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FloWong
10-06-2009, 08:36 PM
Appreciate if fellow forumers could provide some insight into Manila. What to expect, how to move around, where to stay, best bargains etc etc..... Virtual tourist forum has been a source but prefer some first-hand experience from travellers here. Thank you.
:)

tehmc
10-06-2009, 10:51 PM
I'd like to add : is Manila worth visiting as a holiday destination when you have so many other choices in this region?
Haven't been there but I can imagine horrendous traffic jams, slums, overpopulation and pollution similar to Jakarta.

tupai
10-06-2009, 11:06 PM
I'd like to add : is Manila worth visiting as a holiday destination when you have so many other choices in this region?
Haven't been there but I can imagine horrendous traffic jams, slums, overpopulation and pollution similar to Jakarta.

u ah...never been there and alredy simply condemned manila and jakarta aledy!

just Like some ignoramus blursotong kwai-loh who thinking bolehland people all living in tree houses one! :eek:

Manila is a great place to visit! go with an open mind and u will enjoy every sight, smell, look & feel. :D Makati pubs & clubs are HOT!!! make 1000degree hotter with hotties all around! :D

Yang Belum pi Manek Urai latotupai :p

Alya
12-06-2009, 11:14 AM
i've been to manila twice on business. nothing much to see around makati (central area). would almost be the same as bangkok/jakarta in terms of traffic, shopping malls, pollution, weather. i guess shopping would be better in bangkok. after one visit, i'm bored and can't wait to get back to kl.

i'm not sure outside makati though. might be some tourist spots worth visiting.

kuma
12-06-2009, 12:26 PM
I think a lot depends on what one's perception of a holiday is. Each and every one of us is different when it comes to - what's the best place to visit for a holiday.

Here's my take on Manila.

For starts, I was last there 4 years ago, so things might have changed. From the mid 90's I used to frequent Manila for business reasons. I have been fortunate to have visited quite a bit of the Philippines, right down to the cities in the South.

Manila is huge with a vast number of suburbs equally as large. Nothing much as far as sightseeing goes, but then again, there is always something to see for first timers. Traffic is horrendous, and most cabbies, will take advantage of it to make an extra buck, esp. for tourists.

Speaking English will get you by in most places....except in taxis - for some reason, they can't speak it if they know you are a foreigner.

No offense meant, but nothing much can be said about Filipino food, but then aren't we Malaysians spoilt for food? However, there are lots of cafe abound that serve very good fare, and their Western food standards are good. Do try the specialty 'ribs' joints....best in the region.

Beers are good and cheap....be careful when out for nightlife. It's ample and something you don't see here....and fairly safe, esp. in the Makati area.....until you see your bill and find out you are being ripped off....make sure you have your credit card wih you. :D

For walkabouts, esp at night, I would suggest not, but is OK in Manila's business areas of Makati, Ortegas and surrounding.

Manila hotels are not cheap....if traveling on your own....search the web for good deals.

Now...If it was me, and I was going for a holiday...and I insisted on going to the Philippines...., then I would go to Cebu city and travel to the surrounding smaller cities like Iloilo, etc.....now that's an experience....cheaper, better food...nice and cleaner places and culture plus history.

FloWong
13-06-2009, 12:49 AM
Thanks people. Will be there for 7 days / 6 nights, From my search on the www and the comments here, I can only fill 2 days. Need more comments on how to spend the other 5.

smoothead
13-06-2009, 06:46 PM
How about spending a couple of days in the highlands north of Manila. I was there many years ago in Baguio city, the climate somewhat similar to Cameron Highlands. The journey there is quite scenic especially the winding hairpins to the highlands.

patrick
13-06-2009, 10:53 PM
To me, the following are recommended:

1. Intramuros - the old fort
2. Pangsanghan kFall & shoot the rapids. But make sure the river is not dry.
3. Baguio for a highland visit
4. Chinese cemetary. See how people actually live there!!
5. Drive around Pinatubo area if you are still able to see the ash-covered houses and trees!
6. Drive around the city, see how poor the people are and how they live. You come back to appreciate life better.
7. There is another scenic volcano with a lake. Cant remember the name lah!
8. Try the Philippino "delicacy" - balut2! ;-)

smoothead
13-06-2009, 11:28 PM
7. There is another scenic volcano with a lake. Cant remember the name lah!

