Here is a short snip of the girls trip in Philipines experiences we had in the My friend Marion Boughton and I had a fantastic 7 days stint in the Philippines.
We enjoyed every minute of it.
We had a few problems landing as the weather was bad, raining very hard with high winds. We flew over and around and around and I was stressed out especially knowing that my husband was ‘watching” where the plane was with a flight-tracker app. We landed 1 hour later.
Now, the next bit: where is my shuttle bus? Nowhere to be seen! Never existed! Well, when I booked the hotel online they had one. Long story short, they didn’t have one anymore.
Now the taxi ride: Whenever I travel to some countries the thing I hate most is being conned. I haggle like any other Brazilians do. But the line-up to get a taxi was endless and the rain never stopped. Other groups in the line-up were haggling with other “illegal” taxis and invited us to go with them in this big van. Why not? A Kiwi with his wife, another couple of foreigners going the same way…we said yes!
Later on we found out that we had only been haggling over $15 bucks!
You get so much money for a $100 bill that you feel like a millionaire when changing a couple of hundreds.
A half hour drive turned into 3 HOURS! You have never seen traffic this bad! Obviously I got ill from the motion and smell of diesel etc. I arrived at the hotel looking for a doctor or a bed. I got neither! NONE! OOPS! Wrong hotel! How could that be? Luckily the concierge walked us over to the other hotel which was across the road from this one.
Warning: 2 hotels with the same name: City Garden Grand Hotel, a 4 star, and City Garden Makati Hotel, a 3 star. We were booked into the 3 star. What a bummer! That night I just wanted a bed and planned to move the next day. I had never stayed in a 3 star hotel before.
The bed was good. It had all the amenities. Bath robes, slippers, ironing board, safe, coffee, tea, water, other drinks, just like a 4 star hotel. Marion didn’t want to change hotels so we stayed there.
The people in the hotel were the politest people I have ever met! The breakfast buffet was superb with a variety of cereal, fruits, and hot foods. Anything you would find in a 4 star hotel. Marion said we just needed a clean bed, we were not going to be spending the day watching TV, we would only be there to sleep. So I agreed.
in the evening after all day sightseeing a bubbly always helped to relax. HeHeHe
My birthday was 2 days later and I decided we would have a meal in the penthouse ” al fresco” Restaurant at the City Garden Grand Hotel. The meal was good but the rain and wind and the smokers almost spoiled my birthday dinner. At the end of it we went back to our hotel which had started to look not so bad after all!
I was recommended by a Brazilian friend, Maria Antonia who lives in Doha currently but lived in the Philippines for 2 years, not to stay in Manila but get a Hotel in Makati. Thank you, Maria Antonia, because we went to visit Manila and we were glad that we had stayed in Makati with 5 Shopping Centers stuck to each other – so big that we couldn’t visit all of the shops they had during our 4-day stay. I think if we had shopped for a whole week we would have been in all the shops.
We did a couple of tours outside town, 92 km visiting the countryside. Wood carving, paper mache, embroidery and making paper. We visited Manila on the MRT and LRT but had problems getting back as the LRT had broken down.
Lets get a taxi? Impossible! A Jeepney, the local bus that fits 50 people in a 10 seater. Impossible! Lets get a tricycle? Okay, but only from one station to the other. Got to the next Station and LRT was still out of order. No taxis. Lots of Jeepneys with 50 people on board. No more tricycles to go to Makati. They are not permitted there. A local young lady offered us help as she was going to the same place and helped us to get this express can that picked up people here, dropped at the next corner, picked up again a few students and dropped at the next place. After a 45 minute ride we arrived at the place where this young lady lived. She then helped us to get a bus to Makati. We finally got one. Mind you, this was a hell of a tour! But it was fun! We risked our lives and limbs on this adventure I guess, but was fun!
I know everything there is to know about the Philippines. Ask me if you need help.
BTW, the highlight of our trip was that we found out we were staying in the Red Light District. Wasn’t that awesome! I saw a couple of strip joints in the back of the Hotel but didn’t think anything of it. Dumb! Well I am a blonde…I can be dumb!
A little note to end: I could not make myself to try the chicken intestines barbecue we saw at the market. Just a pic