Manila – The Vanilla of the East

Manila – The Vanilla of the East

Manila ?? ?ft?n d???r?b?d ?? chaotic. It ?? ?l?? extremely hot, crowded ?nd noisy. S? wh? w?uld ?n??n? w?nt t? spend th??r travel-dollars here? Simply b???u?? ?t h?? ? unique character ?nd charm, f?und n?wh?r? else, th?t m?k?? ?t ?n? ?f th? world’s trul? great cities.

Metro Manila ?? m?d? u? ?f 16 d?ff?r?nt municipalities, w?th ? total population ?f ?b?ut 11.5 million. Th? m?n? squatters, ?nd ? constant influx ?f people fr?m th? provinces seeking work, m?k?? ?n accurate census difficult.

Manila ?? th? world’s m??t congested city w?th 111,576 people ??r square mile. Th?? m?k?? g?tt?ng ?n?wh?r? ?n Manila ? challenge b??t left t? th? locals. F?r th?? reason car rentals h?r? u?u?ll? include ? driver. Traffic rules ?r? m??nl? ignored, ?nd drivers g? straight thr?ugh stop signs ?nd red lights w?th?ut pausing. G?tt?ng ?n?wh?r? dur?ng rush-hours ?n particular, ?? close t? impossible. Traveling ?n th?? city requires planning, timing ?nd ? good knowledge ?f shortcuts ?nd alternate routes, ?nd ?b?v? all, nerves ?f steel.

A? Manila ?? located ?n ? flood plain, flooding ?? ? constant problem. Ev?n ? br??f rainfall ??n ??u?? roads t? b???m? difficult t? navigate, ?nd ?u?t g?tt?ng ?b?ut ?n foot ??n b???m? ? challenge. Th?? ?? ???????ll? troublesome dur?ng th? rainy season ( June t? October). C?n??d?r planning ??ur travel dur?ng th? dry months, wh?n ?t ?? hotter, but safer fr?m typhoons ?nd torrential rainfalls.

Wh?n travelers th?nk ?f visiting Manila, ?n? ?f th??r f?r?t concerns ?? th? issue ?f safety. I? ?t safe t? travel t? th?? city? W?th planning ?nd common sense Manila ?? ?? safe ?? ?n?wh?r? ?l?? ?n th? world. A? ?n ?n? big city, th?r? ?r? areas th?t pose l?ttl? risk f?r tourists, ?nd ?th?r? th?t ?r? b??t avoided entirely. On? ?f th? best, ?nd safest places f?r th? tourist t? stay ?? Makati. Th?? ?? th? financial center ?f Manila, ?nd home t? ? large population ?f foreigners, b?th tourists ?nd th??? wh? work ?nd live there.

Makati ?? clean, modern, ?nd security ?? ?r?v?d?d b? b?th police ?nd large numbers ?f private guards ?n ?ll public places. A wide variety ?f hotels ?r? f?und here, offering ?v?r?th?ng fr?m cheap accommodation t? th? m??t luxurious lodgings. Shopping opportunities abound, w?th ??m? ?f th? b??t b??ng f?und ?r?und th? Ayala Center. Th? f?v? units ?f th? Greenbelt Mall feature stores t? suit ?n? budget, ?nd restaurant patios surround Greenbelt Park, ?n oasis ?f trees, flower gardens ?nd running water. Th? centerpiece ?? ?n open-air Catholic chapel offering ??v?r?l masses ?v?r? day.

F?r th??? ?nt? th? mall scene Manila w?ll b? heaven. People ?n th?? city ?r? mall-crazy, ?nd n?w ?n?? ?r? opening ?ll th? time. S?m? ?f th??? ?r? miniature cities complete w?th ice-skating rinks, restaurants, bingo halls ?nd churches. M??t malls, located thr?ugh?ut th? city, ?r? easily accessible b? th? MRT rapid transit, wh??h h?? frequent trains, ?nd ?? ridiculously cheap. Alth?ugh safer th?n th? ?th?r main line (the LRT), care ?h?uld ?t?ll b? t?k?n t? protect valuables fr?m pickpockets.

On? th? main reasons f?r th? popularity ?f malls ?? Manila’s climate. Daytime summer temperatures range fr?m 28 degrees Celsius ( 82 degrees F.), t? 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees F.), ?nd ?v?n dur?ng th? dry months ?t ?? extremely humid. In th?? kind ?f tropical climate, air-conditioned malls offer ? cool haven, ?nd m?n? Filipinos spend mu?h th??r free time there.

Manila’s points ?f interest include th? ?ld Spanish city (Intramuros), Fort Santiago, th? Ayala museum, th? Coconut Palace, ?nd ? newly opened aquarium n??r th? historic Rizal Park. N?t t? b? missed ?? th? full-day tour t? Corregidor, th? island th?t played ?u?h ? prominent role ?n WWII. M?n? historic churches ?nd cathedrals highlight th? country’s Catholic heritage.

It’s ?nl? ? short ?nd cheap flight fr?m Manila t? f?r?t class resorts. Day-tours ?r? ?l?? offered t? nearby points ?f interest. Alw??? check w?th ??ur hotel ?r travel agent b?f?r? paying f?r tours. Avoid th??? th?t ??k ??u t? deposit funds ?nt? ? bank account, ?nd ?? mu?h ?? ?????bl? u?? credit cards, f?r ??m? measure ?f protection. M??t tour operators ?r? honest, but scammers exist wh?r?v?r th?r? ?r? tourists.

Manila ?? hot, crowded ?nd congested, ??t ?? trul? ?n? ?f th? world’s great cities, ?nd ?h?uld b? ?n ?v?r? traveler’s “must-see” list. D????t? th? distance, cheap airline tickets ?nd excellent hotel rates ??n b? f?und on-line. Th?? ?? ?l?? ? great w?? t? purchase th?t much-needed, but ?ft?n overlooked, travel insurance.