Women Travelers - Lady Diver Questions - Philippines
Oct 1, 09, 10:27 pm
I'm a single, young (ok, middle aged) lady and would like to dive in Duamguete, Philippines. Is it safe for me to travel alone to that destination... I understand the problems with terrorism are further south....??
Also, what is the cheapest way to get there from Texas....I'm very flexible (ok, unmarried and no family) and have more time than money.
Any tips will be appreciated.
Oct 1, 09, 10:41 pm
Terrorism is actually not as widespread as you think in the RP, but the risk does exist like anywhere. And to answer your question, yes the Mindanao region would be the main area in question.
While I haven't been down there, I have traveled and dived in the RP and can say that the Philippines is one of the easier countries in SE Asia to get about in due to English being taught widely in school and actually used on a semi-regular basis.
And yeah, I have met single western women out there. Common sense and vigilence prevail.
Oh check out ita software for cheapest fares. They dont really change much depending on where you are, unless you are in a west coast gateway city (LAX,SFO) Fares from LAX usually run around $800ish, you can find specials from time to time from $500 on up. Flying from a non west coast gateway, you are probably looking at the $900 and up region.
Lowest fares I find are usually CI, with a connection in TPE.
There are a bunch of different combos depending on what exactly you want to do and if there are other places you want to visit.
For example, if you want to do Palau as well, it is actually cheaper to book a flight to Palau since that flight would take you through the Philippines. You can do a stopover before or after and get cheap ferries and local diving deals to other parts booking from Cebu or Manila. However if you decide to do Palau after you get to the Philippines, then the cost of that flight will be as much as NY-Manila!
Another way is to look for cheap airfare going to nearby countries like Hong Kong, Singapore or even Japan or Korea and then book a Philippine dive tour from that country. Lots of these places have inexpensive dive tours that go to the Philippines. For example, a 6/7 day tour of 5 dive days up to 5 dives per day falls between HK$3000-$5000 depending on the class of diveboat you book. r/t airfare is included in this price, but you will have to bring extra for the ferry crossing once you get to the Philippines, the DM tip and cost of food for your last day there.
So if r/t NYC to HKG in Economy is approx US$900 during a fare sale and the cost of an upper-end trip is US$642 (exchange rate US$ to HK$ 7.78) you're looking at US$1600 for the entire trip plus the additional expenses for your day in HK and the DM tips and stuff in Manila.
If you go thru Singapore, they have lots of inexpensive dive deals to nearby Malaysia and Indonesia :)
If you go with a dive tour, you'll be safe as long as you don't wear sparkly jewellery or wave lots of cash around. However, if you're looking to go "local" and solo backpack your way through the Phils I would not recommend it.
Oct 4, 09, 10:39 pm
Fantasic info....I'd thought of doing a dive tour but didn't have the first idea how to go about it. Thanks!
There's diving in the Phils throughout the year, but stay away during Monsoon Season June - early November. The trips are extra cheap, but they are also very unpredictable b/c the typhoons really do hit the islands hard. It's better to leave the last minute cheapie deals to the locals and stay safe :)
If you're planning on going mid-March - April, Tubbataha reef (smack in the middle of the Sulu Sea) is supposedly really awesome as it is only diveable for a month because of rough conditions the rest of the year. Puerto Galera & Puerto Princesa are the main dive meccas and it's mostly wall diving. Nothing really in Cebu or Manila but there are a lot of tours that book out of there.
Diving in Asia is generally split into either reef diving or just hanging in the blue waiting for Mantas, Whale sharks and the like to show up...(but sometimes they dont) :(
Oct 9, 09, 12:19 pm
"Diving in Asia is generally split into either reef diving or just hanging in the blue waiting for Mantas, Whale sharks and the like to show up...(but sometimes they dont)."
It took me a long time, but after surfing some dive forums I figured that
might be the case. Otherwise had considered Malapuesca!
We do like to dive where there's a possibility of seeing some pelagics, and we're not into strict muck diving so reef diving would suit us best...any suggestions?