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Subic Philippines - Highlights, Tips & Sights
Subic Bay travel report & travel guide - After a few days in Manila and Angeles, we definitely wanted to see the small coastal town of Barrio Barretto near Subic during our short trip to the Philippines. The place is anything but praised on the Internet, but the pictures of the surroundings looked very good and we always like to make our own picture. So to get some impressions for ourselves, we visited Subic for a few days and in this travel report we give you the best tips for Subic about the best sights & beaches.
Subic is around 75km from Angeles City, making it a popular destination for visitors to Angeles. One reason is the beach because there isn't one in Angeles. The beach in Subic is not one of the most beautiful in the Philippines, but rather one of the worst, but you can also find rest and relaxation here. But more on that below!
In this article
Unfortunately, the Philippines does not have the widest range of modes of transport. The possibilities are a bit limited and sometimes a bit more complicated as e.g. in Thailand, but you can travel comfortably or cheaply through the country. Of course, we'll tell you the best way to get to Subic here.
Arrival from Manila
There are 2 best ways to get to Subic from Manila. The comfortable but expensive option by taxi and the cheaper option by bus. With the taxi you can expect a price of 3,000 pesos. We cannot give you exact information here, as we first drove to Angeles and from there to Subic. The taxi from Manila to Angeles will cost you just under 2,700 pesos. We ordered the taxi in advance because we didn't feel like spending a long time with the rip-offs at the airport. An advance payment was not necessary, so we had nothing to lose. Ultimately, however, everything worked perfectly and the driver waited at the pick-up location as agreed.
The cheaper option is by bus. These start every 30 minutes at the Victory Liner Bus Station in Manila City. At just under 4 hours, the journey takes a relatively long time, but you only pay a price of 240 pesos per person.
Arriving from Angeles City
The easiest way to get from Angeles City to Subic is, as always, by taxi. There are enough travel agencies in Angeles where you can organize a taxi. Avoid booking through your hotel in Angeles, as you are guaranteed to pay the higher price. We booked the transfer in a travel agency and paid 2,500 pesos for the almost 75km long journey. The taxi prices are generally a bit higher in the Philippines, you will hardly get the transfer cheaper.
The journey takes a good 1-1.5 hours, depending on the traffic. If the driver drives on the highway, the distance is a little longer, but covered faster. There is also an old street that is not recommended. The route is much shorter, but due to the bad road it takes a good 2 hours or even longer.
From Angeles City by bus to Subic
If you have to pay attention to your budget, then we recommend that you take the bus, which most locals always take. The buses start from "Dau bus terminal"which is just one mile from Angeles Walking Street. The best thing to do is grab a Tricyclic and let yourself be driven there. When you arrive at the bus terminal, look out for the Victory Liner or Philtranco buses, the two most popular companies with regular departures Olongapo, the capital of Subic Bay. Buses run every 30 minutes and the price is just 155 pesos. Note that the bus will make a stop at Harbor Point Mall in Olongapo. Do not get off there but wait until you have reached the bus terminal in downtown Olongapo. From here it is best to take a tricycle for 150 Peso, or take the Jeepeny for 12 Peso to Barrio Barretto.
Transport on site
If you have arrived afterwards, you have to get from A to B there, of course. Sometimes the sights are quite a bit apart and you have to rely on a means of transport. But don't worry, getting around Subic is very easy.
With the Jeepeny
The colorful mix of jeeps and buses run almost all over Subic and are the cheapest and most authentic way to get around Subic. You can compare the Jeepeny with the Songthaews in Thailand, the principle is the same. If you cannot decipher the set route, which is always described on the jeepney, then don't be ashamed to ask which jeepney is the right one.
If you want to get into a Jeepeny, just hold up your hand and wave the driver over. If you want to get out again, just let the driver know by calling stop. Or you can do it like the locals and knock a coin on the handrail of the Jeepeny. You have to pay in the jeepney yourself. To do this, you pass your money (always change!) Through the row depending on your seating position. The last person hands your money over to the driver. He hands over the change.
