Clark Freeport Zone (or just Clark) in Pampanga is a former U.S. airbase within the Philippines that has been redeveloped into a contemporary industrial space. As of late, it’s generally known as a middle for leisure, health, leisure, and gaming in Central Luzon. Clark is house to a number of family-friendly theme parks, casinos, and the Clark Worldwide Airport, a serious airport close to Manila.
For cyclists, Clark gives an incredible, bike-friendly vacation spot close to Manila. Because the pandemic hit, a number of enhancements have been made to enchantment to cyclists and leisure bikers. Except for the big open areas and greenery and pure canopies offered by timber in the entire space advanced, there’s an excellent community of freshly painted bike paths, security signages for bikers, and services to host biking festivals and occasions.
From Clark, you’ll be able to simply bike to Angeles Metropolis in Pampanga by means of safe bike lanes and cross over to different cities in Tarlac. Entry roads are being constructed connecting the outdated Clark to New Clark Metropolis, a deliberate group presently present process growth, positioned within the cities of Bamban and Capas in Tarlac by means of the brand new Sacobia Bridge.
As a part of our weekend biking adventures final February 2023, Artwork and I spent 2 nights in a lodge in Clark for a leisurely bike trip/sightseeing journey. Numerous sports activities occasions have returned and bikers are all the time searching for new locations to discover, so I’m sharing some recommendations on the attainable routes and landmarks which may be of curiosity to bikers in and close to Clark.
The place precisely is Clark?
The Clark Freeport and Particular Financial Zone refers to an space in Central Luzon, Philippines. It covers parts of the cities of Angeles and Mabalacat and parts of the city of Porac whereas components of the world in Tarlac embody parts of the cities of Capas and Bamban, Tarlac.
Easy methods to get to Clark from Manila
The quickest approach to get to Clark from Manila is by automotive. The drive takes about 1.5 to 2 hours relying on the visitors. Take the North Luzon Expressway and exit at Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga. Make a left flip towards Angeles Metropolis after which a proper flip towards Clark. Clark can also be reached through the brand new Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).
For bikers who need a snug approach to get to Clark however don’t have a automotive to convey their bikes, you may make use of the Level to Level (P2P) bus that has common routes from NAIA T3 and Trinoma/SM North to the New Clark Airport through SM Clark.
The advantage of taking the bus is which you can simply sleep on the way in which there and again and begin biking within the good components as a substitute of getting to bike all the way in which. The fare is simply P280 per individual, and the buses go away on schedule, with out making different stops like common buses. There’s no cargo payment to convey bikes within the bus compartments. We simply introduced 2 bikes from Trinoma with out having to order tickets or make pre-arrangements. Journey time is about 2 hours.
Right here’s the Up to date P2P Clark Journey schedule as of February 2023.
High sights and issues to do in and close to Clark
- Meals-tripping in Pampanga
- Puning Sizzling Spring and Volcanic Sand Spa
- Puning 4 x 4 Offroad Journey
- Clark Parade Grounds
- Dinosaurs Island
- Fontana Leisure Parks
- Aqua Planet Waterpark
- Zoocobia Enjoyable Zoo
- Mimosa Golf Course and Nation Membership
- Deca Wakepark Clark
- Pamintuan Mansion
- Holy Rosary Parish Church
- Angeles Museum
- Mount Pinatubo
Our bike itinerary
Day 1 (Friday): We took the 1:00 pm bus on a Friday and bought to Clark at 3:00 pm simply in time for check-in on the lodge. After settling in, we simply took it straightforward on the lodge for some time.
Artwork needed to end some work within the afternoon on the lodge, so I simply rode round to search for merienda and hunted down the Deserted Clark Hospital.
We met up within the night for dinner and drinks at Cycles & Brew, a motorbike store that serves espresso and beer positioned on the Clark Parade Grounds.
TIP: Clark is thought for its 18-km small and massive biking loops. For street bikers, the entire space gives an excellent coaching floor as a result of the route is comparatively flat, there are clear designated bike lanes throughout the advanced, and the surroundings is sweet.
Day 2 (Saturday): We didn’t actually have a plan the place to journey, so we simply adopted the bike lanes and roads. From Clark, we crossed the outdated Sacobia Bridge which results in Tarlac.
