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Need help with traveling to Manila/Makati

Travel Forums Asia Need help with traveling to Manila/Makati

1. Posted by cheemeng83 (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

Hey people..

I'm from Malaysia and will be traveling to Manila in 1 weeks time with my girlfriend, and I need some help with info here..

We have already purchased our air ticket and we will arrive at Clark Airport. We have also booked our rooms in Millennium Plaza Hotel in Makati. Initially we didn't expect the airport to be so far away from Manila, we were confused by the Clark Airport and the one south of Manila.

So my first question will be, how do I travel from Clark to Makati? We are on a budget vacation, so I will prefer bus/train instead of cab. What will the fee be like anyway?

We will be staying in Makati for 4 days 3 nights, and we would love to do some shopping. Can someone recommend to me some of the nice shopping destinations (both market and shopping complex)? We will like to visit the Megamall (how far is it from Millennium Hotel?) and some markets that sells cheap goods.

We would also like to spend a night or 2 in romantic/happening places, such as clubs, bars, seaside restaurants etc. Can someone recommend some nice place for us to dine and party? We don't mind traveling to Manila Bay, I have read that it's a nice place. But how far is it from Makati?

Do recommend some interesting places for us to visit. I have read about Chinatown, Catheral, the museum etc, but I dunno if they are really nice places or not. We don't mind walking around and take some pictures, too. Basically I really need someone to give me an A to Z guide to 4D3N in Manila, hehe!

Really appreciate if someone could help me out here to be able to spend my holidays wisely and happily in Manila ;)

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 26, 2007, at 7:01 AM by cheemeng83 ]

2. Posted by Kyels (Budding Member 69 posts) 8y

Hi,

From Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (Clark Airport) to Manila takes about two hours plus/minus (that was the time it took for me to reach Manila from Clark by cab last year). The cab fare is around PHP2000, which is relatively more expensive than taking a bus. You can take the Philtranco Services Enterpises bus, bearing the Air Asia logo and the flight number will be parked outside the Arrival Hall of the main exit. There will be tables for you to inquire about services for cabs and the bus. The fair per pax is PHP300. The drop-off points are the Philtranco Terminal Ground Floor, SM Megamall Building A, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Centre, Mandaluyong City. Drop at the point which is nearer to Makati or you can drop off at SM Megamall and the hitch a cab to the hotel in Makati City.

As for the shopping places; you can check out Divisoria Market because everything is literally cheap there and is one of the best place to shop, in my opinion. Also, check out Chinatown as they have decent shops there too which is similar to Petaling Street, only busier --- in a way. Visiting the cathedrals is a must and I can assure you that there will be no regrets because for each cathedrals are special in their own ways. Churches like San Agustin Church, Manila Cathedral (located in Intramuros), the San Sebastian Church in Quiapo (the first steel church in Asia) are worth the visit and during my trip, I've visited quite a number of churches. If you do have time, try to visit the historical sites like Intramuros, Coconut Palace, Malacanang Palace, Rizal Park, et cetera.

Malate is a happening place too only that it is not a high-rise business district unlike Makati but in Malate, there are decent restaurants such as Cafe Adriatico, Cafe Havana, et cetera. It is very happening at night and from Malate, you can head towards Roxas Boulevard for Manila Baywalk which is very, very romantic at night and the view is truly breathtaking. You can just sit there and enjoy the sea breeze and sunset ... Amazing.

Shopping malls; Greenbelt and Glorietta (Makati), TriNoma, SM Mall of Asia (Pasay City), SM Megamall, Robinsons, Rockwell, Eastwood City Walk (Libis, Quezon City, Metro Manila) et cetera. I visited SM Megamall and it was astounding and the same goes to Greenbelt and Glorietta. TriNoMa is a new mall, just opened couple months ago. As for Rockwell, imagine it being like KLCC or Pavilion. Classy, and exudes a certain ambience. In Greenbelt, Makati, there are lots of restaurants to dine and bars to hop.

Simple things like Jeepneys, Calesa, and Pedicabs should be experienced too. They're really nice, the Calesa rides but you've to be careful because some Calesa(s) charge in USD. So, make sure you ask properly before hopping into one. As for the Jeepneys (got to see where do they go because different jeepneys head towards different places) and Pedicabs, nothing to worry about as they deal with Pesos. Also, make sure you taste Filipino food; they're really, really gorgeous. Until today, I miss the food there, so much!

If you're flying back to Malaysia through Clark again, I suggest you to go one or two hours earlier (depending on your flight schedule) to avoid congestion.

4 days and 3 nights is quite a short trip (for me) so you've to pack everything in the itinerary properly.

(:

Hope this helps!

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 26, 2007, at 8:51 PM by Kyels ]

3. Posted by cheemeng83 (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

OMG Kyels.. u rock ! to the max !
lemme study all these for a bit then I might post up with more enquiries..
how long did u spent in manila anyway?

thanks a bunch.. which part of m'sia are u in anyway?

4. Posted by Kyels (Budding Member 69 posts) 8y

Yes, sure thing. When you are done studying all the details and have further inquiries, feel free to ask. If I can answer, I definitely would.

I stayed in Pinas for 10 days and when the day came for me to leave for Malaysia, I realised that I fell in love with that country so much; the food, the warmth given by the people ... Almost everything. I was supposed to go there again end of this year but due to my studies commitment I had to give my plans up and pre-plan it for next year.

