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11 Awesome Things to Do in Manila, Philippines

Manila – aka ‘Pearl of the Orient’ – is a bustling metropolitan hub with a lot to offer to those who have the spirit of wanderlust and an open mind.
Ishaan Govardhan Jun 19, 2019

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Begin with a slice of local history at Intramuros – a city within the city. The stony walls of this 16th century settlement guard a snapshot of Manila’s time as a Spanish colony.

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Visit the spectacular Manila Cathedral which has been destroyed by various calamities and rebuilt 8 times.
Check out the oldest building in Philippines – the San Agustin Church. This UNESCO World Heritage site stands tall, having survived the Battle of Manila during World War II.
And while you’re in Intramuros, why not visit the Spanish Fort Santiago? There’s a shrine dedicated to freedom fighter/national hero José Rizal who was imprisoned here once.
Get a taste of the city’s spirit of resilience by visiting the restored Ayuntamiento de Manila. Besides the wars, many natural calamities have routinely destroyed structures in Manila. But this city keeps rebuilding itself.

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When in Manila, always travel in style. You can ride the flamboyant “Jeepneys”, old-timey horse-drawn “Kalesas”, or even motorised tricycles to get around.

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Immerse yourself in the world’s oldest Chinatown – Manila’s Binondo. Besides its smorgasbord of mouth-watering Chinese delicacies (with a Filipino twist), this place also has a thriving market.

Eat like the Filipino military does: by gorging on an assorted spread of delicacies straight off a banana leaf, without utensils or cutlery. This is known as a Boodle Fight in Manila. But be warned: it’s only for the ultimate foodies.

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Home to 2 of the 10 largest malls on Earth, Manila is a shopper’s paradise. Besides the malls, you can shop at the outdoor Pasay Seafood Market or Divisoria market for fair bargains.

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The best way to cap off the day is by going for a relaxing stroll along the Manila Baywalk with the sun setting over the ocean, as the city’s night scene comes to life.
As darkness falls, head over to Bonifacio Global City (BGC) for a taste of Manila’s vibrant night life.