Getting a cab at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is quite a hassle. Best is to get a ticket with one of the taxi operators before you leave departure hall, cost to Ermita is 500.-pesos ( about 10.- US$). If you are on a budget try to get to the departure floor and grab a taxi from there. The ride to Ermita then should be between 200 and 250 Pesos.
Hotels in Manila: (all numbers refer to streetmap)
Since there are not many sights of interest for the traveler, people tend to spend as little time as possible in Manila, it might however be necessary to spend a day or two in the city to have a visa extended etc. Following are a choice of hotels we can recommend, they are all in Ermita, where most of the tourists stay, about 30 min from the international airport (during rush hour it can take as long as 4 hours to get there!).
We can make a reservation in a number of hotels for you at no extra cost, contact us
Malate Pensionne*(no.5), 1771 M.Adriatico St, Malate, Manila. Tel.:0063-2-523 83 04 Fax: 0063-2-522 23 89,. Double with shower and fan about 16.- US$. Double with shower and A/C about 22 US$, www.mpensionne.com.ph
Cherry Blossoms Hotel, #550 Jorge Bocobo Extension next to Robinsons Ermita Mall, Ermita, Manila, Philippines, Telephone Numbers: (+632) 5247631 to 36, Fax Number: (+632) 5224172, Double with shower and A/C about 35 US$, Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cherryblossomshotel.com.ph
La Corona Hotel***(no.17) , 1166 Mh Del Pilar Cor., Arquiza Street, Ermita, Manila, Philippines, Phone: (632)524-2631 Fax: (632) 525-8268, Double with AC 40 US$
Another very good option (specially if you plan to stay in Manila for a few days) is to find accomodation on www.airbnb.com, they offer rooms and apartments for every budget and taste.
Restaurants: (all numbers refer to streetmap)
Shawarma:(no.9) another bargain is this middle eastern restaurant owned by a Lebanese. They offer a wide variety of arab specialities at a very low price, in fact it is hard to spend more than 5 US$ a person, delicious
Korean Palace:(no.3) just around the corner from Malate Pension is the Korean Palace, famous for its Bulgogi (Korean barbecue), it comes with all kind of appetizers and is fun to go if you are in group.
Saisaki, japanese restaurant (no.16), corner Padre Faura and Adriatico Street, Ermita, Manila, the authors long time favorit when in Manila, The eat as much as you can cost about 10 US$, they also serve western dishes.
Cafe Havanna: (no.2) more a bar than a restaurant it is still a good place to taste ....... food, not really cheap, go there early, once they start dancing it is getting pretty noisy . Tip: if you would like to spend a lazy afternoon in Manila try the Hemingway club upstairs, smoke a cigar and feel like a sugar baron.
Nightlife: (all numbers refer to streetmap)
Cafe Havanna: (no.2) since we are already here we might as well start our night with a Mojito or a Pina Colada on one of the tables on the sidewalk and watch the young, rich and beautiful Manileros passing by, weekends there is always a lot of dancing going on, Salsa!!
Penguin Bar:(no.4) on the opposite side of Remedios circle is one of the oldest bars of this part of town, it is a favorite hang-out for local artists and wanna-be's. We think the pitchers of Frozen Margarithas are a piece of art for themselves.
Nakpil Street: (no.6,7) this little road not far from Remedios has become one of the party alleys of the young generation, the place is packed on weekends, beers are cheap, the music mostly techno or reggae.
LA Cafe: (no.11) one of the last survivors of old red-light district Ermita, after 10 pm the place becomes alive with live bands, working girls, story tellers, pick pocketers, tourists, fossils, gamblers and drunkards. Loud music, cheap beer, not everybody's taste but worth a visit if you are new in town.
G-Point:(no.18) Favourite hangout for Expats and longtime visitors of the Philippine. The beer is cheaper than in LA Cafe and the pace of action is somewhat slower. We do recommend the buffet between 11am an 2pm or Kinilaw (raw spanish makerel marinated in lemonjuice and coconutmilk, delicious).
Sofitel Hotel: Offers a huge lunch buffet at a very high level, Price is around 50$ but it is well worth the money.
The Ritz Spa (no 15)1614 M. Adriatico Street., Malate, Ermita, excellent massages (shiatsu, nothing kinky here). Ideal if you arrive from overseas and have a few hours in Manila before going to Pandan Island.
Room 305, De Villa Bldg.
1153 M.H. del Pilar St., Ermita 1000
Tel:++63-(2)-523 70 07 Fax: +63 (-2) -525 18 11
There are plenty of internet cafes in Manila. Every shopping mall has at least one of them. The most convenient one is probably the one in Malate Pension. A very fast connection is offered by Surfservice, 506 Padre Faura Street.
A few words about safety: The Philipinos are a very friendly and helpful people, however, as in all tourist places, Manila got its share of crooks and con-artists. Avoid changing money in the streets and be cautious with strangers inviting you for a drink, to a party or to their house. If you have more money than you need with you, don't show it. With a little bit of common sense, unpleasant experiences can easily be avoided.
In the fourteen years we have been in the Philippines, we never had any problems!