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Philippines Travel Guide

Philippines Travel Guide seeks to share the vibe of an authentic experience through our idea of adventure travel for explorers and memory seekers in the Philippines.

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MANILA ADVENTURE TOURS

Manila Adventure Tours

We spent 51 days on a planned and organized Philippines Travel tour adventure in 2017. We created the Philippines Travel Guide website to give travelers authentic insights about this archipelagic country in Southeast Asia, comprising almost 7,600 islands divided into three major island groups — Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
 

Travel Diary for Day 1-2:

The first two days in the Philippines adventure diary (Day 1-2) were spent touring Metro Manila. This city holds so many places to visit and fascinating views to witness, including historical parks and the sight of the beautiful Manila Bay sunset. Manila is littered with relics left by the Spanish colonizers, the Japanese invasion, and American immigration, resulting in neighborhoods like Ermita — which we also visited, becoming well-known historical tourist areas in Manila.

Day 1: How do we Start the Adventure Tour in Manila

21 February:

It’s the first day (Day 1) of our Philippines Adventure trip, and we started it in Manila, the Philippines Capital. It is definitely worthwhile to pay a visit to Manila because the city offers tourists a wide range of exciting opportunities and experiences.

Many things still had to be organized. Zak, Philippine Travel Guide’s content creator from Australia, still needed some parts for his equipment, and I also had to get a few things before we could head off on our adventure in the Philippines.

Deciding where to get what we needed was easy; the Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City (Metro Manila). As the world’s third-largest shopping center, it is home to the genuine and trusted brands of travel and adventure equipment in the Philippines’ capital city. Aside from that, it provides a handful of entertainment possibilities to its guests, not to mention its line of delectable foods-serving restaurants.

After we finished shopping, we needed to store some of our equipment in Manila, so that we could pack lighter luggage for our next backpacking trip to the middle part of the Philippines, the Visayas Region.

Thanks to our good connections in Manila, we were able to keep part of our luggage with Marc, a good friend of ours. – It’s always lovely to visit Marc for a chat in Metro Manila.

Where to Find the Best Budget Hotels in Manila?

Our hotel, Manila Manor, was located in Ermita, Manila. It’s a budget hotel in a noisy part of town with a lot of nightlife. Ermita is a part of the city well known to budget tourists, who like to stay at cheap hotels and go out at night.

Budget Hotels in Manila:

Courtyard Hotel - Another good option for budget travelers is the Courtyard Hotel also located in Pasay. The property is just 3 km from the Mall of Asia Arena, 3 km from the City of Dreams Manila, and 4 km from Glorietta Mall.

It features an outdoor swimming pool, gardens, a shared lounge, daily continental breakfast, and free WiFi access. Each room has a shared bathroom with a bidet.

Cost per night: around PHP 1000 or USD 23.
(Address: 5J Buenaventura St. 1300 Pasay City, Philippines)

Eurotel Pedro Gil - Located in historic Manila, Eurotel Pedro Gil is just around 1km from the United Nation LRT Station and across Robinson’s Place Mall. The LRT is one of the major modes of transportation around Metro Manila.

There are many transportation options when traveling in Manila. Getting around the capital of the Philippines is easy as long as you know what suits your travel lifestyle and budget.

Each room features air conditioning, free WiFi access, and a flat-screen TV. The hotel also has function rooms, an in-house restaurant, and massage services.

Cost per night: around PHP 1,600 or USD 32
(Address: 616 Pedro Gil Street, Ermita, Manila, 1004, Philippines)

Kabayan Hotel Pasay - is one of the most famous and established hotels for both local and international travelers. Ninoy Aquino International Airport is only 4 km away and public transportation is also available within the area.

The hotel features classic decor. Each room has parquet flooring, an air conditioner, en suite bathrooms, a comfortable seating area, and a minibar.

