I am thinking about travelling to Palawan island in the Philippines and spend around 1 week there. I am a solo traveler and I want to explore as much as possible.

Does it make sense to rent a car? I am afraid without my own transportation I will get stuck in the beautiful but only not many places near my accommodation. Although I know some public transportation is available I am afraid I won't visit that much as with my own vehicle.

Has anyone done this experience and can give some insights? Thank you!

1 Answer 1


Do you have much experience of Asia? In particular, have you driven there? There any many challenges from the obvious one of simply managing to move without crashing to dealing with the police, breakdowns, accidents, parking, theft, etc. I drive in the Philippines frequently but I only do simple, familiar trips alone. For more adventurous trips, I would always have local friends and family with me.

Public transport is very good so it is quite feasible. By good, I mean it is easily available and reasonably priced. It scores less well on luxury and punctuality. Taxis are readily available and reasonably priced, use them to fill any gaps in public transport. In remote areas, the taxi may be a motorcycle with sidecar. I like public transport for solo travel, you get to interact more. Apart from my concerns above, I would not drive alone for this reason.

If you want the convenience of a personal car look for a car with a driver. It might be a similar price, it might even be cheaper and it will be a lot simpler.

This is based primarily on personal experience but I have spent a lot of time in the Philippines and I hold a local driving licence. This local licence helps: it reduces the "fines" if you are stopped and, in the worst case, if a cop confiscates it then you have not lost your home licence. This is only available for residents unless you have a very good fixer.

  • Yes I am very used to drive in Asia.
    – Traveller
    Mar 19, 2018 at 6:54
  • I am more concerned with the explorability of the island than with the driving itself.
    – Traveller
    Mar 19, 2018 at 6:54
  • Even without your own car, I would expect that you can easily get anywhere (with the obvious exceptions of private land, etc). If you really want to drive yourself to remote destinations then you will need a 4x4 and experience in using it. The roads can be very poor. Even a 4x4 can struggle, once we damaged ours coming off a ferry when the ramp fowled the transmission. We managed to fix it by flagging down a truck and borrowing some tools. I am glad that I was not alone on that trip.
    – badjohn
    Mar 19, 2018 at 6:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .