Looking back, it’s hard to believe that when we first set off with our bags strapped to our backs to travel the world that the Philippines wasn’t a place we ever really intended to visit. We flew in on a gamble, thinking we’d spend three weeks and wound up tumbling so head over heels in love with the country that even after nearly two months spent idly drifting from island to island (seeing but a scant fraction of all there is to discover) it was hard to tear ourselves away.
While we were there, an amazing tourism campaign called “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” was being run domestically. You know what? They’re right. It IS more fun in the Philippines. Hardly a day went by where huge, gleaming grins didn’t grace our faces, mirroring the looks of elation and contentment that were present everywhere we looked. Maybe it was the gorgeous beaches and lush islands, the mesmerizing dive sites, the low cost of living, or the incredible kindness and warmth of the locals… for every island in the Philippines (and there are a lot) I could probably give you a reason to fall in love with the place. Whatever the case, the Philippines wriggled itself deep under our skin and caught us good.
Visit the Philippines and you’ll realize that far fewer people visit here than such an awesome destination truly warrants. Perhaps people are dissuaded by the fact that travel here more often involves ferries and flights than it does tuktuks or night buses, while lingering memories of headlines sensationalizing violence or kidnappings keep others at bay. These are baseless excuses. The Philippines is perfect for those with a true sense of adventure who like to believe that there still exist places on this planet that are simply waiting to be discovered. As for danger, the vast majority of the Philippines is incredibly safe and within a few days, you’ll swiftly realize that the only danger you’re in here is that of irrevocably losing your heart.
The official language of the Philippines is Tagalog (also simply known as “Filipino”), which is likely one of the easier languages you’ll encounter when traveling through Asia. Of course, being an island nation, most locals will generally speak a local dialect in addition to the national language. For instance, in Dumaguete, people will likely chatter away in Cebuano, whereas just a short ferry ride away, the people of Bohol will speak an even more regionally specific variant of this, Boholano!
Given that one of the biggest allures to the Philippines is the ability to island hop with abandon yet the country has 171 native languages currently spoken, what is an intrepid-yet-linguistically-sensitive traveler to do? Well, a few words of Tagalog certainly won’t go amiss or unappreciated, but for most of us, we’re in luck: English is actually an official language as well! Consequently, critical English signage was prevalent (though, amusingly, most billboard ads tended to be a hodgepodge of English & Tagalog that were only moderately comprehensible to us) and we can’t think of a single person we met who couldn’t speak English with some degree of competence; in fact, most locals were startlingly fluent. In so many ways the Philippines feels nothing like Asia, and surely the prevalence of English has something to do with that. Whatever fears may be holding you back from visiting the Philippines, don’t let worries about a language barrier be one of them!
Food & Dining
We didn’t know much about the food coming into the Philippines save for a few rumblings of a less than palatable culinary scene from a few fellow travelers. As self-proclaimed local-food lovers, we were determined to prove the naysayers wrong.
By & large, we were really underwhelmed with the food options available to us in the Philippines. We ate A LOT of grilled/barbecued meat (generally chicken or pork) with plain white rice and, if we were lucky, some pickled papaya salad. In part this was because whenever we asked locals what we should definitely try, this is what they told us they loved. The other reason is simply that most dining establishments just didn’t offer much variety and this meal was by far the most prevalent. The only other indigenous dish we ever saw with routine regularity (and is therefore the second-most frequent dish we consumed) was chicken adobo, a stirfried chicken dish with a vinegar-based marinade.
Apart from these two dishes, most restaurants serve up greasier & sweeter versions of Western foods: pizza, hamburgers, spaghetti, & fried chicken can all be found in abundance. But unless you’re out to contract diabetes, you’ll probably stick with our diet of meat & rice. Seriously, if you think we’re exaggerating when we say that Filipinos love sugar, read this post in which a successful attempt at making local pork sausage, chorizo, required 2.5 cups of 50% fat ground meat and 1/4 cup of sugar!!! If you’re jonesing for junk food, well, the Philippines might be your food paradise, but for us, the food was truly the sole element of the country that was hard to stomach.
[If you’re a vegetarian: good luck to you. The only thing Filipinos find harder to understand than not eating meat is not eating rice at every meal. If you can get by on just fruit, you’ll be spoiled for choice, but if you actually want to eat fresh veggies this is seemingly impossible. Take away the meat and that’s just crazy talk.]
