It Was Manila But Not A Thriller
Trip Start Sep 19, 2010
54Trip End Sep 19, 2011
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We have been to Manila twice before and always enjoyed ourselves there, so we were happy to be going back. Manila is a fantastic place for shopping. In fact I would say it is probably as good as you will find anywhere and I mean anywhere. Shame we were only window shopping ! It is also one of the best places I know for eating out and eat out we did, all kinds of junk. Yeah, so we gained a few pounds I'll be honest.
Our Cebu Pacific flight got us into Manila early afternoon. We caught a shuttle bus into town for a matter of pennies. We got off at Taft MRT (mass rapid transport) station. In other words the metro. We got our guide book out and worked out the nearest station to our hotel. We had booked a hotel the evening before called The Great Eastern on Makarti Avenue in an area of Manila called Makarti. We judged that we should get off at a station called Ayala. This we did and on asking around at Ayala we discovered that it was 2 Km to Makarti Avenue. We are loathed to take taxis but when carrying our packs there was no option. We hailed a taxi and he put his meter straight on which saved me having to ask him to. I remember once having an argument with a taxi driver in Manila who refused to put it on, Cathy and I got out and walked. It is law by the way for them to put the meter on !! The Great Eastern hotel is a very old hotel by Manila standards which means it was cheap for downtown Manila. Yes it was a little rundown but it was certainly comfortable enough at £20 a night and it's location was fantastic.
We walked around Makarti Avenue that night and had a good meal then headed back to the hotel and watched movies in bed until late. The next morning we had breakfast at a place called the Pancake House, I said we were putting the pounds back on!! Food is one thing I don't mind spending money on while traveling. Cathy and I soon worked out that if we caught a Jeepney with a sign saying Guadalupe it would take us to another MRT station about the same distance away as Ayala. On the way back we would jump into a Jeepney with Makarti Ave on it's sign. In this way we traveled the length and breadth of Manila for pennies using jeepneys and the MRT and LRT lines. Easy when you know how. We returned to Harrison Plaza where Cathy always gets a pedicure and I always get a Massage. It's becoming a tradition when we are in Manila. I go to a place where all the masseuse are blind people. I think it is fantastic that these people have overcome their handicap and go out into the workplace everyday and make a difference. They get my utmost respect and I would not choose anywhere else to go for a massage. We called into a few other Malls. Manila is not famous for it's sightseeing tours as there are no sights to really speak of. When in Manila shopping is the order of the day.
We booked flights to Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan for the 19 TH. We did not book return flights as we were still unsure about what to do after Palawan. Incidentally we booked our flight home today, well almost home. We are booked onto a flight to Paris as it was £200 cheaper than a flight to London. We plan on getting to Zeebrugger by bus from Paris and then getting the overnight ferry to Hull. That means we get home on the morning of the 5 TH May. Am I looking forward to coming home? Yes I am. I am now starting to get travel weary and I now believe that the concept of traveling for a year was probably a bit to ambitious. We have not slept for seven straight nights in the same bed since December. We have covered thousands and thousands of miles and thoughts of home are finally coming through. We will have been away seven and a half months and that can't be bad, and we wouldn't have changed a minute of our trip.
Once again we enjoyed Manila. There is not a lot more for me to say about our time here, we window shopped and ate. We stayed three nights in Manila and at about noon on the 19 TH we headed back to the airport the same way we came. Palawan is a place I have been wanting to see for years and we were finally on our way.