Enjoying Manila in Wheels

Eleveted, night view of Makati, the business district of Metro Manila.

Eleveted, night view of Makati, the business district of Metro Manila.

When one says that they are going to visit the Philippines, the first things that come to people’s minds are the beaches and the food, plus the heat. Then, its capital city, Manila, often gets lost in the next few spots down the list.

While the country is known for its natural beaches, hospitality, and a lot more unique things, its capital is as interesting. Yes, Manila is notoriously known for its traffic, but there is no other way to go around Manila as comfortably as through wheels.

Luckily, you have a lot of options to choose from depending on your budget, comfort level, patience, and overall preference.

Car rental

You can rent a car in Manila to have a quick break from the infamously hot and humid city. A quick 20-minutes ride going to the mall in the comfort of your own car with your air conditioning blasting in full power are small pleasures in life most Manilenos enjoy.

Having someone drive you around the city, or driving and exploring alone is an option. It might be more expensive than other means of transport, but it is definitely an experience in itself that will make it worth it.

Taxi

Hail a taxi and have the driver bring you anywhere you want. However, like other countries in Southeast Asia, taxis with defective meters are common. A lot of tourists end up paying more, but this mode of transportation is relatively safe.

Grab

If being surprised with an enormous amount of taxi fare is in the last of your list, but would want to enjoy the comfort of having your own driver and your own car, booking a Grab ride is the most convenient and practical thing.

There will surely be surcharges depending on the day, but using the app is increasingly becoming people’s chosen mode of transportation.

MRT and LRT

Invest in a Beep Card and be able to travel through the three lines of trains in Metro Manila. MRT 1, MRT 3, and LRT 2 have stops in major parts of the city and are interconnected in the ideal locations.

Jeepney

Jeepney in the busy streets of Metro Manila

If you are adventurous and is open to enjoying the heat and the thrill of riding the “King of the Road,” then a jeepney ride is definitely a must. For a cheap price of less than USD 20cents, you can go around different points in Metro Manila.

Note, however, that the Jeepney is not for the faint of heart as they are known for running fast and abruptly stopping to drop or pick-up passengers. But, it is still regarded as one of the most efficient modes of transport in the metro.

Buses

Buses also run around the whole metro and even those nearby cities outside it. Asking a local which bus stop to go and where to get down can definitely help you reach your destination.

However, it is important to remember that buses, like jeepneys, do not really have a designated terminal or schedule so you might have to run after one or ride at the most awkward of places.

With all these options available, you can enjoy touring around Metro Manila in your preferred vehicle type. Just take your pick and off you go!