India to Philippines, Travel Tips

I just got a call from my friend asking what all things she should take care of on her trip to El Nido and Coron. That immediately reminded me of how I thought of nailing down this list in one of my blogs so all people travelling from India or other parts of the world can learn from my educated guesses and mistakes. Ooo.. tall order! Anyway, here’s the list –

Free Advice –

  1. Diet for a month before you go to Philippines – The Koreans and the Chinese and for that matter everyone is just lean and fit. So, you may want to get rid of at least some fat before you hit the beach!
  2. NEVER take cab drivers’ advice when searching for places to party. They take you where they have commission, just how our Indian drivers take us to dhabas which give them commission
  3. ALWAYS ask if there is a cover / entry charge before entering any KTV bar

What to pack?

  1. All cool beach wear kind of clothes, preferably fast drying – I say that because the water is so beautiful that you may want to dive everywhere. And sporting wet clothes isn’t everyone’s forte 😛
  2. Sunscreen – though it is available there but what if the sun strikes you before that corner sunscreen shop. Sunburn baby!
  3. Extra pair of clothes/ undergarments – It rained on some of the days when I was there in the month of January. So, you may want to pack some additional clothes

Currency?

  1. You carry dollars, NOT pesos – you will figure this out the moment you go to any currency exchange agent in India
  2. I felt a bit uncomfortable carrying so many dollars in cash. I realized later that it is safe in Philippines, except metropolitan cities like Manila (not sure about Cebu)

What to eat/ drink?

  1. Filipino food is tangy – be it squid, chicken, crab, pork or whatever. I love tangy, so I liked it there. Recommend that you try the boneless milk fish there
  2. Halo Halo – it’s their dessert which has beans. Disgusted right? Umm.. still recommend you try it. It is very good. A bit like Gadbad that we get in South India
  3. Oh and vegetarians? I am sorry I didn’t see any veg options through my trip. But fruits, juices, salads and fries which will be good for your stomach and your thighs 😛 Forgive me! On a serious note there are cup noodles available in all convenience stores
  4. Red Horse – this beer is a legend! After the beautiful beaches of Philippines, one thing which I truly admire about this country is Red Horse beer!

Commute?

  1. Tricycle – charges between 20-250 pesos based on distance (say 1-20 kms). Rest you can do the math
  2. Grab – in cities like Manila, Cebu – it is better to book Grab. It is cheap and efficient. One little secret – the government doesn’t allow surge pricing, so it is a good deal most of the times! BTW it is also the best way to travel to/ from the airport. Just walk up to the Grab kiosk and they will book it for you. So technically, you don’t even need it installed while commuting from the Airport
  3. See other Jugaad transport means here

Assumptions –

  1. You are travelling in the months of Jan-Feb

To be updated with –

  1. Must do’s
  2. Must buy
  3. Must not do etc. soon

 

 

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