Self-drive North Luzon for christmas
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Mar 14, 2013 6:22 PM Last Post By: pennydime
Nov 19, 2012 1:31 PM
15been driving Cebu for years and never had to pay a policeman anything, never even think about it.
Nov 20, 2012 8:00 AM
Mar 14, 2013 6:22 PM
17Just a little follow up - we did hire a car after all and it was brilliant! After flying to Mt Mayon (no volcano view and no whalesharks due to typhoon unfortunately) we flew back to Manila and picked up a car. We had a Philipine SIM card so we had unlimited roaming internet for google maps, and it was very easy to navigate from the airport to the N.Luzon expressway.
Took about 26 hours to get to Banaue via Cabantuan City (including an 10 hour rest stop and heaps of stops to buy fireworks!) which was a lot longer then we thought. The traffic was crazy! We loved going with the flow, joining the innovative 'extra' north-bound lane on the far laft of the road where necessary (now that is clever traffic management!) and driving the way the locals did - it was amazing fun. Dodging and weaving - good practice in defensive driving!
Completing the loop we went to Sagada (gorgeous!) and back south via Baguio. We found the trip south to be much easier with way less traffic and heaps with the added bonus of being more scenic (those mountains? WOW!).
Overall I would compare Manila driving to any other big city (we stuck to bigger roads close to the city centre so I cant comment on the 'suburbs'). The country was a little crazy in parts, but everyone seemed to take a 'defensive' driving approach, which made it easier and safer to not only predict what moves others were going to make, but also have people react quickly if someone pulled out in front of them. People were generally calmer and friendlier to their fellow roadusers (In my experience) I think Australian drivers could learn a thing or two from Filipino drivers!
I would self-drive the Philippines again in an instant... I can't wait to go back!
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