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Manila

We were late to the airport in Hong Kong (not so late, we could have made it), but so was our plane. We were in the 95th row of 95 in an aging 747. The flight was surprisingly good, with an unexpected meal and complimentary beverages (of all sorts). Looking next to me, apparently “beer” meant “Colt 45,” and my wine was on the tongue-rendingly sour side. Get what you pay for.

Airport (NAIA 2) was shiny but not so useful. One ATM in the place, slow immigration, and all the usual. Taxi fare has gone up substantially since guidebooks were published, but we had a friendly driver who taught us a little promptly-forgotten Tagalog.

Nice if slightly pricy hostel, Pension Natividad. The taxi driver thought we were European, because Americans can afford to stay at better hotels. I guess not so many cheap Americans end up on holiday in the Philippines. ATMs are surprisingly hard to find, but I finally tracked down a friendly Cirrus machine (why does everyone else use Plus?). The limit is low though: 5,000 pesos, at roughly 48 to the USD.

We are going to try for the Taal volcano and surrounds today, once we get all our money-changing sorted. It’s not quite as easy to change HKD as we’d wish; most of the banks take only USD.

Similarities to the States are kind of comforting… the banknotes, for example, are precisely the same size. Same electrical plugs (but running 220V). English is everywhere at a quite good level. Time to look up some more ATMs… more later, depending on how easy it is to get online. Here in Manila, dead-easy… Fancy place, nice chairs, new computers, weeks-old software, webcams and headsets… Elsewhere, we’ll see.

2 Comments

  1. Alana

    haha i just had to laugh about the 95 out of 95 rows. sounds fun. have a good time in the philippines and hope to talk to you soon. when does school start back?

    Posted on 18-Feb-07 at 12:33 pm | Permalink
  2. dh

    School starts again on the 26th.

    Posted on 19-Feb-07 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

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