From heavenly beach-side bungalows to seedy brothels masquerading as hotels, the Philippines has something for every traveler at every price point. Although not every place we stayed was brimming with character or charm, with the exception of one night, we found Filipino lodging to be fairly clean and comfortable, though often very basic. One nice thing is that unlike other parts of Asia, Filipinos understand the virtue of a soft bed, so although you might wind up in a room with a bucket flush toilet, you should still manage a good night’s sleep… at least until the roosters start crowing!
One thing for budget-minded travelers to note is that one ramification of the Philippines not really having an established backpacking circuit is that, save for two or three of the major cities, you won’t really be able to turn to hostels or dorms to cut down on your lodging costs. Thankfully, the dearth of hostels doesn’t mean there aren’t any budget lodgings on offer: instead you can look forward to bunking down in guesthouses or transient houses. We know, “transient house” isn’t the most appealing of names and has unfortunate connotations to most native English-speakers, but in the Philippines, there’s nothing disreputable or shady about these places. For the most penny-pinching of travelers you might find discounted rooms that have a shared bathroom, but generally speaking you can find private ensuite rooms fairly cheaply. If you want to splurge, well, that’s easy to do as well as nearly every city will have at least one or two luxury options for those with more to spend.
Another thing we found is that especially when traveling during shoulder (& low) season, it pays to simply show up and pick a place rather than booking in advance. This is because there is always far more lodging available than even the best internet search will ever reveal, and the places that are the cheapest tend not to have a website or any internet presence at all. Also, it is completely acceptable to haggle over accommodation prices, especially if you are staying multiple nights, and this is obviously much easier to negotiate in person. Finally, as lodging quality varies dramatically even within cities, we found we preferred being able to see our room before we made a financial commitment to it. Also, price is no guarantee that you’re getting a nice room, as we stayed in a private bungalow right off the beach for $20/night that was quite lovely, but the same money in Manila had us pulling out our sleep sheets for the very first time on our journey. The only way to be confident you’ll like where you’re staying is to handpick it.
Finally, when you’re doing the rounds looking for a room, even after you’ve been quoted the cheapest price a place has, it is ALWAYS worth asking whether there are any fan rooms or will offer a discount if you don’t use air conditioning. Even nice resorts often have a few fan rooms that they won’t tell you about right off the bat unless you specifically ask for them and these can often be cheaper than their “cheapest” rooms. We never paid extra for A/C while in the Philippines, generally because in most places the electricity is not reliable enough to make it a worthwhile splurge. Same goes for hot water: you’ll often pay less for rooms that only have cold water showers, which may sound unappealing but we were frequently so hot that we rarely took showers that were any hotter than tepid even when given the chance.
There’s no two ways about it: traveling from place to place eats up a lot of time in the Philippines. It never seemed to matter how far we were going or what manner of conveyance we used, whether we went over land, sea, or air, it always seemed at least 6 hours were lost to travel. That said, although the routes are not always obvious and you’ll pretty much never see an official schedule, because English is spoken widely enough, you should never really have any trouble figuring out how to get where you need to go.
If you are planning to travel within an island, you’ll likely be relying on buses or shared vans; the latter is more common in Palawan and costs more than a bus but has the potential to be more comfortable and quicker. On other islands, we relied more on buses which are generally very cheap, though they will vary in quality. We rarely got to choose whether we were taking a bare-bones chicken bus or a fancy VIP bus with air con & WiFi, but more often than not, expect something less than luxurious. You buy your ticket on the bus—just tell the ticket seller where you are headed and they’ll tell you the right price, which scales with the distance you are traveling. It is important that you keep your ticket on you as periodically you may be asked to show it (even if it’s the person who sold it to you doing the asking…). Unless your destination is the end of the line, repeatedly ask the ticket seller whether you have reached your destination, because half the time the stops are not marked and you are dumped at the side of the road and only locals seem to know where they are. There is no need to pack lunches or worry about food during these long journeys as plenty of pit stops will be taken and snack vendors frequently pile onto the bus to peddle their wares.
Between islands, you have the choice of taking ferries or flying. The ferries are generally pretty comfortable with assigned seating and movie screenings (we watched a pirated version of The Avengers on one, which was great!). It’s unlikely you’ll be on a ferry long enough for it to become an issue, but we did not notice any kind of food when on board, so if you’re traveling during a meal time, make sure you bring food with you. Also, although there were many signs in the ferry terminals talking about baggage fees and weights, our packs were never weighed and we never had to pay extra for them, but if you have very large bags, you may need to pay a bit more. It’s also worth noting that ferries can actually be quite expensive—forget about paying $5 or $10 as you will more likely pay upwards of $20.
