A Solo Traveler’s Guide to Palawan, Philippines

Travelling solo is not for everyone, yes, but if you haven’t done it yet, you may want to add it to your bucket list.

Solo travel will give you a sense of freedom that you would not be able to experience if you were travelling with a companion.

Unlike if you’re travelling with a group, for example, if you go solo, you won’t have to wait up for anybody. You do what you want to do, whenever and wherever. This is the primary reason why I prefer solo travel.

Why Travel Solo in Palawan?

A Solo Traveler’s Guide to Palawan, Philippines
The beautiful karst cliffs of Palawan.

If you’re going to travel alone for the first time, it’s best to choose a destination where the crime rate is low and the people go out of their way to be helpful. The beautiful island of Palawan in the Philippines fits the bill and, on top of that, is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches you’ll ever see.

Palawan has a range of accommodation options, too, that are perfect for budget and solo travellers. Use hotel booking sites like Booking.com and Traveloka for great deals on hotel rooms and Palawan resorts in El Nido, Coron, or Puerto Princesa.

Like most Filipinos, Palaweños can also converse in both English and Tagalog, so communication is easier. You can talk to just about anyone to ask for directions and the like. They are also used to interacting with tourists, so you probably won’t stick out like a sore thumb even if you’re the only foreigner around.

Another great thing about solo travel in Palawan is that it has something in store for everyone. Whatever it is you hope to do during your trip, chances are, the province has you covered.

Say, you want to meet new people. This shouldn’t be a problem as the locals are friendly and it is easy to find other like-minded travellers. If you want to escape the crowds, there are still plenty of destinations here that are, for the most part, unexplored by mass tourism.

If you’re seeking a much-needed break from technology, you can opt for one of the many places in Palawan with intermittent to no cell phone or Wi-Fi signal.

Safety Tips to Remember When Travelling Solo in Palawan

One of the challenges of travelling solo is that you have to watch your own back and be on full alert all the time. Although Palawan is generally safe for both Filipino and foreign tourists, take note of these reminders.

  • Thousands of visitors come to Palawan each year and a few of them may be untrustworthy, so exercise caution with people you just met. This is especially true if you’re staying at shared rooms in hostels.
  • Most of the locals are genuinely nice but there are some who may be looking to take advantage of others, especially tourists
  • Be in constant communication with someone back home through phone calls and inform them of your itinerary.

If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your intuition and go somewhere you feel safe.

Mastering The Art of Dining Alone

A Solo Traveler’s Guide to Palawan, Philippines
Fresh seaweed served in Palawan.

Eating alone can be daunting if you’re not used to it or if it’s your first time travelling solo. Doing it in Palawan is not a big deal, though, and you’ll probably feel more uncomfortable than the situation warrants.

People will usually leave you alone, but if you want someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to start a conversation with the locals.

However, if you want to be left alone, read a book or write in your journal.

If you’re staying at a resort, get to know the staff. Palaweños are a friendly lot, and they will greet you whenever they see you, especially if they think you’re not comfortable being by yourself.

How To Save On Costs When Traveling Solo In Palawan

Group Tours -- A Solo Traveler’s Guide to Palawan, Philippines
Joining tour groups is easy to do in El Nido, Coron, and Puerto Princesa.

One of the goals of any backpacker is to get the most out of his or her budget. This is easier to pull off when you’re travelling solo, especially with the following cost-saving tactics.

  • Join group tours. Most travel agencies in Palawan offer this tour option to individuals or small groups.
  • Stay at hostels which charge for the bed and not the room.
  • Most towns in Palawan are small, so don’t use public transport unless necessary. Buy a map and explore on foot.
  • As Palaweños love to eat, the province has plenty of inexpensive restaurants that serve good food and cold drinks. You can research your options before your trip, or you can ask fellow travellers or hostel staff for their recommendations.

When you’re tired of being alone, ask the hostel staff where other foreigners usually hang out. While the nightlife is not as lively as in Boracay, for example, there are still good places to be when the sunsets. Depending on where you are, there may be some bars featuring live music.

Don’t be afraid to try travelling alone, especially in Palawan. I’ve been there several times, and it’s always one of my highly recommended solo travel destinations in the Philippines!

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Written by

Aleah Taboclaon

Aleah Taboclaon is the travel blogger behind Solitary Wanderer. She is from the Philippines and loves being location independent. She funds her travels with freelance editing, writing, and blogging work. Aleah has been to 28 countries in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Follow her adventures on Instagram and Facebook.

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