From the outdated bridge, we noticed the brand new Sacobia Bridge which connects New Clark Metropolis (NCC) to the Clark Freeport Zone. The brand new bridge has two bike lanes and sidewalks.
Whereas biking by means of the quiet and unassuming rural roads, we noticed a marker that pointed to Goshen Resort, which we determined to take a look at. Goshen Resort is a campsite floor and picture park/resort with structure impressed by historical Rome. Accessible through small grime roads, you wouldn’t anticipate finding one thing like this right here.
The ten-hectare resort within the hillside lets guests expertise a style of Rome on a price range. It’s bought every thing – marble columns, statues of Spartans, a duplicate of the thrones from Recreation of Thrones, and made-for-Instagram photographs spots. Except for being a themed place for individuals to take selfies, the resort additionally has swimming swimming pools and some lodge rooms for individuals who need to test in.
For bikers simply passing by means of, a fast go to and few picture stops will suffice. There’s additionally a small restaurant contained in the premises serving ramen in case you’re feeling hungry.
We adopted the freeway crossing Bamban Bridge resulting in Mabalacat. There have been much more autos on this street, and visitors was unhealthy, so we turned proper as quickly as we may on Gil Puyat Avenue to get again to Clark. You’ll be able to nonetheless spot some deserted army buildings alongside the street from when the world was nonetheless an air base.
On the way in which again we handed by the doorway to Clark Land (Dinosaurs Island), an animatronic theme park and museum designed to supply guests a novel interactive studying expertise of dinosaurs. You can even go to Insectlandia close by.
There’s additionally the El Kabayo Using Stables, the place youngsters can strive horseback using. Bikers may be extra within the Wild West themed eating places and low outlets close by, together with El Kabayo Espresso and Amante Steaks and Ribs.
We determined to only have lunch close to Clark Parade Grounds as a substitute, since there are extra choices there. We settled on Matam-ih for genuine Kapampangan Delicacies, then went again to the lodge to relaxation when it bought too sizzling.
Later that night time, we went on an evening journey to Mayari, a brand new restaurant in Angeles Metropolis that serves craft beer. The restaurant is about 11km away from Clark.
I used to be amazed by the standard of the bike lanes that stretched from Clark all the way in which to SM Clark. The inside roads of Angeles Metropolis felt a bit an excessive amount of like Manila streets due to the visitors and other people. Whole distance for day 3 was about 57.65 km.
Day 3 (Sunday): After breakfast, we determined to take a look at the Haduan Hanging Bridge. It is a hidden attraction inside Clarkfield, Pampanga that can enchantment to bikers.
This hanging bridge resulting in a small group is accessible through a brief stretch of grime street from the again roads close to Aqua Planet. Should you’re utilizing a street bike or folding bike, you could have a tough time biking in some parts and will must stroll as a result of the sand may be very slippery.
The terrain is extra appropriate for gravel bikes and mountain bikes. There’s a really steep downhill stretch happening to the bridge, from the place you will get a view of the 4 x 4 automobiles and off roaders.
We additionally took a more in-depth take a look at the Deserted Clark hospital. The stays of this deserted air drive hospital that has a status of being probably the most haunted locations within the Philippines and Asia.
This hospital was used throughout WW2 and the Vietnam Struggle, however now lays unused regardless of the presence of big fashionable casinos and inns simply within the neighborhood. Should you’re a fan of horror films and ghost looking, you’ll need to take a look at this eerie spot. The principle entrance of the hospital is cordoned off, however a part of the brand new bike lane passes by means of the facet of the hospital, so you’ll be able to discover it a bit.
After trying out of the lodge, we grabbed a fast lunch at McDonald’s and made our approach to the pickup level for the P2P bus headed again to Manila for the 1:00 pm journey.
TIP: There is just one stall exterior to purchase meals on the Clark Worldwide Airport (promoting hotdogs and a few rice meals) and meals is a bit costly, so I recommend you eat elsewhere earlier than taking the bus again.
All in all, the entire weekend was fairly chill biking trip. The world supplied a pleasant change of tempo with its good bike lanes and distinctive eating choices. I appreciated that the roads had been largely flat and paved and it’s straightforward sufficient to get to by bus with out having to drive. Should you’re fearful of taking youngsters biking round Manila due to the street circumstances, Clark gives a bike-friendly vacation spot for households and beginner bikers.
