Manila is often seen as a stopover by tourists who are planning on flying over to other destinations. This is because the capital of the Philippines is a busy and congested city. But this is a city with a lot of gumption as well, especially since it had to be painstakingly restored after it was almost destroyed due to intense aerial bombings in World War 2. The history of its tenacity lives on in the form of the walled city of Intramuros which has avoided various natural disasters and was built in the 16th century. The city is also home to the world’s largest Chinatown as well as the world’s oldest university.
How to Reach Manila
The most common form of intercity transportation are jeepneys (styled after US army jeeps), but various forms of taxicabs like motorcycles with sidecars, bicycles with sidecars or horse-drawn calesas are popular as well. It should be noted that all forms of public transport in Manila are privately owned but operated under government franchise.
As for the railways, the LRT Line 1 and Line 2 form the Manila Light Rail Transit System to service the city. Seaports are bound to be there in Manila and the Port of Manila, located in the vicinity of the Manila Bay is the chief seaport of the Philippines. Air travel is also made possible by the presence of two airports, namely Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Clark International Airport. So visitors can book tickets from far off places and easily get Dubai to Manila flights, Hong Kong to Manila flights, Sydney to Manila flights and much more.
What to do in Manila
Once here, people will definitely like to immerse themselves in what the city has to offer, here’s a short list of that:
- Enjoy Local Food: Food and art (along with architecture) are what people immediately look for in a place. Tasting traditional Filipino dishes should definitely be on the menu and the best dish, to begin with, is the Adobo, which is chicken or pork cooked up in vinegar, garlic and soy sauce. Then on to tasting the Sisig (grilled pork parts), Sinigang (soup seasoned with tamarind) and Sampaguita Ice cream. Sampaguita is a sweet smelling tropical flower which is also the national flower of the Philippines. Also, visitors are encouraged to try out the traditional style of eating called the boodle-fight which involves eating with bare hands. But the food is placed on a long banana leaf and people stand shoulder to shoulder instead of sitting.
- Visiting Museums: Exploring the city’s culture is best done through museums and there are plenty of the sorts in Manila. Some of the best of the crop include the National Museum, Casa Manila, San Agustin Museum, Ayala Museum, Bahay museum, Metropolitan Museum and more so. Pro tip: Do check out the National Museum of Natural History, located in Rizal Park to explore the biodiversity of the place.
Manila is a city which hides a lot of natural and historical wonders under a seemingly impenetrable blanket of smoke and traffic snake lines. But it is a treasure trove once it gets opened.