Touring Intramuros in Manila is usually either by foot, bicyle or the more dramatic kalesa (horse-drawn carriage) but now a new tour launched by Segway Philippines and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Authority (TIEZA) adds a new mode of transportation to the list: the Segway personal transporter.
When the Spaniards ruled Intramuros they probably never imagined people zipping about its cobblestone paths on these battery-powered two-wheel piece of machinery, but soon the ancient walls of the historic city will be peppered with these futuristic vehicles, which Segway Philippines points out are an environmentally-friendly way to move around.
“Segway works with commercial and municipal organizations to realize the benefits of zero-emission personal transportation that increase productivity and utilize existing infrastructure. Together with our customers, we help government leaders create the framework to adopt these new technologies and safely and wisely integrate them into society,” it said.
For the Navigator Tour, participants are taught to use the Segway and oriented with safety guidelines before starting the tour, which can last for 30 to 60 minutes and can go as far as 3km to 6km.
The tour will take place along the walls of the Club Intramuros Golf Course, where Intramuros points of interest can be seen: the Palacio del Gobernador, Manila Cathedral, Miguel Hidalgo Monument, Baluarte de San Andres, tunnels leading to Fort Santiago, and even one of the cells where national hero Jose Rizal was detained.
Guides accredited by the Department of Tourism will accompany riders during the tour. Up to eight riders can be accommodated per tour.
Tours are contained within the Intramuros goft club for now but will soon extend to cover other areas within the Intramuros complex, Rizal Park and Manila Bay.
Rates are at P1,499 (about US $35) per head for the 30 minute tour, and P1,999 per head for the 60 minute tour. A 20 percent discount is available until October. Book through Segway Philippines.
Segway Philippines, Club Intramuros Golf Course, Bonifacio Drive, Intramuros, Manila; +632 523 1856, +63916 785 6577;