Manila – One of Asia’s most exciting cities
The capital of the Philippines is Manila that is one of the largest cities of Asia with over 11 million of a population. Manila includes 16 cities that are known as metro Manila collectively. It is a busy and lively city with a combination of both old and modern. Many tourists visit Manila for a few day stop over as the city offers a wide variety of interesting and enjoyable things to do
Shopping is one of many of things to do in Manila, especially for the shopaholics. Prices are a lot cheaper than in most Western countries. Shopping malls have become more than just shopping to the Filipino, they are a social event, a place to hang out and meet friends. Manila is home to many huge shopping centers including the third largest shopping mall in the world “The Mall of Asia” providing a wide range of options of numerous stores, cafes and restaurants. Exclusive and smart shopping can be done in Makati offering various well-known brands including Gucci, Prada, etc. There is also a market in Green hills from where you can get cheap fake attires.
Tourist spots in Manila
If you stop over in Manila you probably wonder what to do in Manila, especially if you are on a short visit. There are numerous appealing and attractive places for tourists. Interesting tourist spots in Manila date back to the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500’s, one of the popular places to start is Intramurals a fortress built to protect the first Spanish settlers when they arrived in 1571. Inside the walls you can find some of Manila’s most famous landmarks including Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral and the oldest church in Manila San Agustin Church.
One of the famous parks of Manila is Rizal Park that is also commonly known as Luneta Park with its wide lawn areas its perfect place to attract people to stroll around, enjoy picnics or have fun with family and friends. The park is named after one of the most famous national hero’s in the Philippines Dr Jose Rizal, the park includes the Rizal Memorial. It is also has a city Planetarium along with the Chinese and Japanese Gardens in the area.
Near Rizal Park is located the large aquarium of Manila known covering 8000 square meters known as Manila Ocean Park. The park has Asia’s largest underwater view tunnel and it is home to Manila’s most unique hotels the H2O Hotel. Their aquarium walled rooms house living aquariums complete with marine life.
Other famous amusement parks for families are Start City and Enchanted Kingdom. The latter one is a huge park divided in different zones for entertainment and rides, both amusement parks make for a fun and great day out.
Nightlife in Manila
Manila nightlife has some great places to hang on in, especially in Malate with the wide variety of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, discos and live bands. It is considered one of the most exciting places in Manila. Most of these places are located around Remedios Circle.
The region of Greenbelt in Manila has also an active nightlife offering fine options of clubs and bars. More memorable experiences can be achieved in terms of nightlife at Quezon City in Eastwood City which offers a wide range of restaurants and bars.
There are a number of options also for people interested in Casinos for people who like to take a punt.
Find a hotel in Manila
Finding a hotel in Manila is no easy task with hundreds to choose from in the city. Tourists are attracted to the areas of Makati, Ermita and Malate where there are numerous Manila hotels providing a great place to stay along with restaurants, bars and places to shop. Malate and Ermita are known as the tourist belt of Manila and is the most popular place to stay in Manila, Malate and Ermita hotels you will find the most affordable accommodation in Manila and with the most choice. Manila bay is within walking distance and is a popular hangout for locals and for visitors to the city. The beautiful sunsets here give the area some extra charm . Generally, options for the accommodation in Makati are expensive since it is the business area and you will find the more upmarket hotels. Hotels in Manila include the recognized chains such as the Makati Shangri-La, Hyatt Manila, Sofitel Manila, New World Hotel Makati, Marriott Manila, Intercontinental Manila Hotel and Dusit Thani Manila Hotel. Or for more mid priced hotels in Manila, hotels like City Garden Suites, Pearl Garden Hotel or Lotus Garden may be an option. We listed the hotels in Manila we have stayed at below.
Manila has some great getaway options that are not very far from the city…..
Corregidor Island played a significant role throughout history due to its strategic location at the entrance of Manila bay. Most significantly was its role in World War II. The island was used as the American HQ under the command of General MacArthur and with the invasion of the Japanese into the Philippines it was the sight of some intense battles. Corregidor Island was captured by the Japanese but nearing the end of the war was recaptured by the Americans. Relics from World War II make this a popular place for war veterans as well tourist interested in the historic battles of the war. Corregidor Lighthouse is a renowned sight that was built at the end of 19th century. Overnight stays are available on the island’s lodge. Sun Cruises offers tours and overnight packages to the island.
