From time to time, the Urban Roamer has been asked about traveling in Manila. Stuff like what to do or some helpful tips. While there has been some information shared about those things from time to time, I realized I never really talked about that matter a bit in depth. With the help of some friends, I hope this article would be of help for all travelers who want to check out what this city has to offer.
After all, Manila is more than just the Philippines’s bustling capital. As we have seen here in the Urban Roamer for years now, there is a cultural and historical hub that locals and tourists alike should check out. From being the seat of the Spanish crown in the East for more than 300 years to being a key city in the liberation of the country in World War II, a lot of its history still lingers in the air. I have to say, one cannot simply arrive in Manila and think that it will be a breeze to visit all its must-see sites.
What I’m saying is that there are a lot of things to consider when you are visiting Manila. Besides your planned destinations, you have to be wary of the weather and your surroundings. If it is your first time visiting Manila, or it has been a while since your last visit, then let these 8 tips help you prepare for your trip.
- Don’t Go Overboard With Your Expenses
Manila is a city that caters to all types of travelers. Whatever budget you have in mind, there is surely an accommodation worthy for your price. Of course, spending a bit more will grant you access to the luxurious hotels surrounding the city. But if you are keeping an eye on your expenses, booking a stay in one of many cheap hotels in Manila will be enough to let you relax and unwind.
- Always Bring an Umbrella
The Philippines is a country with a tropical climate. This means that when it rains, it pours. And when the sun is out, you’d better believe that it’s going to get scorching hot. Sometimes, it’s impossible to predict whether it’s going to rain or shine. So having an umbrella at the ready will prepare you for those “just in case” moments. Your umbrella doesn’t have to be that large either. A small, collapsible one will be enough to shade you from the harsh sunlight.
- Dress Appropriately for the Weather (or Destination)
When deciding what to wear during your tour in Manila, it is best that you choose comfort over style. It gets really hot in this city. And if you decide to wear something thick during the day, prepare to sweat profusely. Opting for clothing made with lighter material is not only comfortable, but it will allow your body to breathe and stay cool. Also, when it comes to footwear, choose something made from durable material. Wearing sneakers, sandals, and the like, are safer on cement, which lets you cover more ground. One more thing you should ensure is that your outfit remains appropriate for your destination. For example, if you plan on visiting some of the city’s churches, be sure to follow the given dress code. Not only is it a sign of respect, but it will also keep your touring schedule smooth.
- Sunny Days are Always the Best Days
Planning out a week long vacation to countries with 3 or more seasons is tricky. However, touring the Philippines is much easier because it only has two (warm and wet). Between the two seasons, it is best that you tour Manila during the warm summer. Though you are sharing the sites with more people, it is more convenient since the wet season is notorious for ushering in heavy downpours…and heavier than normal heavy traffic too.
- Stay Alert When You Try New Ways of Travel
Manila is surrounded by different kinds of modes of travel. From the horse drawn kalesa to the noisy tricycles, there is something for everyone. Nevertheless, no matter how fun the adventure may seem, always make it a point to stay alert. Not only will you be able to take in the sites and surroundings. You’ll also be better able to avoid unscrupulous thieves.
- Rehydrate Yourself When You Can (Especially When Walking)
When you just can’t take the slow-moving traffic any longer, walking is always an option. But it does come with a couple of pros and cons. Even if it makes it easier to get to your destination during rush hour, you will get tired easily. One easy way to regain your lost energy is to re-energize with water. With Manila’s heat constantly on top of you, packing one or two bottles should be enough to get you through the day.
- Make Everything Memorable With a Camera
The beauty of Manila can still be seen even in the city’s worst hours. Since this city was an influential area during the Spanish occupation, many of its destinations and buildings still resemble the style of the colonial era. Of course, you can continue to stand in awe to fully appreciate the architectural marvels. However, it is easier to record your memories with a camera. Indeed, taking photographs is the best way to capture those intimate or spontaneous moments. Plus, looking back on your photos in the future will allow you to rekindle your adventurous spirit once more.
- Branch Out Into the City and Explore More of Manila
It is true that Manila has a handful of historic destinations and churches. But the city is so much more than that. There are hundreds of other places that exude the Manila experience. For example, if you love flowers, you can grab a bouquet of roses in Dangwa. On the other hand, maybe you want to eat an authentic Chinese meal, then why not grab a seat in one of the restaurants in Binondo? Never limit yourself when you are in Manila because Manila will always have something in store for you.
Note: This is a sponsored post