[quote=“ryanx”]Thanks for your tips guys & gals.
I am flexible with my dates and flying into Manila and going onto Puerto Galera seems a cheap option. Looking at Philippines Airlines website, if I go on Jan 25 and return Feb 5, total will be just under 9000 NT, the only real problem is the flight times. It gets into Manila from Taipei around 7:30pm, I am not sure if there are any buses running to Puerto Galera and any ferries running to White beach.
Also coming back, the flight from Manila is at 7:20 am and that really means staying over in Manila for one night on each leg of the trip.[/quote]
Yes, if you take that PAL flight, that’s exactly what will happen. I usually take that 5:25 out of TPE but now I’m partial to the Cebu Air flight that lands in MNL around 3:30 a.m. It’s much more fun. However, take the PAL and you can stay in Ermita/Malate, where a cheap room is easy to find. Taxi from the airport to Ermita is generally no more than 300 pesos at that time of night (250 to Makati) – take the official metered airport taxi – and DO NOT let the driver tell you anything else, esp. some shit about special night rates or airport tax. Meanwhile, if you haven’t spent a night in Ermita or Malate, I highly recommend the experience.
Here’s the link for Si-Kat bus and ferry lines. From what I gathered (having been 2x) these people are the most reliable of the operators btw Batangas to PG (Sabang), and a fairly organized bus/ferry operation, which isn’t saying much but nevertheless…they get the job done. Don’t trust anyone at the ferry terminal except the woman who runs Si-Kat. Bus leaves at 8:00 a.m. from the CityState Hotel in Ermita.
The Swagman Hotel in Ermita is another option. Same deal as Si-Kat but I haven’t used their system. The bus leaves from the hotel at 8:00 a.m.
There are dozens of bus companies that go to Batangas at all hours (Jam Liner, Green Star, Tritran), but the ferry service ends pretty early in the afternoon. Like 4:00 p.m. I think. After that, it’s local sharks. Therefore, if you take a night bus you’re going to wind up doing a night in Batangas, which depending on your sense of adventure, could be fun. I met some divers who stayed over in Batangas town and took ferries direct to White Beach but they took one of the local boats and paid like $75 or something ridiculous.
You may chose to stay in PG proper bcuz that’s where all the action is – plus the majority of cheap lodgings. You can walk it over to White Beach if you chose (it’s a nice walk past the Korean-owned resort on the point). Otherwise it’s a five-minute jeepney or mototaxi ride.
I’m just curious – have you been to Phils before? If so, then you know that wherever you go, people are going to see you coming and try to rope you in to one of their operations. When you arrive in PG you will be swarmed by touts trying to get you to their hotel, massage, restaurant, etc. Be very very discriminating. In 99.9999999% of cases, your best bet is to say “No” to everybody.
…and I was just thinking about it since I did it over Xmas and it’s another option that skips a night in Manila: try Zambales/Iba. The last bus to Iba leaves the Victory Liner Pasay terminal at 23:30. PM me if you’re interested in that itinerary.