Adjacent to Taal Lake is a beautiful worth seeing spot at the south of Manila known and Tagaytay. It provides a wonderful and magnificent view of volcanoes of Taal. Many local residents often come to visit this place. Incredible views of Taal Volcano and various restaurants within easy reach offer good dining places.
Subic Freeport Zone
It was basically a military base of Americans that is now transformed into a favourite place for tourists. Subic Freeport Zone is located in the north of metro Manila and comprises of restaurants with views of the bay, theme parks, scuba diving and sandy beaches. It is also a great place for people interested in shopping, golf or gambling.
240 Km the north of Manila, there is also another city known as Baguio. It is known as the summer capital of the Philippines due to the cool mountain weather with an altitude of 1500 m above sea level, don’t be surprised if you need a jacket to walk around Baguio. Due to the cooler climate they are able to grow different crops not possible in other parts of the country (broccoli, cauliflower etc.) and the most famous crop being strawberries! One can visit the strawberry farms and pick their own strawberries. Experience scenery of mountains without the heat, something you wouldn’t expect to find in a tropical country.
On the 9th of January, one of the largest religious events in the Philippines takes place known as Feast Day Black Nazarene. Processions are carried out into the streets with the Black Nazarene that attracts a great number of believers to join the procession through the Manila streets.
Wooden statue of Jesus Christ is carried known as Black Nazarene which was burnt in 1607 while it was being carried in the ship. The belief is based on the concept that touching the statue can bring miracles.
Places to eat
Fast food chains, fine dining and sumptuous buffets are widely abundant in city. From seafood, Thai cuisine, Korean and many international cuisines, you’ll never get hungry here.
How to get to Manila
Manila provides the most options to arrive in the Philippines and a major gateway to Asia, North America, Middle East and Europe. Internationally carriers that fly to Manila (direct) include:
All Nippon Airways flies from (Japan) Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya to Manila
Air China flies from (China) Beijing to Manila
Air Philippines flies from Singapore to Manila
Asiana flies flies from (South Korea) Busan and Seoul to Manila
Cebu Pacific flies from (Brunei)Bandar Seri Begawan, (China) Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong, (Indonesia) Jakata, (Japan) Osaka, (Macau) Macau, (Malasia) Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, (Vietnam) Ho Chi Minh, (Thailand) Bangkok, (South Korea) Busan, Seoul, (Taiwan) Taipei and Singapore to Manila.
Cathay Pacific flies from Hong Kong to Manila
China Airlines flies from (Taiwan) Kaohsiung and Taipei to Manila
China Southern flies from (China) Xiamen and Guangzhou to Manila
Continental Airlines flies from Palau and Guam to Manila
Delta Air Lines flies from Nagoya and Tokyo to Manila
Dragon Air flies from Hong Kong to Manila
Eva Air flies from Taipei to Manila
Emirates flies from Dubai To Manila
Eithad flies from Abu Dhabi to Manila
Gulf Air flies from Bahrain to Manila
Hawaiian flies from Honolulu to Manila
JAL flies from Tokyo to Manila
Jetstar Asia flies from Singapore to Manila
KLM flies from Amsterdam to Manila
Korean Air flies from Busan and Seoul to Manila
Kuwait Airways flies from Kuwait to Manila
Malaysia Airlines flies from Kuala Lumpur to Manila
Mandarin Airlines flies from Kaohsiung to Manila
Philippine Airlines flies from Guam, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, Busan, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Delhi, Dubai, Doha, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Melbourne and Sydney to Manila.
QANTAS flies from Brisbane and Sydney to Manila
QATAR Airways flies from Doha to Manila
Royal Brunei Airlines flies from Bandar Seri Begawan to Manila
Saudia Airlines flies from Dammam and Riyadh to Manila
Singapore Airlines flies from Singapore to Manila
Thai Airways flies from Bangkok to Manila
Tiger Airways flies from Singapore to Manila