OK so I’ve just arrived back from 2 weeks over at CWC and it is just awesome! I’m a bit bored on Uni holidays so I thought I would put this together for anybody looking for a bit of extra information about doing a trip there as it is definitely something you should do if you can find the time!
If you’ve been before, feel free to add anything I’ve missed.
CWC is in the Philippines, about a 45 minute flight south east of Manila. You need to fly from Manila to Naga airport, where a CWC shuttle bus will be waiting for you.
This domestic flight can be taken with Airphil Express or Cebu Pacific. We flew Airphil express and they were fine. The last flight leaves early afternoon so if you arrived late in the day, you’ll need to do an overnight in Manila. We avoided this by flying via Hong Kong (I’m sure the same could be done via Singapore etc). We left Melbourne at 11pm on a Saturday night, arrived in HK at 6am. Flew to Manila at 8am then flew to Naga at around 2pm. It was a long day of travel!
When you arrive in Manila (international terminal – terminal 1), collect your luggage and go through customs and immigration. There is then a bus outside that will take you to the domestic terminal, for us it was terminal 3. Just tell the bus driver you’re going to Naga and he’ll know where to go. You only get around 15kgs baggage allowance for the domestic flight but the excess baggage rates are pretty cheap compared to Australia. From memory, it was about 100 pesos per kilogram.
You also need to pay terminal fees. I think it is about 200 pesos for the domestic flight over, 20 pesos for the domestic flight back and 750 pesos for leaving the International Terminal.
So you need a few pesos when you’re travelling. Try and get a few smaller notes, like 20’s and 50’s, incase you need to tip taxis etc. Just be warned, you’re not meant to take into the country more than 10,000 pesos each (about $250). We had about 17,000 each and told customs because we were not sure what to do. A 500 peso ‘payment’ (what I thought was a terminal fee) saw us through no worries!
Try and have a few hours between the flights, especially on the way back, because customs and immigration took ages when we were leaving Manila Airport, it’s a pretty average and unorganised airport.
I’ve seen alot of posts with ‘how much?’ questions about CWC. When I went the exchange rate was about 40 pesos to the AUD. Here is what you can expect:
Flights – quite variable, but wait for a sale and you can easily pick up flights to Manila for under $1000. The domestic flight is very cheap (about 700 pesos on the website). I booked through an agent so I think I got a bit ripped off on that flight.
Accommodation – also a little variable depending what you choose, but you’re looking about $15-$20 a night per person.
Personally, I’d choose the Cabanas. They are really close to the cable and really clean and secure. They have a bed (either 2 singles or a double), aircon, a TV and a bathroom – pretty much all you need.
Containers are pretty good, similar to the cabanas but the family containers do have fridge which is a bonus.
Wood cabins are also pretty neat, but no fridge or TV (TV isn’t critical, but some of the other guys there found cheap DVDs at the market in town)
I wouldn’t bother with the Villas. I don’t think they are worth the extra expense, they are furthest from the cable and the doors didn’t lock properly which wasn’t ideal with laptops, passports and cameras inside.
If you want to stay somewhere really nice for a couple of nights for a rest, there is a place in Naga City called Avenue Plaza Hotel. 5 star standard with breakfast included for about $100 a night! See http://www.theavenueplazahotel.com if you are interested.
Meals etc – really cheap! CWC meal and drink prices are listed on the website, but meals average around 200 pesos while beers are 40-60 pesos. The Red Horses are the best at 60 pesos – 500ml and 6.9%. If you’re lucky you might score a Happy Horse!
Cable – a 2 week unlimited membership is 5000 pesos, so about $125
Extra expenses – There were a few extra expenses that caught me out, namely a passport (1st time overseas) and medications/injections. A new passport is $208 which is robbery!
For the meds, I spoke to some people who didn’t get anything, but I got a lot. My uncle is a doctor specialising in infectious diseases so he told me what to get. Many doctors will prescribe a ‘Vivaxim’ injection which is around $100. This covers Hep A, Hep B and Typhoid.
I got a lot more; malaria tablets to take for 8 weeks, cholera vaccine and rabies vaccine. The rabies was the most expensive, 3 injections at $100 each and personally, I wouldn’t bother with this. There are dogs around, but none vicious. However, he did tell me that if you get bitten or scratched by any dog, you need to be on the next plane home because the injection you will need is not readily available over there.
Speak to your doctor and see what they think. If you want more info on the stuff I got just PM me.
Excess baggage on the international flights will also sting you. Look on the airline’s website before you leave. We went Qantas and for them, you wakeboard bag and normal luggage bag need to be under 23kgs, but all will be different. We didn’t get charged, but excess is $35 per kilo!
