I wanted to write a special post just on GETTING to Banaue on the bus, because as you’re about to learn, it’s not your average bus trip.
We did a LOT of research on this trip, both online and asking various locals around Manila about getting to Banaue and we never seemed to get a clear picture of what we needed to do to get there. So having made the journey I’ve put together some of the most important points you need to take note of if you’re considering doing the same…
First things first…
The cost is really cheap so you don’t need to worry about getting the best deal. We paid $18 each return… for a 9 hour trip. Ahhh how we love PI.
You need to take the bus from a small station in Manila. The most reliable we found was “Autobus” BUT what we realized only after getting there is that the advertised bus terminal thats listed on the websites has actually MOVED. It took us one crazy taxi trip across town in the middle of a busy Manila night including a couple of near death experiences, a yelling match with our taxi driver, and a last minute trike ride to a different street by a random local to actually FIND the real bus terminal.
So here’s the address as listed:
Auto Bus Terminal: España Blvd corner G. Tolentino St., Manila. The bus leaves at 10 PM daily and arrives at about 7AM.
The time it leaves is right but the rest is not. Have the taxi driver take you to that area and just leave in plenty of time to get out and ask locals where the NEW “Autobus” terminal is. I wish we’d written down the street name for you but we were so rushed and frantic that we didn’t have the peace of mind to do so.
The bus trip to Banaue is 9 hours through the night. It was a tad draining because the bus wasn’t the best, the air conditioning was incessant and too cold, and the seats reclined juuuust enough for you to THINK you might be able to get comfortable before crushing your dreams of any form of decent sleep.
Another tip, don’t even try to get the back seat so you can lie right down, it won’t help. The back seat is reserved for the driver to sleep after he rotates with another driver half way through the trip. We found this out after being kicked out of our comfortable sleeping position after mistakenly thinking that the back seat was a free for all.
But don’t let me discourage you, this is all part of the experience, and when you get to Banaue it’ll be hard to argue that the trip wasn’t worth every minute of it.
When you’re leaving Banaue to come back to Manila things are much easier. You go to the one terminal in Banaue where you entered and await the bus that by memory leaves twice daily, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
Now go forth and enjoy the beauty of Banaue equipped with these tips.
Hope you enjoyed!