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Need To Know About Manila
Located on the shores of Manila Bay, Manila is the capital city of The Philippines. Manila is a picturesque city and lives up to it's namesake of the ‘Pearl of the Orient.’
Made up 6 cities and 12 towns, Manila is more like a collection of towns that a city. Intramuros was once the traditional centre of Manila, however, it was never rebuilt after being destroyed in WWII. Today the walled area is the historic core of Manila and contains the Fuerza de Santiago citadel built by the Spanish in medieval times, ruins of old dungeons and gunpowder rooms, alongside modern art galleries and theatres.
Manila is a multicultural city with many different religions and places of worship. There are many beautiful old-world Catholic churches to visit, including the San Agustin Church and the Manila Cathedral. The city is also filled with military history. Visit the famous Manila Bay and revel in its volcanic peaks surrounded by tropical forests. The bay holds historical military significance from the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 to the fight for Corregidor Island in WWII. Visitors can visit Corregidor Island to learn more about Manila’s military past and view the Pacific War memorial.
There are many parks and open spaces in Manila. Rizal Park in the centre of Manila holds much cultural significance for the Filipino people. It is a popular tourist spot where visitors can enjoy a picnic in its Japanese and Chinese gardens and open air auditorium while overlooking the lagoon. The city is also home to many art galleries and museums, including the San Agustin Museum. Unique in its layout, the two-storey building is built around a courtyard and houses many beautiful artefacts, statues and paintings including Father Blanco's Garden. Be sure to visit the wonderful Coconut Palace, commissioned by Imelda Marcos for Pope John Paul's 1981 visit to the Philippines. Mainly built out of coconut shells, the Coconut Palace is now a museum featuring a pretty butterfly and orchid garden.
Getting Around Manila
Jeepneys run throughout the city but they are not very reliable. Manila’s metro system LRT and MRT offer a great service at off-peak times but they are best avoided at busy times as they become hugely crowded and tourists become more susceptible to pickpockets. You can walk around the city but most travellers avoid leaving the main CBD area on foot. Taxis are a good way to see the city but be sure to ask for the meter to be put on before you set off to avoid argument. Rent a car to sightsee at your own pace and leisure.
The Best Time to Visit Manila
The best time to visit Manila is during the dry season, which occurs between November and April. The temperature is higher in March and April, so it’s better to travel in the cooler months from December to February. Manila’s wet season falls between May and October, but you can still enjoy a trip to Manila during these months as the rain isn’t constant. The shoulder months of May and November are often cheaper months to travel to the city as the crowds are generally smaller and the weather is reasonable enough.
Airports in Manila
Ninoy Aquino International Airport Named after late Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the main airport serving Manila and its surrounding areas and is located around 7 km south of the city centre. Flights make their way to Ninoy Aquino International Airport from a number of major holiday destinations, including Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong. Australian travellers can fly direct to Manila from Sydney. Clark International Airport Clark International Airport is an old US Air Force base that became an international airport after the US handed it over to the Philippines in 1991. Located along the border between Angeles and Mabalacat, the airport is a little further from Manila than Ninoy Aquino International Airport and mostly serves budget airlines. Flights make their way to Ninoy Aquino International Airport from a number of destinations, including Seoul, Singapore and Hong Kong. There are no direct flights to Clark International Airport from Australia.