This section of our website will give you all the answers you need to know for traveling in the Philippines with a short history of the Philippines, an orientation about Manila, some information about the climate in the Philippines, how to get to Pandan Island, what you should bring along to enjoy your stay at Pandan Island Resort to the fullest, where to change money, a small introduction to the local language and a lot of links to travel related sites on the internet.
If you are traveling on your own, you may find that schedules for ferries and buses often change - or don't exist -, jeepneys for example only leave when there are full, so make sure you allow some time for the unexpected and use it to meet some of the friendliest people in the world.
Helpful tips for visitors
No vaccinations are needed to travel to the Philippines, the risk of Malaria is very small unless you are planning to travel to Palawan. If you intend to do a dive course it is advisable to get a medical certificate from your doctor. Tampons are almost impossible to buy in the Philippines. (See also our page what to bring.)
Typically tropical. There is a cool dry season from December to March, a hot dry season from April to July. The rainy season usually lasts from July until October. From June to December there may be typhoons. Average temperature is 27 C ( 80 F ). Don't forget to bring Sweater against the aircon on Airplanes, Buses and the ferry.
The US$ is the most common foreign currency. Money can be changed either with banks or with official moneychangers, who give a slightly better rate. Some moneychangers are open 24 hours in Manila. Avoid changing in the streets, if you do not like to be shortchanged!!! Away from the big tourist centers like Manila, Cebu, Boracay and Puerto Galera it is often difficult or impossible to cash credit cards, change traveler checks or even cash dollars. In Sablayan, on Pandan or in other remote locations only cash pesos or sometimes cash dollars (often at a very bad rate) are accepted
A 21-day visa is given automatically upon arrival which can easily be extended up to 59 days. For longer stays, extensions have to be applied for at the Immigration Office in Intramuros, Manila or at one of its branches in the bigger cities. Normally a stay up to one year is possible for tourists.
The easiest way to get a taxi to your hotel is to buy a ticket at the Taxi center inside the arrival hall , after immigration and customs but before you leave the building. The trip to Ermita costs 300.- Pesos including luggage. Do not enter an unofficial taxi as they are much more expensive.
Normal business hours are from 9 to 12 am and 1 to 5 pm, Monday to Saturday. Banks are open from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Embassies are open from 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday. Department stores in big cities are open from 10am to 8pm, seven days a week.
The domestic airport is usually very crowded, make sure you get there early enough, at least 90 mins before departure.
The airport of San Jose is about 3 kms outside of town, to get to the bus station take a tricycle from the airport (cost 20.- pesos). The buses for Sablayan leave about every hour and cost 75.- pesos, the trip to Sablayan takes about 3 hours.
At the bus stop in Sablayan take another tricycle ( 5.- pesos) to the "breakwater", near the public market to hire a "flatboat" to Pandan, the ride takes about 30mins and costs 100.- pesos for the boat.
For more information visit www.pandan.com or read one of the following books:
- 'Philippines Handbook', Jens Peters, lonely planet, English
- 'Das Original Philippinen Handbuch', Jens Peters, JPP, deutsch
- 'Le petit fute, Philippines', Nouvelle Editions de l'Universite, francais