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Smokey Tours, Manila

4.8
#2 of 93 in Tours in Luzon
Cultural Tour · Sightseeing Tour
Smokey Tours trains and helps people from the slums to run safe and eye-opening tours for guests who are interested in Manila. Through our tours, we aim to raise awareness about social issues, bridge the gap between people from different backgrounds, and inspire individuals to bring about positive societal change in their communities.

It all started in January 2011, Juliette (founder of Smokey Tours) organized a photo walk in collaboration with Dutch NGO Filibata, Bahay at Yaman ni San Martin de Porres and Sining Kamalig (an Art Gallery based in Ali Mall, Araneta center). For this unique initiative 20 photographers were invited to take photos to be able to portray the way children live in the area of Tondo, specifically Barangay 105.

The walk took place in January 2011 where Juliette also discovered some talented residents of Barangay 105 that could explain their situation in a dignified way.

That is when Juliette came up with the idea of organising slum tours. She started recruiting and coaching potential tour leaders although in the long run only few stayed and actually lead tours.

In the beginning of 2012 Smokey Tours was further developed with help of international volunteers. The Smokey Tours team started to have contact with companies that were already offering slum tours in Brazil and India.

The Smokey Mountain Tour was the first and only slum tour offered at the time. Until the present day this is still the signature tour that Smokey Tours offers (hence the name of the company).Throughout 2012 the Smokey mountain tour was lead by Nympha and Remy. The guests were mainly part of a network of acquaintances while the arrangements and planning were largely improvised.

Since the very beginning all the proceeds made with the Smokey Mountain Tour was donated to a local NGO in Barangay 105, Bahay at Yaman ni San Martin de Porres where Juliette has been volunteering ever since.

After keeping contact with companies offering slum tours in different parts of the world, Chris Way, from Reality Group Travel, came to Manila for a couple of months in early-mid 2013 to develop more tours and to share his expertise.

Smokey Tours now offers four different tours and keeps seeking improvement and growth opportunities.

Smokey Tours wants to give a voice to the unheard, and a name to the unknown, by sharing their experiences and showing their dignity, faith, resilience and strength in dealing with abject poverty; hence the Smokey Tours was established.
To visit Smokey Tours and other attractions in Manila, use our Manila journey planner.
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Smokey Tours reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
513 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Our local tour agent booked the "slum tour" for us. So at 08.00 Eileen picked us up at the hotel and together we went to KFC to pick up Janet, our guide for the "slum tour". Janet lives also in...  more »
  • I did a guided walk through BASECO with Smokey. An very informative, personally moving, and, strangely enough, entertaining experience. It is perfectly safe, by the way, but dont wear your white...  more »

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