Manila does stay true to the country’s tourism slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” In more ways than one, it is a destination you’d fall in love with. Before you venture off into popular tourist attractions, explore the Philippine capital first. Here’s how you can enjoy this wonderful location:
If you haven’t heard about it yet, the world’s top chefs love Filipino food – and for good reason, too. The cuisine, by nature, features strong flavors that make every ingredient stand out. Enjoy Manila from a different light with the sumptuous dishes you can find nowhere else.
Try the all-time beer partner sisig, a dish the New York Times called the “best pork dish in the world.” There is also the cold treat halo-halo, which received praise from no other than Anthony Bourdain. Food critic Andrew Zimmern also raved about Filipino dishes like longanisa (sweet pork sausage) and lumpia (spring rolls).
Manila is more than just a jump-off point to reach the lovely beaches of Boracay and the scenic landscapes of Palawan. The capital holds up its own in terms of attractions. As a matter of fact, you can ride a bike to get around the heritage sites of the capital.
There is the famous Rizal Park, a monument to the country’s national hero. You can also visit the Spanish-era Intramuros (literally, walled city), where you can revisit the country’s rich history. You can even ride a kalesa (carriage) to go around.
Close to Intramuros, you can find Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown. Here, you can enjoy the sight of the circa 1596 Binondo Church and the flavors of delicacies, like the hopia pastry. If you dare, you can also try some exotic local food, such as isaw and balut.
Cap the day off at the Manila Bay, where you can witness one of the world’s finest sunsets. After that, head over to Solaire Resort for a dose of fun and luxury that rivals what you can experience in Las Vegas.
Manila may not be like Hong Kong, but it’s definitely a good destination for shopping. In Quiapo and Divisoria alone, you can find some great bargains. Be sure to sharpen your haggling skills, because this is the best way to score some truly cheap deals for one-of-a-kind products.
When you do all these in Manila, you’ll definitely agree that it’s more fun in the Philippines.