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To all Filipinos, Rizal Park or widely known as 'Luneta Park” is not a perfect place to take a relaxing afternoon stroll. The park is also a perfect place to watch Filipino rock concert being held every Saturday night. There are also local martial artists practicing nearby. If you're seeking a quiet and peaceful place to enjoy your day, you can always visit Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden inside the park.
Located just right behind the Quirino Grandsland of Rizal Park, The Manila Ocean Park is a perfect place to have fun with your family. The oceania has 7 different sections and boasts more than 14,000 sea creatures with 277 species of them are indigenous creatures of Southeast Asia. Walk through 25 meters tunnel with curved walkway in 220 degree to see the beauty of Phillipines' marine life collections. The ocean water is specifically filtered from the Manila Bay and conditioned to be suitable to the marine life living inside the giant aquarium. Visit The Trails to Antartica to meet and interact with adorable Humbodlt penguins bred for conservation purpose. There's also The Jellies Exhibit where you can see various jellyfishes inside their cylinder habitats. There are also majestic sharks and stingrays showcased in two different areas. Manila Ocean Park also hosts unique mermaid show featuring some swimmers with their feet wearing mermaid tail swimming and acrobating inside the ocean water. There are also Fish Spa, Underwater Diving, and a spectacular The Symphony fountain shows.
Standing majestically as an entrance to Intramuros City of Manila is Fort Santiago, a sturdy fortress built by Spanish colonials as a main defense fortress in 1571. Some parts of the fortress was wiped out during the Battle of Manila in 1945, although the remaining buildings are now preserved as national heritage. Explore every parts of the fortress, which is mostly containing dungeons and underground chambers which was used by Japanese military to capture and torture more than 3000 Filipino and Americans. They are fortunately closed from public access. A cross-bearing monument was erected as a tombstone of mass grave, and to honor 600 souls resting in the place. According to the history, one of the most recognizable heroes of Phillipines named Jose Rizal was also held as prisoner at Fort Santiago before he was executed in 1896. The serene atmosphere that greets you when you entered the site is a great reminder for you to reflect and honor the lost souls.
SM Mall of Asia is dubbed as one of the largest shopping malls in the world, and it also sits on 4th rank in Phillipines. The five-storey shopping building' most popular attraction is IMAX theatre which are used to show various theatrical performances and also some jaw-dropping live musical concerts. You can also watch your favorite box office in 3D here! On the third level is an Olympic-sized of ice skating rink which attracts many children and teenagers alike (or just adults who are huge fans of Winter Olympic). You can also enjoy concerts and musical shows in the mall's open-air music hall which will gives you a breathtaking view of the ocean as a background. Not to mention you can shop till you drop and buying various items from renowned brands, such as Etude House, Estee Lauder, Adidas, Guess, and more.
The National Museum of the Philippines is a place where you can see reminiscence of the past, and even the museum complex are actually built in the early 20th Century. It boasts wide range collections of national fine arts, antrophology, and even archaelogical collections. Venture deeper to visit the national planetarium and to see more paintings, sculptures, and natural history of Phillipines. Here's a place where you can totally see the pride in every Filipino's heart and their efforts to retell their historical and cultural heritages to the world. The National Museum of Phillipines was built not only for educational purposes but also as cultural centre and scientific institution.
Star City is also a host of Snow World attraction for those who craves to play with the snow. All the snows are permanent, you can even see magnificent pieces of ice carvings art. It also contains a 68 meters snow slide, which is an incredibly long slides ever exist in the country. Oh and of course, you should try Giant Star Wheel Ferris Wheel ride, a modern ferris-wheel with 32 air-conditioned gondolas with maximum capacity of 6 persons.
Manila, the capital city of Phillipines offers plenty of touristy attractions which are enjoyable for you, as long as you're willing to look closer. So don't shy away! The next time you come to Manila, take your time to explore the city and visit interesting attractions below.
How to Get Tickets?
You can buy tickets for the attractions online and offline. However, it is better to purchase your tickets online beforehand to skip standing in long queues. Buy your tickets on this website and choose from the best deals, then make a safe payment.
How To Get Around?
There's a lot of transport option that you can choose. Taxis are the easiest to find and the most convenient. These days, due to technology, you can also order online taxis which are usually more comfortable and cheaper. Try the Jeepsy when you visit Manila. It's a modified jeep with bright colors painted all over it. They each have designated routes and it only costs PHP 8 per short ride. You can also hop on the bus, LRT, and MRT in Manila. If you're used to driving in Manila traffic, you can rent a car to get around the city. Lastly, you can also get around by foot, but do be careful when you're going to the less crowded streets.
What Should I Wear?
Manila is a fashionable city but it's more conservative than the Western country. Do avoid mid-riff shirts, tube tops, short shorts, and short skirts. Wear sleeved shirts, long dress, lightweight pants, blouse, button down, and jeans. Do wear comfortable walking shoes.
Best Time to Visit
The best months to visit Manila is from December to April. Though it is still hot and humid like the rest of the year, it's usually less hot during these months. Do note that May is the hottest month and considered unsuitable for outdoor activities.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, exploring the city on your own is very do-able. You can also find everything you need about Manila on this website.
How To Get There?
The best way to reach Manila is by air, catching a plane that arrives at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. From there, you can only ride the taxi or online taxi to the city center, which is not located too far away from the airport.
Avoid hopping on to the bus, LRT, and MRT during rush hour, which is from 7 am to 9 am and from 5 pm to 9 pm. For the airport, terminal 1, 2, 3 are for internaional flights and terminal 4 is for domestic flights. They're located quite far away from each other, around 30 minutes drive. So check and re-check which terminal you're going to fly from when you're about to leave Manila. You might miss your flight if you realised your mistake too late.