Tag Archive | "train"

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Manila Train Guide

Posted on 16 August 2013 by Dreidel Regala

Trains and Manila in one sentence usually meant confusion and hassle. But thanks to a new project of 3 individuals, a cleaner and straightforward representation of the 4 lines around the metro is now available. The site is in its pilot run so if you guys found anything that can help improve it, feel free to let the cool authors know about it.

Manila Train Guide

Manila Train Guide

Manila Train Guide

The Manila Train Guide can be found in it’s sandbox environment http://trainguide.ph with the full site said to be out in the coming months. I did a quick browse and I liked how the 4 lines are easily laid out although I got held up for a few seconds cause I didn’t immediately understand the icons beside the station names. Turns out I had to click the station points (not station names) which opens a popup for nearby establishments, awesome!


Another cool thing about the Manila Train Guide is that it shows which stations are near via the transfer guide. Yup, I said just near cause I don’t think they can be classified as an interchange since you have to go out of the platform gate. Very useful information especially for visitors who’s never been in the country.

So if you’re traveling to Manila, you might wanna checkout the Manila Train Guide along with my points.

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When I first traveled solo series: End of the line

Posted on 18 July 2013 by Dreidel Regala

This was going to be my first time to explore a place on my own. Hours and hours of reading through different blogs and forums until everything that I needed to know I knew. I am excited. Excited to see Taiwan. And while I was extremely anxious before I left home, at that moment all of that mysteriously disappeared.

Rainy window

Photo taken by DulceDolce

I woke up 8 in the morning, made myself up then went to the common room. The empty house that welcomed me a few hours ago is now very much awake. I noticed that it was raining so I sat for a while in the living and thought about the day’s plans. A man in his 40’s greeted me. He’s from out of town and is in Taipei for business. After learning that I’m Filipino, he excitedly told about his time in Cebu and how he loved it. We continued talking while the local drama is on tv and was only interrupted when he was called by the receptionist about something. I looked at the window and thought the rain isn’t going to stop so decided to just go on out.

I stopped in the 7eleven store to buy something to eat. I asked the crew about the local SIM card but he couldn’t understand English much. Oh the language issue is about to start. We couldn’t understand each other so much that a customer had to intervene. He just wanted my passport after all.

When I stepped out of the store I only had one thing on my mind. I have to get to the mrt. So I walked my way back to the bridge and onto the building where the bus had dropped me before. It’s a busy day I thought. The sleeping Taipei Main Station now has so many people inside. But I am still not sure where I am going considering the gloomy day. Should I go see the zoo and the cute pandas or head far off to Danshui? I read signs after signs (awesome they have it in English!) for the long distance trains, high speed rails, bus stations, mrts, and several street names. I’m in the center of it all I told myself. Eventually I decided Danshui seems more interesting. Now I just have to find the mrt.

In a distance I saw something, it said “Tourist Center”. Ooh they’re talking about me! So I walked towards the booth and said “Excuse me do you have a map of the city?“. The girl on the other side of the table gladly gave me the city map along with other maps. “Thank you! Can you also show me where’s the mrt station going to Danshui?“. “Sure, you just walk straight”, pointing to the path in front of us, “…then take the escalator and there you will see instructions“. “Okay thank you!“. I started walking just as she had told me and found the signs she was talking about on top of the escalator. This is fairly easy I thought.

Train ticketing machine

Photo taken from Wikimedia

Several machines were lined up in front of the mrt gates. A little panic came to me and thought oh no I have to operate that. I watched others touched the screens then take out their cards. Should be simple I thought but when I got to one of the machines it was all in Taiwanese! So I quickly turned and scanned the area for any possible booths where I can buy it manually. There’s a booth but why is there nobody lining up hmmm. After a few seconds an American family came to the window. They said something to the man inside but I couldn’t hear it. I walked closer. And when the family left, I went to the window and said to the man “Hi, how much is the easy card?“. He told me the price plus the deposit and some other things which I couldn’t really understand so I just gave him the bill.

I went down to the platform along with the human traffic. I hear them talking but couldn’t understand a thing. When the train came I stepped inside with no fuss. This is good, lines are good. I quickly noticed that there were only a few seats in the train and most of the space is for standing up. I settled on the side and just stared at the window. My ride took a while cause my stop was in the end of the line. I saw people get in and out of the train with their everyday agendas and a couple curious eyes staring at me, maybe wondering why I look a bit different.

The train stopped. “Danshui station“. I am here! I got off the platform like everybody else and proceeded to the front of the station. Okay now where is bus #26. I asked around but they couldn’t understand me so I pointed at the picture in the map on my hand. “Ah fisherman’s wharf, go straight“. On a busy street I found my bus, bus #26. I got in and swiped my card then took a seat. I watched over my window as we passed by a series of shops and some schools. Occasionally I glanced at the LED sign in the windshield of the bus. Taiwanese words popped up first then English but I had no idea what they were so I thought it might be the names of the routes.

