The other thing I didnt like about the buses I took in the Philippines is it is the only country in which I have traveled where they store nothing in the bus compartment below the bus. When I was backpacking through the Philippines, I had to bring my big backpack onto the bus itself (there is no room on the tiny overhead compartments). Sometimes there is room for it by the driver. But sometimes I just had to stick it in the aisle.
So my tip is that when you get on one of these buses, if storage under the bus is not offered, to immediately check up front by the driver and see if you can stick your luggage/backpack there. Also, when it is up front, you can see it.
There are Hoboes in the Philippines, many are going from place to place looking for jobs, they only carry a small bindle. Often the women will carry all their clothes in large purse.
I was lucky on the last bus, it has a lower compartment, the baggage guy put a whole bag full of wet vegetables right on top of my bag.
The Philippines is the same as Africa in many way.
Sorry to disagree AGAIN Andy, this time about the cost for traveling overland and a backpackers daily budget for traveling the Philippines.
By bus and Ferry about U$1.25 to U$1.75 / hour of overland travel and sometimes cheaper if buying a promo fare domestic airline ticket.
a few Pan De Sal and instant coffee LOCAL- P15
Add an egg P15 to P20 U$1 MAX
Lunch Rice + two or three Rice Toppings U$2+
Dinner any one of a dozen Fast Food chain restaurants P100 to P200 ( U$2 to U$4 )
Accommodation from P180 / bedspace to P500 private room ( U$3.50 to U$10+ )
Add 6 hours of travel U$9
Total U$17 to U$26 and usually backpackers do NOT travel 6 hours everyday so that total goes down to U$9 to U$17 so call it an average of U$20.
Bill, you understand the culture and know how to circumvent the liars, this country is full of land mines. I am in a 500 Peso room called the Vigan Hotel here in Vigan.
Backpacker do not want to work so hard, we are on vacation, there is only one room in an area at the price you are ing, not half like Thailand.
Shared toilet, and WIFI, the drunk Philippines couple just came back. This same room in South America is 3 dollars, not 10.
There are cots everywhere, ready for the owner to allow 5-10 people per room.
The next cheapest room was 800 at Grandpas Inn, noisy room, the other 25 start at 1100. There is ONE choice in this town.
Dorm, why in the world would a person live in dorm in Asia, I never once lived in a Dorm in South America, Central America, Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam.
Room are a global comparison. your numbers are for a Philippines person, I am a USA White man, I still out like a sore thumb.
I stayed in your Hotel the very first time, I got a reservation off of HostelWorld.com. The Hotel seems to cater to Americans, however moved the next day to the Malate Pension. The Friendly guesthouse is the present rage of Malate, the truth is Manila is a wet spot in the corner of street next to a bar.
Backpacker have a natural desire to get out of the wet spot, to not walk on it, and now they are not backpackers, they are flashpackers.
I worked hard to find a Transient room in Baguio, yes, I know this is the solution, I never found one that would allow us or stop lying. The culture is truly a pain on the planet.
I want to go to Bauang to visit my friends, the cheapest is ed at 1150 per night, I want to go where I go, not where the price is cheap. I checked out Tagaytay at 2000 meters overlooking a volcano, this sounds great.
Lonely Planet shows the Budget room at 28 and 40 US Dollars, this is the cheap rooms. I would have to go totally off the Lonely Planet to visit. I think I am off right now, the cheap room here in Vigan is Grandpas at 800 or 16 US per night, truly crap value for the money in comparison to the rest of the planet.
This is not an expat site where I convince expats to buy the junk of other expats, property they should have never purchased in the first place. Expats site like escapeartist.com now spend their whole time trying to unload unwanted properties on the next silly expat with too much money and a Philippines girl in tow.
Andy in Vigan 2009
Many Good Points Andy, Im aware of both the Malate Pensionne and Bengie at Friendlys but as you have pointed out both have risen their room and bedspace rates. Im also aware of the low cost of rooms in all other S.E. Asia countries except recently with the Thai Bahts appreciation their accommodation rates are rising.
I leave the country more than I go to inner Manila but a few weeks ago I was looking for the DYI ( do it yourself ) store there as the one in nearby coastal mall closed to buy the ONLY cheap electric hot shower made in Brazil available in RP. Anyway I took pics of room 4 rent ads which were only P250 in Recto on the edge of Chinatown and the University belt. But though we havent raised our room rates for over 12 years out of 29 rooms we have only one P300 room and only 2 P400 rooms.
I paid from U$2.50 to U$12 from Northern Sulwesi overland to Lake Toba and Aceh.
In Vietnam I paid U$10 most of the time but for the same room we charge $14 to $20.
In Thailand I know there are cheaper alternatives but pay U$15 to U$18 at one of the Sawasdee Chain locations.
In Laos an old friend of mine from Canada and I paid from U$6 to U$12
In Cambodia same as Vietnam U$10 but it was a great room in a hotel with large lobby like 3 star hotel. ( no Elevator though and my room was on 4th floor as the rooms on 2nd and 3rd floor were more expensive ).
Im often amazed at who has been labeled a backpacker or when accommodations here in the Philippines claim to be BUDGET HOTELS. I mean my newbie neighbors located OFF the beach with 8 to 12 rooms are charging U$25 to U$45 and when I read the backpacker guests compliments and referrals I find it hard to believe what ducks they are when it comes to spending and consuming. For ME backpacker budgets are U$7 to U$14 / day often with two people sharing the room rate. I guess it points to my age and how I live and travel the world and reflects the present world economic crisis with the younger generation SPENDING so easliy and NEVER experiencing the DOWN cycle of economic reality. Maybe in the next few years things will change and rental rates will also adjust and go downward. As for us if we EVER had a REAL competitor to our guest house we KNOW we could go down to almost FREE even if just for FUN.