We had another two nights in Manila before leaving the country and booked a nice hotel in the old part of the city called Intramuros (because it’s a walled city within the city).

Manila – a city of more than 11 million people – is one of those cities which are a bit hard to appreciate for the tourist. The traffic is crazy, the air is probably not the cleanest and there aren’t that many sights. Nevertheless we thought it was not as bad as many people had warned us. And so here is a short rundown on what we did in Manila:

The first day was basically devoted to rest from the long bus ride (and from the five hours wait till we could check in) finished by a nice buffet dinner in the evening.

The next morning we visited the Manila Ocean Park – a nice although perhaps a bit dated aquarium. In the afternoon we had a look at the Mall of Asia which is one of the biggest shopping centers on earth. A good place to watch a movie and have dinner.

On our last day we had a short look around Intramuros. Unfortunately the cathedral was closed for renovation and so we went on to Fort Santiago. One of the most remarkable things about the fort was that they literally build a golf course around and even through it (not the Spaniards but the golf course owners). Quite unique indeed.

And so after five and a half weeks it was time to say good-bye to the Philippines. It was a real highlight. The country has so much to offer from fantastic beaches, to a lively underwater world to the rice fields in the north. We were more than once impressed by the friendliness and hospitality of the people. There is a lot to see in the Philippines and we will be back to see even more of it. It’s really more fun in the Philippines!

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