The place to remain in Clark
For this journey, we stayed in Xenia Hotel, a Korean-owned enterprise and leisure lodge. The lodge has a on line casino, swimming pool, and poolside barbecue space. We picked it primarily as a result of it’s comparatively close to (about 10 minutes by automotive) the Clark Worldwide Airport, the place the P2P bus makes stops.
The lodge supplies bike-racks proper in entrance of the foyer entrance. For added safety, you should definitely convey bike locks. We booked their fundamental deluxe room for two, however we had been upgraded to a bigger room with a lounge for no additional cost. The room charge was P3,800/night time for a Deluxe Twin Room, with buffet breakfast for two included after I booked through Agoda.
TIP: When inside Clark, you’ll be able to ask the bus driver to drop you at a bus cease close to your lodge, with out having to go to the airport. The buses usually park in a nook close to the outdated airport so you’ll be able to hitch to get to the choose up level in case you’re carrying a number of stuff on the way in which again.
There are a different inns in and round Clark catering to various kinds of vacationers. Different choices embody:
- Resort Stotsenburg
- Quest Plus Convention Heart
- Midori Clark Resort & On line casino
- Hilton Clark Solar Valley Resort
- Widus Resort and On line casino
- Clark Marriot Resort
- The Mansion
- Swissotel Clark
TIP: Should you simply need to bike round Clark with out staying in a single day, you can make use of the P2P bus and return to Manila the identical day.
The place to eat and drink in Clark
Since we had been staying in a lodge in Clark, we simply ate in close by restos and availed of the lodge’s buffet breakfast, which was a mixture of Korean and Filipino dishes. There are a number of locations to eat close to the Clark Parade Grounds together with Aling Lucing, The Crimson Crab Seafood and Steaks, Wood Desk, Amante Ribs and Steak, Grill Seoul Korean BBQ, Paris Metropolis Cafe, and Cafe Dia, to call just a few.
Cycles & Brew
Cycles & Brew is a bicycle store, cafe, and brewery in a single positioned proper subsequent to the Clark Parade Grounds. They serve Sundown Craft Beer with completely different variants together with an IPA. In addition they serve fairly good appetizers, like calamares and burgers. Bike racks and parking obtainable right here. It is a must-visit in Clark for beer and bike lovers.
Matam-ih Genuine Kapampangan Delicacies
Matam-Ih is an al fresco restaurant serving genuine Kapampangan delicacies additionally positioned proper subsequent to the Clark Parade Grounds. “Matam-Ih” within the Aeta dialect means scrumptious. Specialties right here embody tawilis, pritong hito, mustasa at buro (fried catfish with contemporary mustard leaves and fermented rice) and adobong babi (pork adobo). In addition they serve unique fare like adobong camaru (fried mole crickets) and betute tugak (fried stuffed native frog). Good drinks like Kamias and Tamarind shakes.
El Kabayo Espresso
El Kabayo Espresso is a Wild West-inspired cafe positioned in entrance of the El Kabayo Horseback Using stables. Because the bike lane passes proper in entrance of the cafe, it’s an excellent pit cease if you wish to sit down and seize a cup of espresso whereas biking round Clark. Bike racks can be found right here.
G Mart is a Korean grocery retailer inside Clark that’s open 24/7. In case you need mild snacks or drinks to take again to your lodge room, yow will discover a wide variety of on the spot noodles, chips, beer, and soju right here. There are additionally a few Obligation Free Outlets inside Clark, although some are very run down or have closed completely.
Mayari (Angeles Metropolis)
Mayari alongside Ventura Road in Angeles Metropolis is a brand new restaurant that focuses on native craft beer from Ventura Brewing, cocktails, and luxury meals.
The resto is positioned in a Nineteen Fifties ancestral home, and has some cool customized bikes on show. Whereas ingesting right here, you can even order from the Tiger Tacos stall within the al fresco space. We tried the Chipotle Hen Rice and beers from visitor brewers Boondocks and Oros.
These are just some eating choices we checked out on our current Feb 2023 go to. Pampanga is a very fashionable vacation spot for foodies, with many native eating places in Angeles Metropolis and different cities.
For a extra full meals information, take a look at my separate publish: Meals Journey: Pampanga.