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Learn more about our tours

In this section you'll find frequently asked questions from all our tour packages. Some FAQ sections contain links to pages with more detailed information about specific packages and their options. Be sure to read each section carefully before booking a tour. We want you to choose the tour that is perfect for you, your activity level, and your interests!

FAQs

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General Questions

Is an adventure tour in Asia right for me?
If you are ready to experience new cultures, new sights and see things that the travel brochures don't tell you about, then this is the trip for you!

But...

"If you want everything just like home, stay home!" This is Southeast Asia, and things are different.
 
If you don't enjoy new experiences in a quite different environment, then you're much better off spending your holidays in your home country. Simple fact, no cynicism intended.

We say this as much for your enjoyment as for the respect the locals are due.  You are guests in their country, and the idea is to experience the great things their country has to offer.  Don't come here and expect things to be like back home and disrespect the locals because things are "different."

Willingness to adapt is key!
Do I get a refund if the trail was too hard for me?
We're sorry, but no. We feel that between the detailed tour description and other information available on the website we have set adequate expectations about what level of physical ability is required for each tour. If you feel a tour might be too difficult for you, please feel free to contact us first, or try one of our easier tours to start out.
Can I get a refund if ....
We're sorry, but no. After your tour begins there are no refunds for any reason. This may sound unfair but due to the logistics involved in setting up these tours there are many costs that do not go away just because you quit or something happens. We still have to pay based on the original number of riders whether you are still with us or not, riding or not. We recommend that you consider travel insurance to reimburse you if your trip is interrupted or if you sustain a medical emergency.
I promise I will be there... is that good enough?
Sorry, but no. We require a deposit on ALL overnight tours. For our annual 12 day trip it is 9600 Pesos per rider and for all other trips it is 4800 pesos per rider. If we do not receive your deposit your trip is NOT confirmed and the dates are available for other customers. It is also important that we have your deposit as early as possible before your trip so the necessary arrangements can be made. We cannot begin arranging your tour until we have your deposit.
What happens if you don't get enough riders on a tour?
We never cancel our Philippine tours. We will run a tour just for one rider.
What do you mean by hazardous?
You could die. We don't want that.
Can I use your backpack?
No, bring your own.
Can you recommend some gear?
Yes we can. Take a look at our gear recommendations

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About the Bikes

What bikes are available?
WR250 and WR450 The bikes available directly from us are Yamaha WR250s and WR450s. These bikes are meticulously maintained and our weapon of choice for all of our rides. These are not small cc street bikes with knobbies or heavy "adventure" bikes like some tour operators use. These bikes are designed for the extreme offroad use we give them. We find these bikes to provide the best balance of power, reliability and ease of use. They have both kick and electric start, and that magic button can be worth it's weight in gold in situations like when you stall the bike on a tricky uphill!

Other bikes such as Honda XRs are available but supply is very limited and as we do not own or control them their availability will be subject to other uses. Check with us WELL in advance of your tour if you are interested in something other than our WRs.
What if I crash and damage the rental bike I am riding?
We require a fully refundable 8000 peso ($200US) damage deposit on all bike rentals. Any items damaged will be deducted from your damage deposit.  Take care of the bikes and equipment as if it were your own. The bike needs to survive the trip so you can make it back and also so the next customer can use it. We expect the bikes to be returned in the same condition they left. You are responsible for any damage you incur.

If your bike is damaged and unable to be repaired in the field you will be responsible for returning yourself and the bike to our location in Cebu. We will assist you with the arrangements but the costs involved are your responsibility.
 
Can I strap my gear to the bike?
The bikes we supply have a small removable rear rack. This rack is intended ONLY for light loads such as a change of clothes, sleeping roll or tire inner tubes. Under NO circumstances are heavy items to be strapped anywhere on any of the bikes. This includes water! The trails we ride can and will cause broken subframes and other damage if heavy loads are strapped to the bikes. If you wish to carry more gear than will fit in your backpack you might want to consider you are not traveling light enough. If after analysis you still have extra cargo needs, or simply want to reduce the number of items in your backpack we have an option available. Philippine Offroad Adventures is an authorized Giant Loop dealer and we can offer you any Giant Loop saddlebag product for purchase. Use it on our tour and you can take it home and use it on your own bike. We have found the Giant Loop products to be very durable and easily handle the punishment of our tours. For more information see the Giant Loop website at the link below. If you have questions or want to use one of the bags on your tour please contact us.


