Sometimes the act of traveling itself is just as interesting as the destination. Travelling by bus on the island of Palawan from Sabang to El Nido was easily one of the most fun days I have had on the road.
The first hour went by local Jeepney, which often had people climbing in through the windows and had loads of people sitting on the roof. The Jeepney was absolutely crammed with passengers and goods in a way that I imagine travelling in India is often like.
I was sitting with my friend in the back of the Jeepney, and we noticed at one point that some of the ladies in the back were staring at us expectedly. I didn’t understand at the time, but the etiquette is for younger or male passengers to move up to the roof so that women can take a seat in the back. Oops, sorry!
A bit later we switched to a regular bus, switch would take us the rest of the way to El Nido, the most northern point of Palawan.
The bus ride went through beautiful landscapes, and just observing the people and the villages you pass could be immensely satisfying. Sometimes a group of school children would hop on for a bit, or we’d screech to a halt in the middle of a dusty road causing thick yellow dust to billow in through the windows making it impossible to see more than a few meters ahead inside the bus.
The bus just blasted through the landscapes, to the point where I actively wondered how safe it really was. At one point our driver felt it necessary to race a minivan, almost cutting it off the road (check out the video below). When the locals all jump up and get worried, you know you’d better hold onto something tight.
Having enjoyed the beautiful landscapes of rural Palawan and having had our shot of adrenaline, we arrived safe and sound at El Nido… a town that would soon prove to be one of my favorite destinations in the Philippines.
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