I believe it's the Taal volcano somewhere south of Manila, in a city called Tagaytay.

sally755
14-06-2009, 06:24 PM
I went to Manila with my sister last year for a shopping trip, took AirAsia free tickets. We stayed at new Horizon Hotel. If you wanto to go shopping, I would recommend the following :

1) GreenHills Shopping Centre : handbags (we bought closed to 30, hehe), shoe (a few, KL nicer), pearl (very cheap), local painting (very nice and reasonable). This place will test your bargain skill, less 60-70%, but dun worry the ppl are much friendly that Petaling Street

2) SM Megamall : like Mid Valley. The departmental sell children clothing quite cheap and nice. One of the restaurant serving local delicacies, eat all you can for less than RM10

Other malls nothing much, men and women clothing KL better. We took MRT around, cheap and convenient. They allow special cabin for women and children only. We didt know, so first time we took, we squeeze with the men, luckily no hanky panky.

We took a cab to Manila, nothing much to shop there. They said nite life is good there.

Safety wise, just dun use back or dark alleys, then you should be ok.

patrick
14-06-2009, 10:30 PM
7. There is another scenic volcano with a lake. Cant remember the name lah!

I believe it's the Taal volcano somewhere south of Manila, in a city called Tagaytay.

YES, YES!!! Thanks. That's the place! A scenic volcanic lake!

Sukdershan
15-06-2009, 10:21 AM
Thanks people. Will be there for 7 days / 6 nights, From my search on the www and the comments here, I can only fill 2 days. Need more comments on how to spend the other 5.

Kamusta !!! (tagalog for Hello) I stayed there for 1yr near the University of the Phils College of Public Health, an area called Taft Avenue.

Suggest you also take a trip to the Phil Military Academy in Baguio CIty.
Try also the taking a flight to Ilocos Norte, a city called Laoag, it is scenic and has also a casino (btw the is a place where Marcos body is still kept).

Try also the Hundred islands off San Fernando and take a trip to Pahlawan island

Mind you, you have to be forewarned about people who will linger on to you and with the pretext of showing you around.

My suggest is stay for one day in Manila, to go to the nearest travel company nearest to your Hotel and then decide what you want to do.

Manila Hotel is a GOOD hotel, but EXPENSIVE.

Stay around Malate or Mabini as it is near Roxas Boulevard and the are alot of places you can go to from there.

Btw try their Bagong it is like our Belacan

Finally the earlier post have given you enough on your plate. Selamat Po !! :D :D (Good bye)

patrick
15-06-2009, 04:34 PM
Kamusta !!! (tagalog for Hello) I stayed there for 1yr near the University of the Phils College of Public Health, an area called Taft Avenue.

Suggest you also take a trip to the Phil Military Academy in Baguio CIty.
Try also the taking a flight to Ilocos Norte, a city called Laoag, it is scenic and has also a casino (btw the is a place where Marcos body is still kept).

Try also the Hundred islands off San Fernando and take a trip to Pahlawan island

Mind you, you have to be forewarned about people who will linger on to you and with the pretext of showing you around.

My suggest is stay for one day in Manila, to go to the nearest travel company nearest to your Hotel and then decide what you want to do.

Manila Hotel is a GOOD hotel, but EXPENSIVE.

Stay around Malate or Mabini as it is near Roxas Boulevard and the are alot of places you can go to from there.

