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Amtrak from Kansas City to California

One of the great ways to travel around the United States is Amtrak. It is forgotten about by many but it is still an option that should be considered. In many ways, it is the best way to go if you are going to a place they service. Read more

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Cheapest way to Dumaguete from Cebu

If you are arriving in Cebu City at the airport and traveling to Dumaguete in Negros, what is the best way to get there and what is the cheapest way? There are several options out there but I think I have found the cheapest one. If there is one even better, let me know!

Let’s get the elephant in the room dealt with. The easiest and best route is a direct flight from Manila to Dumaguete airport. We all know that but the prices to do that leave it out of the discussion as the cheapest way to get to Negros.


The other elephant in the room is a direct ferry from Cebu City to Dumaguete City. It is possible but you have to travel on the right days and it is not the cheapest option either. It is affordable but it is the winner of how low can we go on travel.

In order to travel on a budget along this route, we will need:

  • A jeepney ride
  • A boat ride
  • A short walk
  • A bus
  • A ferry ride
  • Another jeepney ride

It might sound like a lot of jumping around but it is really is not. It also is part of the adventure of saving some money. This is the cultural experience you came to the Philippines for, right?

Steps to the cheapest way to Dumaguete

After landing in Cebu International Airport, you will walk out the terminal after some customs agent treats you like you a terrorist. As you step out, you will look to the right and about 50 meters down the road or so is jeepney coming by. No one in the airport will tell you they exist for some reason. Just walk down to where the workers are and wait until a jeepney (multi-cab) comes by and get on it. It will cost you 15 cents and you will get off at the Metro ferry terminal.

Once there, you will just walk down to the ticket booth and buy a ticket to cross to Cebu City. You are technically in Lapu Lapu City at this point. It is not a big deal. All you need to do is cross the channel on the boat. The cost of this is roughly 25 cents or 13 pesos.


Now, you are in downtown Cebu City. You have a small walk ahead of you. Just walk through Plaza Independencia (local park) and head down Legaspi St. until you get to Colon St. (This is the most well known street in Cebu) Turn left and walk two blocks and then turn right on Loen Kilat St. You will walk about two blocks and turn left at Elizabeth Mall (locals call it E-Mall). Just go straight until you see the entrance of the Cebu South Bus Terminal. Congrats, you just did the hard part. It is all easy from here.

The next thing you will do is fight the ordinary bus marked Bato. If you are going for the cheapest way to Dumaguete, you will need the non-air conditioned bus to save some money. This is also smarter as the bus drivers in the Philippines treats the air conditioner control as an ice box.

Once the bus is moving, a conductor will come and hand you a ticket with the price to pay to Bato. It should be around $3. Pay it and relax. You have a long ride ahead of you.

When you arrive at the small town of Bato, they will let you out at the terminal for Maayo Shipping. This is the ferry to take you to Negros on the cheap. They start running at about five in the morning and until late. There is also a small restaurant at the terminal if you are hungry. Be warned: they only have local dishes! The Maayo Shipping ferry will cost you about $1.25 to cross to Tampi in San Jose. Expect about a 40 minute trip.


The last thing you will do is walk out the gate and wait for a Cere Liner bus to come by and pick you up. They will take you to the heart of Dumaguete for about a quarter. You have made it. You just did the cheapest way to Dumaguete.

The total expense for traveling from Cebu comes out to $4.90. There are easiest way but this is the cheapest that I know of!

Is doing this option safe?

I believe it is and yes, I have done it many times. If I have never been to the Philippines, I would suggest just taking the ferry from Cebu City that is ran by Cokaliong Shipping Lines. It is easy and will only cost you about $13 to use overnight.

The main concern of safety would be between the Cebu Pier and the bus terminal. Downtown Cebu can be war zone at night and if you have never been in a dodgy area before, Cebu City is not the place to have your first experience. This is the skid row of the Philippines. 


