Manila has been identified as the only city in Asia that resembles a Latin American city and this is not surprising considering that the Philippines was ruled by the Spanish for over three centuries. World War II was a tragic episode for the Filipinos and their capital city, as Manila was one of the most extensively destroyed cities in the war. Before this destruction Manila was considered one of the loveliest cities in the world. Today Manila has regained some of its lustre, offering many interesting experiences for the inquisitive traveller.
The major tourist attractions of Manila are concentrated along Manila Bay, making an excursion to the site almost mandatory for the visitor wishing to obtain a genuine taste of the city.
A visit to Rizal Park should be on the itinerary of every visitor to Manila. Also known as the Luneta, this park offers some of the city's best museums, an array of restaurants, a planetarium and an open-air theatre providing free of charge classical music performances. This was the site of execution of the Philippines' national hero, Jose Rizal.
Another historical site of note is Intramuros, the remains of the old Spanish walled settlement, which includes museums and churches such as the most significant church in the country, the Manila Cathedral.
Make it point to visit the magnificent Malacanang Palace, the official residence of the Philippines' President. The scenic route to the palace offers many visual delights and visitors may take a stroll in the palace gardens.
A variety of dining options are to be found in Manila, from upscale restaurants to mobile food stalls. Most international fast food chains are well represented in Manila, including Burger King, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Wendy's, KFC, Taco Bell and many more.
An interesting option is to sample the readily available street food sold from food stalls. Experience such highlights as Chicharon – fried pork rinds usually consumed with beer; Balut, boiled duck embryo, unusual but not for the squeamish; local Philippine barbecue; and Silog, a breakfast dish composed of garlic fried rice and fried egg.
Manila is a paradise for the avid shopper, with choices including everything from the massive SM Mall of Asia with its world class boutiques to street markets where many bargains are to be found.
The nightlife in Manila is renowned for its vibrancy and diversity, with a huge variety of bars, pubs and nightclubs on offer. Many feature talented Filipino bands which never fail to put up a rousing performance.
To experience delights such as these it is vital to select a suitable hotel in Manila. In this regard an obvious choice would be The Heritage Hotel Manila, a premier luxury Manila hotel that meets the expectations of its discerning clientele.
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