A DAY IN MANILA

Whether you are taking a trip around the world or hosting some out-of-town visitors, making the most out of seeing the local attractions can be a challenge.  World-class cities offer several options for site seeing, and it can be hard to choose where to go.

For travelers visiting Manila, Philippines, we’ve narrowed down the top five must-see attractions for first-time visitors:

1. Binondo Chinatown

The Philippines is home to the oldest Chinatown in the world. Dating back to 1594, Binondo has been the home to many immigrants of Chinese descent. Here you can find Chinese eateries and tea houses as well as exotic ingredients sold at a number of apothecaries.  If you are visiting during Chinese New Year, the local festivities feature dragon dances while firecrackers light up the sky.

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2. Walking Tour of Intramuros

Want to have some fun in Manila? The Intramuros walking tour provides a humorous trek through Manila’s most historic district. Stroll through Fort Santiago and Plaza San Luis where you can learn about Philippine architecture, culture and history, all while taking in a stand-up comedy show.

3. Marikina Shoe Museum

Do you have a passion for foot fashion? So did the former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos. At the Marikina Shoe Museum in Manila, you can see all 749 pairs of her shoes on display along with footwear from other notable celebrities including shoes from each one of the Filipino presidents in chronological order. There is also an exhibit featuring the history and art of shoe-making as well as some unusual shoes – one pair on display measures three feet long.

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4. Rizal Park

The largest urban park in Asia, Rizal Park is the perfect destination if you want to get away from the busyness of the city. This serene spot is full of historical landmarks and majestic gardens. Entertainment venues host a number of events including concerts and national holiday celebrations. If you are visiting the Philippines for the first time, be sure to try Halo-Halo. It’s a traditional Philippine dessert made from tropical fruit, preserves and desserts mixed with crushed ice and milk.  Halo-Halo is the perfect treat on a hot day, and available at many of the local restaurants in the Rizal District.

5. Ocean Park at Sunset

Manila Ocean Park is home to a world-class aquarium where you can spend time with freshwater fish, corals, sting rays, sharks and many other marine animals native to Philippine waters. The facility boasts a marine-themed mall and an open water habitat where patrons can literally swim with the fishes.  End your day by taking in the beautiful sunset from one of Ocean Park’s restaurants over-looking the ocean.

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This is just a choice sampling of all that Manila has to offer, but if you are spending time with family, the best part of your trip will be the beautiful memories you make with them. Can you think of any great attractions in Manila which we didn’t mention? Let us know!

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