We wound up flying quite a bit in the Philippines as this is almost always faster than taking a ferry (even taking into account time spent waiting at the airport) and generally was not very expensive given the time savings. The two major budget airlines you should consider are Cebu Pacific and Air Phil Express. We actually flew exclusively with Air Phil Express, and due to some amazing sales, often did so for $50 total per flight for the two of us. Although Cebu has its proponents, we have heard they can be quite cutthroat about canceling flights last minute and bumping people who have not arrived for check-in well before the cut-off. We have nothing but good things to say about Air Phil Express as not only do you get 10kg of free checked luggage (practically unheard of with any other budget airline), but you also get free snacks & drinks during the flight AND every single flight that we took with them landed early… sometimes to the tune of 40 or 50 minutes! When was the last time that ever happened? Bottom line: ferries can be pricey, but if you plan in advance, you can fly for next to nothing!
When it comes to traveling within cities, some of the larger cities will have taxis, but you’ll more likely wind up taking a trike instead. These are essentially the Filipino version of a tuktuk, a motorcycle hooked up to a covered side car. Often drivers will charge per person (always clarify this point when discussing prices with them!) and will charge extra if you have bags, but a ride in town should never be more than $2. Definitely feel free to haggle, though you only need to do so aggressively if you are at a ferry terminal or bus stop. Occasionally you may find yourself in a shared trike, but that is less common.
For slightly longer distances, look for brightly colored trucks called jeepneys. These supposedly have fixed routes that they run, but we could never figure out what they were, though most jeepneys have their end destination listed as well as some major stops along the route. However, it’s best to simply ask locals or your guesthouse where to catch the jeepney you want in order to get where you’re going. These are essentially the equivalent to a city bus (the buses you are used to generally only run long distances in the Philippines), and you’ll be crammed in the back with as many locals as they can fit. Once again, there are no fixed or marked stops: to signal that you’d like to alight, simply bang on the roof (most people use a coin) and the driver will pull over. You pay when you get off, and more often than not you will pay a flat rate (which you can ask in advance). Jeepneys are very cheap—generally no more than 50 cents per person.
For those with a truly independent spirit, the best way to witness the Filipino scenery is by motorbike. In most cases the roads are quite good and traffic is minimal (though the latter is only true if you’re in smaller cities or off-the-beaten-path islands). You can always negotiate a better rate on a bike if you take it for multiple days; it is often worth doing this because without fail you will be provided a bike that has no gas in it, so this is an additional cost you will need to cover. Just be sure to take this into account when haggling over prices. Unless you take your bike for an extremely long time, you will likely wind up paying at least $6/day for a bike.
In case we haven’t made it abundantly clear, the Philippines are really cheap. You can live like a king for very little, though any activity or transportation option involving water will likely be pricier than you are expecting. One other area that most people agree seems to be disproportionately expensive is lodging, especially when compared (as it so often is) to Thailand. Note that, however, even if lodging prices are slightly high, food and local transport costs generally balance that out. Many attractions or sights will have a small admission fee, but these also tend to be very low.
If you are planning to get off the beaten track or visit smaller cities/villages, it is probably worth it to stock up on local currency (the Philippine Peso) as we did visit several places that did not have any ATMs. For example, the only city on the entire island of Palawan that has ATMs of any description is Puerto Princesa. You can probably find money changers if you are carrying U.S. currency, but don’t count on it and instead plan ahead.
We rarely were able to use our credit card in the Philippines and in the rare instances where it was a possibility, most establishments tacked on a hefty transaction fee, sometimes as high as 6%. Clearly you are better off paying in cash!
Connectivity & Communication
To the best of our knowledge, the Philippines does not enforce any kind of firewall, but this may simply be because internet connectivity is dreadful in large parts of the country. Many places simply did not have WiFi or, if they did, it was so slow as to be practically useless. Other places did have internet access, but regular power disruptions meant that there were long periods during the day when we were yet again without internet. Essentially, the Philippines is not the place for digital nomads.
