I will be in Manila for a week for work, will only have one Sunday to do any sight-seeing, any suggestions?
Also good places to try local foods etc at night would be good.
I am not into big shopping malls and fine-dining, and will be travelling on my own, so somewhere where it is pretty safe to sit out on the street and people watch would suit. I am staying in Makati.
I have travelled quite a bit in Asia but haven't been to the Philippines before, so any hints or tips would be appreciated.
#1 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221
If you are into walking tours, try the Intramuros walking tour by Carlos Celdran. http://celdrantours.blogspot.com/
You'll also find a number of good eating places in Chinatown which is near Intramuros. If you want to stay in Makati, I'm afraid there's not much places to go to aside from malls. Try going to the Mall of Asia where there's a strip of restaurants (outside the mall) by the Manila Bay. You'll surely find a lot of people to watch there.
Hope you enjoy your stay in PH.
I recommend the Carlos Celdran tour as well. But it means you have to go to the more historical Intramuros/Binondo area.
If you want to try Filipino food, that's a tough question because my granny was a terrific cook so eating Filipino food out is usually a disappointment for me. Maybe you should give Bruce Lim's restaurant "A Chef's table" a try. It looks promising. I haven't tried it out myself.
Unit 106, The Infinity Tower, 26th Street, The Fort Global City, Taguig, Philippines
The Filipino food at Sentro 1771 is ok. There is a branch at Greenbelt 3.
Away from the malls there are options like:
La Tienda on Polaris Avenue, Bel-Air, Makati is one of the better Spanish restaurants. And there is Cantinetta on Pasong Tamo, El Cirkulo on PAsay road. Va pasta Bene across Dusit Hotel. Than there are the Indian restos, etc. My guilty pleasure is wanton beef noodle soup at North Park (cheap Chinese food). There is the little Tokyo where the Japanese expats go. Barcinos Tapas bar/resto
You can do your people watching at greenbelt as well.
I forgot to mention that on the weekends there are farmer's markets at Makati. On Saturday, it is at Salcedo Park. On Sunday, it is at Legazpi Park.
Of the two, the Salcedo market is more popular and the one I recommend you go to.
There is also a "Dampa" on Macapagal Blvd. where you can get fresh seafood and there are stalls that will cook it for you. I met some backpackers in Bangkok who absolutely loved it. But that is in Manila and not Makati. But it isn't that far away,
If you are working in Manila then take a chance on your free day to get out of the metropolis.
Consider a day trip to Tagaytay. Eat in one of the many restaurants on the ridge overlooking Taal lake and volcano.If you are adventurous then head down to Talisay and cross over to the island for a trip to the volcano rim on horseback or visit the sadly run down Palace in the Sky for amazing 360 degree views of Manila and environs
#5 gwapo has been a member since 4/6/2011. Posts: 49
Many thanks to all for the suggestions - some good ideas there
#6 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221
Maybe I am jaded by Tagaytay but I would suggest you take the boat trip to Taal volcano. There is a restaurant called "Antonio's" which is listed in Miele's guide as one of the top 5 in Asia. It is $$$$$.
Tagaytay is also known for "Bulalo" and there are several places that are known for it like "La Taaleña," Joni's, and Diner.
There is this Vietnamese lady who married a Filipino and she turns her home into a restaurant every weekend.
An alternative for a foodie is to take a day trip to Angeles City, Pampanga.
This person also offers tours.
You might also drop by Binondo, which is supposed to be the oldest Chinatown in the world. If you google "binondo food trip" you should get few hits.
It will be dirty, crowded, and noisy. Probably better if a local accompanies you.
I agree with goonistik's suggestion of a day trip out to Taal Volcano then have lunch in town and bus it back to Manila. There are plenty of reviews on taking a boat to the volcano as well as restaurants around town on the internet.
If you do not like the malls and typical restaurants in Makati, try Bonifacio Global City at The Fort in Taguig (Taguig and Makati are separated by EDSA, the main road). http://www.fbdcorp.com/ You can go at any given time and will never run out of things to do, places to see and food to eat. During weekends, there is a special weekend food market called Mercato Centrale: http://www.mercatocentrale.ph/ where a variety of food sellers showcase local Filipino foods and organic foods.