A ride with the Jeepeny in Subic always costs 7 Peso and is therefore also the cheapest option to get around quickly and easily. Please note the colors of the Jeepenys, because there are 2 different ones that drive different routes.
Yellow: Driving in the center of Olongapo
Blue: Driving up and down the coastal road
With the tricycle
The slightly (un) comfortable alternative to the Jeepeny are the Tricycles. This is nothing more than a scooter that still has a sidecar where the guests can sit. The tricycles are also known as pedicaps and are ideal for short distances that you want to cover as quickly as possible. There is no fixed price for Pedicaps, you always have to negotiate the price in advance. Of course, you will always be given the higher price at the beginning, so negotiate with skill.
With your own scooter or rental car
You can also easily rent scooters in Subic. With your own scooter you are clearly the most comfortable on the move, as you can move freely. Renting a scooter doesn't cost the world either. Depending on where you rent a scooter, you pay between 300-500 Pesos per day.
Unlike Thailand, there is right-hand traffic in the Philippines, so you won't find it really difficult. Sometimes there is a little chaos on the streets, but all of that is half as bad, especially if you are on a scooter. Please note, however, that you need an international driver's license to be able to drive legally in the Philippines, otherwise a police check will result in a fine.
Our accommodation in Subic / Barrio Baretto
There is plenty of accommodation in Subic. Unlike in Thailand, these are relatively expensive. For a reasonably good hotel that doesn't offer great luxury, you should expect around € 30 per night. Of course, time also always plays a big role. We were in the Philippines over Christmas, where the price level was generally a bit higher. After a long search, however, we found what we were looking for and decided on the Suzuki Beach Hotel.
The Suzuki Beach Hotel is right in the center and also on the beachfront of Manga Beach. The rooms are simple and functional, but clean and serve their purpose. The prices are okay for the location. Unfortunately there is no balcony, but there is a terrace or a kind of large balcony with benches and seating on each floor.
The price also includes breakfast, which you can order a la cart and enjoy on the beachfront. Admittedly, this little luxury has something and you get used to it quickly ...
The hotel also has its own restaurant, in which we never ate, and a swimming pool including deck chairs. All in all, we were quite satisfied at the Suzuki Beach Hotel.
Eating & drinking in Subic
Filipino cuisine is not among the best in Asia, and some say it is among the worst in Asia. Well, we can't quite understand that, because there are really delicious Filipino dishes. Rather, however, the Filipino cuisine is shaped by the influences of colonization. Especially Spanish-Mexican dishes can be found on every corner. Since we liked to eat Mexican food (at least I) couldn't fault the kitchen. During our stay we also found some good restaurants in Subic, which we can recommend to you.
The restaurant is located near Cheap Charlies, a trendy bar in Barrio Barretto and has become one of our favorite restaurants in Subic. You can get very tasty Filipino dishes here for a small price. You can also choose between an All You Can Eat menu, which costs only 140 Peso. Otherwise, individual dishes are also available to you. Various breakfast dishes are also offered, which you can get from 65 Peso.
If you like burgers, we recommend this restaurant. We have often eaten an excellent burger here and that means something in Southeast Asia. There are also numerous other dishes, all of which are also very tasty. Since we also love Mexican cuisine and the restaurant also offers numerous dishes, we were never really disappointed.
We think the prices are very reasonable and perfectly fine. A beer will cost you around 80 pesos, liquor 120-150 pesos, and even western food is relatively cheap and will rarely cost you more than 350 pesos. An absolute recommendation on our part.
But one thing bothered us a bit. The restaurant was a bit like a pub in the USA. Next to the tables where you eat there are billiard tables and there is smoking everywhere. Not really ideal for a restaurant, but the delicious dishes made up for it.