We did pick up a SIM card for our phone while we were in the Philippines, which actually proved to be quite useful and reasonably priced. We went with Smart because they have some of the best coverage throughout the country. We paid about $5 for the card which came with a bunch of minutes and texts; for a small fee (<$1) we were able to pay for unlimited 3G access for 24 hours which we indulged in once or twice when the internet situation became truly dire. The greatest benefit for us was being able to contact guesthouses in some of our more remote destinations in order to set up reservations as well as pick-ups; as most of these places didn’t have internet access, texting or calling them was the only way to get in touch!
The Philippines By the Numbers
Total Number of Days Spent in the Philippines: 52
Areas Visited: Bohol, Negros (Dumaguete, Bacolod, Sipalay), Cebu, Mindanao (Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin), Palawan (Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Port Barton), Manila, Angeles City
Total Number of Islands Visited: 8
Average Daily Cost, per person: $32.12 USD
Projected Daily Budget, per person: We didn’t have one specifically for the Philippines as we didn’t plan on visiting! If we went with our overall trip budget of $50/person then we were $18 (per person!) under budget!
Cost of flight from Shanghai, China to Manila: $164.19 USD
Cost of 59-day visa extension: $147 US ($73/person; Note: the cost of a 59-day visa is MUCH cheaper if applied for in advance of your arrival; a 21-day visa-on-arrival is granted for free for most nationalities)
Other notable costs: Scuba! We both earned our PADI Open Water certification while in the Philippines, which amounted to $353.50 per person. We treated this as an independent expense and did not include it in our daily budget calculations. However, if you were to include it, our daily per person budget would increase by $6US to $38/person.
Total Philippines costs per person: $2180 USD
A Note On Daily Costs: In our daily costs, we have removed the cost of our flight into the country, as well as the price for our visas. We did this because we believe that including the price of getting into or out of a country results in a figure that does not accurately reflect our actual day-to-day costs. Moreover, not everyone will choose to enter the country in the same way, from the same departure point as we did, so we include the price we paid separately for your edification. We believe our Lodging, Food, Transportation, Attractions, and Miscellaneous Shopping costs are reasonable estimates that may be informative for other likeminded travelers; however, we believe the cost of our transportation into any country is best considered a separate lump sum expenditure, and we will continue to treat it as such. Similarly, visa costs vary based on one’s country of citizenship as well as the duration and validity applied for.
(Also, the Miscellaneous Shopping category is one that many travelers fail to include, which we believe is shortsighted and misleading. Although it is true that on an extended trip you are unlikely to spend money on extravagant souvenirs, other unexpected but necessary expenses will crop up such as replacing toiletries and other daily necessities, or purchasing gear and helpful items that you may have forgotten or find you require. Although these costs are rarely extreme, (though they sometimes are!) it would be an oversight not to include them in your long-term travel budget. At some point on the road you will find yourself buying shampoo and deodorant… we hope!)
Accommodation: Despite all the grumbling one often encounters about the price of lodging in the Philippines, for once accommodation was not our most expensive expenditure! We generally stayed at small, local guesthouses, with occasional private bungalow/island/picnic table thrown in for variety. As mentioned above, our rooms were generally very basic—sometimes bucket flush, rarely hot water, never air conditioning—so if having fancier amenities is important to you, then you will need to be prepared to pay more. It is also possible to pay less, but we found that this price point was the sweet spot for us.
For more information on where we stayed during our time in Philippines, check out our Lodgings page.
Food: Looking back, our food costs are a bit higher than I remembered and expected, but I think this is because we ate most of our meals at sit-down restaurants that were a step above the truly local roadside eateries. There are certainly cheaper places to eat, but we found the atmospheres in these places really unappealing as they often involved swarms of flies and severely questionable hygiene practices. There is also a small selection of fried street treats generally on offer, but the smell of the fry oil was truly nauseating for me, so we never indulged though a meal made from these items would likely be cheaper too.
With all these caveats in mind, we generally only ate 2 meals per day in the Philippines, and rarely spent more than $5/person on food & drink at each meal ($5 was our cut off for a dish being “too expensive”!).
Transportation: This cost covers all of our internal transport within the Philippines, from trikes around the city to flights. Obviously there was a huge degree of variability in this one as many days we had 0 transportation costs, whereas other days we spent over $100 moving around). Just goes to show the power of the average!
