Manila, full of life and shopping, notorious for their traffic, puts a new meaning on rush hour. When I first arrived, it took me 2 hours to get from the airport to my hotel that should’ve been 15 minutes. Had I known, and not have luggage, I might have just walked. This is the first stop in the Philippines for me, and I was dumbfounded by the methods of transportation that are available for the people. The Filipinos are so resourceful, and transportation consisted of anything from Jeepneys to a tricycle. When I returned the second time, I spent more time in traffic, and also at a few of their well-known shopping malls.
Fun Fact: the Mall of Asia is the biggest mall in the Philippines.
When to go: November to February would be an ideal time to visit since the weather will be cooler than in other months.
Where to Stay: For the best and most cost-efficient room I’ve ever stayed at, check out The Leaf House at Booking. Get $25 off your booking using the referral code: RIDING13. I booked a clean, and fantastic room in a gated community. I had laundry I needed done, and for just under $5, I was able to get a huge load done and folded through the house manager.
Modes of Transportation:
Uber, Grab Taxi, Scooters, Tuk tuk, Jeepneys, Carriage, or Tricycles
How Many Days to Spend: One day was sufficient for me
Safety: Be cautious of pick-pocketers, or even “snatchers.” I recommend using the LocTote bag to avoid being an easy target. It’s essentially a portable safe perfect for travel. Use the code “evangelinetravels10” to get 10% off.
What to Wear: Keep in mind that this city is extremely humid, and hot, so dress comfortable and accordingly. Ladies, I would recommend keeping your hair up.
Tip: Bring snacks/use the bathroom before you go anywhere. There are long lines everywhere – bathrooms, entering airports, getting food! Even to enter a shopping center. There are security check points, so it holds up a lot of entry points.
Unique Forms of transportation in Manila
1. Jeepney – The side of the jeepney indicates the route that its headed to. Passengers get on and off, sometimes even while the vehicle is moving. Traffic is thick in Manila, so it’s not fast moving. The fare is passed by the other passengers to the driver or an assigned fee collector. They are flashy and highly decorated, with seats intimately placed where passengers sit facing each other, and extremely close.
2. Moto taxi/Pedicab – There are motorized and man-powered tricycles attached to a side car, both used for short distances. People use them to bypass past heavy traffic since they are smaller in size, and are able to squeeze and weave through other cars.
3. Tricycle – These are motorbikes attached to a carriage. They can the capacity up to 4 people, but do hold on, because these shake like crazy, and you will fall off if you don’t hold on in the backseat.
4. Calesa – A horse-drawn carriage that offers a quaint experience around the Intramuros in Manila.
5. Uber or Grab Taxis – Super convenient to just jump on the app and call for a taxi. They do cancel often for no apparent reason and take a long time to arrive, so make sure to request for one in advance, but they are extremely affordable. Rides anywhere, regardless of the time, usually have run me $2-4. For Uber, use code: evangelinec493ue to get free rides.
Does caffeine fuel you for all your shopping sprees? Nerd out with this beautiful and unique necklace of the caffeine molecule.
Lead and nickel free
What to Eat in Manila
1. Sisig – A traditional Filipino sizzling pork dish served with rice and egg
2. Halo Halo – Fruit topped with ice-cream
3. Tocino – Sweet cured pork that is absolutely amazing
4. Cotton candy – Who doesn’t love fun character cotton candy? Sign me up!
Must-haves for my travels
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