I got a little worried after some time cause I still didn’t see the wharf. People were getting of the bus and there were only a few of us left. I prepared to stand up and make my way to the driver to ask him but decided to ask one of the passengers instead. “Wait. Wait.” he said. So I guess I just have to wait more. The bus made a couple of turns to some inner streets that looks to be very quiet at night. Then like a curtain being pulled, the wharf started to show and not very far the Lover’s bridge standing tall.

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Need some Indian Rail help?

Posted on 12 September 2012 by Dreidel Regala

I’ve been making plans for India next year and of course dealing with India’s rail system will not be missed. The Indian Rail site is the primary place you’ll go to for checking out train schedules, fares, and booking. The system is immense (and I’m not talking about the payment yet) that landing on the right page may leave someone in confused state. The first time I went there I immediately went to train schedule as that I suspect where I will figure out routes and timing, but it left me lost cause I didn’t know what train number or name to put. Continue Reading

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Transporting in Manila streets

Posted on 17 August 2011 by Dreidel Regala

Many say that Manila’s transport situation is one of the most complicated in the world. So how do newbies brave the mean streets of Manila? Here are some things to remember:

  • Metro Manila consists of 16 cities which includes: Manila City, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Pasay, Pasig, Parañaque, Quezon, San Juan, Taguig, Valenzuela and Pateros.
  • Manila City is the home of Intramuros, Rizal Park, Quiapo and Binondo. This is a busy city with students flocking the university belt and locals going to markets. Major streets to avoid during rush hour are España, Recto and Quiapo.
  • Makati is the business district. Many office workers flock to this city so avoid streets like Ayala, Sen Gil Puyat (Buendia) during the rush. Many however go here at night to hangout at malls or dine at restaurants.
  • Quezon City is probably the biggest city in Metro Manila. It houses the state university (University of The Philippines), government offices and Araneta Coliseum.
  • The international/domestic airports and Mall of Asia are located in Pasay.
  • Common public transportation includes jeepney, bus, LRT/MRT, taxicab, FX (share) taxi, tricycle and pedicab.
  • LRT yellow line goes through Pasay, Manila and Caloocan cities.
  • The MRT blue line goes through the main highway in Metro Manila (EDSA) and traverses Quezon, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati and Pasay.
  • LRT purple line passes Manila, San Juan, Quezon and Marikina.
  • There are atleast 2 trains passing Pasay, Makati, Manila and Quezon.
Manila Transit Map
  • Train fares start from P11 then increase by the distance.
  • Trains don’t operate 24hrs so it’s best to check the varying timing.
  • Inner streets are best taken by jeeps or tricycles (buses don’t take inner streets).
  • If you are unsure if the vehicle will pass your destination, it’s best to tell the driver the city of your destination then narrow it down to the street name. You may also describe a landmark you are familiar with.
  • Jeep fares start from P8 then increase by the distance. Say “bayad” then pass your fare until it reaches the driver (tip: wait for the best time the driver can take your fare to make it easy for him) then say “para po” when you’re about to go down. Jeep stops are not strictly enforced but it is best not to put yourself and the driver at a risk by hailing to stop in the middle of the road.
  • The jeep’s destination can be identified by the homemade board posted on the vehicle’s windshield.
  • To signal the jeep to stop, wave your hand as it approaches and let the driver see you.
  • During rush hour some riders tend to stand by the jeeps exit as it goes, this is called “sabit” and is a common practice.
  • The main highway (EDSA) which crosses major cities in Metro Manila is mostly used by buses and private vehicles.
  • For a Makati transport route system check this link. But for the rest there is no standard or regulated route system so it’s best to ask a local on how to take one.
  • Metro Manila traffic is usually horrible. Intercity travels often takes about an hour but taking the train really helps minimize the hassle.
  • Taking the cab is sometimes convenient and fast but could also be expensive. Flag down rate is from P40 then increase by the distance.
  • An alternative to jeep is the FX taxi. These usually take the same route as jeeps but with the comfort of airconditioning. Fares starts from P12 and increase by the distance.
  • Always be cautious in public transports. There are tons of thieves lurking as you travel. If you can, do dress casually.
  • There are two types of buses gracing the streets. One is airconditioned while the other is not. The latter being the cheaper but most likely takes the same route. Fares start from P12 and increase by the distance.
  • If you need to travel from the north to south of the the metro and you can’t take the train, your best bet is the bus. This is however slower especially during the peak hours.

Some useful sites:

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