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Manila, Philippines - Part 3 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Places to Visit

Where to Stay

At the top end of the market and deep among Ortigas’ gargantuan shopping malls, the five star Edsa Shangri-La hotel has huge modern rooms and a palm oasis built around a large pool. The breakfast buffet in their HEAT food outlet is also outstanding. Garden deluxe doubles start from PHP7, 500 which is about £130.

Staying in a mid-range hotel here is not much of a downgrade. Prices here are so competitive that top end offerings in this range such as Quezon City’s Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria hardly put a dent in your wallet. An upper storey room has imperious views over the hazy cityscape, while the fifth storey outdoor pool is flanked by skyscrapers. All this with B& B can be yours with doubles starting from just PHP5, 130 which is £85.

If you are on a really tight budget or would rather spend your money on other things then head for the heart of Intramuros. Secreted away in a colonial Spanish courtyard you will come across the White Knight Hotel. Bedrooms here boast classical touches and doubles are a bargain, with prices ranging from PHP1, 995 only £35.

So do you stay longer here or venture farther afield. A couple of nights of Manila’s intensity may be all you can handle. If so then think about the green wonders of Luzon on the main island or the sandy allure of the several thousand islands scattered off the Philippine coast. Photographers will go crazy for the vast rice terraces of north Luzon, with buses to Banaue an easy gateway to the 2, 000-year-old paddies ringing its hills. After this then head to the town of Sagada to see sacred valleys lined with hanging coffins. Manila’s North Harbour Port has an armada of ferries setting sail in all directions. Beach fanatics will make a beeline for the white sand beaches and classy resorts of Boracay lying out in the Sibuyan Sea. If you’re an outdoors lover then you will find a connection in the eco-paradise of Palawan. Perhaps even riding its 8km long subterranean river tunnel in Puerto-Princesa National Park. If you are a diver you can enjoy the sub-aqua nirvana of Puerto Galera’s corals, with its wall-dives, groupers, and schools of tuna.

The population of central Manila is 1. 9 million which rises to 13 million for the greater metropolitan area of Metro Manila. The main languages is Tagalog but English is also widely spoken. The time is +8 form the UK for those phoning home. Visas are not required by British nationals if you are staying up to 30 days. The currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP) and is currently around PHP60 to the UK£, US dollars are also popular here and ATMs are widespread. Temperatures range from 28ºC to 35ºC year round, with typhoons common between June and September, so this is a good time to avoid if possible.

Manila’s heat and humidity can be overpowering so take it slowly to start.

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Page added on: 14 October 2018
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