"Philippines - Luzon was relatively disappointing" Philippines by emmet7
Philippines Travel Guide: 24,404 reviews and 82,349 photos
in my second visit to Luzon I had more fun but still found it depressing.
One problem is that both times I arrived and departed from Clark Airport and this is one of the sleaziest places in the world with a exceedingly 'sorry' group of foreign males there to buy women.
Maybe I am a self-righteous prude but I could never wrap my head around the prospect of purchasing another human.
If you were to visit a Philippines resort where you liked the service, it could be fabulous as there are unquestionably beautiful destinations in PH.
I took a Honda 200 motorbike on a 1600km trip over 9 days and the traffic and dirt rivalled the chaos of China. Jeepneys, buses and trikes that stopped everywhere and anywhere; passengers just walk out into the traffic, many vehicles have no head or tail lights.
Difficult to believe they still sell 83 octane petro there but after a days ride, my face was so filled with soot from diesel/petro fumes that even after scrubbing my face twice, it looked like I was wearing eyeliner.
Once away from traffic, the roads were in fairly good condition and a joy to ride on. After I made my way through the mess called Manila and on to Lucena, I went into the peninsula area in Quezon, driving through Padre Burgas and down towards Pitogo. This area was gorgeous but there was almost zero tourist infrastructure.
I then drove straight north through Lopez and around to Daet, a thoroughly depressing place with pawn shops on every other corner and the top restaurant being the ubiquitous Jollibees.
From there I drove to Naga which was slightly better and then to one of the best managed resorts on Luzon, the wake board park at Pilli.
This was cool; an artificial lake with an over head cable that could pull up to 12 skiers and a great value. I stayed in one of the original containers that were converted into hotel rooms and it was genuinely comfortable. This was the highlight of my trip.
Afterwards, I headed to Legazpi where I drove halfway up the Miyun Volcano to an abandoned (or failed) resort with incredible views of the coastline and surrounding area.
Legazpi was nothing special and one reason why I will not return to PH anytime soon; it is that the food is '***e' unless you are in Manila or a private home to eat.
My final destination in the South was Dansol where I went to see the whale sharks. I rode back to Clark from there.
Laos, Cambodia and Thailand are a much better value for my tourist money and I do not see visiting PH again in the foreseeable future.
was part of the problem but really got me was the 'hard luck' scene in most towns/cities with the many pawn shops.
despite this most people I met were incredibly friendly.
I flew into Clark from Macau on Tiger Air for 78HKD plus tax each way which was too good to pass up. Clarkton or Angeles is one giant brothel (compliments of the USAF I suppose) and not my thing, as I went to check hotel rates and they asked how many hours I would need the room?
Baguio seemed like a cool city (in more ways than one) about 4 hours north of Clark up inthe mountains. There seemed to be lots to do in the area but it was too rainy & cold for me.
I headed down La Union and san Fernando where there seemed to very little happening though it did seem to have some big waves for surfing.
Next stop was Vigan which I genuinely liked, there were a few nice shops, places to eat and couple bars; I like the old Spanish style architecture. Phil. is fast food hell (or heaven?) though as that seems to be where people eat if not at home. (I liked the empanadas & pork kebabs in the small restaurants there but on the whole, food was big disappointment).
The Min d'oro beach (near Vigan) was nothing special and empty.
I went to Laoag from there and it is a marginally interesting city and went to hear some live music in the evening that was decent.
I moved on to Pagudpud but did not stay as it was very beautiful along the northern coast but seemed rather dull (due to rainy season?)
to be cont.
- Pros:nice people, inexpensive to travel about, English widely spoken
- Cons:over-priced hotels, weak infrastructure, food far from tasty
- In a nutshell:I returned to visit again and was thoroughly disappointed
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