It might be worth it for you to spend the extra dollar and a quarter and get a taxi from the pier to the bus terminal at night. I would even think twice operating in that area and I am a seasoned traveler that is a former combat fighter. Those images of how dangerous the Philippines is are from this area!

Otherwise, the rest of the trip is safe but make sure you are watching advisories put out by the State Department and take them serious. They do not put them out just so people can have something to read. Realize that you are not in Kansas anymore and your puppy is not Toto. Security conditions can change at any moment in this area of the world.

With all that said, if you have tried the cheapest way to Dumaguete lately, let me know how it worked for you and the cost of doing it. If you know of a better way to get there that is even cheaper, let us know in the comments before as well.

Are you going to Dumuguete, Philippines?

One of the ways that we keep the lights on at Travel the Fire is by helping you make sound decisions then booking using our travel partner, Agoda. At no charge to you, you help us keep this resource online when booking hotels and flights using the link below.


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My problem with Montenegro Lines!

There is many ferry companies in the Philippines but there is only two of them that serve Palawan from Iloilo City. While I use Milagrosa Shipping most of the time, I would like to use Montenegro Lines. They have newer, faster and just better ships. Read more

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Talofa Airways is now connecting Samoa and American Samoa!

People have messaged me asking what I thought of Talofa Airways, a new airline based in Apia, Samoa that will compete with Inter Island Airways and Polynesia Airlines. Read more

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Lite Ferries ferry from Cebu to Tagbilaran

Taking the Lite Ferries ferry from Bohol to Cebu (or Cebu to Bohol) is pretty easy and painless. All you have to do is know the times they leave and go to the pier at a few hours before. It is really that simple. With that said, let’s discuss the experience!

This is not discussing the fast craft boats. Here is another article on them if that is what you want to know about. We are going to talk about the bigger ferries run by Lite Ferries.


I personally like the bigger ferries and I just plan my travel around the time different. What is the difference between an overnight ferry arriving at 7am or a 4am fastcraft that also arrives at 7am? Getting out of bed at three in the morning is the only difference that I can see.

I also find the bigger boats like Lite Ferries more comfortable. I am a big guy (6’3″ and 200+ pounds). Sitting in a seat made for Filipinos is not the easiest task and sit in it for 2-3 hours? No thank you. My knee will be have an operation again!

In the end, I guess I am just saying that I do not mind the longer transit time on the boat in exchange for comfort and not traveling in the middle of the night. I do realize there is other times to use the boat but I do not like to spend time I could be at the beach on a boat (or plane).

The Lite Ferries ferry experience

All you have to do is go to Pier 1 in Cebu City at about 9pm and look for the ticket counter. It is on the right side of the entrance to the port. There is a few companies there and in the middle of them is Lite Ferries. Stand in line and get out P240 ($4.70) for lying (highly recommended). You will need to put your name on a manifest as well. That’s it. You have your ticket now!

From there, you just walk over the terminal building and get ready to fund corruption, err, pay the terminal fee of P25 ($.49) After that, you just have to go through all the security stops to get into the main part of the terminal.


Enjoy the free (but slow) wifi and wait around until they call for boarding of the ferry. Nothing else you can do to be honest.

You will board a bus that will drive you about a football field (100 meters) to the ferry where you walk over to the entrance and hand the guy the ticket. He will just tear it and hand it back. (They will check for it several times. Keep it!)

The next guy you see will walk to your bed to lay on for the trip. Now, all you have to do is wait for everyone else to get on board and the cargo to pass the government’s agents. As soon as they do that, you should be leaving the port! Realistically, 10:30pm mean 11:15.

The only things left to do is go get a Pepsi at the counter if you want for P17 ($.33), wait for the final checking of your ticket, and get some rest.

What about arrival in Tagbilaran?

Lite Ferries will arrive about four in the morning normally. This is not an issue as the guys working for Lite Ferries do not care that you are sleeping. They just work on unloading everything that came from Cebu City. The ferry is there until noon.

