Manila, like most Asian cities, is a conglomeration of the traditional and modern quarters. Visitors often consider this capital city of Philippines as a chaotic place, where different parts of the city project completely different images of the city. While the fragments of the city’s past are concentrated in Intramuros, much of which had been destroyed during the Second World War, to explore the vibrant city life of modern Manila, you should go to the Malate and Makati areas of the city.
This is the oldest part of the city, founded by the Spanish conquerors. Although, Intramuros has been threatened and held by the Dutch, British, American and Japanese forces in different times, but this walled zone of Manila has always retained its predominantly Spanish flavor. Imposing buildings, churches and convents stand along the cobbled roads of this enclosed area. Fort Santiago, once notorious for holding prisoners, is now a popular park in Intramuros. Besides the old Spanish buildings, new parks, galleries, restaurants and souvenir shops have sprung up in this area.
In this business center of the city, you can access most of the contemporary facilities of a modern city life. The nightlife of Manila might not be as scintillating as that in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, nonetheless, the shopping plazas and the restaurants of Makati will not disappoint you.
To find some respite from the congested city life, visit Rizal Park. Named after the famous Philippine philosopher and writer Jose Rizal, this huge lush green area, is one of the popular entertainment spots of the city.
Butterfly House is home to thousands of species of butterflies. With the butterflies flying around you and settling on our arms and head, visiting the Butterfly House is quite an exciting experience.
To add some rustic flavor to the metropolitan city, stands Las Pinas, about 20km from the center of Manila. The bamboo organ housed in the San Jose church is an attraction of the village of Las Pinas.
Manila has a bustling Chinatown, home to the vibrant Chinese population of Manila. Here you will find Chinese teahouses and shops selling Chinese herbs, trinkets and souvenirs.