What to do in Manila

Makati buildingsFor a world-class shopping, dining and leisure experience, Manila has a lot to offer.  Unknown to many, Metro Manila is a major metropolis that has different centers of commerce, pockets of development and leisure destinations.  However, it would be better for foreign visitors and tourists who are visiting Manila for the first time to know some basic tips about moving around  Metro Manila.

Manila has about two dozens of five-star hotels, and they are mainly found at the Ayala Center in Makati City, Ortigas Center in Mandaluyong City, the Manila Bay area along Roxas Boulevard, and the newly built Resorts World near the Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.  These hotels are classified as deluxe hotels and have superior amenities and facilities to those of first-class hotels, standard hotels and economy hotels.

Among the best hotels are Shangri La, Mandarin, Peninsula, Intercontinental, Dusit, Renaissance and Ascott in Makati; Shangri La EDSA, Oakwood, Discovery Suites, and Crowne Plaza in Ortigas; Manila Hotel and Sofitel Philippine Plaza along Roxas Boulevard near Manila Bay; and Marriot Hotel in Pasay City.

To travel from the airport to the hotel, it is best that visitors take the airport taxi cabs or arrange land transfer with the hotel.  Tourists are encouraged to write down the name of the taxi cab, its plate number and contact number, so they will know how to retrieve anything that may be left behind.  At the hotel, ask the lobby security personnel to get a taxi cab for you.

While the general public usually take buses, trains, jeepneys, and tricycles for transport, these modes of transport are crowded, which tourists may not find convenient to their taste. Stick to taxi cabs and hotel vehicles or rent cars with drivers.  Keep the number of the hotel, the police, and your embassy in case of emergency.

The best site to experience the modernity of the Philippines is the Ayala Avenue in Makati City, which has the tallest buildings in the country.  It is the financial center of the Philippines.  Tourists can walk the wide streets along Ayala Avenue
 or at the elevated path at the back, going to the Greenbelt.

Greenbelt has fine dining restaurants, boutiques and different stores.  Near Greenbelt is Glorietta mall and SM mall.

Visitors may also be interested to witness the rising city of Fort Bonifacio Global City, which can be reached from Makati City via the McKinley Road, where wealthy Filipinos live.

Ortigas Center is another commercial center, with five-star hotels and giant shopping malls such as SM Megamall and EDSA Shangri La Plaza.  The headquarters of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is located in Ortigas.

At the northern part of Metro Manila is Quezon City, which has large shopping malls and good restaurants.  Along North Avenue in Quezon City are the SM North EDSA and Trinoma shopping complex.  It would take tourists a whole day to navigate these two giant shopping malls.

Tourists may also visit the Tomas Morato dining area in Quezon City, which glows with neon lights at night.  The Araneta Center in Cubao is another interesting site, because of the Big Dome, which hosts sporting events and concerts, as well as shopping malls and restaurants.

CCP Complex with water fountain and lightsAt the heart of Manila is Rizal Park.  Other sites of interest in the area are Manila Ocean Park, Intramuros, Manila Cathedral, Fort Santiago, National Museum of the Philippines, and Manila Bay and Roxas Boulevard area.

Along Roxas Boulevard are the CCP complex, and the Coconut Palace.  From here, one can easily go to the SM Mall of Asia.

Manila is a wholesome and family destination that tourists will find exciting, warm and unforgettable.

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