Manila is chaotic capital of Philippines. There you can find everything – rich areas and great poverty. It is hot, humid, stuffy, loud, and dusty, always in moving and not appealing at all. It is far of being must-see while traveling Philippines, but unfortunately you cannot totally avoid it.
It is starting point for flight to neighbor islands or home, and starting point for night bus that drive to famous highland rice terraces on north of Luzon.
We experienced the biggest shock when we had to slept the first night in Manila, before morning flight to Palawan. Because of seven hour time difference, great humidity and cold air-condition, we almost haven´t slept that night and after two nights without sleep (the first in airplane and the second in Manila) we were low on energy that morning. In our thoughts was only Port Barton, Port Barton, where is Port Barton, let us finally reach Port Barton. 🙂
Well, at least Peter and I did, kids mostly don´t have problems to sleep, wherever and almost whenever. For the first night in Manila we had a reservation of a hotel, which I wouldn´t recommend. When we went for a walk from our hotel to the restaurant nearby, we immediately run to prostitutes, which were offering their services by the road. They were not discrete. So first meal on Philippines was in Vietnamese restaurant where delicious food was accompanied with interesting talk to children. If for nothing else, we should visit Vietnam for its food. Every excuse is suitable. J
The next time we were in Manila was Christmas evening and it was most unusual. In that day we changed a lot of transportation. In the morning we went from Apo Island to Negros island by boat. There we hire a tuk-tuk to Damaguette´s shopping center, where we met a fellow Slovene, which has been living in Philippines for a few years. We went for a coffee and had an interesting conversation. And we connected to the internet, which felt so nice after a few days on Apo Island almost without electricity. Then we took another tuk-tuk to the airport. An airplane to Manila. Taxi to starting point for night bus (you shoul always take yellow taxi with taximeter, which are a lot cheaper than white ones). And finally with night bus to Banaue. Christmas Eve as never before. 🙂
And Manila for the last time after a few days when we came back from hills to “civilization”. This time we made a reservation to hotel Casa Bocobo, which I can recommend, because it is situated near Rizal Park and old quarter Intramurus that we explored the last day.
When you get used to Asia, Manila doesn´t drive you crazy anymore. It didn´t drive us crazy anymore, at least. We didn´t allow a local that drove us around old part of town to cheated us. No go 🙂 Not after everything we experienced. And we almost liked it when late that night we boarded on a plane and fly to winter.
At the end of photos there is a map of our Philippines route.
Asia – I hope we meet again soon. 🙂