Question: I am travelling to Manila and Ho Chi Minh City in July. Is there public transport for transfers to and from airports and hotels? What is the taxi system - is it safe? Is English spoken?
- J.Arahill, Bowral
Answer: You'll likely be landing at Ninoy Aquino International. It's about eight kilometres south of the Manila city centre. Currency-exchange counters are inside the terminals. English is widely understood in Manila.
Taxis from the airport to city hotels are plentiful and cheap - just make sure your driver turns on the meter.
A rare few "forget" to do so; gently ask your driver to do so if he has forgotten.
Pointing at it as you speak is a universal gesture. Lock your door, as you should do in most places around the world, including Sydney.
Tipping in the Philippines is expected - 10 per cent on top of the metered fare is about right. Many hotels have an online presence.
If yours does, print out your hotel name and address and a Google map. Keep those printouts handy in case your driver is that, ahem, rare breed who gets lost.
In Vietnam, a varying degree of English is spoken. Tan Son Nhat International is about six kilometres from the city. The air-conditioned airport bus, No. 152, is the cheapest way to go. It passes most of the major hotels along De Tham and Dong Khoi streets.
Otherwise, use a taxi - it's metered and cheap. If you have just one bag you can strap to your back, $US5 ($7) will be enough for a motorcycle rider to take you to your hotel.
- Lynne Whiley
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