Giant Loop Moto



All Giant Loop products are available but for our tours we recommend only the Mojavi or Coyote bags. The others are too large.


Can I have a new tire on the bike for my ride?
We assess the condition of the tires on every bike as part of our pre-ride inspections. If we determine a tire is too worn to be used for the ride we will replace it. Otherwise you will likely have a tire on the bike that has been used before. If you want to guarantee a fresh tire for your ride this is available for the REAR tire at an additional cost of 3500 pesos. Please tick the "fresh tire" box on the contact form if you are interested in this. Note that on long rides such as the annual 12 day ride we always put fresh tires on all bikes.


Can I rent one of your bikes during my vacation in the Philippines?
As a general rule, no. Our bikes are intended to be used on our tours and we are not set up to be a general rental operation, nor do we want to be.

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About the riding

How far do we ride per day?
Depends very much on the road and weather conditions, and the overall group ability. Usually we do 80-150 km of trail riding per day or 150-300 km on tarmac.  Like every dirt rider we like to wick it up a bit at times, but are not in this to race. This event is all about the end game, and getting back in one piece.

We may sometimes ride more than 8-10 hours a day, when required to meet our schedule. Of course we take breaks (for fuel, water, food, rest, repairs, etc) and we certainly don’t ride this long every day. Some days we may only ride for 4 hrs, while other days we won’t ride at all.

You must agree to riding at night as may be required to maintain our schedule.   On the longer tours expect 2 or 3 days where we may still be riding after dark.   Typically night riding would consist of tarmac roads with light to medium traffic or 1st & 2nd gear riding through the jungle to complete a trail.
How big of a group will I be riding with?
We try to make each group no larger than 8 riders.   Other tour groups consistently run 15-20 (or more!) riders in the group, we see it all the time.  We would rather you AND us have more fun with a smaller group size.

Also on our trips we will have several locals riding with us which really changes the feel of the ride as we are not just a bunch of westerners riding in a foreign country, we will be a mixed group of westerners and locals travelling around the country and we get to interact with the locals on a daily basis, and it is probably this fact more than anything else that makes our rides a unique event compared to what other companies can offer.
How much riding experience must I have to ride with you?
We DO NOT take complete beginners. We expect all riders to have had some off-road riding experience on a dirtbike. You need to have complete understanding of all the controls of a dirtbike, especially the brakes! Even if you are a seasoned street rider we still suggest getting in at least a few hours practice on a dirt bike before joining our ride.

We do our very best to only group together riders of similar riding ability. We want all of our guests to have a great time and not feel like they rode too easy terrain or too difficult terrain.
Ok, so just how dangerous is it?
We have an excellent safety record. We are extremely safety conscious. We have some rules of the road we expect all riders to obey and we always try to work together as a team to help each other be safe. But it's dirt bike riding, people crash, it's part of the sport.

It's only as dangerous as you make it. Ride within your ability and you'll be fine.

It's not a race, it's a trail ride.

You do not want to plan on any medical assistance being available in remote areas nor should you count on being evacuated in a hurry if injured. DO NOT assume a helicopter will be sent for you, it WILL NOT.

Our staff does have First Aid training but we DO NOT claim to be EMTs or doctors and we DO NOT claim to be able to "fix" you if you get injured.

Philippines has excellent doctors and medical facilities in the major cities but the simple truth is that we ride in many remote places and you DO NOT want to get seriously injured there.

Any tour group that makes "feel good" claims about your safety or being able to easily evacuate you from the jungle is NOT being honest with you.

We recommend that all riders carry travel insurance that will cover you in the event of a medical emergency. Before you ride with us we also require that you supply us with the contact information of someone authorized to make decisions for you in the event you are injured and require emergency care.

As stated above, we have an excellent safety record and injuries encountered on our tours have been little more than bruises and sprains. However, we recommend that you do not risk the complications involved if something happens and you are not prepared.

Please read the above paragraphs again.

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Weather

What kind of weather can I expect on this trip?
The weather in the Philippines changes dramatically and quickly. You could begin a day riding in gorgeous sunshine and light breezes and only a few hours later be slogging through an afternoon monsoon.   This area of Asia does not have a well defined “dry” versus “rainy” season.  The season of the least amount of rain is normally April through June, but keep in mind these are tropical islands and very susceptible to sudden weather changes.  Temperatures at sea level tend to be hot and humid (30+ degrees Celsius or high 80s to mid 90s Farenheit).  Up in the mountains the temperature can drop quite a bit and be quite comfortable.  Rain encountered high in the mountains can be quite chilly while at the lower altitudes it can feel like a warm shower.  


