Home >> Road Adventures >> Bicol Express train : the review

We made a lightning trip to Bicol a few weeks ago. Part of the crazy plan was to go by land ( even though we pretty much live beside the airport). Here it went: bus to Legaspi City (10 hours!) and on the way back, catch the night Bicol Express train departing from Naga (which is about 2 hours from Legaspi).

In EDSA Pasay, we caught the DLTB Bus to Legaspi which turned out to be hellish. It didn’t help that we were at the tailend of the bus which advertised itself as having wi-fi but really had none!

Ride was so bumpy all throughout that I actually savored the thought of enduring 30 minutes of plane turbulence (the thing I tried to escape from, in the first place). Now I know why there are so many accidents involving buses. Drivers overtake at every opportunity and cruise along recklessly. We were relieved to arrive at our destination in one piece 🙂

P.S.at this point, I wouldn’t recommend travelling in the Philippines by land for long-distance destinations, and especially with those buses! It’s still faster and much safer to fly! Besides, too many accidents happening with land travel these days.

When it was time to go back to Manila, it made sense taking the train and finally trying the famed Bicol Express which departs every 6pm from Naga City. I remember blogging about it before after I saw the PNR pics on Facebook. Shall I say it didn’t really impress me much seeing it IN REAL? We paid about P940 each for the Executive Sleeper which entitled you to your own cabin and it looked like this…


It saddened me that we have to inherit old coaches from other countries. Until we replace our trains (and jeepneys), please stop telling me that we are on the road towards becoming one of the strongest economies in Asia 🙂


The train toilets looked icky. I had to control my bladder for the rest of the night. So yes, no picture of the (dis) comfort room!

There were double-decker rooms good for four persons. Nothing to crow about. There were contraptions means to prevent the commuter from falling down the bunk bed. Ugh.


The trains are safer than taking the buses, in my own opinion, but the Philippine National Railways must get their act together in maintaining the trains.

But then again, PNR can only do so much with old coaches and old trains.

Honestly, I never felt so Third World 🙁 Take me back to Shanghai and Tokyo please!

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the author

This blog is my own happy place where I've written on a sundry of topics since 2004. Am an entrepreneur and busy mom who's passionate about travel, food and fitness. Email me at annalyn.jusay@gmail.com for inquiries & collaborations....thank you!


  1. aki says:

    Hello thanks for posting this., so what do you recommend pag punta sa bicol aside sa airplane? Train or bus? Lagi kasi kaming nagbubus madalas at medyo parang gusto rin naming itry tong sa PNR kaso parang nagdalawang isip ako bigla hehehehe. Saka same lang ba ng no. of hours? Thanks in advance!

  2. ajay says:

    Train na lang. But it only stops at Naga. If you’re going further to Legazpi, u have to take a shuttle or bus 🙂

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