We read a lot of bad things before our trip to Subic, e.g. that the beaches are dirty and swimming is almost impossible. At first it didn't sound as good, but we'd better get an idea for ourselves and lo and behold, the beaches weren't that bad.
Okay, the picture of the big freighters in the background isn't really nice, but the dirty water wasn't right. At first sight you think the beach and the water is dirty, but the black one is only deposits from the volcanoes nearby. If you take a few steps into the sea, this layer is gone and the water is relatively clean. Not at all to be compared with the beaches on Boracay, but it is impressive.
The Manga Beach is the center of Barrio Barretto and most likely you will have your accommodation on the beach. In our opinion, the beach is the most beautiful in Subic, although it is not a dream beach either. Due to the volcanic ash that dated Mount Pinatubo When it is washed up, the beach looks very dirty, which it actually isn't. The water itself is clean, only the seabed looks rather dirty due to the black ash. Jet skiing can also be done on the beach. The price for 30 minutes is 1,500 Peso to negotiate with something, otherwise most of them want 1,700, which is a bit too much in our opinion.
Baloy Long Beach
A little further north is the Baloy Long Beachwhich is also very popular. We don't find the beach itself and its appearance quite so beautiful, but the beach is more than enough to relax a bit. The big ships in the background spoil the beautiful picture of the beach, but you can live with that. On the beach you will also find small beach huts where you can comfortably sip a cocktail.
Also here is the Blue Rock Floating Barthat we love very much and recommend everyone to visit once. Further north on the beach there is another floating bar, the Voodoo Floating Bar, which you can also visit to relax. Note, however, that the floating bars are only open in the high season from October to March.
Subic Sights & Sights
Even if you don't look at the small place at first glance, there is still a lot to see and experience, so that you won't get bored during the day either. What you like is ultimately a matter of taste, but we are guaranteed to find the right one for you. In this Subic travel report, we present everything that is known to us and what we can recommend to you. If you want to see everything, however, plan enough time, because the offer, especially in the area, is quite large and interesting.
Enjoy the sunset
In Subic you can enjoy a beautiful sunset every day and you shouldn't miss it. The best thing to do is buy something to drink and eat and just sit on the beach and enjoy the fabulous vibe and atmosphere. As an alternative, you can also sit in one of the floating bars and enjoy the spectacle from there.
Blue Rock Floating Bar
The floating bar is located on White Rock Beach, right in front of the Blue Rock Resort, a hotel that is highly recommended. The bar is particularly recommended in the afternoon, as you have a beautiful view of the coast from the bar. The crossing to the bar is free, but the staff are always happy to receive a tip as they have to pull the raft over with their hands.
There are 2 floors in the floating bar. Below is a bar with a counter and shade. There is also shade on the upper floor, but here you can also sit in the sun and get a tan. There is also a small springboard where you can jump straight into the sea to cool off a bit. There is probably no better afternoon activity than this bar.
Olongapo City is the capital of Subic and is located 6km from Barrio Barretto. The area is a bit more advanced and posh than the rest and you will also find a few shopping centers and shopping malls here, although not quite as many as in megacities. The best way to explore the place is on foot in the afternoon, or you can drive around in the yellow jeepeny. The only two discos are in Olongapo, should you ever want to party.
There is a small fairground in Olangapo, which attracts many of the locals. For us the Carnival is nothing special, as there are definitely better ones, but the locals in Subic enjoy the spectacle every day. It's actually really fun to just watch the kids have fun.
Also in Olongapo is the small park, which is one of the landmarks of the city. The park is great for relaxing and you can also take some great photos here as there are many planes and jets on display. A visit is definitely worth it and the park should definitely be visited when visiting Subic.
The Balon Falls are small waterfalls that are a good way out of town. If you stay longer in Subic, you should take a day trip and visit the waterfalls. Here you can hide a little from the scorching heat and take a cool bath in the waterfall. The locals also like to visit this waterfall.
