Philippine Discovery Trip Notes

Philippine Discovery

Last Modified: 01 Aug 2016
Philippine Discovery
Trip code: TTSL
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
A tropical archipelago made up of more than 7,000 islands packed to the brim with natural wonders, the Philippines is an enticing country just waiting to be explored. Gaze in awe at spectacular untouched landscapes, be caught-up by the infectious warmth of friendly locals and discover an intriguingly diverse mix of cultures, traditions and sights. From trekking Mt Pinatubo to exploring the stunning Banaue rice terraces - this country will really grab a hold of your senses. So pack your bags, take a dive into the unknown and get ready to fall in love with South-East Asia's wild child.
Table of Contents
StyleMeals introductionAlternate finish point
ThemesMealsAlternate finish point description
Is this trip right for you?Money mattersAlternate finish point instructions
Why we love itGroup leaderEmergency contact
MapSafetyVisas
ItineraryJoining pointWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerJoining point descriptionClimate and seasonal information
Physical ratingJoining point instructionsHealth
Included activitiesAlternate joining pointTravel insurance
Group sizeAlternate joining point descriptionA couple of rules
Your fellow travellersAlternate joining point instructionsResponsible Travel
AccommodationFinish pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Accommodation NotesFinish point descriptionFeedback
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- This trip includes a lot of energetic included activities, so a good level of fitness is required for this trip.
- Due to some of the remote locations that are visited on this trip, some of the accommodation is basic. Some nights are in multishare rooms, with shared bathrooms with Asian style toilets. Hot water showers are available on most nights.
- The rice terraces in this region are very steep, and at time you will be trekking on very narrow paths with steep drops on either side. Therefore a very good level of balance is required, and shoes with good grip are essential. Your leader can assist you by providing a walking stick to help you keep your balance on these sections.
- When picking guesthouses, we value location and the things that come with it. The noise (whether we like it or not) is all part of the scene. Passengers may wake up to the sound of roosters or church bells in the morning, so if you’re sensitive to noise, we recommend bringing earplugs to the trip.
Why we love it
- Begin in the adventurous, lively city of Manila, with contradictions and surprises around every corner
- Embark on a 3-day trek through rice fields, forests and villages, staying in local Ifugao communities along the way
- Be left breathless by the lush Banaue rice paddies, millennia old terraces that stretch like stepping-stones towards the sky
- Witness the unique hanging coffins in Echo Valley, and discover more about the fascinating traditions of the local people
- Just 25 years old, the lake-filled crater of Mt Pinatubo is a fresh wonder to explore – trek to the summit and camp right next to pristine emerald waters in the heart of the volcano
- Experience the warm and welcoming culture of the Philippines
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Manila
Mabuhay! Welcome to Manila. An intriguing, bustling and overwhelmingly chaotic city, Manila is the worthy capital of the Philippines. With contradictions and surprises around every corner, Manila is packed full of things to see, do, taste and experience. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm tonight – check with hotel reception for more information and have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early. We'll happily book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. If you arrive early, why not spend time discovering what the sprawling city has to offer. A unique mixture of the modern and historic, Manila has both sights like the walled city of Intramuros, built by the Spaniards in the 16th Century, and the Mall of Asia, a shopping centre that spreads for nearly a kilometre in length. A unique way to get around Manila and the Philippines is by jeepney, colourfully and flamboyantly decorated vehicles originally made from jeeps left by American troops after the war.
Included Activities
  • Welcome Meeting
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Banaue
    It's an early start today as you leave Manila by private van and travel to Banaue, settling in for a 9-10 hour drive – get out your book, get to know your fellow travellers, listen to your new favourite album, or watch out the window for your first taste of the Philippines outside of the metropolis. The isolated and quaint town of Banaue features markets and a local museum, but the main drawcard of the area is the rice terraces. Referred to by some as an ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, the stunning Banaue rice terraces were constructed over 2,000 years ago by the native Ifugao people. Still in use today, these remarkable rice terraces stretch like stepping stones towards the sky, some reaching an altitude of 1,500 metres (4,920 feet). The best way to view the terraces is from the nearby viewpoint, where the lush green steps unfold below and sunlight reflects off the surface of the pools. You’ll get more time on Day 6 to really appreciate this wonderful view.

