Sunday, December 4, 2011

A holiday in four parts. Part One - Manila

My husband and I used Manila, Philippines, as the stopover city for our recent holiday.  We were only there for one night on our way to our main destination, but then we went back for another four nights on our way home. 

Before we went on holiday I asked around my friends and work mates for recommendations of things my husband and I could do while we were in Manila - but no-one had ever been there.  The Philippines is only a 9 hour flight from Sydney, but we don't hear much about it so we weren't sure what to expect.  But we loved it! 

It has a rich history, interesting sights and wonderfully friendly people.  Based on the number and size of the shopping centres we saw, shopping appears to be a major past time for many Filipinos.  But there is a big disparity between the poor and middle class and wealthy, which is sadly too common in many places. 

The reception lobby of the Manila Hotel (amazing chandeliers).  USA General Douglas MacArthur lived here from 1935 to 1941.  We stayed here for one night.

WOW!  Fantastical Christmas light show in the Makati district.  It is set to music and is much loved by children and adults alike!

The two main streets in the Makati business district used to be the airport runways.  This building was the air traffic control room and used to be the tallest building in Makati - now it is probably the smallest!

The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial - contains the largest number of graves of USA military dead from World War Two and is also the largest USA war cemetery outside of the USA.

Intramuros - part of the Spanish history of Manila.  Jose Rizal, a national hero in the Philippines, was held here before his execution by the Spanish.

A street scene in Manila.

Some of the treasures in the National Museum.

If you have the opportunity to visit Manila, don't hesitate.  We really enjoyed our stopovers here.  Wear some comfortable shoes for the endless shopping malls and be prepared for the heat and humidity when you step outside! 

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