Mission Manila in 24 Hours
During my trip to Asia, my second stop was Manila, Philippines. The plan was to enjoy two days here, but we missed our flight from China. We only got to enjoy one day and wished we had more. Since I did not like my time in China due to many rude gestures from people it was refreshing to arrive in Manila with pleasant greetings as soon as we got off the plane. Everyone was so welcoming everywhere we went. Pleasant hello’s and smiles were plastered everywhere we went.
Manila was very intriguing because though it is an Asian city, it is filled with Spanish influence that I didn’t of. We stayed at Manila H2O Hotel, which featured a beautiful aquarium above our bed. Check out my review here. We didn’t find manila to be dirt cheap but it was fairly affordable. I will share my a couple things to do with extra’s and tips.
I have never found those taxi’s inside of airports useful, EVER! They are always inflated with very little haggle room. Luckily apps like Uber (get $5 off your ride here) and Grab (which is even cheaper) exist. You can download these app and even use your card so that you can hold on to your hard cash. We paid $10 for our cab from the airport to the hotel which and was quoted $20 (their currency) for the short ride. I do not find that hotel transfers are useful either especially if it is a high end hotel. They are hiked up too.
Know your exchange
Along with the taxi’s inside the airport, the money exchange places aren’t helpful to me as well. They charge a high fee and don’t haggle because if you don’t budge someone else will passing through the airport. I always suggest using the ATM .
Rush hour is a universal term known all around the world. Manila is known as one of the worst places to drive in the world. Be aware of the this when planning to go anywhere around these times. Our taxi from the airport to our hotel was about 10 minutes. When it was time to get to the airport for our 6:30 flight it took us almost an hour. Luckily we didn’t miss our flight this time. These hours are usually in the morning between 6-9 am and evenings 4-9 pm.
we felt safe in Manila, though we spent most of our time during the day. It does not have a great reputation so always be cautious, be aware of your surroundings and belongings. Their emergency number is 911.
Things to do
The Dessert Museum
We were there for about 2 hours and had the time of our lives! We didn’t feel rushed and enjoyed our ttime in each room. Read my review here
Price: 599 PHP weekdays, 699 PHP weekends, 799 PHP holidays
Time: Everyday 10 am - 10 pm
Walking distance from The Dessert Museum you can walk to Bay Walk, see some stress acts, grab some street food and enjoy the scenery.
Mall of Asia
Here is lies many things. It was conveniently a one stop shop for us. It was close to The Dessert Museum, the Baywalk and we got to try a Filipino buffet.
Just as Tuk Tuk’s are to Thailand, Jeepney is to Manila. Take a pic with one or if you are daring, take a ride in one.
Things we didn’t get to do that might interest you
Philippine national Museum: Learn some history
Seaside Dampa: Known as the best place for seafood
Halo Halo: As a dessert lover, this is Filipino shaved ice sundae
Bonifacio Global City: Known for it’s street art and New York feel
Masungi Georeserve: A day trip here to spend some time with nature and adventure.
Greenbelt Mall: Known for outrageous and cheap seals on everything from electronics to clothing
Gerry’s Jeepney: Assortment of food spread out on a bamboo,serving classic Filipino favorites like Boodle Fight
Read On: 24 Hours in Berlin
Have you ever been to the Philippines? If not, would you visit?