Tourists' Travel Guide When Visiting Manila
Manila is the lively and bustling capital city of the Philippines located the eastern shore of Manila Bay (west coast of Luzon). It is also one of the most populated cities in the world according to Forbes.
With more than 300 years of being taken over by the Spanish colony, Manila has some remarkable structure and heritage like forts, churches, and other colonial buildings.
Tourists will find history and culture throughout the exciting city of Manila that is unique to the Philippines. Just walking through the neighborhoods is an attraction in itself with so much to see and experience; as each of Manila’s 16 districts has their own identity.
Below are some tips to remember when travelling in Manila, Philippines:
In terms of custom and etiquette, general manners and good behavior is enough; tourists visiting Manila doesn’t need to worry about any customs or cultural etiquette as Filipinos are generally quite accepting of Western people and their behavior. Handshake is the most common greeting between Filipinos which is also acceptable for women.
In terms of local currency which is the Philippine peso (Php), there is an abundance of moneychangers throughout Manila, especially in the tourists’ hotspots. Local banks as well as large hotel usually accept foreign currency for exchange although rates vary.
When transacting on expensive shops and quality restaurants; tourists can use their credit cards. But, when buying on ordinary shops, bars, and market, you need to pay it in cash. There are lots of ATMs throughout the city that accepts foreign ATM cards.
In terms of weathers in Manila, the city experience 3 different seasons each year. Hot season (April to May) experiences extreme temperatures coupled with high humidity, which can be too much for those not used to the heat. Wet season (June to October) has large downpours of rain with high winds. Cyclones and flooding are relatively common in Manila. Cool season (December to February) is still hot, but not extremely hot like hot season as temperatures tend to drop slightly at night.
When it comes to transportation, Manila has an extensive public transport system that uses buses, trains, light rail, taxis and local jeepneys. Taxis are the easiest means of transport for foreign tourists and are relatively inexpensive. The bus and train network is great for accessing different parts of the city, particularly in peak hour when traffic comes to a standstill. Though Ninoy Aquino International Airport is located approximately 5 km from the city center, keep in mind to avoid peak hour traffic when arriving at the airport as the short journey can turn into a long journey with unexpected delays.
For accommodations, there are some hotels in Manila; particularly in Malate; where tourists can stay in at affordable rates. The Executive Plaza Hotel is a well-known 3 star hotel in Manila offering a wide range of accommodation at reasonable price. It is conveniently located near shopping malls, convenient stores, drugstores, healthcare facilities, government offices, banking establishments, parks and historical landmarks, and several other recreational establishments; perfect choice for people on the go.
These are the tips that tourists should keep in mind to have a wonderful travel experience when visiting in Manila. There is so much more in this city to see as it is sprawling, bustling, and culturally complicated; with a colorful multi-cultural heritage and varied nightlife. It’s hard to come to the Philippines without visiting and exploring Manila that is nevertheless rapidly developing and has its own rich history and experiences to offer.