Day 45, Friday 10 Feb, Singapore to Puerto Princesa.
Short post and no piccies, basically 12 hours of travel today!
With the magical powers of half a blue pill working I managed to get some sleep despite the best efforts of some of my rather temporary neighbours. In fact slept like a dead person until my alarm went off at 6.15. I packed up my bags and left with no turning back and walked the five minutes to the MRT and caught the train to Changi airport. Lesson learnt here, cheap hotels in Singapore are cheap for a reason ! Once checked in i sucked down a coffee and waited for the flight to Manila.
Cannot believe I am doing this, big step difference between this and the other places I have been, Singapore was safe and easy, just by its very nature, Malaysia was made safe and easy with the gentle introduction by Alex. This is my first truely foreign place I am going to ‘unsupported’. I have decided to skip Manila as much as possible, from a tourist perspective it appears to hold little of value and just seems too big and crazy for me.
Though of course my flight from Singapore with Cebu Pacific landed there and I had a couple of hours before my connecting flight to Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan. As you have to produce a ticket out of the Philippines when you check in to a flight I only allowed two weeks in the Phillies, which could possibly too short as there seems to be a lot to do according to some of the people I have met in the hostel, but better too short than too long. Hmm, got off track there….
I spent an increasingly frustrating hour in Manila airport trying to find a cash machine that A) worked, B) accepted Visa or Mastercard and C) a combination of working and accepting the cards. I finally found an ATM but could only get out 10,000 pesos (about $290 NZ), well that is not going to last a while!
The flight to Puerto Princesa was late so I didn’t land till after dark, I got a tricycle to my hostel, Banwa Art House. More on tricycles and Banwa tomorrow. Internet is intermittent here but the beer is cold and the people here seem good and they played some old punky Clash on the sound system – awesome.
I ran into my first exposure to sex tourism today, something I have been thinking on for a few days and will blog about soon, mainly because I am a middle aged white guy on his own, and apparently I am only here for sex, which is so obviously not true. In fact the Aussie guy who talked to me at the airport pretty was only here for that so I guess the stereotype has some wings.