WHO Poll

Stevethehammer 1:01 Sun Oct 15
Anyone been?
Do's.. dont's

Landing in Manila via Beijing for 16 days
Then onto Cebu

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Far East Hammer 6:54 Mon Oct 16
Re: Philippines
Brucies_Star_Prize 5:24 Mon Oct 16

Going back I think 19 years, a mate who got married in the Phils (I was best man), had a video of him and his folks travelling round the Phils.

His old man was carrying the video camera and recording whilst traipsing up Taal Volcano. The soundtrack was of him breathing heavier-and-heavier. My missus, when she watched it described the sound as akin to carabao's mating!

Brucies_Star_Prize 5:24 Mon Oct 16
Re: Philippines

Far East Hammer 7:11 Sun Oct 15

I would definitely recommend a trip to Tagaytay to see the Taal Volcano.

Stay away from doing the donkey ride up/down the volcano though. The donkeys don’t have saddles and it’s very painful.

ak37 9:33 Sun Oct 15
Re: Philippines
Northern Sold is the expert on travelling in S.E Asia
Surprised he hasn't chipped in with his narrow minded view on
anything outside of DisneyWorld/Essex.

Far East Hammer 7:11 Sun Oct 15
Re: Philippines
Largely echoing what others have said.

Intramuros is worth half a day to 2/3 of a day if combined with Rizal Park and waterfront (Rizal Park + waterfront not great, but gives an idea of Philippines)

Watch out for pickpockets. Be careful even of taxi drivers.

Quite a few no-go areas in MNL.

Greenbelt. But basically a shopping area with a couple of cafes etc.

For Cebu, the better hotels generally on Mactan Island. Cebu old town near the Cathedral is worth a bit of time.

Basically however, as a rule most Philippine cities are shitholes. Crowded, polluted, crime-ridden. The countryside however can be much nicer, though travelling around can be a pain up the arse when compared against Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam.

In other words, assuming this is a holiday and not a work trip, do you best to maximise time outside of Manila. Possibilities:

1. Baguio City (which does have charm + character)

2. From Baguio, do the Halsema Highway: Bontoc & Banaue (rice terraces), if you can get to Sagada also, that's worth maybe a day or 2 added on. Not sure however of best way to arrange driver or do tour (when I did this donkeys years back I had a relative of the future Mrs FEH driving; he died last year)

3. If from Baguio, then the drive down to San Fernando (La Union)/ Bauang, is stunning (along Naguilian Highway).

4. If you do do Bauang, then Bali Hai resort does a pretty good all-day breakfast and other good food (Mrs FEH + her family are usually somewhat picky regarding western-owned places serving Pilipino fare but were greatly impressed with most offerings there) Accommodation at Bali Hai not exactly 5-stars, but is good enough.

(Note: if you need top notch accommodation, then you might find this at Baguio (Pines Resort I think, in the middle of the park/ Camp John Hay) - but you'll be hard pressed to find it outside of Manila and Cebu, and given Manila traffic, staying in Manila will limit your day-trip options)

5. The driver up the coast from Bauang to Laoag also quite good. There are decent hotels/ resorts up in Laoag for an overnight stay. Laoag City might be worth a half-day.

6. Or half-way to Laoag is Vigan, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Best preserved Spanish-era town (in much better nick than most of Intramuros). Vigan would be worth 1-2 nights.

OK, South of Manila:

7. Taal Volcano worth a visit. Could be done en route to ferry to Boracay, should you choose to throw that into the mix

And in general:
look at other side-options from Manila (as per above) or Cebu (e.g. Chocolate Hills, Bohol)

In any event, in most cases seek to minimise your time in Philippine cities.

nychammer 5:48 Sun Oct 15
Re: Philippines
Oh and if in Manila for a coupe of days pagsanjan falls is 2 hours away. Can do with private driver for about $100

nychammer 5:47 Sun Oct 15
Re: Philippines
Been there a few times. Manila is ok if you know where to go, and preferably if you know someone there. Be careful where you stay. Makati or Malate are ok areas but take Uber to get around. Some nice bars in Makati, try strums for live bands and a good time. Not much to do there but Intramuros and Fort Santiago are good historical areas to explore.

Outside of Manila are better options. Boracay is ok but getting very touristy in places. Bohol is better, great diving and beaches and more to do and see, depends what you are there for. My suggestion would be a say if so in Manila and the rest at a beach resort.

joe royal 4:33 Sun Oct 15
Re: Philippines
Steve - who mail.

joe royal 4:24 Sun Oct 15
Re: Philippines
Been a few times , stay in makati , bit less shit than the rest of the place. Subic bay is a couple of hours away by coach , stay in blue rock or Harley's bar. Both places are decent and blue rock has a floating bar . Sit n bull does good food.

Green belt in makati is a good place for a night out.

Mango sq Cebu is where the nightlife is although recent reports say it's very Korean and not as busy as a few years ago.

Angeles city you can google yourself but I didn't like it.

Usual rules apply , no expensive watches on show , use cash points in day light only , always get the price up front for everything and double check.

Will be looked at as a walking ATM and every scumbag hooker , drug pusher , scammer and beggar will make a be line for you.

The food is crap , everything seems to be covered in BBQ sauce although if you can find a Korean BBQ it's a bit of an eye opener.

A restaurant is staffed entirely by midgets , worth it for novelty value alone.

Chinatown is worth a look.

Westham67 2:57 Sun Oct 15
Re: Philippines
Went to Makati to meet a mate to play golf when I worked in Taiwan, Went in a bar in Makati about 7pm and came out at 5 am shitfaced with 5 brasses who caned us at Jenga playing for shots of Tequila resulting in a bar bill of $250. Went to liquor and bought the ladies 3 bottles of Baileys an the same amount of JD, 8 of us including my mate driver got into a Toyota Corolla and went. Went back to Taiwan with golf clubs unused

claret50 2:11 Sun Oct 15
Re: Philippines
Vodafone have their call centre in Manilla.


On The Ball 1:14 Sun Oct 15
Re: Philippines
Went to Boracay a couple of years ago. Really liked it.

Best I've got though, so no help.

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