Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is one of the most popular metropolitan areas in the world. It is also the nation’s capital when it comes to culture, politics, business, education, and entertainment. Apart from the swanky malls, there are numerous things you must try while you’re in the city; like opting for a Segway tour of the Spanish Old Town (Intramuros), strolling through Binondo – the world’s first Chinatown, or watching the sun set over the Manila Bay. Night owls can go club hopping or check out the city’s live music scene. For a change of scenery, head out to Tagaytay; the smallest active volcano in the world, located just 3 hours away from Manila city. If you’re willing to go a little further, there are regular, short flights to the beautiful neighboring islands of Boracay, Batangas, and Palawan.
Useful Tips for Tourists Travelling to Manila
Shopping Guide for Manila
Manila is one of the best shopping destinations in Asia. The city is filled with malls and many of them are interconnected. Most malls have the same or similar brands, so if you don’t find something in your size – you can just run across to the next mall. SM Mall of Asia is the 4th largest mall in the Philippines and consists of 4 buildings. Apart from the leading brands, food courts, and multiplexes, the mall also has an ice-skating rink. Other popular malls are Glorietta, Century City Mall, and Trinoma Mall. For high-end brands – there’s Greenbelt which features international stores like Kenneth Cole, Kate Spade, Hermes, and more. For budget buys, head over to Greenhills for food items, clothing, bags, footwear, and more.
Filipino Food Trip
There’s no better way to experience the culture of a new country than trying out its local cuisine. Filipino cuisine has a combination of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavors. Vinegar and seafood are common ingredients used in their cooking. Some of the must-try local dishes are Lechón (whole roasted pig), Torta (omelet), halo-halo (flavored shaved ice), Buko pie (a sweet pie that people wait in line to purchase), kare-kare (vegetable and peanut stew), and more. Popular eateries include Max’s Fried Chicken, Recovery Food, Everybody’s Café, Toyo Eatery, Gallery Vask, and more.
Basic Filipino Words and Phrases
The people of Manila are extremely friendly and will try their best to understand you, even if they do not know English. However, it’s always helpful and convenient to know a few phrases in their local language (Tagalog).
• Thank You:
• Good day:
• Excuse me:
Mawalang galang na po
• What do you mean?:
Anong ibig mong sabihin?
Dos and Don’ts
• Though the main city is safe, in the crowded areas just outside Manila, pick pocketing and theft are quite common.
• Always head out earlier than planned because traffic during peak hours can be quite a hassle.
• Expect queues everywhere – be it the local grocery store or the cashier counter at a mall.
Emergency contact numbers
• Emergency hotline: 911
• Which airlines offer cheap air tickets to Manila?
The airline offering cheap air tickets to Manila is AirAsia
• What is the time zone used in the Philippines?
The time zone of the Philippines is GMT+8.
• What are the most popular airlines flying from Bangkok to Manila?
From Bangkok to Manila, the most popular airlines are Malaysia Airlines
, Cathay Pacific, and Thai Airways
• What is the shortest time for a Bangkok to Manila flight?
The shortest time for a direct Bangkok to Manila flight is 3 hours and 15 minutes.
• What are the top tourist destinations of Manila?
Manila welcomes roughly over 1 million tourists each year and the key destinations include Manila Ocean Park, National Theater, Manila Zoo, National Museum of the Philippines, and more.
• What is the currency of the Philippines?
The currency of the Philippines is the Philippine Peso (PHP).
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