Here’s a movie about Manila. This movie will give you a quick impression of the destination. The movie is produced for IFLYtheworld.com by bluepig.nl.
Intramuros (2 hrs)
The oldest district in Manila, Intramuros, was build by the Spaniards in the 16th century. The name means literally ‘within the walls’ in Latin. During the colonial Spanish period Intramuros was considered Manila itself.
Nowadays Intramuros is a kind of huge open air museum, with real people living inside and free entrance. You can see the old houses, Manila Cathedral and beautiful street life. And the people love to be in the picture. Go with a taxi to this place and walk around or take a horse coach.
Shop till you drop in Makati City (1 hr - 1 day)
If you really love shopping, go to the centre of Makati City and you will find enough shops for a few days. These huge shopping malls are all connected to each other, so even during monsoon season you can shop without getting wet.
And when the weather is nice there are many places where you can sit outside for a drink, a snack or a great meal. Greenbelt, Landmark, Glorietta and SM-mall, if you don’t find it here, it’s possibly not for sale.
Mall of Asia (½ day)
A very modern place for shopping is located a bit out of Manila’s city centre, but it’s very complete. The Mall of Asia is like a city on itself. It has shops from all major brands like Zara, Mango, Aldo, Esprit, Gap, Bodyshop and much more. And if you feel hot, you can even go ice-skating in the Mall of Asia. There are also many restaurants and a huge food court.
The easiest way to go there is by taxi. And if a taxi driver doesn’t know where it is, he probably should find himself another job...
Greenhills market (2 hrs)
If you like to buy cheap products and like to bargain, go to Greenhills Shopping Center located at Ortigas Avenue, San Juan, Manila. There’s a lot to buy at the market, fresh products, copy stuff like watches, dvd’s and software, handicraft and nice souvenirs.
In total there are over 2000 stores. The opening hours are from 10 am till 8 pm. And if you like the fresh products, go there in the morning. Find your shop at www.greenhills.com.ph
Wensha 24 hour spa center (2 hrs)
Are you busy all day or awake at an uncommon time because of time difference, Wensha Spa Center is open 24 hours a day. You can get here all kind of massage, pedicure, manicure, facials and bodyscrub. Also included in the price is a sauna, steambath, pool and unlimited servings of soup and drinks in the huge dining room.
It’s located in the CCP area, just off Roxas Boulevard in Pasay city.
The place is a bit weird when you visit for the first time. After you sign up for a massage, they send you to a locker room and you don’t know why you are there. After an attendant directs you to the sauna, the confusion is complete.
But it’s good and after a relaxing sauna you get the most wonderful and professional massage for a very reasonable price. Approximately 600 Peso for a treatment.
Fishmarket and restaurants (2 hrs)
Eating out is possible everywhere in Manila. But if you wanna try it local, go to Paluto Seafood restaurants and market. It is situated in Macapagal Boulevard, Pasay City near Mall of Asia.
In the middle you will find a fresh fish market and on the side are many restaurants.
First you select and buy your fish and seafood. Then you select a restaurant where they can prepare your just bought ingredients the way you like it. They only charge you for the cooking, side dishes and drinks. So you bring your own food.
The place is opened 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. It’s fun, fresh and definitely cheaper then a real restaurant.
Pagsanjan River and Falls (½ - 1 day)
Enough of the bustling city and have a spare day? Take a taxi or bus in the morning, which will bring you to Pagsanjan in less then 2 hours. This village, less then 100 km south of Manila, can easily be reached by car or bus in about 2 hours. From this village you can make a boat tour along the Pagsanjan River to the Pagsanjan Falls.
The boats, or bancas as they call them, are driven by two boatmen who paddle and push the boat upstream to the falls. A boat can hold maximum three passengers. The ride to the falls will take some time while it’s upstream, but the way back is very fast and exciting. The boat ride can be rough and wet, depending on the season, so make sure your belongings are safe.
After a short while at the falls, the boatmen will drive you back to Pagsanjan.
Be prepared for the boatmen. Make sure in advance the price is for a return and there are no hidden charges for the trip.
The boat ride rates are posted in various locations throughout the town. Don’t hire a boatman from someone who is running besides your car, only hire them direct from the boat dock. And if that’s all settled, you can enjoy a wonderful trip.
Taal volcano (1 day)
About 70 km south of Manila is the Taal Volcano, located in Lake Taal. You can make a daytrip to this wonderful place.
Take a bus or taxi to Talisay or Tagaytay from where you can take a boat to the island, the actual volcano. Don’t rent a boat by the guys who run next to your car, go right away to the jump-off point and arrange everything there.
At the island you can take a horse to go to the top of the crater, but you can easily walk there as well. Wear comfortable clothes which may become dirty and bring some water.
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Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Manila.