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Cebu City

Getting there & away




The main bus lines servicing the Cebu area are Ceres Bus Liner (261 5008), CBL Liner (232 1850),ABC Liner (253 1668) and Rough Riders (233 5238).

The most popular destination outside Cebu City is the southern dive spot of Moalboal. The Cebu South bus station is a short taxi ride from downtown (around P30), otherwise take the Basak-Colon, Urgello- Colon or Labangon-Colon-Pier jeepney for P5. From here, there are buses leaving all day for Argao (P55, two hours), Bato and Lilo-an (via Oslob; P75, five hours), Toledo (P40, three hours) and Moalboal (via Carcar; P65, three hours).

If you're after a public bus north, the Cebu North bus station, servicing several bus lines, has rather inconveniently shifted out to Mandaue, a 15-minute, P75 taxi ride from uptown. A Mabolo-Carbon or Mandaue- Cebu City jeepney will take you there, and bring you back into town. The station is on Wireless St, in the desolate Reclamation Area.

Rough Riders buses to Maya, the gateway town for boats to Malapascua, run from 6am to 6pm (P100, 4½ hours, every half hour).

At the north station you'll also find Phil-Cebu Bus Lines (usually called CBL) buses to Hagnaya, the gateway town to Bantayan Island. They leave up to seven times daily, from 7.30am to 5pm (P80, around three hours). Some other bus companies only go as far as Bogo (P60, 2½ hours), where you must take a tricycle to Hagnaya pier (P40, 20 minutes). The last boat departs Hagnaya for Bantayan at 6.30pm.

If you are heading to Malapascua Island and your accommodation is in uptown Cebu, you can jump on a bus at Ayala Center, get off at Bogo and catch a bus to Daan Bantayan (P30, one hour) and a hubel-hubel to Maya pier (P30, 20 minutes). The last regular service is usually around 5pm.

If you want to do some sightseeing along the coast, you can hop off on the way and wait for another bus to come. Waving one down from the highway is usually not a problem, although they'll often be standing room only.

For both northern and southern destinations, there are also air-con vans departing from the White Gold Terminal (232 7501; Pier 4, Reclamation Area). They have no schedules, but leave when the van is half to three-quarters full, so if you're the first seated, you may have to wait. Air-conditioned and with fewer passengers, these are a faster, cushier way to get around. Rates are up to 30% higher than the bus.

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Cebu City's vast, multipiered port throngs with boats travelling around the Philippines and internationally. The bigger passenger- ferry lines such as SuperCat and OceanJet run large, fast ferries to and from Cebu City every day of the year except Good Friday and New Year's Day.

All shipping information is vulnerable to change. The Sun Star newspaper publishes a schedule that is generally reliable, but it is always good to double-check your schedules directly with the shipping companies. Also confirm the pier from which your boat is departing, or you might be in for a last-minute scramble when you arrive at the port.

The rule with ticket prices, as always, is that you get what you pay for. More expensive categories available are usually 'tourist' and 'cabin' (air-con), which cost around 20% and 30% more, respectively - and are often well worth it if you plan to get some sleep. Most companies offer discounts to students (15%), disabled travellers (20%), senior citizens (20%) and minors (12 years and under; 50%).

You can purchase tickets for SuperFerry, SuperCat and Cebu Ferries at Aboitiz Express (2GO; 233 7000), which has offices in Robinson's Plaza, Ayala Center and SM City.

Bookings for the above lines plus Cokaliong, Aznar, Super Shuttle Ferry and Sulpicio can be made at the Travellers' Lounge (232 0291; SM City, in car park left of entrance 3). Otherwise you can book your ticket directly at the shipping company's booking office, which in many cases will be at the port, usually at the pier from which its boat departs.

Cebu City passenger-ship companies and their details are as follows:

Carlos A Gothing Lines (232 9998; Gothing Private Wharf, Pier 7, FF Cruz, Mandaue)

Cebu Ferries (232 4229; www.cebuferries.com; Pier 4)

Cokaliong Shipping Lines (232 7211; www.cokaliongshipping.com; D S Osmeña Ave, North Reclamation Area) Boats leave from Pier 1.

EB Aznar Shipping (234 4624; EB Aznar Bldg, T Padilla St)

George & Peter Lines (254 5404; Pier 2)

Jadestar Shipping Lines (254 0263; Pier 3)

Lite Shipping Corporation (253 7776; cnr GL Lavilles St & MJ Cuenco Ave)

OceanJet (255 7560; www.oceanjet.net; Pier 1)

Palacio Shipping Lines(255 4538, 253 7700; cnr Mabini & Zulueta Sts) Boats depart Pier 1.

Roble Shipping Lines (255 5904; Pier 3)

Roly Shipping Lines (234 0827; Pier 3)

Sulpicio Lines (232 5361; www.sulpiciolines.com; Sulpicio Go St, Reclamation Area; booking office Pier 3)

Super Shuttle Ferry (book through Travellers' Lounge 232 0291; SM City)

SuperCat (234 9600; www.supercat.com.ph; Pier 4)

SuperFerry (233 7000; www.superferry.com.ph; Pier 3)

Trans-Asia Shipping Lines (254 6491; www.transasiashipping.com; Trans-Asia Shipping Lines Bldg, cnr MJ Cuenco & Osmeña Blvd) Boats depart Pier 4.

VG Shipping Lines (416 6226; Pier 3)

Weesam Express (412 9562; www.weesamexpress.com; Pier 4)

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If it suits your itinerary to fly in from Asia, arriving in Cebu City rather than Manila has its advantages. Cebu's Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA; 340 2486; www.mactan-cebuairport.com) is second only to Manila in terms of air traffic, but way ahead in terms of user-friendliness. Note that the airport is actually on Mactan Island, 15km east of Cebu City.

Within the Philippines, domestic airlines fly between Cebu and around a dozen destinations - including, of course, Manila.

Airport terminal fees are P100 (cash) for domestic flights and a hefty P550 for international flights.

The following domestic and international airlines have offices at MCIA:

Air Philippines (341 0930; www.airphils.com)

Asian Spirit (341 2550; www.asianspirit.com)

Cathay Pacific (340 3254; www.cathaypacific.com)

Cebu Pacific (340 7980, www.cebupacificair.com)

Malaysia Airlines (340 2978; www.malaysiaairlines.com)

Philippine Airlines (PAL; 340 0191; www.philippineairlines.com)

Singapore Airlines (Silkair; 340 0041; www.silkair.com.sg)

South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR; 341 4879; www.flyseair.com)

It's a one-hour flight between Cebu and Manila. The route is service by Air Philippines (two flights daily each way), Cebu Pacific (nine flights daily each way) and Philippine Airlines (seven or eight flights daily each way, from 5am to 7.30pm).

Other domestic destinations include the following:

Bacolod Cebu Pacific, PAL (30 minutes, twice daily).

Cagayan de Oro Asian Spirit (one hour, three weekly).

Camiguin SEAIR (one hour, weekly).

Caticlan Asian Spirit, SEAIR (one hour, twice daily).

Davao Cebu Pacific, PAL (one hour, two to three times daily).

General Santos Air Philippines (one hour, daily).

Iloilo Cebu Pacific, PAL (40 minutes, twice daily).

Kalibo Cebu Pacific (40 minutes, three weekly).

Siargao SEAIR (one hour, weekly).

Zamboanga Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific (one hour, five weekly).

International destinations include Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific, daily), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia Airlines, twice weekly), Seoul (PAL, eight weekly), Singapore (Silkair, daily) and Tokyo (PAL, five weekly).

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