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Manila

Manila is a city of contrast. Jagged high rises watch neighbouring ghettos, new technology interweaves centuries-old tradition and despite being one of the densest cities in the world, the people of Manila are friendly and welcoming. Navigate a city of colourful chaos, with the help of our travel guide.

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Places to stay

As you may have guessed, Manila’s densely populated CBD has no shortage of accommodation. There’s the 100-year-old Manila Hotel, that has hosted some impressive celebrities like the Beatles and JFK. If you’re in the mood to lash-out, the newly redeveloped Makati Shangri-La is the chandelier trimmed, 699-roomed, luxe giant that dreams are made of.

For those travelling with a backpack, not a suitcase, there are budget hotels scattered all throughout the city with basic rooms and free Wi-Fi.

Things to do

Manila is a city of colour, luxury, tastes and art. Take a tour of the Carlos Celdran through Intramuros and discover the “heart” of the city or take a sombre stroll through the American Cemetery on McKinley Road, the largest cemetery for U.S personal killed in WWII. Sample some of the best street food in Asia at the Roxas Boulevard, then dance the night away in Fort Bonifacio.

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Manila, Philippines
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Where to go

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Shopping

Manila has heaps of shopping options. For up-market shopping and luxury brands visit Glorietta, SM EDSA and Shangri-La Plaza. For a Manila mall experience, complete with skating rinks (plural), head to The Mall of Asia. More of a haggler? Get down to the cheap-as-chips Baclaran street market in Paranaque.

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Food and drink

Hankering for a snack? If you’ve got a weekend under your belt, take yourself to the Legazpi Sunday Market where you can try anything from cuttlefish lollipops to handmade ice cream. For a top-tier, world-class, master-chef experience don’t go past The Goose Station, but make sure you leave enough room in your stomach, their set menu is particularly involved. 

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Getting around

From the airport: transport options between Manila International Airport and downtown include regular buses, the convenient Light Rail Transit System (LRT), plus taxi's are available outside the terminals. Alternatively you may wish to hire a car.

In and around the city: our best advice is to avoid taxis in peak times. Manila is a city of traffic, so it’s best to explore the city on foot. If you’re patient catch one of the loudly painted jeepneys (stretched-out jeep) for a more authentic experience or use the light rail system.

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