Getting around the Philippines?
How do I get around?

There are so many options you can use in getting around the Philippines.

They all start at Manila, which is the gateway to discover this extraordinarily beautiful and untouched country. No matter what forms of transport you are use to, you will find it here, even some you have never even heard of, like Jeepneys and Kalesa's just to name a few. One thing for sure though, in the Philippines there is transport aplenty!

Once you have arrived you can take any of the following forms of transportation.

Airline Travel

Hire cars
Light Rail Transit (LRT)
Metro Rail Transit (MRT)
Banca Boats

Depending on where you want to go, how quickly you want to get there, how adventurous you want to be, will determine your best form of transportation.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, some of the best experiences you will have will be mingling and haggling with Filipinos to get the best prices.

Its all part of the game!

No matter if you are on a tight budget and need to squirrel away every penny, use what the locals use.

Banca Boats

You name it, you want to get there, you can do it cheap! It is also a bucket load of fun!

Banca Boats

Banca Boat Philippines

This is your typical Banca Boat.

Since the Philippines is a nation of islands they use the traditional form of water transport, which is the Banca Boat.

They are sturdy and come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some are huge and are used to carry enormous amounts of people. While others are single man fishing bancas, they all serve there own purpose.

You will see them everywhere, don’t be afraid to ask the captain for a private tour. This has many benefits.

1. It will not cost as much as one organized by your hotel.
2. He will know where all the best destinations are, you know the ones away from the tourists.


Jeepneys are everywhere, they are mostly used for short journeys, but can be used for longer trips as well, similar to a bus service.

They are immediately idenitifiable and are most definatley part of the Philippines culture.

Where did they come from?

The original Jeepney was from the discarded US army Jeep of World War II and have evolved over the years to be what they are today. They are now hande made, lovingly put together at Las Pinas in Manila.

Each Jeepney has its own look and feel, with bright colours, polished chrome and a horn that will not leave you guessing.

They have a set route and will pick up whenever someone hails them and drop off when someone bangs on the roof.

Ensure you pay when you get in, always have small denomination notes and coins, don't expect change for large notes

How Much?

Fares start at P7.50 and you can even hire Jeepneys for the day for around P1,800. Make sure you negotiate the price before leaving.

In rural areas, timetables can be a bit of a lottery. Ususally once a Jeepney is full it will be time to leave. So if the scheduled time to leave is 8:00am and the Jeepney is full at 7:30am, it will leave. also if it not full, it will wait until it is. In some areas it may take three to four hours for the Jeepney to fill up. You can always pay the driver for the empty seats to get you moving, however don't forget to negotiate a price prior to leaving!

By far and away, Jeepney travel is the most popular form of transportation for Filipinos. It has to be on your must do list for any traveller wanting to feel part of life in the Philippines, it is fun, it is unique, it is the Philippines!

Have look here for more information on the Jeepney.


Tricycles are small motor cycles, usually 125ho, with a sidecar and are used as a taxi service.

They are generally found in smaller sities and rural areas and are very useful. Your bags are strapped to the roof of the sidecar, then you just jump in the sidecar and off you go.

How much?

Depending on how far you need to go, will depend on the price. Prices will start from about P2.00. Once again negotiate the price before you leave.

Don't use tricycles for long journeys, they can bet a bit bumpy, but they are great fun!

Like any taxi service inthe world, if you see one that is emplty, just hail it down, tell him where you want to go, negotiate a price and off you go!


Kalesa's are horse drawn carriages, which were the nobilities way of travelling around the cities in the 18th Century. Not any more though.

The Kalesa is now more of a tourist attraction than a form of transportation, it can still be found in the touist areas of the major cities and some rural provincial areas still use them, but in the most part they exist for the tourist.

Have a look here for more information on the Kalesa.

What Was Your Mode of Transport around the Philippines?

Did you you travel by bus, LRT, Taxi or Plane? Maybe the uniquely Philippine Jeepney or even by carabao and cart?

Did you hire a car and drive yourself?

Let us know what worked for you, others will appreciate it!

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