    Notes: Tonight you’ll stay in a simple hotel with twin share rooms, with private bathrooms with hot and cold water showers.
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast
    Day 3 Cambulo / Trekking
    Leave you main luggage in Banaue and pack a daypack with your necessities for the next few days, then drive 40 minutes to the start of the trek. Over the next 3 days and 2 nights, you’ll hike through rice fields, forest and villages, staying overnight in local Ifugao villages where people farm rice the way their ancestors did 2,000 years ago. On this first day of the trek, you’ll walk for approximately 4 hours on a mixture of up and down, but mostly flat terrain. Start from Kinakin and we take a short drive up a paved road to get to our start of the trail. The next 3 hours will be on a rather flat path, and the last hour includes steps down to the guesthouse in Cambulo. There will be plenty of stops along the way, including for lunch, so keep your camera handy for those scenic photos – the rice terraces here are characterised by their pyramid-like appearance, cut almost 360 degrees around the mountains. When you finish today’s hike, you can take a refreshing swim in the river 2 minutes walk from the guesthouse – a welcome relief from a physically demanding day! You’ll spend the night in isolated Cambulo Village – the guesthouse has multi shared rooms, shared bathroom with Asian style toilets. Cold water is expected with scoop showers.

    Notes: The rice terraces in this region are very steep, which means at times you’ll be trekking on very narrow paths with steep drops on either side. A very good level of balance is required for this trekking. Your leader can assist you, providing a walking stick to help you keep balance over these sections. Accommodation is in basic village guesthouses with shared facilities and cold water for bathing. Bedding will be provided, but you may like to bring your own sleeping sheet and a warm layer for cool nights (especially during January and February). Meals are provided at the guesthouses – simple dishes like stewed vegetables for dinner, and omelette or pancakes for breakfast. Basic hot drinks are also available.
    Included Activities
    • 3-day trek with local guide
      Accommodation
      Guesthouse (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
      Day 4 Batad / Trekking
      With the sound of animals as your alarm clock, wake up to a fuelling breakfast, and then begin the second day of your walk. Walk a total of approximately 3 hours to Batad Village, where you’ll spend the night. Today involves some serious walking and can be especially challenging for those with limited experience in hiking. The trail is a combination of up and downhill, and there are sections where you’ll walk on the edge of steep rice terraces, balancing on narrow edges of concrete or natural stone. Sticks are used for balance – plant them in the rice terraces to help your progress – and the local guides will assist you if you need. The incredible views are more than worth it though, and you can also use the time to learn about the customs and culture of the local Ifugao people from your guide. This afternoon you’ll have some free time to relax, read a book, or enjoy a massage from one of the locals. Soak up the views of Batad's famous rice terraces, which line the entire valley like an amphitheatre, and can come in and out of the clouds like a mirage.

      Notes: In Batad your guesthouse has twin and triple share rooms, shared bathrooms and Asian style toilets. Showers are usually cold water only, but you can request a bucket of hot water for a small fee.
      Accommodation
      Guesthouse (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
      Day 5 Banaue
      You’ll start the third day of the trek with a short final walk of approximately 30 minutes up to Sadel. Then you’ll probably be happy to not use your legs for a bit as you’re transported back to Banaue by road (approximately 1 hour). Here you’ll be reunited with your main luggage back at the guesthouse. Enjoy plenty of time to freshen up, then later in the afternoon head out to the Hiwang Village. Here you’ll find wonderful views overlooking the rice terraces, Banaue town, and the Cordillera Mountains. Your leg muscles haven’t done all their work quite yet – you’ll also wander around traditional Ifugao houses that have been converted into mini museums. Here you can discover the traditional culture of the local people, including a multitude of wooden carved rice gods and decorative skulls. Later tonight at the guesthouse, you may want to enjoy a celebratory drink while watching the sun set over the rice terraces for the last time.

