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Getting to Philippines
 
 
 

By Air

Since the Philippines is an archipelago, most visitors will arrive by plane. International travellers can fly into airports in Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark (Angeles), Kalibo, Laoag, Subic (Zambales) and Zamboanga. The Philippines, being an archipelago and therefore not connected by land to any of its neighbouring countries is the usual reason why this paradise destination is skipped by many uninformed travellers. Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Zest Airways, South East Asian Airlines are among the national carriers, other carriers include Interisland Airlines that serves inter-regional flights and Pacific Pearl Airways that serve charter flights.

The cheapest option when coming from Europe or South America is transiting into Singapore (via Tiger Airways) or Hong Kong (via Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines) or Kuala Lumpur (via Air Asia). In fact, the Air Asia trip from London to KL can be as low as €200 if you book a flight during off-peak season or well in advance. From KL, Cebu Pacific airlines can take you direct to Manila or you can pass by Singapore before your trip to this beautiful archipelago. From North America, use Philippine Airlines which has direct service from Vancouver and a stopover in Guam from San Francisco and Los Angeles. But there are many regional carriers that can give excellent open jaw ticket options; Silkair with Singapore Airlines being one. Cathay Pacific also gives you plenty of flights from Hong Kong.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Most visitors will fly in through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Ninoy Aquino is 12 km (7 miles) south of Manila. Bus and taxi services are available to the city (journey time – up to one hour 30 minutes by public bus, or 25 minutes by taxi). You can also take a short 2 km ride to Baclaran Station that is connected to the MRT. However plans are undergoing for construction of a new station in the Airport; NAIA Station.

Mactan International Airport

Mactan International Airport on Cebu Island is 45 km (28 miles) from the city centre. It is the second busiest airport in the Philippines with various domestic and international connections. Hotels and tour operators provide their own coaches; taxis can be hired.

Other Airports

Other airports in the Philippines such as Kalibo Airport(a gateway to Boracay), Laoag International Airport, Francisco Bangoy International Airport(Davao) and Subic Bay International Airport receives direct connections from Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

By Sea

As the islands of the Philippines are separated by different bodies of water, the sea plays an integral part in travel. A range of seafarers are available, from huge cargo ships to small ferry boats; take long trips that last for a day or two with regular ship lines or take shorter ones with ferries. Major cruise liners call on the port of Manila.

WG&A Lines, a partnership between William Lines and the Aboitiz Group, has launched its SuperFerry Program, an affordable but convenient alternative to the usually crowded vessels of other ship lines.

Other shipping lines which call at Manila include Evergreen Lines, Far Eastern Shipping Company and Italia Marittima.

It's possible to travel by sea between the Philippines and nearby parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. However, schedules and routes are very liable to change so it's best to be flexible in your plans.

EPA Shipping Line has ferries that sail between General Santos in Mindanao and the deep-water port of Bitung, 55 km from Manado, Indonesia (36 hours, twice weekly). The office is inside the port compound at Makar, near General Santos. This is a cargo boat that takes passengers; officially, foreigners should be able to make this trip, but you may want to check with the tourism office in General Santos first.

There is also a boat that sails between Bitung and Davao's Sasa Pier (via General Santos) every Friday, but trip details change often so it's best to check with Davao's city tourism office.

Aleson Lines boats leave Zamboanga in Mindanao for Sandakan in Malaysian Borneo twice weekly (16 hours).

SRN Fastcraft has two Weesam Express boats a week between Zamboanga and Sandakan (eight hours).