Philippines/Vacation Advice

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Re: Philippines/Vacation Advice

Postby trubadour » 18 Apr 2012, 17:25

I like the idea of being able to do what you want avoid what you don't want.. some of those other places look pretty remote... could be ok for a short time I suppose
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Re: Philippines/Vacation Advice

Postby Shaktipalooza » 18 Apr 2012, 21:55

Feiren wrote:Go to Palawan. Join up on one of these expeditions. http://www.taophilippines.com/ Well worth the money. Have them drop you off on one of the islands.


That looked absolutely dreamy until I saw the price tag. Nearly $460 per day to rent the smallest boat (up to four people)??? I could do so much more for my family of four with that kind of cash. Is it possible just to hire local boats to take you around? I've hired similar but spartan boats in the Philippines for $50 per day.
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Re: Philippines/Vacation Advice

Postby Feiren » 19 Apr 2012, 12:20

Shaktipalooza wrote:
Feiren wrote:Go to Palawan. Join up on one of these expeditions. http://www.taophilippines.com/ Well worth the money. Have them drop you off on one of the islands.


That looked absolutely dreamy until I saw the price tag. Nearly $460 per day to rent the smallest boat (up to four people)??? I could do so much more for my family of four with that kind of cash. Is it possible just to hire local boats to take you around? I've hired similar but spartan boats in the Philippines for $50 per day.


Of course. The local boatman will take you on the standard tours around El Nido for $50/day.

Tao comes with a complete crew, food, and (simple) lodgings. I think with a family of four on land you will be spending quite a bit on food and accomodations plus the boat.

But a lot of people sign up with other people. I remember it was about NT$17K per person and it was worth every NT$.

I have nothing to do with Tao by the way.
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Re: Philippines/Vacation Advice

Postby mike029 » 19 Apr 2012, 22:35

I went to Alona Beach in January and was not impressed...it seemed ridiculously over priced for everything and the service everywhere was really terrible. I don't want to wait 40 minutes for dinner because everyone there walks so slowly. Eating dinner for NT300 is too expensive for me when the road isn't even paved. And the food wasn't good. Fake western food with poor quality ingredients. The diving water clarity was very, very poor, but the beach was nice for swimming.

The security guards are bitchy if you sit in front of a hotel that you are not staying at.

It takes quite a bit of effort to get to Alona beach, but it was nice. Overall, I was with my parents and we had a nice time. I just wasn't that impressed.

Actually, if you want a staycation, I would consider Sanya in Mainland as an option. There won't be a language issue (assuming your Chinese is decent) and it's pretty cheap. You won't be dropped into a total foreign environment where people can rip you off is what I'm getting at. Stay on the beach side far out in the east when you want the beach, take the bus/motorcycle taxi into the city when you want to buy stuff. During CNY there were NT8k roundtrip Taoyuan <--> Haikou tickets when I checked out of curiosity, but I don't know what it's like now. Don't need a visa as long as you don't venture off Hainan into Guangdong. They have tons of parks around the island and Haikou itself is a pretty cool city to visit. Sanya is very clean I feel and easy to get around. You can bargain with a motorcycle to go anywhere for 5rmb (if you're good enough). I found the locals much more friendly than other Mainlanders in general, and made a few friends I intend on seeing again when I go back. Use a Mainland travel site to find some cheap accomodation. They have a fun bar street with a few clubs and it's easy to meet people. There are tons of Russians and other Europeans wandering around.
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Re: Philippines/Vacation Advice

Postby Pingdong » 20 Apr 2012, 00:25

when was the last time a foreigner done got blowed up in Cambodia?

race matters little, dead is dead. the type of hiking I like to do is not on the trail, and many photographers and plant collectors will be off the trail within about 5 mins outta the jeep :) its just not as safe as other places, people still getting blowed up there.