One of our best deals for local transport was found when staying on Alona Beach—we opted to stay farther from the beach, which not only resulted in a cheaper rate, but we wound up at a guesthouse that offered free motorbikes to its guests! We were then able to use this bike to tour the entire island of Bohol, which was an amazing deal.
Attractions: The Philippines are definitely an outdoors destination and activities & attractions run the gamut in terms of pricing. Many natural attractions have very minimal admission fees (a ticket to the Chocolate Hills only cost us $1.25 each). However, if you plan to engage in activities such as island hopping, diving, snorkeling, etc., then these will obviously cost more. The upside is that it is unlikely that you will do these big ticket items every single day (with all those beaches that you can enjoy for free, why would you?!?), and additionally, the prices for all of these activities are still really quite cheap compared to other destinations. As an example, our daily activity budget here doesn’t include our initial PADI Open Water certification fee, but it does include the two other days we went diving, as well as our amazing island hopping splurge, among other things. On the whole, however, most days we paid absolutely nothing to enjoy the sights of the Philippines which definitely helped balance out those pricier days.
This figure plots our daily spending per person during our time in the Philippines so you can get a better sense of how our daily average evolved. I know it’s basic math, but so often we encounter travelers who pick a daily budget and then refuse to spend a penny more than that, even though you will certainly have days when you are well under budget. We hope this helps illuminate our spending habits, and will serve as a reminder that you can have crazy splurge days (like the day we spent almost $90 per person!) and still do ok. Caveat: $32US per person per day is not the absolute cheapest you can visit the Philippines on – certainly some travelers get by on far less. But, for those travelers who want to enjoy themselves, have the occasional splurge, but still keep an eye on the purse strings, we think this is actually pretty reasonable. If you visited fewer islands, that would certainly allow you to shave off some extra dollars. It is certainly possible to spend double this if you’ve got money to burn, want to stay in fancier places, eat at nicer/more touristy restaurants or are not as budget conscious.
Also, see if you can guess when we learned to dive based on changes in our spending patterns…
Highs & Lows
Best splurge: Learning to dive (Steph & Tony); Runners Up: Island Hopping Extravaganza in El Nido; Private Charter to Port Barton
Worst splurge: Our room in Manila! We only paid $24 but we thought that since this was quite a bit more than many other budget options we saw online that it would hopefully be nice. We stayed with a chain called SoGo, which stands for So Clean, So Good. It was neither! We’re pretty sure this hotel was really a brothel—you had to be over 18 to stay there, our room only had one light (with a red bulb in it, no less), and the sheets were seriously questionable. (Steph & Tony)
Best surprise: How warm & welcoming everyone we met here was. Filipinos are some of the friendliest people we have met to date, and although so many people back home were scared witless about our safety when we said we were traveling here, we never once felt threatened or remotely in danger. Not even in Manila! (Steph &Tony)
Worst surprise: The omnipresence of roosters and, more importantly, their incessant crowing! Filipinos love them some roosters and now I finally see the appeal to cock fighting… (Steph); The food & how monotonous it ended up being after a while. (Tony)
Favorite meal: The roast chicken we had on the outskirts of Alona Beach (Tony); The meals Apo & his family cooked for us when we visited Banbanan—not only was the food delicious (and memorable: pangolin, anyone?) but the atmosphere and generosity behind it was so touching. (Steph)
Least-Favorite Meal: We had a lot of lackluster meals, but the one we had at the bus stop on our way to Cebu was probably the worst as it likely resulted in violent food poisoning the next day. (Steph & Tony)
Best memories: Marveling at how pure the colors were (“Look how green those rice paddies are! How is the water that impossible shade of blue?”) as we zipped around winding island roads; Taking our first breaths under water and finally feeling what it is to be neutrally buoyant while diving; Watching the sun set on Sugar Beach; Exploring Spanish ruins devastated by a still-active volcano on Camiguin; Sleeping on a private island in El Nido; Being visitors 8 & 9 to Banbanan; all the amazing people we met along the way.
Hidden gem: It’s so tempting to award this to our secret island, but that feels too cruel! Instead, we’ll say that Camiguin and northern Mindanao don’t get a lot of traffic due to some bad press, which means you won’t encounter very many travelers while you’re there and paradise is even more unspoiled. While parts of Mindanao farther south are certainly dicey, the people we met in the north were just as friendly as everywhere else (and genuinely happy to see us!) and the landscape was truly stunning.
