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Manila travel guide

Skyscrapers in central Manila

Overview

Manila, the somewhat daunting capital and pulsating hub of the Philippines, is situated on the east coast of Luzon, the most northern Filipino island, as well as the largest and the most developed. The city was founded in 1571 on the site of a Muslim settlement. The city is made up of 16 areas which were once towns in their own right, and its major tourist attraction is the old Spanish walled city known as Intramuros, which contains some historic buildings and ruins.

Manila was once known as The Pearl of the Orient and was an important centre for South East Asia. However, during the second world war the city was ravaged by the some of the most destructive urban battles of the period - as a result, much of the old Manila was destroyed. Today, Manila is a morass of traffic and people, polluted and chaotic, it grew from the ashes of war and is the cultural and political centre of the archipelago. Thick, congested traffic is juxtaposed with expansive parks, modern high-rises with polluted slums, all of which conspire to make Manila a difficult but enthralling metropolis.

Most visitors to the Philippines use Manila as a spring board for their exploration of the other provinces and islands, as most flights must land at Nino Aquino International Airport; however, it is possible to fly into Cebu and Aklan on select airlines and from particular locations. Manila is also within easy reach of day and weekend getaways on the island of Luzon, which makes it a good base for travellers intent on touring. One thing no visitor should miss is a famous Manila Bay sunset: a light show created out of the high humidity conditions coupled with the effects of cloud over the city's harbour. View the sunset from Rizal Park, Roxas Boulevard or from a cruise boat that circles around the bay.

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Day Weather High Low
Saturday Heavy rain shower (Day) 30°C 26°C
Sunday Heavy rain shower (Day) 30°C 26°C
Monday Thundery shower (Day) 30°C 27°C
Tuesday Thundery shower (Day) 29°C 26°C
Wednesday Heavy rain shower (Day) 30°C 26°C

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