There are plenty of ways to go around Metro Manila, Philippines. There are buses, jeepneys and taxis. There are also several car-hailing apps that also offer ride-sharing options.
However, one of the best ways to get to know the Metro is pretty simple: rent a car and drive one yourself. When staying in the city for an extended time, having a vehicle is very convenient. However, you need to take not of a few things.
Prepare for heavy traffic
Traffic is a daily condition in the city. As such, be ready for it. If you have way-finding apps, such as Waze or Google Maps, they suggest routes according to current traffic conditions. The suggested ways might have longer distances, but they are usually will be faster than going on the main roads.
You should also be familiar with one-way roads and re-routing. It is easy to get lost even with way-finding apps. You could also ask directions from locals or road authorities. If you can’t find your way, a rule of thumb is to drop by a gas station, where you can get a lot of help.
Consider other vehicles
Driving can seem like an adventure sometimes. There are generalizations about traffic in certain cities, and Manila traffic is no exception.
Never drive in the bus lane — it’s illegal and, not to mention, rude. It may seem faster, but driving beside the buses can be intimidating. Watch out for motorcycles and scooters, too. They will try to pass you on your left and your right.
At intersections, be patient in giving way to pedestrians — again, it’s the law. The number coding system is also strictly enforced. Understand what days you may drive and if there is a window time.
Driving in Manila can sometimes be stressful. However, with proper preparations, it can also be a great experience as you make your way around the metropolis.