+1 for the el nido area. hire boatmen pretty much anywhere in Philippines is cool. that is something we actually had a HARD time doing in some places in Thailand.
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Re: Philippines/Vacation Advice

Postby speed_maniac » 20 Apr 2012, 15:08

mike029...don't know how long ago you went to Sanya but it is shit hole with a dirty beach and you will get ripped off...I mean really ripped off.....

I would, not in my wildest dreams, recommend Sanya to anyone...not even my enemy!!
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Re: Philippines/Vacation Advice

Postby mike029 » 20 Apr 2012, 16:21

speed_maniac wrote:mike029...don't know how long ago you went to Sanya but it is shit hole with a dirty beach and you will get ripped off...I mean really ripped off.....

I would, not in my wildest dreams, recommend Sanya to anyone...not even my enemy!!


I went to Sanya this past January for a week (on my way from Guangdong to Singapore) and had a great time. You get ripped off if you don't know what you're doing. The trick is to become angrier than them, then tell them to stop being so mad. The reason I say you have less of a chance of getting ripped off is that a lot of us know how to handle Chinese people and are pretty decent at speaking Chinese. They sell you fake stuff but tell you it's fake and sell it for 30 kuai then question why you would even want to buy the real one! Want real jewelry? Go to Chow Sang Sang. Want fake shit? Walk outside. The price is always negotiable, and if you don't like it, you literally just yell "who wants to take me to blah blah for 20 kuai?" and four people will come running over. Price is immediately correct when you speak Chinese. Going to Thailand, Malaysia, Phil, etc. we don't have the luxury of speaking their language (Before someone says Filipinos speak English, the people I spoke to had terrible English and I had to slow myself waayyyy down). It seems they just completed a massive construction project near Dadonghai, and it's very convenient to get around the city (even though the busses are a bit crowded). The beach isn't the best in the world, but go further east and it gets progressively better. It's easy to get to from here, doesn't require 8 million transfers through an incomplete architecture (think Philippines) and a nice way to spend a week. Also, it's good for people brainwashed by living here to go there for a bit and draw your own conclusions.

That being said, I enjoy Mainland China quite a bit. I always meet interesting people and Mainland Chinese in my experience are far easier to deal with than Taiwanese. The fakeness is not there and they are very direct. It's refreshing at times. The foreigners in Mainland are also much more grounded, instead of the delusional ones that live here. I've said many times before I prefer Mainlanders to Taiwanese. My best friend is a Mainlander and taught me all the tricks to getting what I want from them.

Sanya is cleaner than Taipei and way more fun than Kending. You have the option to be in the city when you want, and be on the beach isolated a bit if you want, as well. A maximum 30 minute bus ride. Also, on a related note, Mainland KFC is amazing.

Never been to Thailand, so I can't comment. I absolute LOVE KL with its crazy mix of architecture and multicultural society (and I lived in Alexandria for a bit when I was younger so it let me reminisce a bit), and I was not impressed by visiting Cebu/Bohol whatsoever. Nice trip, but it seemed like everything was a pain in the ass, and I was uncomfortable being around so many armed guards and 'gun-free zone - please deposit your firearms here'. My dad told me he was uncomfortable because he felt like a disgusting sex tourist seeing all those 70 year old white guys with 20 year old Filipinas and how apparently that is acceptable. When they call everyone ma'am and sir and whore themselves out every second of the day, how are you supposed to have any respect for them? (Just my own opinion.)

