5 Days in Clark, Subic and Bataan – Itinerary for First Timers

If you have ever wondered whether 5 days is enough to explore Clark, our answer is yes! Even though we want more vacation time (well, who doesn’t?), sometimes we just have to make the most of what we have. 😃

This ultimate itinerary that I’m going to share is filled with the most famed historical spots, popular tourist attractions, top food choices, and countless other amazing things to do just in 5 days. Hopefully, this post will help you plan for the best five days in Clark.

Singapore to Clark via Cebu Pacific Air

I’m sure you’ve heard of Cebu Pacific Air (CEB), the largest airline in the Philippine air transportation industry, that has made exploring the Philippines more affordable and accessible for over 150 million passengers. The airline also operates an extensive network of 26 international destinations spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Guam.

Known for its very Filipino culture of hospitality, the airline currently flies up to 35 times weekly on 5 direct routes from Singapore to the Philippines: Manila, Clark, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao. You’ll be thrilled to know that the lowest CEB year-round all-in fares to the Philippines starts from just SGD 68! Woohoo! 😆

Cebu Pacific Air

This was our first experience with CEB – it was so nice, no delays and very comfortable. First thing that caught my attention is their comfortable all-leather seats with generous armrests and leg room space. There is no in-flight entertainment, but the crew surprised us with their in-flight quiz (it was hilarious too!).

Edison is a big fan of in-flight meals, hahah! CEB features some dishes which are exclusive for pre-order such as Chicken Kebab, Stir-fried Mixed Seafood in Salted Egg Sauce and Beef Pares. They are totally delicious! Fly hungry or let the in-flight meals satisfy you? Of course, we chose the latter! 😀

Cebu Pacific Air in-flight meal
Chicken Kebab | Cebu Pacific Air in-flight meal

Cebu Pacific Air in-flight meal
Beef Pares | Cebu Pacific Air in-flight meal

Introduction to Clark

If you have not heard of Clark, here’s a quick introduction. Also known as Clark Freeport Zone, Clark is a redevelopment of a former US airbase located in the Pampanga province that is almost as large as Singapore. It offers many places of interests and a host of events and activities to a wide spectrum of tourists and visitors.

For those interested in US history, Clark offers an interesting glimpse into life on a US airbase, including a charming animal cemetery for military working dogs. Museums, duty-free shopping and adventure parks provide entertainment to travellers of all ages. For adventurous ones, Mount Pinatubo and Philippine’s capital Manila are easily within driving reach. The city is also famous for its hot air balloons and hot springs. For foodie lovers, you’ll be thrilled to know that Pampanga is the culinary capital of the Philippines.

5D4N Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Singapore – Clark

1655H: Depart Singapore via Cebu Pacific Air 5J 538
2045H: Arrive Clark, dinner at Wooden Table Restaurant, check-in to Widus Hotel and Casino

Day 2: Clark

0700H: Breakfast
0800H: Depart for Puning Hot Spring (travel time: ~35 mins)
1200H: Lunch at Puning Hot Spring
1400H: Clark Tour, 4D Theatre Museum, Nayong Pilipino
1800H: Dinner at Rainforest Kitchenne

Day 3: Bataan

0700H: Breakfast
0800H: Depart for Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar (travel time: ~2 hours)
1200H: Lunch at Las Casas
1300H: Start of Heritage Tour
1600H: Back to Clark (travel time: ~2 hours)
1800H: Dinner at Jollibee
1700H: Shopping at local shopping centre

Day 4: Subic

0800H: Breakfast
0900H: Depart for Subic (travel time: ~1 hour)
1000H: Arrive at Zoobic Safari
1100H: Depart for Ocean Adventure
1300H: Lunch at Ocean Adventure
1600H: Back to Angeles City for Pampanga Food & Heritage Tour and Bale-Baleyan
1800H: Dinner at a local restaurant and Halo-Halo at Downtown Café

Day 5: Clark – Singapore

0800H: Breakfast
1000H: Depart hotel for Clark International Airport (travel time: ~15 mins)
1230H: Depart Clark via Cebu Pacific Air 5J 537
1610H: Arrive Singapore

Accommodation

In Clark, there are many hotels with casino (may the luck be with us!). We stayed at Widus Hotel and Casino, which is just 15 mins away from Clark International Airport. The hotel is within 2 km of Clark Freeport Zone, Fort Stotsenburg and Nayong Pilipino. PAGCOR Mimosa Casino and Mimosa Golf and Country Club are also within 3 km.

Family Junior Suite | Widus Hotel and Casino
Family Junior Suite | Widus Hotel and Casino

We stayed in a Family Junior Suite in Tower One. The room measures 43.5 square meters with a king-size bed, a single bed and a trundle bed in the adjoining living room with bathroom and bathtub and 8” shower head. It’s also furnished with a 32-inch flat screen cable TV, coffee and tea station, a mini-kitchen, 6 cubic feet refrigerator and a microwave. It can accommodate up to four persons, which is a perfect choice for families.

The room rate is PHP 5700 per night including breakfast (~ SG$146). It’s SO affordable, you probably won’t believe it LOL! 😃

Widus Hotel and Casino
Swimming Pool | Widus Hotel and Casino

Casino Widus is huge with 4,500 square meters of Las Vegas-style gaming space featuring 342 slot machines and 53 gaming tables with a 24hour food and beverage service. The hotel also has an outdoor swimming pool with slides, pool bar, qym, spa, business center and sundry shop.

