Traveling Philippines via Motorcycle
With over 92 million people spread out over 7000 islands, the Philippines makes for an unusual destination for motorcycle riding.
Only half of the country’s roads are paved, and many are in the crowded urban areas, so this tropical archipelago appeals to the more adventurous rider.
The locals, to be sure, are motorcycle enthusiasts, either by necessity or choice. Half of the private vehicles in the Philippines are two- and three-wheelers.
This means that people are aware of, and accepting of, motorcycles throughout the country. Further, the Japanese manufacturers are well represented in the country, along with many smaller brands from the greater Southeast Asian area.
Horrifyingly unpredictable traffic patterns in the urban areas, where horns rather than rules determine the pecking order, mean the temptation is to keep your riding to the rural areas of the country.
Here, you will see amazing practical uses for motorcycles, including such oddities as motorcycles carrying logs or livestock. Once in rural areas, accommodations are typically spartan and inexpensive, and the food does not cater to Westerners with squeamish stomachs.
For those who may want to experience the tropical backcountry of the Philippines without urban crowding, the long, thin island of Palawan awaits. Situated between Manila and Malaysia in the Sulu Sea, and accessible by air, Palawan has a population of about three-quarters of million people and is the second least densely populated province in the Philippines.
The Palawan province features two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park – making it a favored destination for green-minded travelers around the world. However, we suggest another sort of green adventure on Palawan Island.
World Trails Asia, run by French expatriate Jean-Luc Gadriot, provides guided tours through the jungles of Palawan on Kawasaki KLX140L trail bikes. Unlike overly tall pure-enduro bikes, the KLX140L’s lower seat height is welcoming to newer riders (WTA offers training) and can still satisfy the demands of an experienced off-roader on the ultra-tight trails.
Riders don’t have to rough it, as WTA uses Go Hotels Puerto Princesa for lodging, which earns a four-star rating at TripAdvisor.
High quality restaurants are nearby, as you will certainly build up an appetite working your way through the rain forest. WTA tours can run from a single day to three-day excursions.