We have ridden a jeepney, MRT, UV Express, taxi, Uber, trike but never a water taxi. I wanted to beat some Chinese New Year traffic and head to Binondo for a day of culture and food. You can read about our experience here. The Pasig River Ferry was not faster but it was a fun way to explore something new in our city.
The Pasig River Ferry is cheap and relatively easy to use. There are many stops located along the river, you can find them here. We started at the San Joaquin stop and rode down to the Guadalupe stop for a transfer to Intramuros/Escolta. If you are going to Intramuros yours is the stop titled Mexico (also the last stop). If you are going to Chinatown/Binondo your stop is Escolta. The transfer waiting time was about 3o minutes and you stop briefly at each stop down the river. The boats seem to run every 30 minutes but check the schedule to make sure. You pay the whole fee at your first stop and need to hold onto your ticket because they check at your transfer.
Our first water taxi was smaller and very nice. We were the only passengers and the captain and team were so friendly and kind. All ferrys have life vests, an MMDA captain and team plus a Coast Guard officer. It feels very safe.
There is ample seating at most stops for you to wait. Click on photos to enlarge and see fares.
The sweet barangay kuyas were playing basketball and saw Ozzie’s longing eyes. One of them noticed and came over to help him play, this culture tugs at my heart strings. The heart of The Filipino is unlike any other.
To answer the most obvious question, no, it didn’t smell horrible. We went on a nice windy day and it was cooler than most Manila days. We also started our journey at 9 am. Perhaps in summer and later in the afternoon you may not have the same good fortune as we did.
So many different scenes to take in as we drove along the river. Some of my favorites were the local kids swimming and bathing, a floating construction site and a church made under a bridge. I love how faithful this culture is. They can make a church out of nothing, incredible and admirable.
We rode past Malacañang Palace but photos are not permitted. However, the Post Office Building was pretty cool! I have heard they do tours inside and it seems interesting. I wish the postal service was a reflection of their beautiful building. What would I give to use the mail system here!? (Two posts about Post Office Tours here and here.)
The inside of the ferrys are simple and clean. Life vests are stowed under each seat. During one transfer the engine cover was propped up and I could see how clean and new the motor looked, gave me a boost of confidence.
After our very eventful day we bid Binondo farewell and headed off on a sunset cruise home.