Depends what you're looking for. If you want an adventure where you can keep yourself occupied by having mafan all the time (think: where the hell is a restaurant?) then go to the Philippines/other undeveloped place. Want a trip where you can chill when you want then "go into town to get supplies" but also have a movie theater, shopping malls, clubs, etc. when you get bored after 2 days of doing nothing go to Sanya or Thailand somewhere. I met a Huizu guy I hung out with while I was in Sanya who goes every year with his family for a month during CNY. His hotel was across the river in the eastern side of the city on Shangpin Jie (one of the lanes) near the restaurant strips and shops and he paid 28RMB a night with a month block reservation. He had a balcony and all. Granted, this was in the city part and they booked a month, but that area was good because you can eat cheap outside at the zillions of restaurants and then cab/bus/motorcycle it over to the beaches in the east for the day either at Dadonghai or Yalong Bay. Yalong Bay is very, very, very nice. 30 minutes by bus from the downtown area. 1 kuai bus!
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Re: Philippines/Vacation Advice

Postby speed_maniac » 20 Apr 2012, 16:44

I live in China and know the place very well...Sanya is a dump and that's what EVERYONE says...People form the Mainland get ripped off right left and center....anyone who is a local knows what kind of a place Sanya REALLY is

http://www.chinasmack.com/2012/stories/sanya-restaurants-ripping-off-customers-fleecing-tourists.html

I don't know if you are on a PR trip for Mainland China but...Sanya cleaner than Taipei and better than Kending???? Mainland Chinese easier to deal with than the Taiwanese???? Mainland KFC amazing???????????????????????????????
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Re: Philippines/Vacation Advice

Postby mike029 » 20 Apr 2012, 17:35

speed_maniac wrote:I live in China and know the place very well...Sanya is a dump and that's what EVERYONE says...People form the Mainland get ripped off right left and center....anyone who is a local knows what kind of a place Sanya REALLY is

http://www.chinasmack.com/2012/stories/sanya-restaurants-ripping-off-customers-fleecing-tourists.html

I don't know if you are on a PR trip for Mainland China but...Sanya cleaner than Taipei and better than Kending???? Mainland Chinese easier to deal with than the Taiwanese???? Mainland KFC amazing???????????????????????????????


Anyone with a brain knows you don't eat in those seafood restaurants. I'm not gonna spend my whole day arguing with you over who knows more about Mainland China. I had a great time on my trip and the locals are most interested in ripping off Dongbeiren because they don't know any better. Who sits down in a restaurant and blindly orders things without checking the price?! I went out clubbing with locals I met at Sanya's one gay bar early on and didn't pay for a thing my whole trip. Each and every time. That club MJ gave me free shots whenever I wanted because my new friend told the bartenders to, and they remembered me whole time I was there. The Huizu guy even bought me a train ticket and paid for everything, let me move into his hotel room in the other bed for the rest of my stay so I didn't have to pay for a hostel and gave me a key so I could do what I wanted, I hung out with his family all week playing majiang, etc., and we are planning to go to Tibet some time over the summer because he can get me the visit pass because his aunt owns a hotel in Lhasa. Maybe I got lucky meeting the right people, but I had a good time.

Point is if you go somewhere and act like an obnoxious tourist anywhere in the world, people will try to rip you off. When I travel by myself, I always try to make friends as soon as possible then just hang out with them like normal people, and not some needy tourist. They will be happy to share their hometown with you and you can have a friend in the process, as long as you don't act like a tool making them take you around.

Thanks for your link from a website called 'chinasmack.com'. Must have been difficult for you to find that.

I lived in Beijing before coming to Taipei, and, while I prefer it many ways, I'm not an evangelist for Mainland China, but I think people who live in TW should visit at least a few times just to balance out the brainwashing received here.

And yes, Mainland KFC is the shit. Especially the 老北京雞肉卷. I wish Taiwan's KFC sold it.
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Re: Philippines/Vacation Advice

Postby speed_maniac » 20 Apr 2012, 17:55

nothing is difficult to me to find out...it was not at all difficult to even read thru the lines of your reply..you think you know the world and assume I am a quack!!

you think you are the only person who has travelled the world and knows things about places...wake up!! anyway that is not the point..the point is that projection Sanya and recommending it to others is what was wrong!! Not everyone is a prick in China but the majority are....

you back tracked very fast...from Mainland KFC is amazing to Mainland KFC is the shit....boy!!!!
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