How to See the Best of Manila

Manila is an important city situated right on the coast

Manila is one of the Philippines’ most beautiful cities. Lying right on the coast it boasts idyllic beaches as well as a bustling metropolitan life. If you’re visiting this city then you’ll certainly not be short of things to do as it was almost designed with tourism in mind. With that said, there are some places that are tourist traps and some that are a traveler’s haven. We’ve picked out the best spots in Manila for you so that you don’t have to waste any time on the places that aren’t truly magical.

Stay at Resorts World Manila

For some, a hotel is just a place to rest their head, but in Manila, a stay at a hotel is a grand occasion. If the budget will stretch that far then it is worth making Resorts World Manila your base for the break. There are so many facilities there that it would be impossible to get bored, even if you stayed within the resort for the whole holiday. Their casino is world-famous and has held many prestigious poker tournaments, including the longest one of all time when a 48-hour battle ensued back in 2013. More than this though, the rooms are absolutely beautiful. The resort is set in an enormous glass-fronted building, so all of the rooms benefit from sweeping views of the city.

Spoil Yourself at I’m Onsen Spa

When it comes to making sure you feel your very healthiest, a trip to the spa is just the thing. I’m Onsen Spa is the biggest in Manila, but this doesn’t make the experience any less special. Couples are particularly well looked after at the spa, with a number of packages designed especially for romance. Their 2-hour package invites you and your partner to enjoy a traditional Japanese Facial treatment, followed by an exhilarating Philippine Hilot Massage. You’ll finish the spa session with an eye care treatment that promises to reduce puffiness and leave you looking bright-eyed. Once the spa sessions are finished you can sip soothing green tea and enjoy a healthy buffet in the beautiful spa surroundings. Make sure that, whichever package you opt for, you visit the steam room. Not only is it great for the skin to release all of those toxins, but they also infuse the steam with seven different herbs, each with its own medicinal benefit. It’s a beautiful way to cleanse away the grime of the city air.

Eat at Cafe Ilang Ilang and Li Li

Caption: Although the chicken congee is just a small dish, it packs a flavorful punch

Manila has a rich food heritage and there are so many dishes that you must try during your stay. Cafe Ilang-Ilang is a great first meal spot because they offer a wide variety of dishes and lots of local specialties. The setting is homely and welcoming and the service is genuinely exceptional. For fussier eaters who enjoy a taste of home, there are American staples like US prime rib and Manila-style fried chicken. For those who want to experience a taste of true Philippino culture, you should order a bowl of kare-kare. This thick stew comprises of lots of lovely vegetables like daikon, Chinese leaf, and aubergine cooked in a peanutty sauce that’s enriched with chunky pieces of oxtail. It’s incredibly rich, incredibly delicious and the kind of dish that really sticks to your ribs.

If you want to blow the budget then Li Li is the place to go. This fine dining establishment focuses on Chinese and Philippino flavors, which you can enjoy in the privacy of your own private dining room. Whilst you’re likely to be splashing the cash a little, the saying that “you get what you pay for” is certainly true here. Their grouper steamed with ginger and chili is refreshing and just the right level of spice. Although it’s more of a Chinese delicacy it is also worth trying their chicken congee with a century egg. For some people, it’s a taste that they can’t get enough of.


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