      Notes: In Banaue you’ll stay in a simple hotel in twin share rooms with private bathrooms, with showers of hot and cold water.
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 6 Sagada
      Leave the rice terraces behind and travel into scenic alpine mountains by jeepney. There’ll be plenty of time to stop off at the many viewpoints along the way and capture those priceless photos of the rice terraces below. Along the way you’ll also pause at Bontoc, the capital of the Mountain Province (2 hours from Banaue). Here there'll be time for some lunch and a visit to the Bontoc Museum. This wonderful museum, laid out in the style of a traditional Ifuago house, is packed with captivating memories from the past of each of the region’s main tribes. There are turn-of the-century photographs of headhunters with their loot, hunting implements, baskets for carrying severed heads, traditional costumes, farming tools, musical instruments, jewellery, and more. From Bontoc, continue to today’s destination of Sagada (approximately 30-45 minutes). There will be fresh mountain air and stunning views everywhere you look.

      Notes: Tonight’s accommodation is in twin share rooms with private bathrooms, with showers of hot and cold water.
      Included Activities
      • Bontoc Museum
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast
        Day 7 Sagada
        Today you’ll get trekking again with a 3-hour walk to the Hanging Coffins in Echo Valley. Pass by the town cemetery, the American Anglican St. Mary’s Cathedral built by missionaries, then continue into Echo Valley. Trek down the side of some cliffs, maybe testing out the valley’s name, before reaching an unusual burial site. Dangling high up on the limestone cliffs, the coffins are both mystifying and eerie in their presence. The Igorot practice of attaching the coffins to the mountain comes from a belief that underground burials isolate a person from the natural world and the gods. Continue on your trek, crossing an ankle deep stream, and pass by a coffee plantation and a small waterfall. The trek then ends at the Sagada weaving factory, a local pioneer in the industry having been making products since 1968. If you’d like to delve deeper into the local burial practices, this afternoon you can take local transport to a valley view point across to the Sugong Hanging Coffins, visit Lumiang Burial caves to see stacks of carved coffins, and also see the Klitepan and Kapay-aw rice terraces.

        Notes: Today’s trek is quite adventurous and a good level of fitness is required. Shoes with a good grip are a must on this trek as the trail is steep and often slippery, with loose gravel at times.
        Included Activities
        • Guided walk to Hanging Coffins and Bokong Falls
          Optional Activities
          • Sagada - rice terraces, hanging coffins, burial caves tour - PHP1500
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 8 Baguio
            Hop on a public bus heading towards Baguio City. This journey takes approximately 7 hours through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Philippines. Travelling through the Cordillera Central, the highest and largest mountain range in the Philippines, pass peaks of incredible heights (and drops), dotted all-over with small villages and terrace-upon-terrace of rice and other crops. This is one journey you don't want to sleep through. Baguio City was established by American troops in 1900 and has become a popular destination for both travellers and local tourists seeking a retreat from the heat of the lowlands. It's now a bustling urban centre offering town comforts high in the Cordillera Mountains. When you arrive you’ll take a leisurely afternoon walk to explore the city, visiting Burnham Park, which features a lovely lake, lawns, wooded areas, and also stop by a local market and the town's most popular shopping mall.

            Notes: Tonight’s accommodation is in twin share rooms with private bathrooms, with showers of hot and cold water.
            Included Activities
            • Baguio -Guided orientation walk
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Day 9 Mt Pinatubo
              An early start by public bus (it can get cold on the bus so pack a light warm layer) takes you to the small town of Capas (approximately 5 hours). Here you’ll meet your guides and prepare for the trek to stunning Mt Pinatubo, which erupted as recently as 1991. By the time the explosions had finished, the top of the mountain was gone, replaced by a large lake-filled crater. Jump in a 4x4 and travel along a bumpy, dusty road (bring a scarf and sunglasses to protect your eyes) for around an hour before disembarking and starting your trek. You’ll hike for around 2.5 hours to reach the crater. On the way you may meet some of the indigenous people of the area, the Aetas, who have lived on the slopes of the volcano for several centuries, surviving as hunter-gatherers in the dense jungles. Nowadays, they live in more modern settlements and some of them work as guides on the volcano. Arrive at Lake Pinatubo, a stunning vista of pristine emerald green water in the heart of the volcano; relax and take photos of this magnificent sight. Tonight your unique accommodation is in tents by the crater lake.

