Manila is a vibrant metropolis brimming with cultural heritage, modern energy, and diverse experiences. This bustling capital city of the Philippines beckons travelers with its rich historical landmarks and an array of attractions that fuse the old and the new.
From the iconic walled city of Intramuros to the contemporary vibrancy of Makati, Manila encapsulates a unique blend of tradition and progress.
Travelling from Panglao to Manila
Our trip back to Manila followed a 3-night stay in Panglao, at the end of a 3-week trip around the Philippines. For our 2 last nights, we booked the small Oasis Hotel in the north-central area of the city.
A trike from Panglao to the airport took around 30 minutes (250 pesos).
At Tagbilaran airport, the terminal tax is 100 pesos per person. Philippine airlines max cabin baggage allowance is 7 kilos, so we had pre-arranged to check in 1 of our rucksacks. Flight time was around 1 hour, including a small snack.
At Manila airport we walked upstairs to Departures and took a white metered taxi from there to Ermita (Paco Park: 179 pesos).
Total travel time from Panglao to Manila was 4 or 5 hours. Surprisingly, the traffic in Manila was not as heavy as Cebu City.
Oasis Hotel Manila – Close to Paco Park
We chose the Oasis Hotel by Paco Park in Manila (€32).
The rooms are spacious, clean and well equipped.
The hotel has a small pool (though a little too public, in the central courtyard, with no deck space). The hotel requires a 2,000 peso deposit on check-in, and charges 25 pesos per bag if you want them to look after your luggage after checkout.
The restaurant and bar prices are expensive (even excluding the 10% service tax), but Robinson’s Mall is just 15 minutes down the road. This is a huge shopping complex with dozens of inexpensive eateries and a large well-stocked supermarket.
The Paco Park Area
The area immediately around the hotel is pretty grotty, with plenty of homeless, beggars and piles of refuse. Not a place to wander around after dark. In the daytime its safe enough, but congested with people hustling and hawking stuff, incessant traffic, and noxious fumes.
At least our hotel room overlooked a very green and peaceful Paco Park.
Although we didn’t have a lot of time to explore Manila, we managed to visit the older Intramuros area and enjoyed a novel eating experience at a Shabu Shabu restaurant.
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