Guests can enjoy free wifi access and are accommodated 24 hours at the front desk. Breakfast is served from 4:00 am. The in-house restaurant offers both international and local meals. Room service is also available. zxc

Cost per night: around PHP 1500 or USD 30
(Address: 2878 Zamora street, corner Epifanio de Los Santos Ave, Pasay, Metro Manila)

Red Planet Manila Binondo - Located in Manila 3 km from Manila Ocean Park and 2 km from Intramuros, features a 24-hour front desk ready to assist guests at any time, free WiFi throughout the property, and a secured parking area.

Rooms are air-conditioned, furnished with a flat-screen cable TV, a desk, and a safety deposit box. Each unit also has a private bathroom complete with a shower, hairdryer, bidet, and free toiletries.

Cost per night: around PHP 1,200 or USD 25
(Address: Juan Luna St, Binondo, Manila, 1006 Metro Manila)

Stone House Hotel Pasay - strategically located in Pasay just 5 km away from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, 3 km from SM Mall of Asia, and 7 km away from Manila Ocean Park.

Guests can enjoy a simple yet comfortable stay in this hotel. A 24-hour front desk, free WiFi, and a restaurant are available.

Each room comes with freshly laundered bedding, an air conditioner, a wardrobe, a private bathroom, and free toiletries.

Cost per night: around PHP 1,200 or USD 26.
(Address: 2231 Aurora Blvd, Malibay, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila)

What are the Top Things To Do in Puerto Princesa?

There are many interesting places to see and activities to do within the city and its outskirts. Puerto Princesa is the gateway to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been included in the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

The Tubbataha Reef National Park is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and the No.1 dive spot in the Philippines. Some other famous things to do in Puerto Princesa are:

  • Island hopping, scuba diving, and snorkeling in Honda Bay.

  • Surfing and kitesurfing have also gained popularity, and tourists will surely love Puerto Princesa’s November to April winds for wind and wave sports. For more info and awesome recommendations on surfing and kitesurfing in Palawan, send us an email today!

  • Hiking and trekking should also be included in your itinerary. Some places and mountains to explore are Cleopatra’s Needle, Mount Bahile, Mount Beaufort, Mount Bloomfield, Mount Mantalingahan, Mount Victoria, Mount Bahile, the Jungle Trail, Monkey Trail, and Ugong Rock. Send us an email today!

How to Get to Puerto Princesa by Plane?

Travelling by plane is the quickest and most comfortable way to get to Puerto Princesa if you’re flying in from Manila, Clark, or Cebu. If you’re coming from Asian countries like Hong Kong, Seoul or Taipei, you’d be happy to know that there are also direct international flights to Puerto Princesa.

The following airlines operate flights at the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS):

AirAsia – flights to and from Manila, Cebu, Clark,
Air Juan – flights to and from Busuanga, Cuyo, San Vicente, Sipalay, Taytay (Note: all these destinations are in Palawan and they use small propeller planes)
AirSWIFT – flights to and from Busuanga, El Nido (Note: both destinations are in Palawan and they use turboprop planes)

Cebu Pacific – flights to and from Manila, Cebu, Clark, Iloilo, Hong Kong
Eastar Jet – flights to and from Seoul-Incheon (South Korea)
Philippine Airlines – flights to and from Manila, Cebu, Clark
Royal Air Philippines – flights to and from Cebu, Clark
Tigerair – Taipei-Taoyuan (Taiwan)

Roundtrip flight tickets can range from PHP 2,500 to PHP 11,000, or around USD 50 to USD 220, depending on travel time and how far in advance you book your flights. A non-stop flight from Manila, Clark, or Cebu takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Courtyard Hotel - Another good option for budget travelers is the Courtyard Hotel also located in Pasay. The property is just 3 km from the Mall of Asia Arena, 3 km from the City of Dreams Manila, and 4 km from Glorietta Mall.

It features an outdoor swimming pool, gardens, a shared lounge, daily continental breakfast, and free WiFi access. Each room has a shared bathroom with a bidet.

