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“See Manila in a different way” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Smokey Tours

Smokey Tours
Ranked #1 of 27 Tours in Manila
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Visit one of the biggest slums in Manila, bike around Intramuros, haggle and shop in Binondo and Chinatown, see how people live among the dead and understand lives of women in prison...These are all possibilities of what you can do with Smokey Tours! Our mission is to show our guests "the other side of Manila" with safe, genuine and eye-opening tours while simultaneously aiding a local NGO. Smokey Tours offers tours around Metro Manila: 1) The Bicycle Tour through Intramuros, Luneta and the surrounding areas including a bike down Roxas Boulevard so you can experience Manila Bay. 2) The Market Tour through Binondo and Chinatown. 3) The Slum Tour - our most popular tour that goes through the slums of Manila, wherein profits are donated to the local organization CREST. 4) The Cemetery Tour showing you the lives of the people living in one of Manila's cemeteries and introduces you to their beliefs and superstitions. 5) Visit the Correctional Institute of Women in Manila, understand women's lives and see their hope.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“See Manila in a different way”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2014

Great organization. Very friendly staff and a perfect way to see the city and some of it's rougher edges. Great value for money and Smokey Tours uses their profits to the benefit of the communities you visit. The tour gives you a wider perspective on the history and the culture of Manila.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
7 Thank yonahummels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmokeyToursTeam, Manager at Smokey Tours, responded to this review, February 24, 2015
Dear Yonahummels,

We are thankful for your positive review! Yes indeed, this tour gives you a wider perspective on the history and the culture of Manila.

Our goal is to give everyone a unique experience and different side of Manila! We hope to see you again in one of our other Smokey Tours!

Warm greetings,
Smokey Tours Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Other side of Manila”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2014

A friend told me about smokey tours. I did the biketour yesterday. It was an amazing experience to bike through the metropool and see the 'real' life of 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 tourguide 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!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank Kavata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmokeyToursTeam, Manager at Smokey Tours, responded to this review, February 24, 2015
Hello Kavata,

Thank you for sharing your reviews with us, we are so glad to hear that you had an amazing experience to bike through the metro pool. And at the same time you was able see the 'real' life of Manila combined with some historic stories.

Also thanks for praising our tour leader/ tour guide we really appreciate it!

Warm greetings,
Smokey Tours Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“GREAT SATISFACTION”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2014

The trip to Smokey Mountain has been a real eye-opener. This slum is totally different from the slum in Mumbai. I would not hesitate to recommend Smokey Tours to everybodyl for its effort in helping the poor in Manila. It deserves a 5 star ranking.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
10 Thank Kakku2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmokeyToursTeam, Manager at Smokey Tours, responded to this review, February 24, 2015
Hi Kakku,

Your feedback will surely be another inspiration for us to continuously strive on the best kind we can when it comes to this kind of tour.

We are really great to hear that you would not hesitate to recommend Smokey Tours to everybody!
Thank you so much!

Warm greetings,
Smokey Tours Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippines
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Eye-opening experiential tour of Manila's slums”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2014

The tour of Smokey Mountain in Manila was an eye-opener—something I'd recommend even to fellow Filipinos.

The tour involved walking around the neighborhood of Smokey Mountain 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.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
8 Thank pnc_148
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmokeyToursTeam, Manager at Smokey Tours, responded to this review, February 24, 2015
Dear Pnc_148,

We are thankful for your response! Even though you did not enjoy the slum tour, we are still grateful to hear that this kind of tour was meaningful and insightful for you.

We really appreciate that you would recommend this to people who wants to gain a deeper understanding of one of Manila's poorest neighborhoods. Thanks!

Kind regards,
Smokey Tours Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“The best true travel experience you could ever try in Manila”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2014

Being a Traveler and a blogger, when i visit a new city for the first time i don't want just to see the main tourist attractions but also dig inside the various aspects of people's lifestyle. The smokey tour provide a true insight of what being poor in Manila looks like, and it does it with extreme professionalism and kindness, taking care of the security aspect as well.

You wont have to worry about anything whilst exploring the poorest areas of the city, we felt secure and welcomed by the people at all times and there were also police officers around to ensure that the tour went smoothly.

The experience itself is very emotional and shocking, our tour guide Remy Cabello rocked! she took time explaining the various aspects of the life in the slums, so that we knew exactly what we were looking at. She asked the local permission to take pictures inside their houses and allow us to talk and interact with these amazing people.

If you have to chose only one activity to do in Manila, this is it. I think it's our responsibility, as privileged citizens, to witness and report what is going on and how people survive in very hard conditions, without losing their beautiful smiles!

An important part of the visit is seeing the community that helps homeless children and give them a roof and basic medical first help. I found it very touching and i wish i could have helped more than i did by just giving them a donation.

Trust me on this:This experience will enrich you as nothing else will. Just looking at the kids, their smiles, their happiness in seeing us with them, their hope and the young mother's strength is a life changing experience.

It put everything into a different perspective,: our life, our constant complain about non-existent first world problem, compared to real struggles will definitely open your eyes.

It's been over one month now, and i honestly still think about the Smokey mountain tour very often as it deeply changed my view on life.

One thing is seeing these things on TV, but experiencing them first hand is a totally different experience that goes deeply into the rout of everyone conscience.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO ANYONE!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
8 Thank CleliaMattana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmokeyToursTeam, Manager at Smokey Tours, responded to this review, April 20, 2015
Dear Clelia Mattana,

What a wonderful description of our Slum Tour! We really appreciate that you want to share your thoughts and emotions about our tour. Good to hear that we contribute to 'an other side of Manila' experience!

Hope to see again someday in one ot our other tours!

Warm regards,

Smokey Tours Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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