Updated 2016

Why you should add Manila to your Indie/RTW trip

  • A crazy city with a walled colonial town, good restaurants, relentless nightlife and friendly people.
  • Though Manila gets a bad rap, all the great things about the rest of the country are on display here.
  • If you’re a big-city person, Manila is growing larger and larger by the day.
  • Like every other country in the region, the markets and street food culture is alive and well in Manila. If this is your thing, you’ll be plenty entertained.
  • Head to Makati, the modern center of Manila, and shop, eat, and drink til you can’t shop, eat, and drink anymore. Lots of locals hang out and work here.
  • There are 16 different districts in Manila, each offering something unique. Find your favorite one.
  • Head to Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown.
  • Culture and history is becoming more and more important in Manila, and the museums on offer are proof of that.

Read: Binondo Revisited:  Manila.


Manila is typically the city where most travelers fly into. Once here, you can use any combination of trains, buses, jeepneys, tricycles, pedicabs, taxis, and even calesas (horse-drawn carriages).


If you’re looking for a cheap place to lay your head for the night, Manila is chock full of affordable hostels to stay in.