When you’re on a holiday, nothing should get in the way of you enjoying your vacation. And you’ll find that Filipinos, with their welcoming and accommodating attitude, agree that you – especially if you’re of foreign descent – should enjoy every minute of it. So, if you should find yourself lost, rest easy knowing you can ask any Filipinos for directions. Communication will not be a problem because 90% of Filipinos speak and understand English. Some would even welcome the chance to practice their English and would be all too happy to help you. That said, getting around Palawan is fairly easy.
There are generally four kinds of transportation in the country: tricycles or sidecars, jeepneys, buses and trains and vans and cabs. In Palawan, they have tricycles and sidecars for short-distance travels, jeepneys and buses for travels a bit far off the city, cabs and vans for private transport and boats for island travels. Let’s take a look at each one in more detail.
Getting Around by Land
Tricycles/Sidecars. Tricycles and sidecars can be hired out for a tour and they can be hailed from any part of the town, as long as there are no other passengers. A standard fee applies per kilometer, but if you’re going to hire it for a city tour, you will have to pay for it by the hour or depending on the arrangement you’ll have with the driver. In the Philippines, people like riding tricycles or sidecars more than walking for a block or two, not least due to the brutal heat of the sun. You can also ride tricycles for short-distance destinations you’d normally just walk to and a standard fee per kilometer will apply.
Buses and Jeepneys. A bus station can be found in Puerto Princesa with provincial buses that cart passengers to other parts and municipalities of Palawan. Jeepneys, on the other hand, are more commonly used for within-city/ municipality travels. Alternatively, jeepneys may be hired out for sight-seeing tours and city tours.
Cars and Vans. Taxi cabs are rare in Palawan and you’re more likely to see them in airports than in major highways. Rental cars and vans are available but be advised that you may not be able to use them if you plan to go out of the city where the roads are not paved and may not be passable during rainy seasons.
Getting Around by Boat
Obviously, boats are used when island-hopping around Palawan. Going to another island or municipality of Palawan is also possible by boat. In addition, you can hire out a boat for a day tour of the neighboring islands of the municipality you’re in.
Getting Around by Plane
There are many airports in Palawan, but there’s only one airline that flies around Palawan. The SEAIR has routes from Manila going to Busuanga, then El Nido, then Puerto Princesa, and then back to Manila again on the same route. This makes getting around Palawan easy and makes it possible for tourist vacationers to make a short air-trip from Busuanga, for example, to El Nido or Puerto Princesa. It’s more expensive than going by boat but it’s very time-efficient. You might not be able to enjoy the view of the sea and its blue green waters but you’d definitely be treated to an aerial view of the island from above the plane.
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