Getting Here and Travelling
Around the Philippines
It’s actually very easy to get here and a lot less trouble than many believe. There are two major international hubs; Manila and Cebu (which receives numerous flights from the Asia region). Journey time can vary but you can reach Manila from Hong Kong within 2 hours, Bangkok 3.5 hours, Shanghai 3.5 hours, Kuala Lumpur 4 hours, Seoul 4 hours, Sydney 7 hours, Los Angeles 12 hours, Frankfurt 14.5 hours, London 15.5 hours, Moscow and Stockholm in 16.5 hours.
The Philippines are also an ideal stop over for people en-route to diving holidays in Truk and Palau.
Once you arrive there a whole range of internal travel options. Flights with domestic airlines are frequent, relatively inexpensive and usually have short journey times. Most flights take no more than one hour from airport to airport. Manila currently has 3 domestic airport terminals (allocated to different carriers) and all are relatively close to each other and to the international airport. Cebu domestic terminal is adjacent to the International terminal.
Following any internal flights the island nature of The Philippines means that at some stage you are likely to use any of the following for transport purposes – trikes,taxis, jeepneys, buses, bancas and ferries. Sometimes it is necessary to use a combination of all of them on the same day!
Trikes are motorbikes with a side car (similar to the Thai tuk-tuk) and are ubiquitous throughout the country. At some stage, especially when staying on one of the smaller islands, you will probably use a trike. Jeepneys are a Philippines icon, they are the brightly customised chrome long base jeeps that you will see everywhere. Originally adapted from the jeeps left by the departing US army at the end of WW2 they are now the primary source of transport for most urban based workers and for a large amount of those in the country too. Bancas is the name given to the smaller wooden boats with outriggers that you will observe all along the coast. Your dive boat is almost certainly going to be a banca of some sort.
Whatever your means of transport whilst in The Philippines, one thing is for sure, it’s going to be a lively experience. The great part about travel here is that you get to see a fascinating part of the world at no extra cost – so sit back and enjoy the ride.