Excursion to San Antonio
San Antonio is only 30km north of Subic. The area is beautiful and partly still undiscovered. So here you can enjoy fantastic beaches and bays like the Silanguin Cove and the Anawangin Beach visit. The almost deserted beaches there are simply breathtaking and give you the feeling of infinite freedom. But the city itself is also beautiful, here you can easily spend a whole day and explore the narrow streets with the small houses.
Capones Island is a small island not far from the coast of San Antonio. Just grab a boat on the beach and let yourself be driven there and picked up a little later or let the captain wait, they normally do that too. On the uninhabited island you will find a wonderful beach and a great view over the bay of the island. There is also a lighthouse on the island where you can take a nice souvenir photo. A visit is definitely recommended and a nice change of pace.
Take a quick look at our article Capones Island in San Antonio at. There we reported in detail how to get there and what is there.
Baatan National Park
The Bataan National Park is in the province of Bataan on the island of Luzon. It extends over an area of 25,676 hectares and is a popular destination for tourists, but also for locals. When it was established in 1945, it had an area of 31,365 hectares, but was reduced to an area of 23,688 in 1980 and expanded to its present size in 1992.
Ocean Adventure Park
How about swimming with dolphins or watching one of the fantastic shows? This is also possible at the Ocean Adventure Park, which is located near the airport. The park is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and is particularly recommended for children.
If you like diving, you will find a number of offers in Subic. It should be very popular Wreck diving where you can dive into a shipwreck on the ocean floor. For more information, you should contact the provider we have listed below. Unfortunately, we couldn't test the offer anymore, but we would have liked it a lot. We did not assume that there would be such a wide range of things to do in Subic.
If you are a golf player, you can also get your money's worth in Subic and don't have to do without it, because in Olongapo there is a golf course where you can play. We are not golfers and can therefore not give you any good information on whether it is worthwhile or how good the golf course actually is. In our opinion, a visit is only worthwhile if you are here for a longer period and have enough time to spare.
Le Man’s Go Kart
The go-kart track, where you can race against the locals or against your loved one, provides the necessary action. You will definitely have a lot of fun on the kart track if you otherwise don't know how to organize the day.
Subic night life
Subic used to be the center of nightlife, much like Pattaya in Thailand, but is it still that way today? And since it is well known that holidaymakers also like to enjoy a beer and turn night into day, we also took a look at the nightlife. If the nightlife in Angeles or Manila is too extreme for you, Subic is for you. The small village of Barrio Barretto is located on the coast in Subic and also offers a very nice nightlife. In no way like the one in Angeles, but you will definitely have a lot of fun here too. The whole place is reminiscent of times long past. Everything in Subic seems a bit retarded and that's exactly what we love about the place.
All of this doesn't have to mean that the nightlife is bad here, on the contrary, we think it's really good. There are only 2 discos, a handful of bars and that's it. Not thousands of tourists like in Angeles, for example.
The bar we liked the most was the Cheap Charlies. The bar itself is small and nothing special, but ... the highlight is the view, because the Cheap Charles is a rooftop bar. The view is very limited, but one of the nicest in Subic, so a visit is definitely worth it. Don't expect rooftop bars like you might know, because there are none in Barrio Barretto. This is the only bar in the small town that is a little higher up.
You don't need to expect big parties and clubs in Subic, but none of that is bad at all. Treat yourself to a drink somewhere in the evening and prefer to use the day to explore the area.
Unfortunately we miscalculated a bit and only planned 3 days in Subic, which is far too little! Due to the rather bad criticism on the Internet, we did not assume that it would be so chilled here. Subic isn't perfect, Subic doesn't have the most beautiful beaches, but Subic has something that still convinced us.
Subic reminded us a bit of Pattaya in Thailand. Pattaya is also very notorious and especially the media only report negative things. But if you explore Pattaya a bit outside, you will find really beautiful places there.
Do you have any further tips for Subic and the surrounding area? We were definitely not here for the last time and look forward to your tips.
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