Visiting the Philippines would not be complete without visiting its capital Manila. Known for being a hive of activity and a galore of attractions, it is of little wonder the city attracts thousands of tourists in Asia.
Certainly, Manila is different from the other cities and metropolitan in South East Asia. This is why tourists find visiting Manila to be an enriching experience which they would cherish their whole lives. One thing is for sure like any other cities in this region, Manila offers interesting shopping opportunities for tourists.
Manila is located in the tropics although it is sometimes affected by the tropical storm and hurricanes which come its way. Other than that, you can expect sunshine all year round.
You will certainly have to take a flight into the Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport if you are outside the Philippines. The airport is one of the 60 busiest airports in the world.
In Manila, you would not have a problem in terms of language as most of the locals speak English. A tip, when travelling around the city, you must be careful when asking for directions. If you need to take a taxi, it is wise you ask them first of how much it is likely to cost and take the shortest route available. If not, you may be duped into paying more then you are required to.
There are many things to do when you get down at the airport as there are many places to visit. From there, you can go to Chinatown, Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Malacanang Palace, Manila Baywalk, Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, National Museum of the Philippines, Plaza Miranda and San Sebastian church and so on.
Besides this, there are a host of other places where you can visit. Intramuros is the old Manila built by the Spanish during colonial days which means “within the walls”. Literally, it refers to a fort built by the colonisers in the 16th century to protect themselves from attacks.
The Malacanang Palace is the Philippine President’s official residence and every day it receives thousands of visitors. Similar to the White House, it is a recognisable landmark in the Philippines.
From old cities to museums
Fort Santiago is one of the ancient remnants left by Rajah Sulayman of the Sulu kingdom, which was later taken over by the Spanish. It is known as the place of execution of Philippines freedom fighter, Jose Rizal.
Chinatown is the best place to shop for jewellery, home altar accessories or precious jewels. Riding a horse carriage is the best way to tour Chinatown.
As with old cities, there are many museums to visit like the Bahay Tsinoy, Intramuros Light and Sound Museum, Main National Museum, Padre Burgos Street Museo ng Maynila (Museum of Manila) and the Pre-War Army-Navy Club Bldg. Others include Rizal Park, Museo Pambata (Children’s Museum), formerly the Pre-War Elk’s Club Bldg., Rizal Park and the National Museum of the Filipino People.
Although the Philippines is well known for being a country which practices Roman Catholicism, other religions including Buddhism and Islam are also practised here. Hence, it is of little surprise you can also find other places of worship like the Seng Guan Temple. The Seng Guan Temple is a Buddhist temple where, on the upper floor, tourists will find a mural illustrating Buddha’s life. Spending a day in Manila would not be enough as there are many places to visit.