The weather conditions are really a crap shoot every trip.   We can only get a good idea of the conditions about 5 days prior to each adventure. However, we generally do not cancel a trip due to weather unless it is expected to be particularly bad.

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Money Matters

Can I use Dollars/Euros/Pounds/etc to pay for my ride?
We are sorry, but NO. All of our prices are given in Philippine Pesos. The currency in use in the Philippines is Pesos and as such we expect and require payment in Pesos. You should plan to bring Pesos when paying for your ride. To convert to your local currency please see: http://www.xe.com/currency/php-philippine-peso

The money changers at the airport are usually not giving the best rates, so if you want to change your money after arrival it is best to visit one of the changers away from the airport.
Should I bring extra cash, travelers' checks or credit cards?
The local currency is the Philippine Peso, and foreign money is not accepted.  You should change enough of your money as you think you will need into Pesos before beginning the ride.   Once we get outside of the main cities ATMs are few and far between and credit card acceptance is spotty.

The only things we don't cover are your bar tab, phone calls, purchases (like souvenirs), medical treatment, and night clubs.

If you don't drink alcohol then you will need less cash. If you do drink, well, you be the judge on that.

Tipping the support crew is always appreciated..

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Rules

Are there any rules?
Yes, we do have some rules, mostly for safety reasons:
       
  • Unless directly told otherwise, stay behind the leader. This is NOT negotiable. In certain sections of the trip we travel in areas where there are many walking trails and ox-cart tracks and as there are no signs or people, and possibly no petrol or water available, we don’t have the time or resources to go tracking down riders who decide to lead the pack then lose their way.
  • If, after 15 minutes, you do not see any other fellow riders, stop and wait.  If you were slow through a particular section and lost sight of the bike in front of you and are not sure which way we went STOP! Do not take any turns that are not marked by another rider!!   And make sure you and your bike are in an obvious place where you can be seen (not off the road, or in a shop, or under a tree) and stay with your bike and listen out for us.  DO NOT GO LOOKING FOR US!  We will come and find you.   We cannot stress this strongly enough.   We have had several riders in the past take it upon themselves to “take a shortcut” or turn when the rest of the group didn’t turn and we spent several hours looking for them.  If you don’t roll up when the group stops we don’t know if your bike is broken, you crashed, etc.  You must follow these rules so we know where to find you.
  • Always ride with your headlight on when you’re not in a town. Having your headlights on is a great way to be seen by other vehicles and we’ll be able to keep track of riders in the distance.
  • Let one of the guides know when your drinking water is running low (preferably before we leave a major town or village). Bottled water is difficult to get in some of the remote areas, so you need to let us know you need more BEFORE we trek several hours into the bush.
  • Bring a sense of humour.
  • We reserve the right to terminate your ride at any time with no refund if we observe conduct that we determine to be unsafe, abusive or inappropriate. This includes mistreatment of the bike or disrespecting the locals, your guides, or the other riders. Ride conservatively. This is not a 20 minute moto! The bike has to survive the trip so the next customer can use it. Running the engine at the rev limiter is not going to help it live. If we observe behavior that can compromise the reliability of the equipment or harm our relationships with the locals and/or our vendors your trip can end immediately with no refund. Behave accordingly!

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Gear/Riding Kit

What do I wear?
Most riders usually wear a motocross jersey, knee pads, riding pants, and obviously the required boots, helmets and gloves. We can provide you with helmets (limited availability) and gloves upon request, but you’ll need to let us know in advance what size you need. However, we strongly recommend you bring your own. The local helmets are made in Asia, and while these are good for protecting your head from insects, branches and the sun, I’m not sure they would pass the standards test back home (they are glued together in the middle ). Plus if you have a rather large head, you’ll definitely need to bring your own as sizes are smaller here.

If you arrange it with us in advance you could buy a pair of second-hand motocross boots or helmet on eBay (there are many at reasonable prices) and we will be happy to buy them from you at the end of the ride. Please clear this with us BEFORE the ride.

If you want to wear body armour and elbow pads that’s up to you, although it does get hot riding during the day. Please do NOT bring one of those mesh jackets with built-in body armour because you will die of heat exhaustion. Nobody has ever lasted more than two days on one of our rides wearing a mesh body armour suit as they are too hot.

