Off to Manila

So we walked to the bus station to get our minivan at 9:30 and it wasn’t he old bus station just “next” to our hotel where the vans ar leaving (I was thinking it’s here) and we had to walk another almost 20 minutes to get there. We better should have taken a tricycle for 50 pesos (1€) but I thought it’s a 5 minutes walk. But in the end we arrived on time and got 2 seats in he back row of the minivan.

There was a guy from Lithuania on board who was also staying at our hotel. He was a little bit nervous because his flight from Puerto Princesa leaves at 2:45pm and the drive down there can take up to 6 hours! Starting at 9:30am means we can arrive at around 3:30pm i. Puerto Princesa! It wasn’t really clever from this guy to take this minivan because there is a minivan every hour starting from 4am!

We also met a Mexican guy called Salvador who’s doing his MBA in Bangkok and has to go back there for the presentation of his master thesis. We talked a los and the guy from Lithuania was pushing the driver to go fast so the time went by and we arrived Puerto Princesa after 4.5 hours. Ok, we skipped the stop for having lunch to improve the possibility the guy can catch his flight.

The minivan driver dropped us next to our guesthouse. And after leaving, just after the last day I needed my flip flops, the one on the right side broke. Perfect timing but a little bit sad as it was me a good friend during 3 months traveling with Remo, 2 summers in Switzerland and another 4 months of traveling with Ari! But now it was time to say goodbye and I dropped him into the next garbage can I found.

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In Puerto Princesa we had already booked one more nights at “Color Mansion” where we also stored our luggage. We arrived, got the same room we had before and our bags were waiting for us. After a shower and a short nap we went for dinner. We found “Hibiscus Inn” 600 meters from our place where we had delicious pizza from their wood oven. After dinner we walked back home, got a shower, watched some tv and went to sleep.

The next morning we woke up at 7:30am and prepared all our stuff before having a coffee and check out. We took a tricycle to the airport for 40 pesos. Normally it should be 20 but when I asked for the price he said “it’s up to you” instead of 50 as normal and for this we gave him a little more.

I did the self check-in at the airport and then we waited in a long queue to drop our bags. We didn’t get seats together in the same row but it is a very short flight of just a little more then one hour. After passing he first half in he queue they changed the check-in sign to close but finish all the people waiting here. But it makes you a little uncomfortable. In the end there is a counter before security control to enter the departure get where you have to buy a ticket for 200 pesos each called “Departure Fee”, weird.

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We paid, get our bag scanned and the boarding was already open. And again they had a lot of umbrellas you can use for the walk to the airplane 😳

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We entered the Cebu Pacific’s airplane and 1:15 hours later we arrived in the Philippines capital Manila! And funny was after the flight attendants said to not stand up until he fasten seat belt sign has turned off, half of the airplane started to get their hang luggage already as normal. But then the announcement said them to sit down again and when everyone was sitting again the sign was turned off with the comment: “Thank you, now it’s safe to get your hand luggage”. I like this!

After getting the luggage we left the airport and looked for a transportation to our hotel. They offered private cab for 1500 pesos or an airport fixed rate taxi for 650 pesos. Crazy! A metered taxi was told to be 150-200 pesos for our distance. But the queue was enormous and there were almost no “yellow cab’s” available. Ari spotted the airport bus which also stops at Baclaran district which is where our hotel “Red Planet” is located. The price is 20 pesos each and it stopped a 5 minutes walk away from our hotel! Amazing!

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Check in was also possible when we arrived shortly after 12 o’clock. They said normally it’s at 2pm but they have already a room available. Perfect!


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