              Notes: Your main luggage will be stored at a guesthouse close to the base of the mountain, so you'll only take a small daypack for overnight necessities. Please make sure everything is waterproofed as it can rain heavily at times. The terrain is uneven so bring supportive shoes with good grip. Sleeping bags will be provided, but it can be cold at night here so bring warm clothing as well. Please refer to the “Important Notes” section for further information about the camping on this trip.
              Included Activities
              • Mt Pinatubo climb
                Accommodation
                Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                Day 10 Manila
                Wake up in unique surroundings, soak up the views across the lake, then trek around 2.5 hours back from the campsite down the mountain. Get back in the 4x4 for an hour, and then transfer to a private bus to swap mountains of rock for mountains of buildings as you return to Manila (approximately 3 hours). Depending on traffic you’ll arrive in the city in the late afternoon, around 5-6pm. Reacquaint yourself with the hustle and bustle of city life after all that time spent out in isolated communities, and then tonight perhaps gather together your fellow adventurers for an optional final farewell dinner in downtown Manila.
                Optional Activities
                • Manila - Museum of the Filipino People - PHP150
                • Manila - Rizal Park (including site of Rizal's execution) - PHP20
                • Manila - National Art Gallery - PHP150
                • Manila - Ayala Museum - PHP425
                  Accommodation
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast
                  Day 11 Manila
                  There are no activities planned for today, and you are free to depart at any time. There’s much more to see and do in and around Manila, so perhaps stay a couple of extra days. You could visit Makati City, the country's central business district, check out the pre-colonial gold collection at the Ayala Museum, and then wander through the Ayala Triangle Park, a great urban space right in the middle of the business district. You can also visit the National Art Gallery and Museum of the Filipino People, or discover the famous landmark of Rizal Park – all great places to spend an afternoon.
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast
                  Itinerary disclaimer
                  ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
                  Physical rating

                  Included activities
                  Welcome Meeting
                  3-day trek with local guide
                  Bontoc Museum
                  Guided walk to Hanging Coffins and Bokong Falls
                  Baguio -Guided orientation walk
                  Mt Pinatubo climb
                  Group size
                  Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                  Your fellow travellers
                  GROUP TRAVEL
                  As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                  SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                  Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

                  Due to the small guesthouses and hotels that we use on this trip, a single supplement is not available.
                  Accommodation
                  Camping (with basic facilities) (1nt), Guesthouse (2nt), Hotel (7nt)
                  OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
                  The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

                  TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
                  Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

                  CHECK-IN TIME
                  Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

                  PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
                  If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

                  Some accommodation has shared bathing facilities and cold water only, and there may be occasions where we use mixed gender dormitories.
                  Meals introduction
                  While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
                  Meals
                  10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
                  Money matters
                  SPENDING MONEY
                  When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

                  We recommend USD230.00 for meals not included.

                  The official currency of the Philippines is the Peso (PHP).

                  There are plenty of ATMs available at the airport and in the main cities. You can also exchange US dollars, Euros, Australian Dollars and other major international currencies at money changers.

                  Please note that once leaving Manila, we will be travelling in remote rural areas and there will be no convenient access to ATMs or money changers until we return.

                  DEPARTURE TAX
                  All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

                  EMERGENCY FUNDS
                  Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.

                  TIPPING
                  If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier.

                  The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

                  Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

                  Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides.

                  Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-US$2 per day for drivers.

                  Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

                  In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

                  At your group meeting on Day 1, your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your group leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip.