Cost per night: around PHP 1000 or USD 23.
(Address: 5J Buenaventura St. 1300 Pasay City, Philippines)

Eurotel Pedro Gil - Located in historic Manila, Eurotel Pedro Gil is just around 1km from the United Nation LRT Station and across Robinson’s Place Mall. The LRT is one of the major modes of transportation around Metro Manila.

There are many transportation options when traveling in Manila. Getting around the capital of the Philippines is easy as long as you know what suits your travel lifestyle and budget.

Each room features air conditioning, free WiFi access, and a flat-screen TV. The hotel also has function rooms, an in-house restaurant, and massage services.

Cost per night: around PHP 1,600 or USD 32
(Address: 616 Pedro Gil Street, Ermita, Manila, 1004, Philippines)

Kabayan Hotel Pasay - is one of the most famous and established hotels for both local and international travelers. Ninoy Aquino International Airport is only 4 km away and public transportation is also available within the area.

The hotel features classic decor. Each room has parquet flooring, an air conditioner, en suite bathrooms, a comfortable seating area, and a minibar.

Guests can enjoy free wifi access and are accommodated 24 hours at the front desk. Breakfast is served from 4:00 am. The in-house restaurant offers both international and local meals. Room service is also available. zxc

Cost per night: around PHP 1500 or USD 30
(Address: 2878 Zamora street, corner Epifanio de Los Santos Ave, Pasay, Metro Manila)

Red Planet Manila Binondo - Located in Manila 3 km from Manila Ocean Park and 2 km from Intramuros, features a 24-hour front desk ready to assist guests at any time, free WiFi throughout the property, and a secured parking area.

Rooms are air-conditioned, furnished with a flat-screen cable TV, a desk, and a safety deposit box. Each unit also has a private bathroom complete with a shower, hairdryer, bidet, and free toiletries.

Cost per night: around PHP 1,200 or USD 25
(Address: Juan Luna St, Binondo, Manila, 1006 Metro Manila)

Stone House Hotel Pasay - strategically located in Pasay just 5 km away from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, 3 km from SM Mall of Asia, and 7 km away from Manila Ocean Park.

Guests can enjoy a simple yet comfortable stay in this hotel. A 24-hour front desk, free WiFi, and a restaurant are available.

Each room comes with freshly laundered bedding, an air conditioner, a wardrobe, a private bathroom, and free toiletries.

Cost per night: around PHP 1,200 or USD 26.
(Address: 2231 Aurora Blvd, Malibay, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila)

Google My Maps Manila Travel Adventures: Day 1-2

If planning a trip to Manila, check out the Google My Maps below to experience activities and adventures, and get to know different routes and directions, accommodations to stay, attractions to visit, and restaurants to dine in. Visit the Manila travel Google My Map to learn more about our Philippines Travel routes and adventures.

Day 2: How to Explore the Historical Tourist Attractions in Manila?

22 February:

It’s the second day (Day 2) of our Philippines Adventure trip. We started our tour, not far away from our hotel. We used the Uber app to get around. As a rookie in the world of Uber, we have to say that it worked very well. – which we hadn’t expected to be the case in Manila. As of April 16, 2018, Uber App is not available in the Philippines; so use Grab instead because it works similarly with the Uber app. It is the most convenient booking service when traveling around Metro Manila.

We went to Rizal Park, located in Ermita in Metro Manila. Rizal Park (also known as Luneta Park), has the country’s tallest flagpole located directly in front of Rizal monument. Created by the Swiss artist Richard Kissling, the statue stands visibly at the center of Rizal Park. It is built in honor of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero who fought for the independence of the country against the Spanish colonizers through his writings.

After getting a glimpse of Philippine’s rich and interesting history, we proceeded from Rizal Park to Intramuros, another famous historical site located just around the corner of Rizal Park, still in Ermita, Metro Manila area. Intramuros, also known as the “Walled City,” is one of the oldest areas of Manila.

