Manila may be an old city, but the capital of the Philippines will never lose its youth and charm. It continues to innovate and surprise everyone. Basically, its beauty lies in the fact that it successfully marries the old and the new. It remains a top tourist destination for many reasons.
Whether you are a balikbayan, a foreigner, or someone from another city or region, you will surely find yourself marveling at the beauty of the city. It is a sensory experience, if you may. A lot of things happen even in a small vicinity within the city. There are a lot of places to visit, but if you want to streamline your list, there are top four destinations that you have to explore. So what are you waiting for? Go rent a self-drive car in Manila, tag your friends along, and explore the following destinations. Just do not forget your camera!
Destination #1: Rizal Park
First on the list is the historic Rizal Park. This is where the country’s national hero was executed. The large expanse of land offers a lot of places to take pictures in and activities to enjoy. You can fly kites or have a picnic on the grass. A late afternoon stroll will also be enjoyable. This can be your next destination if you happen to visit the Manila Ocean Park, which is just nearby. When the golden hour arrives, it is best that you go the promenade across the park and enjoy the sunset over Manila Bay.
Destination #2: Intramuros
The Walled City is also just right next to Rizal Park. This is what you may want to visit, especially if you are particularly interested in the Spanish influences to the Philippines. The walls were built to serve as fortifications against invaders. Inside the Walled City is a collection of neighborhoods and old heritage structures. You can enjoy a calesa ride when exploring the area. Do not forget to visit the important landmarks such as the Manila Cathedral, Fort Santiago, and San Agustin Church.
Destination #3: Binondo
A few kilometers from Intramuros is the world’s oldest Chinatown. Fondly called Binondo, this district exemplifies the Chinese influences to the country. This is the perfect place if you are after some great Chinese grub. Walk down Ongpin and its nearby streets to explore food stalls and restaurants such as Eng Bee Tin, Wai Ying, and Masuki. You can even shop for fruits and jewelry here! More shopping awaits at Divisoria, which is just right next door.
Destination #4: Escolta
If you are after more heritage buildings in Manila, you can cross the river from Binondo and land in Escolta. This old street boasts of post-colonial structures that will surely make good photograph subjects. The street is also home to some artists who hold weekend markets. Hence, this street suits you if you love art and architecture.
These are just some of the places you can explore in Manila. Other destinations include the National Museum, Paco Park, and schools such as De La Salle University.
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