Looking for a tropical destination to visit this year? Then look no further than the Philippines. The country, dubbed as the Pearl of the Orient, is a favorite of travelers all over the world. Over 4 million tourists have visited the Philippines in the first half of 2019 as more people are starting to discover the unique attractions of this Southeast Asian country. If you decide to head to this tropical paradise for some fun in the sun, expect to land in the urbanized city of Manila, which is the country’s capital. Here, you can shop, dine on the best cuisine, and get a taste of the history and modern culture that the Philippines has to offer. One of the best ways to get around Manila is by motorcycle, so if you’re up for an adventure of a lifetime, here’s all you need to know to navigate the city on your motorbike.
Getting your gear and paperwork in order
Before hitting the road, you must ensure that your gear and paperwork are all in order to avoid any hassles while you’re out and about. You can ride your motorbike if you have a foreign license, but if you’re thinking about staying longer, say, longer than 3 months, then you’ll have to get a Philippine driver’s license at the Land Transportation Office. Make sure to have your passport with you and ignore the fixers who are standing outside the office.
While you certainly can rent a bike, having your own motorcycle may be more economical if you plan on staying in the country for a few months. There are lots of makes and models of motorbikes to choose from, but if you plan to go to nearby towns and provinces, then a 400cc model is recommended as this type of motorcycle is allowed on major highways. Having a DTI-approved helmet is also a must as it is illegal to ride a motorcycle in Manila without one. Once you have everything in place, it’s time to gear up and go to the best places in the city.
Experience local history and tradition at Intramuros
For a taste of Philippine history, there’s one place that you shouldn’t miss, and that’s Intramuros, which is a walled city right in the heart of Manila. You can ride your motorbike at a leisurely pace on the cobbled streets of this destination, or park your bike and go on foot to further appreciate the beauty of this historical site. Make sure to stop by Fort Santiago, which is the oldest Hispanic fortress in the country, the Rizal Shrine, and Casa Manila. The latter is a home which was turned into a museum, and it depicts how the Filipinos lived while under the Spanish regime.
Modern delights and entertainment at Bonifacio Global City
For the best shopping and dining experience, head to Bonifacio Global City. This part of Manila is where some of the Philippines’ elite play and live, so you’ll see a lot of high rise condominiums and hotels, and it’s not unusual to see a Lamborghini or two zipping by the wide streets of this city. Going around on your motorbike, you’ll see that there are lots of murals and art installations done by local artists within the city. If you plan to go on foot, there are lots of places to park your motorbike, and parking typically costs Php 50 (about 1 USD) for two hours. Once the hunger pangs hit, head to Serendra residential and commercial complex for a bite to eat at one of its many restaurants. There are also a lot of brand-name shops within the area, but if you’re looking for affordable finds, then head on over to the SM Aura mall or Market, Market mall.
Discover the best of the Philippines as you navigate Manila on your motorcycle. Not only is it a hassle-free way to enjoy the city, but it’s also a delightful experience that you’ll never forget.