It was built by Spaniards in 1571 and is surrounded on all sides by moats and thick, high walls, some of which are more than 6 meters tall. It is also home to the famous Fort Santiago, which was built by the Spaniards and used as a war prison by the Spanish and the Japanese after their invasions.

The Japanese almost entirely destroyed the fort in the so-called Japanese bombardment of Manila. Sadly, all that remains today are just some of the original parts of the fort. However, it is still definitely worth a visit.

After touring around Rizal Park and Fort Santiago, we checked out at the hotel in Manila around lunchtime and booked an Uber Car (as of today, you can use GrabApp) for transportation going to NAIA (Manila’s International Airport) for our next backpacking travel adventure going to Visayas islands.

Choose from many types of transportation in Metro Manila, being the capital of the Philippines it offers various options for every traveler.

NOTE : To avoid rush hour and have a smooth travel, lunchtime (around 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM) is the perfect time to transfer from Metro Manila to NAIA.

What are the Top Things to do in Manila?

When you arrive in Manila, there are numerous things to do, and because there are so many options, you can choose what to do first. Check out the top things to see and do in the Philippines’ capital: Manila.

Intramuros, commonly known as the 'Walled City,' was the center of the Spanish colony in the Philippines, lying south of the Pasig River and east of Manila Bay. It was erected 400 years ago by the Spaniards as their political and military base in Asia.

The wall was originally composed of earth and logs, but it was demolished during the Spanish-American siege of 1574. As a historic walled city at around 6 meters high, Intramuros bears not just remarkable pieces of Philippine history, but also a symbolism of Spanish colonization in the country.

Oldest Philippine cathedrals, Fort Santiago, colonial houses, restaurants, and life-sized images of Chinese traders, are the most important historical places to visit in Manila, which can be seen inside Intramuros with great significance. To understand the Philippines’ interesting and unique influenced culture, it is important to visit these historical attractions in Ermita (Manila).

Rizal Park, known as Luneta Park, is a historical urban park in Ermita, Metro Manila, Philippines. It is the place where the flame of the Philippine Revolution was fanned due to the execution of Jose Rizal in 1896, the Philippines’ national hero, which happened in this same area and was honored with a statue.

Filipinos love to relax and spend time with their families here during the weekends. But more than being a family park, it will bring people back to the rich and interesting history of the Philippines during the Spanish colonization era, just a hundred years ago.

Pay tribute to the brave Filipino patriots from different regions of the Philippines at the Gallery of Heroes. It features a row of sculpture monuments of Philippine warriors of independence, including datus, who are leaders of indigenous groups in the archipelago. Visit the 12-meter statue of the Sentinel of Freedom, portraying Lapu-Lapu who is a Filipino datu who killed Magellan in Cebu in the year 1521. These are important historic spots to understand the rich and interesting Philippine history of Luneta Park in Manila.

Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world. Here, you will find authentic and delicious Chinese meals and delicacies on every corner. From roasted duck, dumplings, and dim sum, to noodles, - you’ll never run out of food to try.

Touring around Binondo is definitely a gastronomic and cultural adventure. Binondo has one of the Philippines' highest land values due to its significant historical and financial significance.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly place to eat or splurge on a top restaurant in Manila, there are many options to choose from to treat yourself.

Manila Bay, also known as Look ng Maynila, is a natural harbor that serves as the Main Port of Manila in the Philippines. When the sun starts to set, take time to stop by Roxas Boulevard to witness the breathtaking sunset in Manila Bay. Restaurants and alfresco bars are lined up in the area, so people can enjoy the sunset with good food and drinks. Getting surrounded by other locals and tourists admiring Southeast Asia’s breathtaking sunset is the best way to end the day in Metro Manila.
Located between Binondo and Tondo district, in Metro Manila, Divisoria is a three-story 168 Mall that sells low-priced products, like replica bags and shoes, household items, souvenirs, and many more. No wonder why it is recognized as Asia’s cheap shopping haven in the Philippines.

