MANILA is the largest city and worth a stopover, not only because most flights to the Philippine’s many islands but the shopping, restaurants offering cuisines from all around the world and nightlife is arguably the best in Asia. Interesting day tours abound. MAKATI is the up market CBD area and has excellent 5 star hotels and shopping malls. BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY (BGC) is a new major development of high rise apartments, quality hotels, shopping malls and restaurant belts. MALL OF ASIA ( MOA) is close to Manila Airport and is one of the largest shopping malls is Asia along with many new and modern hotels
TOURS AROUND MANILA
Historical Manila Tour : Half Day.
Visit historic Rizal Park, the old walled city of Intramuros built during the Spanish colonial period. Inside is Fort Santiago which served as headquarters of firstly the Spanish, then American and Japanese colonizers until its near destruction in 1945. It now houses the Rizal museum. You can still see the dungeons where prisoners were kept for 100s of years. Nearby, the San Agustin Church, one of the oldest structures in the country, dates back to 1571. Visit to Casa Manila, a reconstructed 19th century mansion replete with 16th to 19th century furniture and furnishings. Visit to the newly-opened “Bahay Tsinoy”, a museum about the Chinese in the Philippines
New Manila Tour: Half Day
The first stop is the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, on reclaimed land along Roxas Boulevard. The Philippine International Convention Center and Folk Arts Theater which are favourite venues for both local concerts and performances. The Coconut Palace, a building made mostly of coconut materials. Visit the American Memorial Cemetery, the largest and most beautiful outside continental U.S. where enormous mosaics show the battles of the second world war.
Corregidor Island: Full day with lunch
Known as the island-fortress, is a 1 hour ferryboat ride. Located 26 miles west of Manila, “The Rock” as it became known during World War II, was the last Filipino-American bastion to fall to the Japanese. Tour includes a guided visit on a era style tram to the island’s many “silent guns” and historical landmarks. The military museum is very interesting as is the stirring Light and Sound Show inside the cavernous Malinta Tunnel which served as General Douglas McArthur’s headquarters during the siege should not be missed. Includes buffet lunch.
Villa Escudero: Full day with lunch
A pleasant 2-hour drive through the scenic countryside south of Manila and brings you to a colonial coconut plantation dating back to the1800’s. A guided tour of the famous “Escudero Private Museum” takes you through one of the largest collections in the country, unmatched in its diversity. From the museum, visitors board a carabao (water buffalo) drawn cart and are ferried to the nearby resort where they are treated for lunch at the foot of the Labasin Waterfalls as a background and cool clear spring water running around their feet.
Tagaytay and Taal Volcano: Full day with lunch
Drive about an hour south of Manila through market gardens and all kinds of tropical fruit plantations. Tagaytay is home to the active volcano, Taal, situated in the Taal lake which is a giant extinct volcano. This makes it the only volcano in the world that is inside another volcano. You can take a small boat to Taal and them trek to the crater by foot or take a donkey ride to the top. Tagaytay is actually a town on the rim of Lake Taal and the views while having lunch on the tour are spectacular.
Conrad Hotel is 4 and half star adjoining the Mall of Asia (MOA). It opened in 2016 and the rooms are very modern with electric operated blinds and curtains. The buffet breakfast is up there with the best in the restaurant overlooking Manila Bay. The big outdoor swimming pool in central to the building. Rooms either face the bay or the city. Opposite the hotel is a small fun park for children. The La Fiesta Restaurant, where they serve traditional Filipino food and have nightly cultural dancing shows , is also opposite the hotel. By road from the airport it is about 15 to 20 minutes.
Sofitel Hotel is a 5 star located on reclaimed land facing Manila Bay. It's about 25 minutes from the Manila Airport. It has a lagoon style swimming pool and probably the best buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner in Manila. All rooms face the bay. It is a short taxi ride from Mall of Asia ( MOA).
The Golden Phoenix Hotel .Three and half star, offers modern and accommodation with free WiFi access throughout the property. The hotel is conveniently 1 klm from the famous SM Mall of Asia. while Ninoy Aquino International Airport can be reached within 25 minutes. Offering city views and air-conditioned rooms.
Shangri La Hotel is perfectly located on the corner of Makati and Ayala Avenues. It is 5 star at it's finest with top rated food outlets and a buffet breakfast rated the best in Makati City.
Peninsula Hotel is located also on the opposite corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues. 5 star with a beautiful tropical garden surrounding the outdoor swimming pool.
Fairmont Hotel and Raffles both 5 star hotel are next door to each other and are located on Makati Avenue directly opposite Green Belt .
Dusit Thani Hotel. In the Thai tradition you are greeted with a friendly "wei" on arrival. 4 and half star with the best Thai restaurant in Makati. An excellent outdoor swimming pool and a genuine Thai spa make this hotel great value.
St Giles Hotel. 3 and half star located on the top end of Makati Avenue. Has a swimming pool and gym on the 32nd floor. Many bars, cafes and restaurants are located in this touristy area.
One Pacific Place Hotel. Located in the office and high rise residential area on the outskirts on Makati. It has a small pool on an upper floors (Photo Below) and a gym. Very close to the dental clinic Meditour recommended for patients having world class dental treatment at huge savings.