Smokey Tours


Smokey Tours: 


Smokey Tours offers:

  • The Smokey Tour,
  • Bicycle Tour,
  • Cockfighting Tour
  • Market Tour. 

Smokey Tours focusses on interaction of people, not on visiting tourist attractions.

This is your change to visit the Other Manila! Either the slum area, or Manila on a bicycle, or going to La Loma Cockfighting arena or the busy market streets. 

We would like you to see and experience the life in the Philippines!

Our signature tour: Smokey Tour

The idea of making a slum tour started with San Martin volunteer Juliette Kwee. A photo shoot was organized in the slums in September 2011 (the Filibata Art Walk) and an exhibition was organized sponsored by Filibata and Sining Kamalig Art Gallery. The exhibition attempted to break the preconceived notions about those children who live in one of the poorest areas of Metro Manila. A volunteer group of amateur and professional photographers documented these children playing.

Following the success of the Art Walk, including seeing the talent of potential tourleaders in the area, and having seen the success of slum tours in India and Brazil, Juliette decided to start a similar tour in October 2011. The Smokey Mountain Tour was born, the idea being to educate the outside world about slums as well as to raise money for San Martin to help the community.

Volunteers have assisted with the development of the tour. Helene De Coster helped with the tourleader training and route. Chris Way from Reality Tours and Travel came to Manila with the goal of using knowledge gained running similar slum tours in Mumbai to look at all aspects of the tour.

Background: 
This tour is organized to provide livelihood for the local tour leaders in Tondo Manila. The tour leaders improve their English proficiency, learn guiding and leadership skills. By these tour, the local economy in Sitio Damayan will benefit.

Practical info: 

Location: Tondo, Manila.
Specifics about cost, in- & excluded:  Check the website for bookings, prices and more information.
Timeframe: The tour takes 1.5 hours. Tours are canceled when there's heavy rainfall.
What to bring: Wear old clothes, umbrella and sunblock can be useful. Please do not bring your valuables. Taking photos isn't allowed.

Other tours: 
Our other tours are just as interesting, please check it out! 

 
Experiences:

'The tour involved walking around the neighborhood of Smokey and its ulingan (charcoal-making area), passing by garbage dumps and houses in between. It definitely wasn't enjoyable, but it was meaningful and insightful. Nympha, our tour leader, took us around while explaining a bit about the history and current conditions of the area. Security was never an issue, as people there were very friendly. The kids were especially eager to greet strangers. We recommend this to people who would want to gain a deeper understanding of one of Manila's poorest neighborhoods—how people get by, and how others can help. Smokey Tours is doing a great job at raising awareness and support for their program.'

Nikka, Philippines

 

'A friend told me about Smokey Tours. I did the bicycle tour yesterday. It was an amazing experience to bike through the metropool and see the 'real' life in Manila combined with some historic stories. You see and experience the real Manila, with all the chaos and all the beautiful places. The people are so friendly and there is a lot of interaction throughout the tour. It's nice to be on a bike, you see so much of the city and it's quite comfortable with the little breeze. The tour guide is doing a really good job, he shared some nice stories and has a lot of knowledge about his city. At first sight it seems there is not much to do in Manila, but this tour really changed my view of this city!'

            Yvonne, Netherlands