Getting around the Philippines
 
Getting around the Philippines is part of the Philippine holiday destination experience. The Philippines is not quite blessed with abundant first-world transport infrastructure but the most famous vacation destination, most beautiful beach resort and luxury hotel is easy to reach after your international or domestic flight has landed. A journey of discovery and exploration into the less accessible corners of the Philippine archipelago can be as rewarding as any planned holiday destination, especially if you embrace some sage advice. Explore the Philippines with this knowledge:
 

Flying the Philippines

aircraft on the ground Philippine airport  
Flying the Philippines: The Philippines currently has seven domestic airlines, with aircraft capable of delivering you to the most remarkable and breathtaking holiday destination, at a very reasonable price. Most aircraft are new and those that are not are rigorously maintained. With flight times not exceeding one-and-a-half hours, most domestic airline routes have no in-flight catering service. The small aircraft, used for island hopping, necessarily have very precise payloads and you may be asked to weigh-in with your baggage before departure . . . travel light and every Philippine vacation destination will be easy to fly to.
How To Fly To : All Philippine Airline Routes

 

Philippine Ferries

large inter-island ferry Philippines  
Philippine ferries: As a nation of 7107 islands, the Philippines is served by a network of commercial ferry services, linking recognised Philippine vacation destination. Ferries are generally half the cost of the same journey to your holiday destination by air and cater mostly for the local and budget traveller. Major ferry companies have vessels that will carry thousands of passengers, offer a wide variety of on-board accommodations (from bunk rooms to private cabins) and are well maintained. Making new friends is easy on ferries, but take care not to leave easily secreted valuables unattended. Smaller, short-distance, inter-island ferry services frequently use local “banka” outrigger boats. Bankas are commonly used for ferry services to the most popular beach resort holiday destinations -- they may not look very safe, but most are very seaworthy and get you to your vacation destination in one piece.

 

Buses in the Philippines

air conditioned bus Philippines  
Air-conditioned buses in the Philippines: Only take an air-conditioned (as opposed to “ordinary”) bus to your Philippine holiday destination unless there is really no alternative. Air-conditioned buses are inexpensive and provide a convenient way to travel between cities and major towns. Note: the seats in all buses are designed for persons of small to medium build only, but it is quite a normal and acceptable practice to purchase two seats -- one for you and one to share with your luggage. Note also: some bus operators, plying routes to the most popular holiday destinations around the Philippines, allow you to book your seats in advance through the Internet or by telephone.

 

Philippine Jeepneys

classic Philippine jeepney  
The Jeepney, it is said, offers a classic example of Filipino ingenuity. The modern jeepney is colourful, inexpensive, noisy, smelly (in towns), lacks adequate suspension, features a low roof (lower sometimes because of the numbers of extra passengers and freight added thereto), is a challenge to board and alight from, but almost always gets you to your chosen Philippine holiday destination - eventually. When someone asks how many people can you get on a jeepney the correct answer is: there is always room for one more.

 

Tricycles

motorcycle and sidecar, tricycle transport Philippines  
These noisy, underpowered vehicles are the Philippines’ staple transportation for short, and sometimes not-so-short, journeys. They are numerous and inexpensive at most popular holiday destinations, but while they commonly accommodate four or five locals and their baggage, they are much too small for anyone sporting a western physique, except when deep in the provinces and no alternative is available. They also come in pedal-power versions; best avoided.
 

Philippine Taxis

Philippine taxis: With the exception of limousine taxis (hired from some hotels and airports) all taxis in the major cities are metered and the driver is required to turn the meter on; if the driver does not turn the meter on, find another taxi. In Metro Manila there are two metered taxi rates: regular taxis with a Php45 flag fall -- covers all taxis except for those painted all yellow with red numbering; and, those painted yellow with red numbering, having a Php70 flag fall, so called "airport taxis", originating from NAIA but can be hailed anywhere else. Taxis in provincial cities and towns closer to beach resort holiday destinations are frequently not metered and you must negotiate and agree what you feel is a reasonable fare. Do not pay the driver in advance. Note: Taxi drivers are frequently disadvantaged by the lag (sometimes of years) between fuel price increases and official increases in meter charges, a tip of 20 percent or more on top of the meter price will be appreciated.
 

Trains in the Philippines

Trains in the Philippines: Within Metro Manila there are three high-speed overhead commuter train networks operated by the MRT and the LRT. The MRT and LRT offer fast, inexpensive and relatively hassle free travel along major city arteries, and are recommended if time becomes important to you; there are women-only carriages on almost all trains to enhance the travel experience for the fairer sex. We recommend also that you try to avoid the MRT and LRT during sardine-rush-hour travel periods of the day. Some of the other train services around the Philippines are being modernised; until the modernisation process is complete, these other train services are specifically not recommended.
 

Car Rental in the Philippines

Car rental in the Philippines is not especially well structured. Many of the international rent a car companies are represented in the Philippines and there are a number of local car rental enterprises. If you are planning to rent a car then you will need a good Philippine road map and street map (see below). Note: most people rent a taxi or hire a limousine instead of renting a car. However, with the opening of new major highways, the Philippine rent a car opportunities are improving. If you want to rent a car to explore your perfect Philippine holiday destination then most major hotels and major airports have car rental connections - to rent a car to your chosen Philippine holiday destination you will need an International Driving License, a healthy credit/charge card and nerves of steel, prior records with international car rental companies is an asset. Best advice: always take the extended insurance coverage option offered by the rent a car operator.
 

Philippine Road and Street Maps

Philippine Road Maps Street Maps  
Philippine Road and Street Maps can be found on every webcam location page. MyCam Asia provides Google Maps, Google Earth satellite images and Open Street Maps of the Philippines so that you can find out how to get to everywhere by rental car, motorcycle or on foot. Google Maps and Open Street Maps can be found by clicking any "How To Get To" icon on any webcam page and then click "View Location". Select the nearest webcam to your Philippine holiday destination; click the How To Get To icon and then View Location; zoom in on the Google Map or on the Open Street Map to see detailed road names, street names, places of interest, where to dine, hotels, pubs, sports bars and much more. If you are going to rent a car in the Philippines then you need these maps.

Philippine Money

Philippine money: The local currency is the Philippine Peso. The Philippine peso is a relatively stable currency and will currently buy you about two US cents or slightly less than one British penny. Strange but true: a handful of Philippine Pesos will buy you far more local produce and far less imported produce than you thought possible. Credit/debit cards work in most popular tourist hotels and beach resorts but not always in restaurants. Most ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) accept international credit/charge cards for cash withdrawal but the maximum daily withdrawals are low and designed to meet the needs of a modest-spending Filipino, rather than the foreigner on vacation. ATMs can be found in cities and most major towns but these may not always be easy to find at a more remote Philippine holiday destination, so it is wise to plan ahead. Despite what American Express tells you, you must expect to pay a non-discounted price or a service charge for using plastic in most cases. Travellers cheques are generally accepted, especially in non-ATM areas, but remember to bring your passport with you.
 

Dress Code in the Philippines

The dress code in the Philippines is generally loose. Traditional Filipinos are usually very modest in their manner and dress, and can be easily offended by someone who displays too much of their body, except when on the beach – on the beach a skimpy two piece and thong are completely acceptable if worn by foreign tourists. If you want to avoid the attention of those who would wish to rapidly relieve you of your cash & belongings then “dress down”: do not wear a Rolex or carry Gucci unless you are on your way to/from the ambassador's garden party. Most hotels and resorts have in-room safes or safety-deposit-box facilities . . . use them and enjoy your worry-free vacation at all Philippine holiday destination.
 
 
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