                  Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.
                  Group leader
                  All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                  Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                  Safety
                  Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                  We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                  Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                  For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

                  http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

                  PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                  While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                  SEAT BELTS:
                  Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                  FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                  Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
                  Joining point
                  Oasis Paco Park Hotel
                  1032-34 Belen Street Paco, Metro Manila Philippines
                  Manila
                  Luzon
                  PHILIPPINES
                  Phone: 632 521 2371
                  Fax: 632 521 2393
                  Joining point description
                  The Oasis Paco Park hotel is located in the heart of Manila close to the Paco Park, Rizal Park, the San Agustin Church and University of the Philippines-Manila.

                  Hotel facilities include a restaurant/bar and lounge, coffee shop/cafe and an outdoor pool. Room amenities include flat-screen televisions come with cable channels, air conditioning, minibar and direct-dial phones.
                  .
                  Joining point instructions
                  Arrival transfers are bookable from the Manila Airport to our start point hotel - please contact your booking agent for more information.

                  If you have pre booked an arrival transfer through us, please follow the below instructions. The Intrepid representative will only wait for 3 hours after your flight has landed, if you are delayed any longer than this, please take a taxi to your hotel. A taxi from the airport to the hotel will take approximately 30-60 minutes (depending on traffic) and will cost around PHP 500 (USD 12). Only use taxis from a reputable company.

                  If you fly into Terminal 1:
                  Our Intrepid representative will be waiting at the Curb Side, holding an Intrepid with your name on it. If you are unable to locate them please head to Resort’s World counter along the Curb Side. Make sure you remain in the curb side until you have met the representative.

                  If you fly into Terminal 3:
                  You must exit at the International Arrival Exit, on the right side of the glass wall where our Intrepid representative will be waiting behind the glass wall, holding an Intrepid sign with your name on it. If you are unable to locate them please head to the BDO Counter (Banco De Oro) just before the exit of the terminal. Make sure you remain inside the terminal until you have met our representative.

                  If you fly into domestic terminals 2 or 4:
                  Our Intrepid representative will be waiting near the arrival exit holding an Intrepid sign with your name on it.

                  If you are still unable to locate Intrepid's representative at either terminal, please contact either of the below airport representatives to help you:
                  Terso Pulvera (+63 917 891 4123)
                  Rupert Andres (+63 917 576 1924)
                  Alternate joining point
                  For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                  02 Jan 2017 (TTSL170102), 16 Jan 2017 (TTSL170116), 13 Feb 2017 (TTSL170213), 13 Mar 2017 (TTSL170313), 10 Apr 2017 (TTSL170410), 24 Apr 2017 (TTSL170424), 15 May 2017 (TTSL170515), 04 Dec 2017 (TTSL171204), 18 Dec 2017 (TTSL171218)
                  Hotel Kimberly
                  770 Pedro Gil St
                  Malate
                  Manila
                  Luzon
                  PHILIPPINES
                  Phone: 63 25211888
                  Alternate joining point description
                  Hotel Kimberly is conveniently located at the Malate tourist belt in the historic city of Manila. Hotel Kimberly Manila is only 30 minutes away from the domestic and international airports.
                  Alternate joining point instructions
                  Arrival transfers are bookable from the Manila Airport to our start point hotel - please contact your booking agent for more information.

                  If you have pre booked an arrival transfer through us, please follow the below instructions. The Intrepid representative will only wait for 3 hours after your flight has landed, if you are delayed any longer than this, please take a taxi to your hotel. A taxi from the airport to the hotel will take approximately 30-60 minutes (depending on traffic) and will cost around PHP 500 (USD 12). Only use taxis from a reputable company.

                  If you fly into Terminal 1:
                  Our Intrepid representative will be waiting at the Curb Side, holding an Intrepid with your name on it. If you are unable to locate them please head to Resort’s World counter along the Curb Side. Make sure you remain in the curb side until you have met the representative.

                  If you fly into Terminal 3:
                  You must exit at the International Arrival Exit, on the right side of the glass wall where our Intrepid representative will be waiting behind the glass wall, holding an Intrepid sign with your name on it. If you are unable to locate them please head to the BDO Counter (Banco De Oro) just before the exit of the terminal. Make sure you remain inside the terminal until you have met our representative.

                  If you fly into domestic terminals 2 or 4:
                  Our Intrepid representative will be waiting near the arrival exit holding an Intrepid sign with your name on it.