Before you leave
A lot of people have had troubles booking. After I first emailed them, it took about a week to reply. After I had made the deposit payment at my bank, I had the confirmation a day later. I just emailed email@example.com with my flight dates and flight numbers. That way they know when to have the shuttle bus there. I just emailed them a week before I left to confirm it. Also check the flight schedules online for the domestic flight, because they change the times sometimes and they don’t tell you!
Packing - Pack light! Firstly to avoid excess charges, and secondly because you don’t need much. Next time I got I will probably just stuff everything in my wakeboard bag. You seriously just live in board shorts, thongs and sometimes and singlet / tshirt if you go into town. Apart from the obvious things, here are a few other things that were useful or I wish I had taken:
- Rid or Aeroguard
- Laptop (free wireless there which is great)
- Camera – pretty obvious but its great to get lots of photos
- Spare bolts, laces and clamps for bindings
- repair kit – glue (eg loctite epoxy), scissors, cable ties, tape etc to repair board/bindings
- Strapping tape – put it on your hands to cover blisters so you don’t have to wear gloves
- first aid kit, mainly Betadine antiseptic and some bandaids for cuts – the water isn’t really clean. A lot of people got ear infections over there, but I’m not sure how to stop this!
I’m sure other people can add to this list also! The supermarket in town is pretty good and will have a lot of this stuff.
While you are there
Here are a few tips for while you are there, but I’ve probably missed a few:
- Drink lots of bottled water – it can get expensive buying it at CWC all the time. Keep the little bottles and buy 6L drums at the supermarket for about 70 pesos. There are also 3 packs of 1.5L Gatorade at the supermarket for just over 200 pesos which are great.
- Remember to tip. 20 pesos is good for taxis or if people carry your bags. If you find a good waiter at CWC (Wilson rocks!), tip them well and they’ll look after you.
- If you take a taxi anywhere, ask them to put the fare on the meter. Apparently its normal to double the fare as CWC is outside Naga city. Average fare to Naga is like 250 pesos after doubling it. We soon learnt that the tuk tuks (little motorbike thingy) are cheaper. Just try get a newer looking one, the older ones struggle up hills with 7 people on board!
- Power points are the American style ones – 2 vertical slots). I just bought some universal adapters off eBay for about $10 for two of them.
- Take a laptop. It’s good to look at photos and stuff from the day. I also recommend getting Skype. With the free wireless, you can make free voice calls and video calls if you have a camera. This saved us heaps of money calling family back home.
- ATMs are in town for extra cash, you can only get out 10,000 pesos per transaction. Good idea to open a Nab Gold account for the trip and close it when your home. It has no international transaction fees or conversion fees so that also saves a bit of cash.
- The hot springs are a good place to visit for a relax.
- A visit to Caramoan is also really cool. Bit of an adventure to get there but well worth it. You can normally stay there overnight, in these really cool beachfront huts. However they are filming a Swedish version of Survivor there at the moment so the film crew is occupying all the accommodation.
I’m going to go back July 2011. It’d be great to get lots of wake.com members over at the same time so I’ll post up when I book.
Any other questions just ask! I’ll add anything else as I remember it.
haha You must be real bored haha good job though! About the ear infections I just got some prescribed antibiotics before i left Sydney, they did the trick.
Also, a repair kit for your board isn't that necessary. You can get your gear repaired there for a bit of $$.
I'm heading back sooner rather than later haha
Last edited by DaveRock on Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
yeh i heard about the fibreglass repairs but didnt need them
I needed it for my bindings. I broke the clamps on the strings and one of the strings snapped so it was handy to have
yep for sure the more there the better!
awesome guide mate... im planning on going over with the same group as patto(as said above ^^) however none of us have been before and for me it will be my first time overseas .
Anyway just a couple of questions:
Does anyone wear gloves over there whilst boarding?
Is it worth booking earlier to get specials/deals?
Did you bring an extra board/bindings? (is it worth the extra weight?)
Thanks heaps man, hopefully we will organize a trip over their in July 2011.....my 18th birthday haha
hey mate it was my 1st time overseas as well and it was a bit of an eye opener!
for you questions:
- you see some people wearing gloves, but not a lot. Its basically personal preference, but many dont like the look . I took them in case the blisters got really bad, but i found the strapping tape did the trick. Just the stuff people use to strap their ankles and stuff like that. Cos I hadnt been riding in ages before i went, i didnt have any calluses on my hands which probably didnt help
- For the booking, the accomodation prices wont change so just book that after you have your flights done. For flights, im not expert so i dont know the best time. Just keep checking flight centre etc for a sale or a cheap flight. Flight Centre ads in melbourne often say anything from 'Manila from $699' up to over $1000. Someone else may be able to suggest an airline or time when they are cheap??