Best Lessons Learned: The first thing we learned in the Philippines is that publication and reporting biases are alive and well in the international media. We entered the country with a vague sense of unease as warnings of bag snatchings and nebulous threats of violence danced around our subconscious. It didn’t take us long to realize that although pockets of the Philippines certainly experience real moments of strife, the country is largely a very safe, happy place to be. Of course no one is interested in reading (or remembering) headlines about all the tourists who happily travel to the Philippines without incident, or the millions of people who live there in harmony, so most people unfairly associate the Philippines with sad and scary events instead. While we believe that forewarned is forearmed and it is good to exercise caution, the Philippines taught us that truly, the world is more good than it is bad and the reports you read are often inflated.
Secondly, the Philippines is the first place we experienced true poverty. We had certainly seen some down-trodden folks in parts of China, but it was nothing compared to the squalor of Cebu—where stepping outside guaranteed you would be besieged by grubby child beggars—or the extremely basic living conditions of Banbanan. Despite this, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the locals, proving that you don’t need to have a lot in order to demonstrate fundamental human kindness. We were welcomed into so many homes and granted so many smiles, we truly felt like we had arrived in the Philippines. We hope that having now learned the true meaning of hospitality, we carry that with us wherever we go.
If we could do it all over again?
If only! Honestly, if we could do this leg of our trip all over again, we’re pretty sure we’d do everything EXACTLY the same! Absolutely no regrets about anything we saw or did, though Bacolod for Masskara was a bit a bust, so we probably would opt to visit somewhere else instead. Still, it was a great learning experience, and we now know that huge, raucous street parties aren’t our thing!
We spent 7 weeks in the Philippines, but it wasn’t nearly enough time to see and do all the things we wanted to. The more we traveled around the country, the more we kept uncovering things worth seeing. We didn’t get the chance to visit the famous underground river in Sabang while we were in Palawan as we opted to visit Port Barton instead. Also, my head cold meant that we had to skip heading farther north to Coron, which is one of the country’s top (wreck) diving destinations, so that’s something for next time.
We also really wanted to spend some time exploring the island of Luzon, where Manila is located, particularly the far northern regions which feature the rice terraces of Banaue and the hanging coffins of Sagada. And speaking of Manila, we spent less than 24 hours in the city (our last day in the Philippines!) and although we certainly didn’t get to explore, we admit to liking what we saw! We’d love to go back and ramble through some of the amazing Spanish architecture that we merely glimpsed from the monorail.
And let’s not forget all of the amazing places we had never heard of prior to visiting but discovered while there and now can’t wait to see: diving with thresher sharks in Malapascua; swimming with whale sharks in Donsol; investigating voodoo love potions on Siquijor; making moves to the eastern Visayas and checking out the amazing scenery both above and below the water in Leyte; getting our fill of macro diving in Anilao; checking out the remote northern province of Batanes, which looks like it should really be part of Scotland… the list goes on and on and on and on… We warned you that three weeks was not enough for the Philippines, but in truth, three years would hardly be sufficient to scratch below the surface of this incredibly diverse country. We calculated that even if you visited one new island every single day (and impossible feat), it would take you approximately 20 YEARS to sample all of the ones on offer in the Philippines… Perhaps Twenty Years Hence just took on another meaning…
The Bottom Line
Sometimes you leave a place with the hope that you’ll get the chance to return one day. When it came to the Philippines, it was a struggle to even make it onto our exit flight, so strong was our pull to this magnificent place. As we ferried down the runway, bound for Taiwan(!), it felt like we were saying goodbye to a whirlwind summer romance that we wanted to last forever. Immediately we began plotting not just what we would do on our second visit to the Philippines, but on our third and fourth ones as well. For us, our two months in the Philippines were just the prologue to a love story that we’re sure we’ll last a lifetime. We can’t wait to see what the next chapter will hold for us, but while we wait, do yourself a favor and get in there and write your own!
Number of Countries Visited: 4 (Japan, Hong Kong, China, Philippines)
Total Number of Days on the Road: 113
Total Amount of Money Spent Since Departure: $12,412 USD
Cumulative Average Daily Cost (not including transport into each country or visa fees): $109 USD (for TWO people)
Total Costs to Date: $10395 (previous legs of trip) + $4048 (money spent on the ground in the Philippines) + $148 (visa fees) + $164 (flight from Shanghai) = $14,755 USD (for TWO people)