing too, when you are in boracay try to be smart, people are selling lot of things and they very expensive but if you go in market in boracay they are very cheaper. And if you gonna do some activities in Boracar like Jet skiing, snorkling,sail, scuba diving and excursion, try not to talk to the people ouside ´s hotel, cause they have double prizes, sometimes they have tripple prizes is u have bad luck. Try to go around and ask. Then you might find cheaper one and tro to bargain them. Jet skiing cost abt 45 dollats at outside´s hotel, but if you look around is just cost abt 20 to 30 dollars, is depends in person you find. snorkling better to join other people is just cost abt 15 dollars plus food and all day per person at least ur not alone and the other tourist too is there., but outside´s hotel coz more abt 30 to 40 dollars for one hour per person, but this one is more private. But the funny thing is you pay lots and you dont get food and one hour is not enought to see all Different corals in boracay. So be carefull okey. All i can say when u are there try to look around and ask. Asking wont do damage.Related to:
- Spa and Resort
- Skiing and Boarding
- Sailing and Boating
No hotel booked, so you get guided to the hotel bookers. They actually seem very honest and got us good rates and a good hotel.
Watch the taxi driver as he kicked the ass out of over charging. There is a hotel guide that goes in the car with you he will ask for a tip.
Unique Suggestions: Dont give the hotel guide a tip as he doesn't actually do anything. Try not to ask him anyting about Manila, just contain your excitement til you're in the hotel. the receptioniasts will answer most things. Whatever you do don't ask about dodgy adult spots as the hotel guide will insist/come to your hotel and try to take you to the place where he will get commission.
Fun Alternatives: Book the hotel online as you can arrange transfer with them and it's way cheaper!!!! Believe me in the long run.
Not as bad as people make it out to be. A very nice place to go on the off season if you dont mind the rain. If you can, you can get some excellent kite sailing in. Ja Man.Also it is great to be able to wander around without the crowds. It is still not that bad in the on season either except on weekends when it can be a bit of a zoo.
Unique Suggestions: Go in the off season. Make friends on VT who are from the area. :-). Fly in and for Gods sake dont drive. Mad drivers! They dont turn their lights on at night!
Fun Alternatives: Palawan Island. Still relatively unspoiled but getting there. Fantastic diving, fantastic scenery. Most coastline small towns are just as nice except for the beach and the Philippines has many, many of those. Also good diving can be had almost anywhere along any coast, as long as you have access to diving equipment.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Taxis--Defenitely needds to be chosen wisely!
Taxis- are great to get around, but beware they will take you for a ride! That ride just might cost you a nice penny!
Unique Suggestions: As much as possible try using taxis that the hotel have in front. Ask the concierge at your hotel to give you tips on which Taxi will be the best and ask how much a ride to a specific place is applroximately. Tell the driver that you only expect to pay so much for a fare and if they say it will cost a bit more ASK how much is a bit more before using him as your guide.
Fun Alternatives: If you happen to be stuck and really need to get somewhere--PLEASE do not take a jeepney there. These are small buses that take the locals from point a to b, but just beware if you want to experience them. Most public transport do not have A/C, so if you've come acustom to the good life this is not for you.
LADIES' DRINK IN HONKY TONK PLACES
You go to a honky tonk joint and a girl starts talking to you, next thing you know she's asking for a drink from you and the gentelman that you are, you of course oblige. This drink will cost you at least $3.00 or you are sometimes charged on a per hourly basis ranging from $10-40 depending on the place you entered. If you stay for a couple of hours, this won't come out cheap and sometimes you're just forced to talk to the girl and sometimes even a group of girls. So buyers beware!
Unique Suggestions: First ask how much the drink is and your next question is how many drinks is she required by management to drink in an hour. So more or less, you would know at the end of the day how much you will pay or are willing to pay. Because I have read and seen on TV foreigners being hauled off to jail because their tab was too excessive for their wallet. I further suggest that you regularly check you tab with the waitress maybe on an hourly basis.
This is my Makati Shangrila Tips with the Newer Pictures. The Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is a...more
Set back a short way from White Beach, Dave's Straw Hat Inn is the perfect place to sit back and...more
Km. 62, North National Highway, Barangay San Rafael, 5300
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