Btw try their Bagong it is like our Belacan

Finally the earlier post have given you enough on your plate. Selamat Po !! :D :D (Good bye)

Wouldnt Cebu be a nice island to visit? Roxas Boulevard was very nice during the mid 70's ...very up market with the night club Romulus etc etc. But the last trip there...a bit disappointed. The environment seemed very run down!
Mabuhai !!

tupai
15-06-2009, 05:02 PM
Manila Hotel is a GOOD hotel, but EXPENSIVE.


Btw try their Bagong it is like our Belacan

Finally the earlier post have given you enough on your plate. Selamat Po !! :D :D (Good bye)

I stayed there b4...same floor as Gen. MacArthur too or was it Marcos' :D Security was tight then & now :p

Intramuros and rizal park (hundreds of chess players under park lites, right up to midnite!) are my fave places, when on tok-kok-like-sing-song-5d4n-brain-storming-session around the vicinity...

bagong-alamang is like budu...home sweet home away from home :p

Yang Bagong alamang makan latotupai :p

FloWong
15-06-2009, 11:54 PM
You people taking about the 70s and Marcos-era got me worried and beg the question - when was the last time you actually were there!! :p

Nevertherless, thank you very much for all the insights and advice. As I am only leaving end August, would appreciate further comments from everyone else.

And on the shopping advice, how does one differentiate between authentic and fake pearls?

tupai
16-06-2009, 12:40 AM
McArthur was in the 40s lah...recent visit? hahahaha...when aasia got zero fare & dr.hayden and kim were an item. :p

pearls? take a bite...and u will know which is fake. :p

Yang Bagongalamang makan latotupai :p

USJ27Resident
16-06-2009, 02:09 AM
You people taking about the 70s and Marcos-era got me worried and beg the question - when was the last time you actually were there!! :p ?

Me think these fellas are reminiscing about their bachelorhood era and late Vietnam War R&R getaways to Manila.... :p

Used to be a helluva place in 'those hey-days' ... but most of that all gone now... :D

Naka
16-06-2009, 11:36 AM
Manila & her outskirts is a good place to visit & shop.

If you haven't been there, go & enjoy yourself.

As for authentic and fake pearls, most people cannot differentiate them and most likely you will buy fake ones.

FloWong
17-06-2009, 09:37 PM
Manila & her outskirts is a good place to visit & shop.


Possible to elaborate further? There are so many suburbs around Manila and which places are good to visit and shop?

USJ27Resident
18-06-2009, 12:47 AM
... and most likely you will buy fake ones.

... was told by an Arab once... a fake pearl... would most likely melt if expose to heat... whereas a natural/cultured one... would not... DUNNO how true this is...

Other methods:
Step 1- Rub the pearl against your teeth. You may be able to tell this way as real pearls are supposedly rough while fakes are smooth. This is not the most reliable method as you can find smooth real pearls and rough fakes.

Step 2 -Hold the pearl up to the sunlight or very bright indoor lighting. You can check for variations in the pearl's color and tone. If it's perfect in its color and tone, it's very likely fake.

Step 3 -Look at the pearl through the magnifying glass. You should be able to see the ridges and irregularities of a real pearl, or the grainy smoothness of a fake.

Step 4 -Weigh the pearl. Real ones are usually heavier than fakes.

Step 5 -Test the warmth of the pearl. Resin and plastic pearls are often warm on first contact. Glass pearls take longer to warm in your hand than real ones.

Step 6 -Check the drill holes. Real pearls are drilled as small as possible to maintain their value, so fakes will often have larger holes. Also, the pearl surface, or nacre, will often flake off around the holes of fakes.

Step 7 -Check the pearl's shape. If it's a perfect sphere, it's likely a fake.

FloWong
18-06-2009, 11:18 PM
Many thanks USJ27Resident - that was a great guide on pearls.
Now, if someone could kindly provide some guide on where to stay, it will be great.

