Philippines: Manila Activities

 

Manila Bay Sunset (2).JPG

Photo credit: Wikipedia click this link for more info

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manila_Bay

To get some words from Lonely Planet, Manila sums up   As well as outstanding sightseeing, visitors who put in the effort will discover its creative soul – from edgy galleries to a lively indie music scene. Combine this with a penchant for speakeasy bars, artisan markets and single-origin coffees, it’s clear to see Manila’s not only one of Asia‘s most underrated cities, but one of its coolest.”

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/philippines/manila#ixzz3ydNqf8BX

So many things to see & do just in Manila what more if you get out of town?  Manila has a lot of options to all types of traveler.  For me, I have to think about my 7yr old son so you cannot find here anything about nightlife etc. those are for singles. The only nightlife I can do is eating out, malling and yes festivals & theme parks. Here are some of the photo’s I can share with you but please do not copy them without crediting me and this post.  Thank you!

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS @MOA (Mall of Asia) – Lots of free entertainment from all the malls and one of the famous are to be found in SM MOA, Bay City near Manila Bay.

MAKATI CITY TOURIST ATTRACTIONS – Aside from being the business district and has 3 huge interconnecting malls, with lots of bars and restaurants nearby, they also have the Ayala Museum for the whole family, a Park and lots of X’mas decor you can take a photo ops. We don’t have a lot of time so we only have these to show.  Being there for 3days is not enough but for my budget’s sake, it will do.  I find these two items below interesting. Most of the Filipiniana dress are made of Pineapple fiber and this makes it more expensive but beautiful isn’t it? And the nice wall frame I would love to buy but I don’t have enough space in my bag, pity they are very affordable compared to overseas.

 

CITY OF DREAMS MANILA / DREAMPLAY – This is for the whole family especially for kids who love to interact while playing.  You can buy a minimum of 2hrs pass and yes no foods allowed inside which is standard in any theme park though this one is inside this magnificent building which also housed three resort style 5star hotels (Novu, Crown & Hyatt), a “boulevard” of branded products for the moms and of course, a Casino for dads. Please see this link on Youtube.

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City of Dreams.vinneve photo

 

Museo Pambata – This means Museum for the Kids.  Unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived.  We can only take some photo outside.  This will be a must for next time as my son and I love museums wherever in the World we may be.

Art In An Island – They have a mini booth inside the Megamall and we gladly take some free shots though it is not as good as the real one in their location in Cubao please check this link  from AmusingPlanet.com so you may see what I mean.

 

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Manila Bay view from my hotel

At the end of the day, we go back to our hotel to where we are staying at that time as these activities are located in 3 different locations so I have booked 3 hotels as I have mentioned in my previous post.  Please click this link to read my reviews.  Just in case, you will visit the Country and it’s your first time then, at least, you have an idea where and what to book.  

UPDATE:  I recommend this blog for people who are curious about PHILIPPINES.  She is an expat from the USA and now living in Manila and I find her travel journeys wonderful especially for a mom like me as she is too.  Nevertheless, you will find out some fascinating places in the Philippines so please check her blog thru this LINK.

On my next post, it will be about “The Countryside”.

Also, please check out my page under category RED PLANET (hotel ) for a good budget hotel for all types of travelers especially going to some Asian Countries.  You may find it helpful and I do recommend it as I have experienced them myself (even before they have contacted me to do a page for them).  🙂

Thanks for your time reading this, much appreciated.  🙂

 

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Hotels: Medium to Budget in Manila

If you are a first time visitor to the Philippines and you are a bit complicated with things then I say you better book a hotel from 4star to 5star but I have seen so far lots of tourists coming from all walks of life and from all over the World that they are ok from budget to middle range which is 3-4star depends on what the Hotel says their standard and what is the real feeling you have experienced.  For many years since the birth of my son, Hotel is my home every time I come to visit “Pinas” which I fondly called as a short name.  I have my favorite old homey hotel that I love to come back to every time and have experienced new ones as well which I will tell you now.

HOTEL H2OThis is connected to Manila Ocean Park.  I say this is a 3-4star hotel depends on your experience but for me that time… I was fortunate that I have experienced the best service so I say this is a 4 star. Sometimes you cannot please everybody and I always try to keep an open mind and not to expect too much.  So it depends on how much you paid for.  I have upgraded our room to an Aqua Room as it is much quieter than the Park View room which is facing the Ocean Park that has a stage shows for Sea Lion, Symphony Evening show, etc. so yes expect that though you will get free shows it may not be that fun if you want to sleep in as they open the sounds early morning.

Once you are out of the vicinity of the Hotel premises, Ocean Park is just a few steps away on the ground floor.  It is convenient for families and couples and other types of tourist except business unless they mix business and pleasure.  It is crowded on a weekend. Restaurants are plenty so no worries for that and even fast foods.

BAYVIEW HOTEL – This is a 3 star hotel which becomes my home away from home as I have been using them almost every year that I visit and though they are old now I can still feel comfortable and the view is great facing the Manila Bay which is famous for its sunset but I don’t have a photo of it as we are always away in the morning and coming back late at night.  Also the U.S. Embassy is just in front.  Most of the time they incorporate buffet breakfast into their room rate and they have mostly Asian or Filipino foods as well as Continentals but limited.  Here are some of the photos.

Bayview Park Hotel Manila, Philippines

photo credit to Bayview Hotel website

CROWN REGENCY HOTEL – Location! location! location!  It is a 3 star hotel and just opposite 3 major malls connected to each other.  Located in the business district of Makati City.  There is also a Musuem nearby (will post activities separately) and Greenbelt Park to have time to relax and unwind especially for business people or office workers. Lots of taxis and places to go around to or if you prefer to walk the better as you can see more by walking but have your comfy shoes as it will be a long walk indeed.  

Crown Regency Hotel - Makati in Makati, Philippines

photo credit to Crown Regency Hotel Makati

Crown Regency Hotel - Makati in Makati, Philippines

Their website photo still showing old TV’s don’t worry it is now the slim one!

RED PLANET HOTELFormerly known as Tune Hotel which is a hotel chain from Malaysia but the receptionist told me that it is now under a new ownership and so they have renamed it.  It is a good budget hotel and I am happy with this hotel chain, hence booked 2 of them in 2 different locations in Shaw Boulevard and Aseana City near Roxas Boulevard.  Both locations has an influx of foreign tourists as well as the locals.  Also they had a tie up with Grabataxi which is a good solution for people who really want some options not to flag any available taxi or haggle with the driver as some are trying to do so when they see a foreign tourists.  Grabataxi has 2 prices – fixed rate by a private car similar to Uber taxi or taxi rate + service charge.  I opted for the former and was satisfied about the service.  Worry free as they booked you in “real time” when you checked out.

Red Planet Aseana photo credit as per their website

This is the type of room we had.. Twin bed

Manila Bay photo credit from Red Planet Hotel

So to sum it all up… these 4 hotels are all good and I do recommend them but if you are on a budget then try to book as early as you can so you save more as it is cheaper to do just that OR book the Red Planet Hotel you can’t go wrong.  Just pay attention to Tripadvisor reviews and other customer’s review from the hotel website if any then you be the judge if it’s worth it.

Thanks for your time reading this.  Happy Trip!