Note: It can get really crowded on weekends. So if you have time, come early on weekdays to avoid the crowd.

SM Mall of Asia is a supersize shopping mall, located in Bay City in Metro Manila, the area of Pasay City fronting Manila Bay. It is home to genuine retail stores which sell original brands of outdoor clothing, hiking shoes, electronic items or devices, and adventure equipment like authentic brands of backpacks, sleeping bags, hammocks, helmets, and snorkel masks. It has a number of restaurants, boutiques, and amusement areas, which operate 12 hours daily to serve its guests, basically from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. every day.

The travel guide to Manila: a cultural tour of the Philippine capital helps you know where to stay, how to travel around, where to eat, the best places to visit in Manila, and many more.

How do we get from Manila to Cebu City by Plane?

On the same day (Day 2) of our Philippines Adventure trip, we took a flight from Manila NAIA to Cebu, in the afternoon. We landed at Mactan International Airport, the main airport of Cebu, which is located in Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island and serves as the main gateway to the Visayas. Our travel time from Manila to Cebu took approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Then, we took an Uber (now Grab) outside the airport to go to the guest house in Cebu City.

Getting from Manila to Cebu by plane is the fastest and most convenient option, unlike traveling by ferry, which takes around 22 hours. Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) has different domestic flight connections with several airline companies in the Philippines and offers international transfers too.

Taxis are usually available all around the airport in the Philippines, but booking an Uber is more convenient, but it is not available anymore, so you can use Grab instead. You can quickly get a private car by setting the pickup and dropoff points in the app on your mobile phone and the fee is also automatically computed.

How do we Explore Street Food In Cebu City?

After we had checked in and left our luggage at the guest house, we hopped on a tricycle and headed to Larsian BBQ for dinner which is basically a whole area full of traditional Filipino street food.

Everything is grilled over charcoal, and anything is available, from meat, fish, seafood, crabs, crayfish, to mussels. The food was ok. The mussels were not really all that great at this time.

There are many great Filipino foods in the Philippines that are worth trying! Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity when you visit the Philippines.

Google My Maps Philippines Travel Diary: Day 1 to Day 51

Check out the Google Maps below, to have an overview of the entire 51 days of Philippines travel adventure including exciting attractions and activities we did, destinations we explored, and travel directions in the Philippines.

Why do we Create the Philippines Travel Guide?

Zak and Dani created the Philippines Travel Guide while on 51 days Philippines travel adventure in 2017. Focused on the idea to explore travel routes and documenting location information by using the Google Maps application in the Philippines.

We created a detailed Philippines travel diary each day about our Philippines eco-adventure traveling experiences, including the production of pictures and videos of our trip through the Philippine archipelago.

Philippines Travel Guide is passionate about helping other self-minded adventure travel lovers, to make the best out of the trip to the Philippines by providing real information that passionate travelers and enthusiasts need to know about the archipelago.

Philippines Travel Guide is an ongoing process to work out public shared and detailed Google MyMaps of the entire Philippines to provide easy navigation for travelers.

This website also contains a collection of interesting authentic insights and travel tips and tricks and destinations in the Philippines.

SUMMARY: Manila Adventure Tours

Manila is a big sprawling city with a rich history of Spanish colonization, Japanese occupation, and American immigration, resulting in many historical hotspots throughout the capital. The city of Metro Manila has a wide variety of hotels, delectable Filipino cuisine, and historical tourist attractions.

Enjoy the country’s capital city and get a taste of Philippines history by exploring the Ermita area. Starting the Philippines trip in Manila is ideal because it is the main gateway of the entire archipelago.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), is the primary airport in the Philippines which caters international and domestic flight transfers. Familiarize yourself with the different locations of the Manila International Airport NAIA terminals and several transport facilities for transfers in Metro Manila.

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One of the best things when traveling to the Philippines is connecting with the locals and bonding with their children. Visit our website to check out more travel and authentic stories!

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