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Rice terraces tour - driver

British Columbia
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14 posts
1 review
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Rice terraces tour - driver

My husband and I used Arnold Sanchez as a driver when we did a 5 day rice terrace tour in February 2013. We left from Manila and drove to Banaue in a day. We stayed there for two nights and did a tour to Batad (which Arnold arranged for us as he does not have a vehicle to make it that far – caution: EXTREMELY bumpy road!!!). The views of Batad are incredible, well worth the drive and hike! I am somewhat out of shape and found the hike very difficult, but it was awesome. We then drove to Sagada and stayed there for two nights. Arnold was able to arrange a place for us to stay which he had access to and which I had not seen in my personal research of places to stay. We enjoyed Sagada, although our original purpose in going there was to tour the cave, we decided after discussion with Arnold that this was something just not suited to us. So instead Arnold planned other things for us to see and do. Arnold was a great source of local information and was always honest in his opinions. We then drove to Baguio and stayed there for a night to break up the trip back to Manila. I found it very difficult to plan this portion of our Philippines trip as there was a lack of drivers and tours that offered what I really wanted. Arnold was the only person I could find, and I’m SO glad I found him. He was fantastic in so many ways – a good driver (especially by the Philippines standards, he genuinely cared about our safety and didn’t take crazy risks), a really great person to talk to (who could sense when we wanted quiet time, but also when we wanted to chat – my husband loves to talk and him and Arnold had so many great discussions and laughs), and he was very fair in his price. I would highly recommend him! His contact email is arnoldvsanchez@yahoo.com. Feel free to message me if you want any further details.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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22,914 posts
1,621 reviews
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1. Re: Rice terraces tour - driver

JRR30 thanks for sharing.

I have used him for different trips but not Banaue...YET... but I agree with your comments. Trustworthy, safe driver and always ensuring that the client enjoys and has a positive experience. My children and wife were very comfortable with him.

Tommo

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines
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10,846 posts
1,983 reviews
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2. Re: Rice terraces tour - driver

I have also used TA member touristdriver on three occasions, including to Tacloban (Leyte Island in the Visayas) and Biliran Island and had exactly the same experience with Arnold.

His most impressive qualities are safety, knowledge about local attractions and importantly, he seems to know when his passengers want a bit of quiet name - there's no incessant talking as one might get on a coach tour of Europe (perish the thought - not something I'd ever do).

Arnold has always arrived on time or early. He also hires good quality vehicles that so far have not broken down when I've been on board - touch wood.

touristdriver does not take risks along arterial roads or highways - but he knows how to zip in and out of traffic safely, difficult as this is with Philippines' mix of trucks, cars, motorcycles, cyclists, jeepneys and motor or pedal powered tricycles. The latter, however, slow every driver down if they are two or three kilometres out of a town and there's constant traffic in the opposite direction on a single lane each way arterial road.

In short, I cannot recommend the man too highly. I know that my sentiment is shared by a few others on TA.

JRR30, could you please do us a favour and submit formal TA reviews of the accommodation and restaurants that you patronised along with the tourist attractions you visited? Many thanks.

Edited: 25 August 2013, 04:33
Makati, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines
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2,418 posts
431 reviews
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3. Re: Rice terraces tour - driver

Arnold is a very busy man nowadays and it's no surprise given the growing number of excellent reviews for his brand of service. For those who may be so lucky to get a slot in his very busy schedule, he also gives very reliable recommendations from his peers. Because he was already booked, he provided a driver for a friend who wanted to do a tour on the last minute. My friend was very impressed with the professionalism of driver/guide Arnold recommended.

Luzon, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
Level Contributor
16,992 posts
248 reviews
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4. Re: Rice terraces tour - driver

I have never used his services but the 2 TA members that sought my recommendation were also very happy with their rice terraces experience with Arnold.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
22,914 posts
1,621 reviews
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5. Re: Rice terraces tour - driver

TA has reinstated this thread. Very relevant for the Banaue Forum for thoses looking for a driver.

Tommo

Ottawa
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142 posts
98 reviews
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6. Re: Rice terraces tour - driver

... and this is very important: he knows where all the best coffee shops are, and will always stop promptly, safely, when someone hollers "Photograph!"

We've driven ourselves in the Philippines and it is not for the faint of heart. If you want to enjoy the scenery, a driver like Arnold is the way to go.

Perpignan, France
1 post
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7. Re: Rice terraces tour - driver

Hi,

We had a trip with Arnold, What a great man !

Always watching at your confort and safety, he have all our confidence

he's a friend now, I'm realy hoping to see him at our next trip

Cyril and Lynn

Rome, Italy
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2 posts
74 reviews
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8. Re: Rice terraces tour - driver

All the things people are saying about Arnold are spot on: trust-worthy, friendly, careful, thoughtful and the list of positives goes on and on. You really can't go wrong with Arnold. The one thing I want to add to what others have said about the great service Arnold provides both before and during a trip is what he did for me after the trip was finished and the fee was paid. I knew of a book I really wanted to have, but the only shop in Segada that sells it was closed. With greatest faith and confidence, I left money with Arnold who gladly offered to buy the book for me during his next visit to Segada and to mail it to me. It's a wonderful book (Masferré: A Tribute to the Philippine Cordillera) and I love knowing that I have it only because my good friend, Arnold, made it happen!

Madrid, Madrid...
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56 posts
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9. Re: Rice terraces tour - driver

Can anyone share a price of this guide ? I come with night bus to Banaue, but definatelly want to see Batad. I don't mind joining the group, so the price would be much better, but would really need aprox. price.

thanx !

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Philippines
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11,730 posts
337 reviews
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10. Re: Rice terraces tour - driver

Who is "this"?