If you must wear body armour, get the plastic roost deflectors as they have good air flow and don’t trap the heat in.
What do I need to bring?
The following gear is considered mandatory. If you do not have these items you will be compromising your own safety and we reserve the right to prevent you from riding with us:
 
  • A hydration pack of some sort. This normally consists of a plastic bladder that you can put in your backpack and has a hose that you can drink from while riding. Camelbak is a popular brand but any will do. Check out camelbak.com You will want at least 2 litre capacity and should always be carried in your backpack. Water is NOT to be attached to or carried on your bike under any circumstances!
  • real motorcycle boots, preferably stiff motocross boots. Army or work boots are not acceptable.
  • helmet. DOT or SNELL approved if possible. No helmet, no ride. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • gloves
  • goggles
  • For rides other than the day rides you will need a medium to large backpack. You will need this to carry at least one day worth of clothes and toiletries. Pack carefully as we can make no guarantees about when or if you will be near a store to purchase any missing items. But keep in mind the golden rule of he who travels lightest, travel furthest. You should also allow space to carry two extra water bottles we will buy along the way on certain sections of the tour. On the longer rides we may ask riders to carry spare tubes so space should be allowed for this. A small fender pack is normally acceptable for the tubes if you really need the extra space in your backpack.
 
 
The following items are optional but STRONGLY recommended:
 
  • photocopy of your passport and current visa.
  • pocket knife or leatherman style multi-tool
  • light rain gear
  • sunglasses
  • copy of your travel insurance details
  • personal medicines
  • waterproof bags for protecting valuables and important documents, eg wallet, papers, etc
  • sunblock or other sun protection lotion
  • flashlight (torch) or headlamp
  • mosquito repellent
  • several pairs of socks. MX or riding socks are ideal, wollen socks are also good. nylon are not desirable and usually cause blisters
  • emergency space blanket (of the compact plastic foil type)
  • a cheap watch or something to tell time with

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Water and Food

Is the water safe to drink?
Every foreigner that visits Asia will get sick at some point, it is inevitable. Your body simply is not accustomed to the bacteria found in Asia the way it is accustomed to the bacteria present in your food and water back home. To minimize this risk we do recommend that you use bottled water whenever possible, even for brushing your teeth. Most of the places we stay at will have water available for that purpose so you will not need to use the tap water. If in doubt at a restaurant, stick to soft drinks with no ice or beer and you should be OK.

For the ride you should always keep your camelback full and only use bottled water for filling. Bottled water is not available in many of the villages we ride through so it is critical that you begin the day with a full load of water. It can be hot and some sections of the ride are a bit technical so you can go through a lot of water in a short time. You should always try to keep your camelback full and alert us if you need more before we head deep into the bush where none is available.
Ok what about the food?
Filipino food is a diverse and rich melding of several different cultures, but bringing their own unique spin to many dishes. If you have an open mind and a palate that is willing to try different things, you should do fine. Variety isn't a problem in the larger towns and cities with many options available including fast food and western dishes if Asian cuisine isn't doing it for you.

However, in the more remote areas the only food available is from local "Carendarias" or meals cooked just for us by the locals which consist of filipinio dishes exclusively. On the longer rides there may be several days where this is our only option. When we camp we eat what we bring with us from the previous town, so that comes down to whatever you are comfortable carrying with you all day.

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Lodging

Where should I stay when I arrive in Cebu?
Pretty much depends on your budget. You can stay in an economical but nice place with air conditioning and hot showers or you can go high end with the Marriott, Marco Polo or one of the many other hotels and resorts within Cebu City.

If you are coming to Cebu specifically for one our rides (and especially the Island Extreme trip!) we will request that you stay in our recommended lodging or something equally nearby. This is so that ride preparations and information transfer can take place easily before we leave for the trip. If you are staying elsewhere in Cebu prior to the trip, try to make arrangements to be in nearby lodging at least for the night before the ride. See our resources page HERE for links to our recommended local lodging.
What about accomodations on the ride?
Most of our stops are going to be the "nice but economical" motel/pension house/guest house/small resort style of lodging. They will be small but well maintained and comfortable. Air conditioning and hot showers will be had when available but some of the locations are fairly remote so do not expect five star accomodations. "Comfortable and clean" are the key words here, not lap of luxury. All rooms are double occupancy. If you desire a room for yourself this can be arranged subject to availability but you will be resonsible for the cost.

Our longer trips generally include a few nights of camping under the stars.

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