(:

I am from Perak but currently living in Kuala Lumpur. How about yourself.

5. Posted by anneredlip (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

i worked in clark..you could ride a bus...i have many recommendation on shopping cause i own a shop or tiange..

hope to hear from you soon

REMOVED

[ Edit: Sorry no personal details in the forums ]

6. Posted by cheemeng83 (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

Hey Kyels,

You really know a lot a lot about this place. I have a few more question marks here, hope you are able to help me..

1. I found 2 Divisoria Markets in the map. One is at the north of Pasig River near Chinatown, the other one is in Quezon City. Please enlighten.

2. Are the markets in Divisoria and Chinatown open in the night?

3. Do the cabs in Metro Manila use meter? Or do I need to enquire the fare before I board?

4. Do u have any restaurants who sells decent Philipino cuisine to recommend? Preferably in Makati, Mandaluyung or Manila.

5. I have read about traveling in calesa in Intramuros. How do they charge? and how differently do they charge when I want to stop-by at various destinations in Intramuros?

6. Have u been to the Chinese Cemetery? How good is it?

I will be traveling to Manila this coming Thursday, so I'm quite convinced that I will have a good journey =) Looking forward to your reply. Oh by the way, I was from Ipoh, too and now in JB..

Hi anneredlip,

Where is your shop at? And yes, do not hesitate to give me recommendation on shopping destinations, preferably those that sells cheap and nice goods.

7. Posted by Kyels (Budding Member 69 posts) 8y

cheemeng83,

Literally, I'm in love with The Philippines (bordering fanaticism; joking!) and too bad I cannot make it there again this year due to my studies and thesis. Bah! Anyway, nice to meet you, really. And we hail from the same state!

Anyway, back to your questions:

1. I found 2 Divisoria Markets in the map. One is at the north of Pasig River near Chinatown (somewhat nar, the other one is in Quezon City. Please enlighten.

- The real Divisoria Market is in Manila; the one located at the north of Pasig River near Chinatown. I believe it's packed with people now because Christmas is approaching.

2. Are the markets in Divisoria and Chinatown open in the night?

- Both Divisoria and Chinatown are open from morning till night.

3. Do the cabs in Metro Manila use meter? Or do I need to enquire the fare before I board?
- Yes, they do use the meter and during my trip there, most of the cabs that I took ran on meters and the prices are normal.

4. Do u have any restaurants who sells decent Philipino cuisine to recommend? Preferably in Makati, Mandaluyung or Manila.
- The only restaurants that I really tried were located in Malate; Cafe Havana and Cafe Adriatico both under the same organisation. I also tried a restaurant in SM Mall of Asia, but I cannot recall the name, it serves Filipino food at a reasonable price. It's located at the lower ground floor.

5. I have read about traveling in calesa in Intramuros. How do they charge? and how differently do they charge when I want to stop-by at various destinations in Intramuros?

- The calesa has a standard price; the touring price and they will provide a tour guide which explains everything about Intramuros while riding the calesa. There will be stops too for you to go down and tour the place like the Rizal's house, et cetra. I suggest you go for a tour, for Intramuros. The normal calesa that you see on the streets may charge in USD, so ask properly about the fee (whether in Pesos or USD) before hitching a ride. The ones at Manila Baywalk may charge in USD because they usually carry tourists and the price is roughly around 50USD.

6. Have u been to the Chinese Cemetery? How good is it?

- I skipped the Chinese Cemetery, only passed by it. In Rizal Park, there is an Orchidarium, so be sure that you visit it as well.

I am very sure that you will have a good journey. The people there are very friendly, helpful and most importantly warm. Very unlike Malaysians; in my point of view. Manila Ocean Park is scheduled to open on the 15th of December 2007, but I guess you'll be missing that since you're going there this Thursday.

Anyway, if you have the time, you can go to Batangas and also Tagaytay; the amazing Taal Volcano is located there and the view is exhilarating (the crater at the top of the volcano also the beautiful Taal Lake). In Batangas you can find authentic balisong(s) because that is where the balisong came from.

(:

I will send you a private message so do check it out. I hope what I replied will be able to help you.

8. Posted by cheemeng83 (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

Hey Kyels,

Wassup man !
Guess what.. I'm back from Manila !! haha..

Thanks for your info before this and I guess it did help a lot during my trip. I got lost in Divisoria Market, seriously, I couldn't find my way out to somewhere with cabs. In the end I took a pedicab and travel to Chinatown and took MRT back to Ayala and finally hailed a cab back to hotel. Interesting and tiring journey after a whole day in Intramuros, Chinatown and Divisoria Market. I almost slept without showering when I reached my room.

In fact, I was disappointed with a few things such as the traffic in Manila, the amount of buyable things in Divisoria and the level of english language in the country. Overall, it was still a fun trip and we did managed to shop for quite a lot of goodies. Oh yes, the sunset is goooorgeous! I didn't have enough time to travel to Malacanang, Coconut Palace and Chinese Cemetery tho, as there were very little time on the first and last day.

Traveling back and forth the Clarke Field Airport can be a little pain cuz its freaking far. I did enjoyed the beer there (San Miguel) cuz they only cost me P20 per bottle.. omg.. that's only RM1.60.. lmao! Anyway, thanks again for all the info before this. Where will u be going next?