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Philippines - Traveling

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Entry requirements

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

For traveling within Manila, the taxi is the most recommended means of transport. The bus network is very developed but has reached saturation. There are three metro lines which serve part of the town.
Maps of urban networks: Maporama

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

The Philippine islands are well provided with air lines, bus networks, as well as ferries. On the other hand railroads are used only in the southern part of the islands (connection between Manila and Legazpi).
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
Air Philippines low cost domestic flights No
Cebu Pacific low cost domestic flights Yes
Philippines Airlines Major domestic flights Yes
SEAIR Major domestic flights

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: It is not advisable for foreigners to drive because of bad road conditions, and the rather risky driving of the Filipinos. It is thus recommended to rent a chauffeur-driven car.
Road maps: Omni Maps
Find an itinerary: Maps of World

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: The Saint - Agustin church, the cathedral of Manila, the Chinese cemetery of Manila, the Casa Manila, the Rizal park, the Santiago fort, intramural Manila, Manila metropolitan area.
Cultural: The national museum, the Jumalon museum, the Arcenas collection, the Aznar - Alfonso collection.
Nature: Rice plantations of Banaue, island of Palawan (diving and discovery of natural phenomena ), volcanoes of the islands of Visayas, Mindanao, mountain ranges on the island of Luzon.
Religious: Our Lady of Antipolo Church, Tonay Church, Saint - Jerôme Church, Baras Church, Church of the ruins of Boso - Boso.
Thermal: Hot springs in Cebu, and Manila.
Beach: The Philippines being an archipelago, one finds numerous fine sand beaches there.
Winter sports: Inexistent.
Outdoor activities: Jet ski, windsurfing, surfing, diving, and hiking.
Shopping:  Makati (Manila) Ermita District.
Tourism organizations: Philippines - Travel Guide

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required from travelers who are more one year old and coming from infected zones. The risk of malaria exists throughout the year in zones below 600 m, except in the provinces of Bohol, Catanduanes and Cebu and in the suburbs of Manila. The risk is low in the provinces of Aklan, Biliran, Camiguin, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Leyte del Sur, Northern Samar and Siquijor. It is estimated that there is no risk in the urban areas and the plains. Resistance of P. falciparum to chloroquine has been reported. Disease prevention recommended in the risk areas: C+P.

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Manila (GMT+8)
Summer time period: None
Climate: Annual average temperature is approximately 27°C, rains occur during the summer monsoons from May to November.

Eating

Food specialties: Kare-kare: ox tail stew, served with spicy hot peanut and bagoong sauce. (Bagoong is a sort of nuoc mâm, a salty sauce made from fermented fish and crab.)
Sinigang: meat or fish broth. Adobo: spicy meat stew. Lechon: roasted sucking pig, prepared for high days and holidays. 
Drinks: Buko (juice of a young coconut which one drinks straight from the shell), and juice of calamansi (lime). Among alcoholic beverages, San Miguel beer is known as one of the world's best beers; also one finds sugar cane red wine, rice wine and coconut wine.
Dietary taboos: They vary according to the religion. In the southern part of the island, the Muslim minority consumes neither alcohol nor pork.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: The Tagaloglang site (in English) offers an initiation into the Filipino language.
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