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Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!

Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.

More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
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    4 Affordable Philippines Resorts

    If you’re going on a backpacking adventure in the Philippines, the accommodation options might seem to exist at opposite ends of a wide spectrum. On the one hand there are cheaper, hostel-type places to stay. On the other, there are glittering, world-class resorts. The latter probably isn’t what you’re looking for if you’re traveling on a budget. But that doesn’t mean all of the resorts around the country should be considered off-limits. There are plenty of relatively affordable places where you can spend a comfortable night or two during of your travels.

    These are just a few we’re highlighting.

    Coron Westown Resort

    This resort is on Busuanga Island, on the southern side near (but not directly facing) Coron Bay. The scenery around the hotel is about as nice as you’ll find at a resort where a night’s stay can cost you under $75. It’s partially for this reason that TripAdvisor assigns it the top value out of more than 1,800 hotels in all of the Philippines. The rooms and amenities are on the nice side of standard for a 4-star facility, and the view from the pool area will keep you very much aware that you’re still in the middle of a journey through the country. Lush vegetation surrounds the backside of the hotel, with picturesque mountains in the distance. Plus, when you’re staying at the Coron Westown, you have easy access to the beautiful waters of Coron Bay. This i hand should you want to find your way out on a boat or decide to go for a dive.

    Microtel Puerto Princesa

    This is a small hotel run by Wyndham and located right on the Sulu Sea on the island of Palawan. For its price (rooms here can also run for less than $75, if not less than $50), it’s a stunning place to stay. Beachfront rooms have a view of the turquoise waters of the sea, the pool is right between the hotel and the beach, and fun activities like snorkeling, diving, and kayaking are easily accessible. For enjoying the sheer beauty of your surroundings, it might be the best budget option in the country.

    Fort Ilocandia Resort

    Located just outside of Laoag City on the western side of Luzon, Fort Ilocandia Resort is a wonderful place to spend a few nights. It’s one of the few affordable options that actually includes similar entertainment to what you’d find at a major resort. There’s a golf course, a beautiful pool, and even a small casino. If you’re a fan of gaming, you're probably familiar with the fact that the most popular slot titles now exist on the web with all kinds of special frills and bonuses. But you can find some of the same games in-person at the Fort Ilocandia Resort for a bit of casual play in the midst of your trip. Entertainment aside, the resort also has very comfortable rooms and is an excellent place to stay for the frugal adventurer.

    Modessa Island Resort

    This one can be a little pricier than some of the other options, in part because it’s more remote. It’s located on a tiny island east of Puerto Princesa, and serves as one of the best natural getaways you’ll find. It lacks some of the comforts and amenities of other resorts, but more than makes up forit with huts on the beach and beachside restaurants serving tropical cocktails. It’s an excellent spot for diving, though it's also about as good as it gets if your goal is to lay down by the beach and relax.

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    posted by backpacking philippines @ 4:49 PM, , links to this post

    How to get to Vigan City: Bus Fare, Commute, Directions, Tours

    Ilocos Sur: How to get to Vigan City: Bus Fare, Commute, Directions, Tours

    This is for those of you who are looking for information on how to get to Vigan City – one of the most beautiful places in Ilocos. Vigan is a UNESCO world heritage site, and has also been voted as one of the New7Wonders cities of the world.

    Vigan is really rich in culture and full of attractions. I recommend spending at least 2 nights there, so you have enough time to try everything. You can also check these Vigan vacation packages for some nice deals and promos.

    How to get to Vigan:

    there are a few different ways to get to Vigan from Manila, but the easiest is of course taking a flight to Laoag. Once there, you'll need to endure 2 more hours on a bus, so total travel time should be around 3 hours assuming there are no delays.

    If you want to do it backpacker style though, you can definitely catch a bus going from Manila directly to Vigan, or take a connecting line in Baguio.

    Commuting from Manila to Vigan directly:

    1. The following companies operate the Manila-Vigan line: Partas, Dominion Lines, Maria De Leon, RCJ Bus Lines, Fariñas and Viron.

    2. Buses leave from Cubao, Pasay and Manila City (Sampaloc). You should arrive there early to make sure there are tickets left. Both aircon and regular buses are available.

    3. Prices range from 600 to 800 depending on bus choice and departure hour.

    4. Partas have the best buses, and they also offer a night trip. The night trip takes only 8 hours instead of 10, and it's easier since you can quite comfortably sleep on the way there.

    5. You can check Partas bus schedule and book tickets here.

    Bus from Baguio to Vigan :

    You can follow this post as it's just the reverse way and should still be relevant and up to date.

    Generally speaking, there are buses all day long – both aircon and regular. It'll take around 6 hours to get to Baguio from Manila, then another 3-5 hours going to Vigan from there. Exact travel time really depends on your departure time, since traffic can be quite rough in both Manila and Ilocos.

    Bus rates are between 350 and 400, depends on your exact choice.
    The Bus terminal in Vigan is near the Public Market – just a short tricycle ride from anywhere in the heritage city and Calle Crisologo.

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    posted by backpacking philippines @ 8:46 PM, , links to this post