The capital city of the Philippines, Manila, is quite different from the white sand and turquoise sea duo that comes to mind when the Philippines is mentioned. It is a destination where you can spend a few days to understand the realities of the country and get to know its culture. Manila is the city of chaos, a vibrant life, intense American culture, as well as a real Asian, crowded city. I’m not exaggerating when I say crowd. Manila is the most densely populated city in the world.
The most famous place of Manila is its historical part called Intramuros. It is a place full of structures from the Spanish colonial times. It is surrounded by walls that you can walk on and cannons placed on these walls. One of the most famous buildings here is Aduana, the customs house, which was once the center of traders and now has an abandoned appearance.
Another important structure of the historical part is Fort Santiago. This is a castle that was also used as a prison. While visiting the prison parts, you will encounter a special area. This is a place reserved for one of the national heroes of the Philippines, Jose Rizal. Rizal is a hero whose life is full of many interesting events. While reading the articles about Rizal in this area, you will have fun and your heart will ache.
Other important areas in the historical part are Manila Cathedral, San Augustin Church and Casa Manila. Casa Manila is a museum where you can learn about what happened when the Philippines was a Spanish colony.
Other museums you can visit to learn more about the history of the Philippines and the life here are the National Museum and Ayala Museum. The Ayala Museum and the “Gold of the Ancestors” exhibition here are worth seeing, especially when the Philippines shines through trade.
You can visit the historical part of Manila by renting a phaeton, tuk tuk or walking. If you want to walk and learn more in depth, you can join one of the tours of the world-famous guide Carlos Celdran.
To go to different corners of the city, you can take advantage of buses, taxis, and many alternatives such as the subway, Uber, Grab, although they do not have a wide network, but if you want to travel like a real Filipino, you should get on the colorful jeepneys made by modifying old American jeeps and experience this.
When you go to Manila, you can go to China Town called Binondo to try different flavors. Moreover, this is the world’s first China Town. It’s a place where the crowd, noise and chaos are at its peak, but that’s the beauty of it.
Manila isn’t all messy. Especially the newly famous Makati region, where the quality has increased, is extremely modern and calm compared to other places. I recommend you to make your stay in this region on your trip to Manila. You can be more comfortable here, both in terms of security and cleaning.
Makati Is Like Little America
The Makati region is the financial center of the country, a place full of skyscrapers and shopping malls. Little America, on the other hand. Everywhere is full of fast food restaurants and chain restaurants and stores selling American brands. So much so that there is even an NBA Store. My favorite mall in Makati is Greenpark. This is a large area where you can find many things, and it is full of pleasant venues with live music performances that start to get crowded after sunset.
Especially if you are staying in Makati, I recommend you to have your dinner at A Venue one evening. This is a great place to represent the night markets of Southeast Asia in general. There are lots of food stalls. It’s a place where you can find a wide variety of dishes, from seafood to roast pork, from chicken to sushi and Korean food. The nice thing is that after you have your meal, you can go to the common tables area and watch the mini concerts of the music groups.
Makati also has a great area to escape the hustle and bustle of the city or to play sports. Ayala Triangle Gardens. Here, you can be at peace with the beauty of trees and flowers, and if you are lucky, you can come across outdoor exhibitions or various performances.
You can also spend an afternoon taking a long walk by the sea in Manila Bay. At Seafood Dampa in Manila Bay, you can cook all kinds of seafood you can buy from the market stalls in the restaurants there, and you can experience a feast of taste.