Sunday, March 27, 2011

The colourful side of transportation in Metro Manila

If you have enough time to explore Philippines, I'm sure you'll find many adventures that lies within the country. First of all, I was surprised to see the colourful Jeepney(s) that lined the roads. As its name might imply, it's actually a Jeep that is decorated according to the owner's whim and fancy to transport passengers. They are originally made from the left over of the US Military Jeeps from the World War II. It's the most popular means of transport in Philippines and the fare is PHP 8 (USD$0.20) for the 1st 4kms of the journey. BUT there is no air condition and it's usually very packed and crowded!

The flamboyant Jeepneys and ride at your own risk!

Although there are proper stops, you can often just flag one down and hop on from anywhere. Call out "bayad" (bah-yhad) and pay the driver. If you are too far back, pass your PhP 8 (minimum fare for the first 4 km and PHP 1.40 per succeeding km. When you are ready to get off, call out "para" (pah-rah); wait till he slows down and jump.

It might fit 4 but you can always sit on top of the side car!

Another interesting mode of transport is actually the tricycles or motorelas. They resembled the Tuk-Tuks that we see in Bangkok and Colombo but in Philippines, it's like a rickshaw where there is either a bicycle or motorbike attached sidecar. The number of passengers that it can carry varies with the size of the sidecar. Sometimes it's 2 or 4. If you're big, you might have to take up the whole tricycle! Fares starts from PHP 2 and then an additional PHP 1 for every 300m. This can be a funny ride but I hate the air pollution in Philippines which makes the ride quite unpleasant coupled with the hot weather.

Besides the Jeepneys, there are air-conditioned taxis, buses and LRT . Taxis are common in Metro Manila where the meter is used. There will not be any haggling needed unlike the taxis in KL. What a shame! However, if you hop into a taxi and the driver tells you that the meter is broken, it's time to get out as it might be a scam to overcharge the passengers.

From the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, I prebooked my airport transfer to the hotel at Makati Avenue in a Toyota Camry at PHP 2700 (USD$ 62). There is a waiting lounge for some of the hotels such as Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental upon arrival where there are drinks and reading materials offered while waiting for the driver to arrive. There will be representatives of the hotel to guide you at the arrivals.

Airport Taxis @ Arrival

However, if you're on a budget, you can opt for the taxis and there are 2 types of taxis - Airport Taxis and Metered Taxis. The normal metered taxis will cost about PHP 200 - 400 to the city centre (about 15-30 mins) and airport taxis which can be taken right outside the Arrivals can be considered a rip-off because they charge up to 4 times the metered fare. And if you don't mind the hassle, what you need to do is to walk up the stairs to the Arrivals and get into the taxi that someone just arrived in and nobody would care if you have done so. Just go by the meter and add a few extra pesos as tips.

A very important tip is to tell the driver which terminal you're heading to when going to the airport as the other terminal is quite a journey away! Don't forget the PHP 750 airport taxes to be paid at the immigration counters when leaving and fill up the Embarkation form beforehand.


Sean said...

15-30 mins from their airport to the city centre is so nice compared to the time it takes for a cab to get from KLIA to klcc :D

suituapui said...

Jeepney... Anytime better than Bangkok's tut-tut.

Huai Bin said...

Nice post! I heard that you don't have to pay for the Jeepney rides IF you don't sit inside e.g. if you stand outside like the man in your photo. I don't know how true that is, haven't tried it myself. :)

Anonymous said...

First time to Manila and introduce Manila as if you know very well. What a bollocks.

KY said...

useful post, but the traffic condition there.. urghhh

eiling lim said...

Sean: Yeah however their traffic is quite bad. At least there's no jam to KLIA.

STP: but the jeepneys very crowded one!

Huai Bin: Oh really? That I must ask my colleagues in Philippines. That sounds cool but ride at your own risk!

Anon: Oh well, do you need to go to US to meet Obama to know who he is and what he does? Thanks for reading bollocks. You must have been very free.

KY: Yeah traffic is bad.

Myhorng said...

worst traffic ever. dun really like Php except their diving. ;)

eiling lim said...

Myhorng: yerr... I have to go there every month leh!

foongpc said...

Oh! You went to Manila! I am still blogging about Manila haha!

I don't like the jeepneys and pedicabs in Manila. Prefer taxi anytime. Maybe it's the weather and also the cramped condition in the jeepneys and pedicabs.

But I do enjoy looking at the colourful jeepneys : )

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