Driving in Manila is an experience in itself and, as you jostle for position amongst the plethora of motorcycles, pedicabs and brightly colored Jeepneys, you may be forgiven if the urge to hang up your driving gloves becomes irresistible. However, if you manage to cope with the pot holes and gravel roads, dirt tracks and goat loads, you are sure to have a unique and remarkable trip. Here we look at the top five attractions reachable by road.
Banue Rice Terraces
Driving through mountain ranges is always a pleasure. Spectacular views and majestic geology abound as you navigate the winding roads of the Cordilleras Mountains. Nestled between the peaks are the ancient rice fields of the Ifugao tribe which have been producing rice for over 2,000 years. Carved by hand and irrigated using a system that draws water from the rainforests above, the fields are so numerous, steep, and compact, that if stretched out end to end, they would wrap halfway around the globe.
One of the most popular attractions in the Philippines, the Chocolate Hills are made up of over 1,200 individual mounds and represent something of a mystery to geologists. Their conical and near Spanning 300,000 square kilometers over some 7,000 islands, the Philippines’ disparate geography may be an unlikely choice for a road trip but, with such a wealth of culture, history and spectacular rural landscapes on offer, the traveler who welcomes a challenge will be amply rewarded.
symmetrical shape spreads out over 50 square kilometers and, during the dry season, the grass atop these formations turns brown, hence the name.
Swimming with sharks a little too scary? Then why not take a dip with their toothless cousins; the whale sharks. Located amongst the beautiful beaches and wonderful waterfalls of Sorsogon, the animal lovers amongst are treated to large numbers of wild whale sharks between February and May.
Standing at an awesome 2,400 meters, the Mayon Volcano is a stunning example of nature’s destructive power. Having erupted more than 49 times over the last 400 years (the last and most destructive was in 1814) its quiet exterior conceals a more violent nature. Be sure to check out what is left of the baroque church and belfry of the Cagsawa ruins for a timely reminder of Mother Nature’s wrath.
Puerto Princesa Underground River
Laying claim to the world’s longest navigable underground river, Puerto Princesa is a treat for the nature lover. With vibrant landscapes and protected parks the area is rich in unique wildlife and natural wonders. Take a guided paddle boat tour of the subterranean rock formations and you are sure to be welcomed by a cloud of bats.
It is of course pertinent to drive safely and with the car hire from Sixt you are sure to be provided with a reliable and road worthy vehicle. Accidents do happen, but if you stay away from the questionable quality of the popular motorcycle and you are likely to minimize your chances and remain safe. The extra space afforded by a hired car will also allow you to load and securely store your luggage and equipment, minus the goats, of course.