March 01, 2014

Segway Tour of Intramuros

October 15, 2013. For lack of better things to do on a lazy, holiday Tuesday, we decided on a spur of the moment visit to Intramuros. I've read about the "Electric Chariots Tour" on a groupon site a while back and thought the kids would love to try it. I showed them photos of the Segway and the ATV and they  both got excited to try the ATV (they don't know how to ride a bike yet and a vehicle with 4 wheels seems safer for them).

I called White Knight Tours and booked a 3pm schedule. Their website says that the minimum height for for a participant is 130cm and minimum weight is 45kg. This they say is to ensure that the kid can reach the handle of the Segway and weighs enough to control it. My skinny daughter absolutely do not meet both requirements (kinda short on the height part and grossly below the minimum weight). But I was informed by Josh of White Knight Tours that they have had guests who are as young as 7 years old and he assured me that my tiny daughter can be accommodated. 

White Knight Tours' office is located inside White Knight Hotel Intramuros, right in front of the iconic San Agustin Church. It was a weekday so parking was not a problem. 

We met Josh, our tour guide and immediately suited up for our tour. Donning our helmets, knee pads and elbow pads, we were ready to listen to the briefing. 

All ears during the orientation.

It was all our first time to ride (and actually touch) a Segway. Josh said the Segway is easier to control compared to the ATV, so we'll all be using this one. 

First thing to remember is that it's all about balance. If you put your weight forward, you'll move forward, if you put your weight at the back, you'll move backward. To stop, all you have to do is put your weight in the middle. Sounds easy piecy right? Surprisingly it is! To her delight and to my relief - my little daughter passed the practical exam so she can ride her own Segway and of course she'll be assigned an assistant for safety reasons.

All set to go.

First stop is to go around the Plaza San Luis Complex. Moving in one line, we went around the famous fountain, curiously taking in the sights of Spanish-era Manila and trying to keep our balance so as not to fall flat on our faces. We saw a group teenagers in costumes (probably filming something for school) and it added to the old Manila charm of the place.

Follow the leader.

Next stop, San Agustin Church. This is where we actually go out of the safety of the Plaza and meet more people and cars on the streets. It was a bumpy ride at first but we were all getting the hang of it by this time.

Thumbs up for a great tour.
Next on the list is the old Ateneo de Manila school which is now partly covered by the DOT's clamshell - a site for regional exhibits and events. 

We then proceeded to the Galeria Delos Presidencia which is literally a gallery of the past presidents of the Philippines. My son was so engrossed in reading all the facts about the past presidents and he kept asking our guide with a lot of questions. 

Curious tourist.

We continued going around the walled city passing Quartel de Santa Lucia, Victoria Plaza, Baluarte de San Diego and the Muralla Wall. The tour lasts for roughly an hour.

You can ask one of the friendly guides to hold the camera for you and snap away (which is what I did). This way, you don't have to worry about maintaining your balance while taking pictures while watching out for cars on the street. 

All in all it was a great experience for everyone, especially the kids. They really enjoyed it and was even planning to come back along with their friends and classmates.

White Knight Tours
Plaza San Luis Complex 
Gen. Luna St. cor. Urdaneta St., Manila
Tel: +63 2 5266539 / +63 2 5266181