To start off his post I must say we probably didn’t experience Manila in its full glory. We weren`t lucky enough to know any locals to guide us around. In big(ger) cities it is always the case that to get to know the city you must either stay there for a longer period of time or know people that can show you the best and most typical parts. Otherwise you are a bit lost with searching the best spots, as was the case for us 😉
The first day wasn`t really interesting since we slept a lot, the most interesting thing was to finally feel some heat on our skin and that we went eating at el chupacabra, a locally renowned Mexican food place. Really nice setting and good food. We ate our first ‘sisig‘ there, if you read the wikipedia description you will notice that we would never have ordered it if we knew upfront what was in it. Finished almost the whole plate though…
The next day we went too Intramuros (‘between the walls’), the historical part of the city which was almost fully bombed to the ground in WW2. Compared to our historical centers in Antwerp it was a bit disappointing, but then again, which city centers are nicer then the ones in Belgium? 😉 Trying to look beyond this there were some nicer parts, we visited Fort Santiago, an old Spanish fortress and passed by the Saint Augustin church. This was all on our way to the Rizal park, a big park which also contains the Rizal memorial.
We ate something in Som’s noodle house that evening and took in the rooftop view from our hostel…
The last day we had our bus to Banaue at 10pm so we still had some time to do some stuff in Manila. We went to the power plant mall to get some flip flops before going for a climb in ‘climb central Manila‘. It wasn’t cheap, but we where happy to be on the wall once more.
After that we went back to the hostel, ate something quickly and took an uber to the bus stop in Quezon city. A long 9h ride to Banaue was waiting for us, but we must be honest, we where glad to leave busy Manila…
Z hostel: The hostel was quite expensive but had all the necessary things. Clean sheets, lockers for your stuff, a nice rooftop terrace, breakfast (not included in the room) and good wifi. There are other hostels around which are probably cheaper (lokal-, boutique-, our awesome hostel).
Uber: A necessity for cheap rides.
Makati in general has a lot of good places to eat.
El chupacabra: Nice mexican food.
Som’s noodle house: Proper vietnamese food, they say, it is good and close by the hostel.