I normally just sleep until about 6:30 or so and then I got into the city and find me some breakfast. The best way is to just walk to the road outside the port there and get a tricycle for P8 to a restaurant. There is not many options but you will find a few.


That’s it. You have done the Lite Ferries to Tagbilaran, Bohol and did it without needing to have a knee operation after the fact!

What about returning?

They have the same schedule (different ferry) going back. All you have to do is repeat the process.

There is also a ferry from Siquijor that comes to Tagbilaran on the way back to Cebu on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. It leaves at midnight. I normally get this one so that I will arrive in Cebu right about the time that the sun is coming up. (I do not like to move around downtown Cebu at night)

Here is a video from the trip when I did it a few years ago.

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Complete guide to Corpus Christi International Airport : Your gateway to South Padre Island

Many people come to South Padre Island but they find flying into the airport closest to be quite pricy. Using Corpus Christi International Airport has become an option that people are using for tourism and for business. It is much bigger than using Brownsville Airport or Harlingen International that is closer to the Mexican border.

Flights started coming to Corpus Christi around 1935 but it was not until the 1950’s that the airport started to see nonstop flights to major city in the region like San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. However, it was in 1977 that a major airline too interest in the city when Southwest Airlines started to connect it to Dallas and the rest of their routes. A few years later, United and American join them in competing in the local market for passengers.

This led to a major build out of the terminal in 2002 that includes six gates across some 160,000 square foot. This is nice many of these secondary airlines around the country are often very small. It is nice to see one that is built with room to grow.

They have active plans to try and restore flights to Mexico City and it has been approved by the US Department of Transportation. It has been in the works for at least the last dozen years and nothing has came to reality.

Using the terminal at Corpus Christi International Airport

As stated, the airport has a new terminal built in 2002 and it is quite large for the amount of traffic that the city gets.  It currently houses six gates just a few miles outside the city.

AirlineLocation
American AirlinesDallas
Southwest AirlinesHouston
United AirlinesHouston

One thing about the airport is that the weather can lead to many flights to be cancelled so you might have a delayed flight or have to wait for the next flight out of the airport. This is not like daily but it does seem to happen according to readers at Last Kodiak.

This is not the end of the world as the Corpus Christi International Airport does offer the passenger free wifi that is unlimited (no time limit) and it is pretty much through the whole building currently.

There is also a USO lounge on the second floor for military personel. I have not used it but I have heard some great things about it from people who have used it. There is military installments close by around Corpus Christi so military is not uncommon to see.

The airport closes down an half hour after the 11:00pm flight from Dallas so if you have that 5am flight, there is no way to spend the night at the airport so you can check in. You would have to spend the night over at the Whataburger close by. According to the director of Security, they do open the terminal at 3:30 in the morning.

Besides that, just the normal airport security rules that would apply at any airport apply. While these airports are easier to work with, the laws do remain the same and must be follow strictly.

All things considered, the terminal is pretty impressive for a regional airport.

What about Check in?

 

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Complete guide to Redding Municipal Airport

If you are going to Mount Shasta or anywhere in Northern California, the Redding Municipal Airport is the only option to fly into the area. However, using it might not be the best option. To be honest, the airport is largely underdeveloped and they can’t seem to attract airlines. Read more

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Norwegian Airlines is cheap for long flights

 

I have alot of European friends and they have been raving about Norwegian Airlines for quite some time. They told me it is the AirAsia on Europe and flights to America are dirt cheap too. I was not that convinced but as I have watched the fares after the last few months, I am starting to believe! Read more

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Open letter to Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines logo. (PRNewsFoto)

The following is an “open letter” to Hawaiian Airlines about how I think about their philosophy concerning American Samoa, namely the fares.  Read more

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Suva Bus Station is wild!

If you are in Suva, you probably will ride a local bus at least once. It will be a wild ride and if you do at night, they double as “party buses” for the locals. Your adventure starts at the Suva Bus Station! Read more