The Philippines are quickly becoming a travel hot spot, and it’s no surprise. With more than 7,000 islands, this country is full of amazing things to do and see. The best way to see them all? On your motorcycle of course (although driving it in a car isn’t half bad as long as you have quality RM Williams seat covers to protect your upholstery from the elements — and trust me, you’ll need it).
Read on to find out everything you need to know to plan your next road trip around the Philippines, but make sure to give yourself more time here than you think you’ll need; it’s hard not to fall in love with this country.
When to Go
The Philippines have pretty much two seasons, wet and dry. The dry season goes from November to May, while the wet season is June to October. You wouldn’t want to get stuck in a flash flood on your motorcycle, so make sure to plan your road trip for the dry season (try and avoid the beginning and end months too as they can get a little dicey).
What to Bring
You definitely need rain gear if you’re going to be on your bike most of the time, even during the dry season—it’s no fun to be riding while wet. Otherwise, aside from your standard road trip gear like maps (although a motorcycle GPS is way more handy), guidebooks, camera, and a mix of accessible Philippine pesos, you don’t want to forget a hat. The sun can be punishing in the Philippines, and you don’t want to spend the trip with a painful sunburn. Sunscreen, bug spray, comfortable clothing and shoes are all must haves because the average year-round temperature is 26 degrees (that’s hot, people!) but beware: most of the country dresses fairly conservatively.
Where to Go
Manila, the capital, is the perfect place to start your trip thanks to the convenient international airport. Manila is a hot bed of culture and history, and you’ll find no shortage of things to see. Once you’re sick of the urban vibe, hit the open road and head southeast to Laguna for a more natural, but still thriving province (make sure you visit TayTay Falls for a dip in the cool waters). Next, take a wide berth around Laguna Lake and head back north to Pampanga—try and plan your trip around the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, it’s a sight worth the trip alone. If you have time, hop on down to the island of Bohol to visit the Tarsier sanctuary; if you’re not sure what a Tarsier is, it’s time to find out. While there, make sure you find the Chocolate Hills—the name alone should pique your interest. If you love beaches (and who doesn’t?), Malapascua Island has some of the best beaches and diving spots you’ll find in the world.
What to Eat
There’s nothing better than trying the local cuisine, and the Philippines are no exception. While riding, stop at as many local eateries as you can to really soak up the essence of the country. My recommendations? Chicken adobo (duh), Halo Halo, kinilaw, and sinigang. But maybe skip the balut, unless a boiled duck embryo eaten out of the shell tickles your fancy (hey, no judgments here).
Hayley Flierl is a Freelance Writer, where she creates contents about travel, yoga, meditation including self-confidence, fitness and many more. Hayley is a dog lover and has traveled extensively throughout Australia and other places. Has documented different cultures and people’s story during her travel.