Sukdershan
19-06-2009, 12:37 AM
Many thanks USJ27Resident - that was a great guide on pearls.
Now, if someone could kindly provide some guide on where to stay, it will be great.
What is your budget?
Try surfing the Phils Tourism website.

http://www.visitmyphilippines.com/index.php?

http://www.wowphilippines.com.ph/great_hideaways/others.asp


Caution: Hotels booked vis internet some times turn out to be more expensive.

Suggest some 3 star Hotels in Mabini/Padre Faura are, refer to my earlier post.
Try staying in a hotel where the travel agencies are in close proximity. :D

FloWong
19-06-2009, 11:29 PM
....Caution: Hotels booked vis internet some times turn out to be more expensive.....

Thanks. Why is that so. Are you comparing against walk-in-rates or incidental charges on the internet bookings?

VeeJay
20-06-2009, 05:51 PM
Thanks. Why is that so. Are you comparing against walk-in-rates or incidental charges on the internet bookings?

Thru my experience, normally walk-in rate is much cheaper and can be bargained! :D

regines
20-06-2009, 06:21 PM
Thanks. Why is that so. Are you comparing against walk-in-rates or incidental charges on the internet bookings?

I would suggest u book from internet 1st, dt need to waste time seaching around especially when u cant drive there. dt expect the taxi driver to drive u around looking for better rate hotel.

my 1st time there, my client keep driving us around looking for hotel, wasted about 2 house esp wif the heavy jam in makati centre...so, few times after dat, learned..book siap siap from msia 1st...

Naka
20-06-2009, 08:59 PM
Possible to elaborate further? There are so many suburbs around Manila and which places are good to visit and shop?

It appears that our interests & purposes in Manila & her outskirts are definitely not the same. :o

Maybe other ladies here can advise you on shopping. :)

Sukdershan
20-06-2009, 11:40 PM
Thanks. Why is that so. Are you comparing against walk-in-rates or incidental charges on the internet bookings?

Yes, it all depends on you.

How much time you have, your budget and what is exactly is your itinerary.

As a MALAYSIAN living in BOLEHLAND, I see this culture of ad hoc decisions and poor planning.

Well this is my last posting on this topic.

FloWong, Hope you have a GOOD holiday

Just my 2 sen opinion.

:D :)

FloWong
21-06-2009, 12:21 AM
....FloWong, Hope you have a GOOD holiday

Just my 2 sen opinion.

:D :)

Thanks again. The website you quoted was very informative.

CS Chua
22-06-2009, 11:51 AM
When you take a cab in Manila, make sure you have exact change. If you give them a big note (like 1000 peso for a 200 peso fare) they almost always say they have no change. It is a standard strategy to get you to give them extra. If you are really stuck with no smaller notes, ask them to give back a smaller balance and they will do it. For e.g. if fare is 220 peso and you give 300 peso, ask back 50 peso (meaning they get 30 peso tip).

At the airport, take the meter cab as it is so much cheaper than the coupon taxis. But make sure you know where you are going. The taxis are on your right when you exit the building.

For shopping, any SM or Shoemart store, is good. You can buy great barongs at SM in MegaMall. Their handicrafts and local arts are cheap too. When I was there in April this year, I managed to buy some clothings as they were much cheaper than KL.

For sightseeing outside of Manila, try Baguio as suggested earlier. In Baguio, dog meat is common. And make sure you try beef bulalo there. Bulalo is a beef knuckle soup dish. Very tasty. Not easy to find good bulalo in Manila though. Another place is the famous Banaue rice terraces - north of Manila. They called it the 8th Wonder of the World but then, everybody knows there are only 7 Wonders of the World. But the Filipinos like to think that.

FloWong
22-06-2009, 09:14 PM
When you take a cab in Manila, .........
Excellent piece of advice, CS Chua.
Salamat.

CS Chua
22-06-2009, 10:10 PM
Correction, the taxis are on your LEFT when you exit the building. :p Enjoy your holiday.