- I didnt take an extra board or bindings, but many do. I ride a gator gonzales so its pretty strong (and heavy!). My bindings were falling a part a bit but they lasted. The board shop there has a fair few boards and bindings, new liquid force etc and the prices are pretty reasonable. They had 2010 vantages and watson bindings for 20,000 pesos which is about $500. If you have some spare kgs in ure baggage, i would take spares. Like DaveRock said and i've heard from others, they do pretty good fibreglass repairs there.
hope that helps
hey mitch good guide for over there, i brought an extra board as you saw i snapped my lyman over there. but none of the other guys we went with snapped any. if your looking to go over there in july again i'll see if the boys want to do another trip and meet you guys over there again.
sounds good mate. jess said they were looking at going the same time again next year, but I just found out last night mums 50th is right in the middle of the 2 weeks i wanna go! might have to work something out haha
Hey, lots of good info. Hopefully it will help keep keep people coming over. Fair amount of Ozzies here at the moment. Always good to have around.
As far as the ear infections. We used to have a ton of them, but found a simple trick that has pretty much wiped them out. Make up a little bottle of half rubbing alcohol and half vinegar. Squirt it in each ear after you ride and dump it out. It stops the bacteria from growing. Much better then waiting till it starts and doing antibiotics.
Couple of more comments.
Bringing money in - only need to report it if it is over 10,000 US Dollars equivalent. It is a misprint. I regularly carry 20 to 30K of Pesos in and out. No problem. If you ask they will ask for a bribe. Anything that doesn't have a receipt is a bribe (or a tip). Sometimes easier than arguing though, but the more who give them the more they will be asked for.
Rabies shots - Rabies can be prevalent here, but not really anything to worry about. It runs in streaks. The vaccine is a good idea, but you still have to get the follow up shots, just not as many. It is locally available though. At Bikol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga. Never known of anyone to get bit though at CWC. More something to be careful of if you end up out in the villages or outlying communities. You have 2 weeks to start the treatment if you get bit. The US guidelines are to wait a week to see if the dog dies. If the dog dies, then start the treatment of shots. If the dog lives, no worries, it isn't rabies.
i went without any shots on tablets or anything and i was fine.
people take to many precautions.
and also with the bottled water, cwc bar gives out free cups of ice water which is awesome!
What up man?
Hey sounds like you had a sick time bro.. how bad is it once you're back home and back to reality haha.. So much better over there. Hey did you get out to go diving with the whale sharks?
hey mate i had a ball, and reality sucks, so cold back here!
unfortunately we didnt get to the sharks, went to caramoan instead. I definately want to swin next time.
I've got a feeling i read on here someone may have gone swimming with the sharks, but not completly im sure.
HAHA so true man.. It's funny, you go over there and as soon as you get back you start planning your next trip haha.. Yeah next time you go mate hit up the whale sharks.. We went with the crew who we rode with ever day (which was about 12 or 13 people) and they split us up into 2 boats.. Super cheap cause there was so many of us and yeah we saw 6 or 7 of them which was rad..
Swimming with sharks? HAHA that would be crazy especially how everything over there is so chilled and NOT safe haha..
A couple of german dudes hit up caramoan and showed us pictures when they got back.. The place looked sick.. They got to wakeboard on the back of one of the fishing boats too haha..
I have seen heaps of footage of the pros and other people at a shooting range thing out in the jungle shooting like AK's and all different guns.. I asked around but yeah no one knew about it.. That would be good fun too..
Did you manage to check out a fight?
very true about safety, some of the work sites are funny, guys just balance on beams when welding in thongs and a singlet!
I was super keen to go shoot some guns but had no idea where to go / look? Can anyone shed some light on this?
As for the fights, i didnt but a big group of aussies that we hung with went to some coq fights. They got treated like royalty, ushered to the front row and stuff. But apparently they got paid really bad odds, so they got some filipino guy to put the bets on for them
Hey Mitch awesome guide man!! Hey myself and family would probably be keen to go over next year especially if there was a big crew goin over at the same time. We would be keen to drop in at the new Thai wake park for a couple days either before or after for a couple of days. I'm good friends with the owner so I could probably help organize that part if others are interested. The only thing that I would add to what u have said is that u can buy travell adapters at every second store over there and they only cost about 40 pesos $1 each so save some $ and buy them over there. Oh and also as far as shots go we lived there for 4 years and I never got any shots before or while I we were there and we never caught to many diseases. One more tip if get a sore tummy which sometimes happens when travelling to Asian countries just go to any of the local stores and buy some immodium or lopermide tablets which will cost u about 30 cents each and they will sort u out almost instantly. Although not many people were getting sick any more towards the end of our stay there as the kitchen facilities got much better.anyway great place to visit and great post Mitch!!
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