                  If you are still unable to locate Intrepid's representative at either terminal, please contact either of the below airport representatives to help you:
                  Terso Pulvera (+63 917 891 4123)
                  Rupert Andres (+63 917 576 1924)
                  Finish point
                  Oasis Paco Park Hotel
                  1032-34 Belen Street Paco, Metro Manila Philippines
                  Manila
                  Luzon
                  PHILIPPINES
                  Phone: 632 521 2371
                  Fax: 632 521 2393
                  Finish point description
                  The Oasis Paco Park hotel is located in the heart of Manila close to the Paco Park, Rizal Park, the San Agustin Church and University of the Philippines-Manila.

                  Hotel facilities include a restaurant/bar and lounge, coffee shop/cafe and an outdoor pool. Room amenities include flat-screen televisions come with cable channels, air conditioning, minibar and direct-dial phones.
                  .
                  Alternate finish point
                  For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
                  26 Dec 2016 (TTSL161226), 02 Jan 2017 (TTSL170102), 16 Jan 2017 (TTSL170116), 13 Feb 2017 (TTSL170213), 13 Mar 2017 (TTSL170313), 10 Apr 2017 (TTSL170410), 24 Apr 2017 (TTSL170424), 15 May 2017 (TTSL170515), 04 Dec 2017 (TTSL171204), 18 Dec 2017 (TTSL171218)
                  Hotel Kimberly
                  770 Pedro Gil St
                  Malate
                  Manila
                  Luzon
                  PHILIPPINES
                  Phone: 63 25211888
                  Alternate finish point description
                  Hotel Kimberly is conveniently located at the Malate tourist belt in the historic city of Manila. Hotel Kimberly Manila is only 30 minutes away from the domestic and international airports.
                  Alternate finish point instructions
                  Emergency contact
                  While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                  We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                  You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                  For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

                  In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below.


                  Intrepid's Local Ground Representative: +63 2 925 5741
                  Visas
                  As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required.
                  Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

                  Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                  PHILIPPINES:
                  Citizens of most countries are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay of up to 30 days, provided they hold a valid return ticket. Please check with your nearest consulate or embassy for further information.
                  What to take
                  What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

                  Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

                  Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

                  http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

                  WATER BOTTLE
                  Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

                  DAYPACK FOR OVERNIGHT TRIPS:
                  You need to bring your main piece of luggage as well as a small to medium backpack for overnight trips (30-35 litres/8-9 gallons) for the trekking components of this trip. You will need to carry a change of clothes and a waterproof jacket While trekking, we leave our main piece of luggage at a central point and return following the trek.

                  WARM CLOTHES
                  Please note although Philippines has generally a warm climate you will find some nights on this trip can be cold especially when camping at Mt Pinatubo. We recommend you bring some warm clothes as well.

                  CAMPING
                  A tent and sleeping bag is provided for the camping at Mt Pinatubo. No mattress is provided. Please note some passengers prefer to bring their own self inflating mattress from home for this night.
                  Climate and seasonal information
                  CAMPING
                  Please note camping on this trip is very dependent on the weather. When we are unable to obtain a camp permit from the local Tourism board due to bad weather we will stay in a local Hotel in Capas, near Mt Pinatubo.

                  Mt Pinatubo
                  Please note Mt Pinatubo is located in an area governed by the Philippine Air Force. At times throughout the year Mt Pinatubo is closed due to military training exercises at short notice. In the rare instance that this occurs Intrepid will offer an amended itinerary.
                  Health
                  All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                  You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

                  DENGUE FEVER:
                  Rare instances of dengue fever have been reported in this region. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.
                  Travel insurance
                  Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                  When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                  If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                  http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                  A couple of rules
                  Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                  Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                  Responsible Travel
                  We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

                  http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                  LOCAL DRESS:
                  Dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees by wearing sleeves and long trousers. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in areas of predominantly hot climate. In many rural areas women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

                  The Intrepid Foundation
                  Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                  The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

                  http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                  Feedback
                  After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

                  http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback