Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Makati to Cerritos Trails, Bacoor, Cavite

Public transport going to Cerritos Trails, Cerritos, and neighboring Ponticelli subdivisions (the Camella/Crown Asia developed gated communities) in Molino, Bacoor, are found in many different locations within Metro Manila.
1. Makati
SM Makati Car Park - marked A in the map below is the car park near SM Makati and Ayala Station of the MRT. From MRT station, the car park is on the right side when you exit by the escalators fronting SM Makati and Glorietta. The car park serves as the terminal for all shuttle vans going to southern part of Manila and nearby provinces. To reach Camella, queue on the designated part of "Camella/Pag-Asa-Skyway."
The route is EDSA-South Luzon Expressway-Skyway-Alabang-Daang Hari Road. The current fare is 70 pesos. The earliest trip (southbound) is around 5:00 PM, latest is about 10:00PM.

Parking Lot along Ayala Avenue - the open area between the Jaka Tower and Standard Chartered (marked A in the map below) also serves as a terminal for shuttle vans going to Cavite, Rizal and other areas outside Manila. To look for those going to Camella, you either ride the routes - Queensrow, Golden, or Pag-asa. They all pass by Alabang (Alabang Town Center, some parts of Alabang Zapote Rd.)

2. Lawton, Manila
If you are coming from Manila area, go to Post Office in Lawton (landmarks: LRT-1 Central Station). In front of the Post Office, along Magallanes Drive, there is a queue of shuttle vans going to Springville, Paliparan. Tell the driver you need to alight at Springville Gate to get to Cerritos, Camella. You missed your stop when you're already in front of SM Molino. The fare is 50 pesos. The trips are continuous from as early as 5AM to 11PM.

3. Baclaran - if you are in Baclaran, ask for the parking areas for jeepneys going to Cavite - Dasmarinas or Paliparan. Then alight in Springville Gate, Camella.

If using private vehicle, get to the Skyway, exit at South Gate, the last exit of the Skyway, then go straight along Alabang Zapote Road. Turn left on Madrigal Avenue, then right on Commerce Ave. At the end, turn left and just drive along Daang Hari Road until you reach Meadows Gate. You know you are near the Meadows gate when you can see on your right - Ponticelli, Crown Asia (in big letters). Meadows gate is on the right side of Daang Hari. On your way, you should pass by these high-end gated communities -Versailles, Portofino and Verdana.

Note, Cerritos, Cerritos Trails, and Ponticelli are accessible along Daang Hari through the Meadows Gate and along Molino Road via the Springville Camella Gate.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Travelling to Hangzhou from Shanghai

Hangzhou is a fine city accessible via Shanghai. From Shanghai going to Hangzhou, you can either ride the bus or board the train.
1. By bus
From departure of the Shanghai Pudong Airport, look for the signs going to the station of "long distance bus." It is not difficult to navigate through the airport, just note that literally it takes quite long before you can see the station but it is within the airport. Go and buy ticket, costs about 100 yuan at the counter. They have a waiting area but be alert and mind your schedule, because nobody dares to announce things in English. Show your ticket immediately to the staff if you suspect that the bus currently loading is indeed your bus. The travel time is approximately 3 hours. The bus takes you to the downtown Hangzhou. Get a cab from there to go to your destination in Hangzhou. Note: The bus is comfortable enough.
2. By high-speed train
From Shanghai Pudong Airport, you need to ride the subway Line 2, which takes about an hour, to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport Station (Terminal 2). Then from there, get a ticket for the high speed train. The travel takes about 45 to 1 hour, much faster than the bus.
The high speed train is a better way to go to Hangzhou from Shanghai, especially if you are already in downtown Shanghai, because then you would be nearer the Hongqiao Airport Station where the high-speed trains are. The photo shown here shows the interior of the hi-speed train going to Shanghai from Hangzhou. You would know your platform, car, and seat numbers by looking at your ticket. The ticket costs only 87 yuan (about USD14), one-way.

Hangzhou is famous for its green tea - the Longjing Tea and fine quality silk. It's main attraction is the West Lake - a world heritage site.

TIP: It is highly recommended you bring with you a translator. If you can't, then print out the names of ALL your destinations in Chinese (Google translate may help) including shopping areas, key tourist spots, your hotels, and the train/bus stations. These will lessen the hassle, because believe me, it's very difficult, and I mean it, to meet a Chinese person  on the street (in Hangzhou) who can communicate in English. You are lucky if you find a Chinese youth/student, they are surprisingly helpful and can speak English. If you need to more about this, I have found great links which you can read from:

WikiHow - for useful tips
Wangjianshuo's Blog - for other means of going there, the Train D
Hangzhou site - bus schedules

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