Additionally, the hotel also provides free shuttle to various places in Clark including shopping centres like Robinsons and SM City Clark, as well as Jollibee and 7-Eleven. I’d say that this is a very affordable and convenient hotel to stay if you plan to visit Clark.

Trip Highlights

1. Puning Hot Spring
Puning Hot Spring
Puning Hot Spring

Puning Hot Spring is the attraction that I like best. The hot spring is totally different from what we’ve experienced in Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan. Complete with sand spa and mud pack, I’m sure you can’t find this unique attraction elsewhere in the world.

The hot spring is located in a rural area of Angeles City, it took about 35 mins drive from our hotel. From its base, we took a 4×4 Jeep to get to the Hot Spring. It was a 30-min of awesome ride, far more exciting than a rollercoaster, with splashes of water as the jeep passed through narrow river gorges. The beautiful lahar landscape took me by surprise too.

Puning Hot Spring has several pools with different temperature (hot, warm and cold). All of them are outdoor (some are sheltered, don’t worry!), so you can truly enjoy the beautiful surroundings as you soak. The best thing here is – you don’t need to be naked LOL! You can wear your own clothes or change into the clothes provided. And it’s a mixed gender hot spring! You can dip with your entire family. I love how family-friendly it is.

After the hot spring, we went for a sand spa and mud pack. We were buried in the sand (made of ash remnants) for 15 mins, followed by a whole-body mud pack (volcano ashes mixed with eucalyptus). The whole experience was SO relaxing and enjoyable!

☑ Tips:

Bring an extra set of clothes to change. Bath towel and a soap bar are provided. Bring your own shampoo and sunblock if needed. Wear slippers or waterproof shoes. Bring a waterproof case for your camera / mobile phone if you wish to take photos as they might get wet from splashes of water.

2. Clark Museum and 4D Theatre
Clark Museum and 4D Theatre
Clark Museum and 4D Theatre

One of the things that make Clark a unique destination is its historical roots (since it was a former US airbase and a big part of post-Spanish history). Clark Museum and 4D Theatre hosts a large collection of the different items that have held influence in Clark’s history, heritage, as well as culture and even Pampanga as a whole.

The varied displays of different artifacts and memorabilia are of good quality and relevance which increases the enjoyability and uniqueness of the museum. It’s a good learning experience for Edison who is very interested in World War Two and military history.

On the other hand, I enjoyed the 4D Theater featuring a 20-minute documentary film entitled “Risen from the Ashes” that highlights Clark’s rich history from past to the present. The theater offers a one-of-a-kind experience which would allow visitors to view the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 with spectacular in-theater effects including wind, bubbles and mist to add a breath-taking fourth dimension.

3. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a unique Philippine-Spanish heritage site located in the town of Bagac, Bataan that features 27 antique mansions built in the Spanish colonial period, from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

These mansions were transported brick-by-brick and plank-by-plank from different parts of Luzon to this resort. I’m SO impressed with the careful restoration from their dilapidated state to their current pristine look. Casa Bizantina, for example, was originally built in 1890 in Binondo, Manila. In 2009, it was dismantled and transferred to Las Casas, and was refurbished into a luxury accommodation.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Getting on a horse-drawn carriage was an amazing first-time experience for us, I’ve never thought I could hear the sound of horseshoes striking the cobblestone streets. It felt so surreal! Despite the sweltering heat, I had a fun time photographing the beautiful mansions in the heritage site.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Inside a mansion | Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

☑ Tips:

You need to remove your footwear when entering a casa (as a sign of respect to the owners). Wear sandals that can be easily taken off for convenience.

4. Zoobic Safari

Zoobic Safari

Zoobic Safari is the only Tiger Safari in the Philippines located in the heart of the forest of Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Far from the conventional zoo, Zoobic Safari gives visitors a chance to meet these wonderful animals up close and personal with their trained tour guides.

Zoobic Safari

We had our closest encounter with tigers, it was an extraordinary experience for us! First of all, we got a photo opportunity with a 1-year old tiger cub. Then, we went inside a jeep, fully covered with grills while driving into their den. The tour guide offered chicken meat to attract the tigers to our jeep for a close encounter and have them jumped onto our jeep. Wow! 😲

5. Ocean Adventure
Ocean Adventure Subic Bay
Can you see the dolphins?

Ocean Adventure Subic Bay is the first Southeast Asia’s only open water Marine Park. The animals here live and play in a natural setting of clear water with other marine life, coral reefs and a clean white sandy beach.

It’s also an all-weather park with covered walkways, sheltered stadiums and indoor facilities that provides a comfortable experience, be it sunshine or rain. The three main parts of the park are the Sea Lion Show, Whale Presentation and Discovery Aquarium. We enjoyed watching the Dolphin Show too!

Getting Around Clark

Visitors arriving in Clark International Airport are literally minutes from golf, resorts, shopping, restaurants and a variety of recreational facilities. The easiest way to get around Clark is to use GrabCar or to hire a tourist driver for a full-day tour. Alternatively, there are various travel & tour services such as AMEGA. Upon your arrival, don’t forget to pick up some leaflets in front of the Tourist Information Counter.

Wow, that’s the end of my super loooong post! 🤣 ’ll be sharing more about these attractions on my blog, so please stay tuned. You can also find more of our Clark travel photos on our Instagram @ourlittlesmarties #smartiesphilippinesadventures and our Flick album.

Last but not least, we would like to thank Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Department of Tourism for their kind 💖hospitality and for giving us an opportunity to share the beautiful Clark with our dear readers.

 

Disclosure: This is part of a 5D4N Media Familiarization Tour to Clark-Subic-Bataan with Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Department of Tourism.

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