Manila - Post Report Question and Answers

What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

El Nido, Boracay, and Coron. I haven't found any hidden gems yet, the country is very well travelled. Scuba diving is really big here, so perhaps there are some underwater hidden gems. - Mar 2023

Tagaytay is a popular location for a quick trip out of Manila, and the area has many places for kids to enjoy. - Mar 2023

Go to the beach every day (a good beach is only a short drive away in Subic Bay). See military ruins on Grande Island and Corregidor. Take a cheap flight to another island in the Philippines (something I should do more). - May 2022

Go diving! - Apr 2021

This country is full of hidden gems, but most of those hidden gems are the incredibly funny, kind, generous, and colorful people that live here. - Oct 2020

Scuba diving is a must. - Feb 2020

If you have kids there are tons of fun things: Mind Museum, Bounce parks, Kidzania, Kidzooona, DreamPlay, and Ocean Park. The Farm at San Benito is a nice getaway, a vegan spa, two hours out of town. - May 2018

The beaches are amazing, and offer something for everyone. Boracay has the best party scene; Bohol is paradise for families; Palawan is wild and rustic; and there are dozens of others. Corregidor is an easy day trip, and a must do for Americans and WWII buffs. Mount Pinatubo is a challenging trek, but also a fun (albeit long) day trip if you’re physically fit. Baguio and Tagaytay are nice mountain getaways a few hours away from the smog and heat of Manila. And there are plenty of other unique attractions like Sagada (hanging coffins), Banue (rice terraces), and Donsol (whale sharks). - Feb 2017

Great snorkeling and scuba is only 3 hours from Manila via car and ferry in Puerta Galera. Take the CLO whale shark tour. If you're not scuba certified become certified, or at least try it once to see if you like it. - Jul 2016

get out of Manila. Drive to batangas to chill on the beach, Taal for a nice view and good food, Baguio for cooler weather, a couple hikes somewhat nearby. That being said, nearby or in the area is a loose term, it can take a long time to get anywhere, but it's doable. You can find some good food if you ask around or hire a cook - Jan 2016

Weekend trips to the beach or to dive, and restaurants. The extreme traffic puts a major damper on socializing and getting out to explore. Many people seem to spend inordinate amounts of time at home since the traffic is so cumbersome. - Jan 2016

Two things: "Hidden Springs" in Laguna, about a 2-hour drive from Manila. It's an absolutely beautiful place with several swimming pools, a waterfall, and good food included in the entry ticket. "Sonya's Garden" is my favorite massage place. It is in Tagaytay (about a 2-hour drive) and has a very nice, relaxing ambiance. Also. there are some nice restaurants and sightseeing on the way. - Jan 2016

Many places to travel. Boracay and Cebu have great beaches. - Sep 2015

Day trips to Tagaytay, The Mind Museum, The AWCP bazaar held monthly, weekends in Baguio, "malling, " exploring cool neighborhoods... - Aug 2015

It's easy to find out what there is to do, so I wouldn't say there are "secret or hidden gems." There are few getaways that aren't long-distance travel. Some day trips like Tagaytay or weekend trips like Baguio are things to do. There are scuba/snorkeling trips for weekends. Plane travel is a bit expensive and the airport can be frustrating, but the beaches are nice. Honestly, we've done some regional travel too, to Taipei, Hong Kong, Penang, because it's even a little easier than within the country. - Aug 2015

There is a lot of history in Manila, and interesting churches to explore. The old section of Manila has been kept up, partly for tourism, but also for the people of the area.There are also museums, some free, and others requiring a small entrance fee. This is also true for other areas throughout the Philippines. - Jan 2014

For adventurers, Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor will be your best friends. Within Manila there is Intramuros, Fort Santiago. and Corregidor. Day trips include climbing or horseback riding to Taal Volcano, visiting Taal Church, and diving in Anilao (while there be sure to snag a Batangas butterfly knife from a local stand). A little further there is Pagsanjan Falls and Villa Escudero. A short plane ride outside of Manila, be sure to hit Boracay, Palawan and the underground river, Bohol and the tarsier monkeys, and the number one must-do: Donsol and the whale sharks. - Dec 2013

Travel, beach resorts, dining scene is actually good and cheap. Mountain/jungle trekking is fun, but the industry is not at all developed. - Nov 2013

The parks I mentioned earlier, there are lots of places in driving distances & tons of cheap flights. - Aug 2013

Scuba diving, exploring the Islands. Lots of nightlife. - Apr 2013

In Manila, you can eat at malls and go shopping at malls. That's about it. I wish I was exaggerating. Outside of Manila, diving and beaches are great, and the countryside is beautiful. - Feb 2013

In Manila, shop and eat. There are not a lot of sights in the city. Chinatown tour and Intramuros are okay. Outside of town, Tagatay and Corregidor Island are good day trips. Decent beaches aren't accessible for a day trip, reallly. Maybe Batangas has some. - Sep 2012

Diving, buying the notorious fake pearls and designer items at Greenhills, going to spas, travelling. Resorts in the Philippines are hit or miss, but if you’re going on a diving mission, you can find reputable places. - May 2012

Go diving! You can go to Batangas on a 3-hour road trip, fly to any of the islands for beach, diving and snorkeling, fly to other Asian countries (yes, we love travel the most!). There are lots of dining options here, and though Filipino cuisine is not very interesting, you can find anything else here, so foodies will not be disappointed! - Mar 2012

Hang out at the huge malls. - Jan 2012

Take a spa day to release the frustrations of the week. Drive 45 minutes south to check out Taal volcano and escape the heat of Manila. Take a day to check out the American Cemetery and Memorial in Fort Bonifacio. Go the movies - IMAX or Director's Club with La-Z-Boy recliners. Check out the Saturday farmer's market in Salcedo, Makati. - Jul 2011

Scuba diving & snorkeling, spas are fantastic, antiquing - May 2011

Travel outside of Manila. - May 2011

There are several great daytrips close to Manila. The Tagaytay highlands are stunningly georgous and a nice place to relax. Anilao has quiet seaside resorts with fantastic diving. Corregidor and Bataan are good for WWII buffs. There are no shortage of malls to explore in Manila. - Feb 2010

Various beaches are wonderful, ice skating and bowling are affordable at Mall of Asia. Movies are cheap and you can either get the food there or bring your own in no problem. Lots of clubs and groups. Something for everyone. - Jan 2010

Travel opportunities throughout southeast Asia are plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Travel throughout the Philippines is also very nice and inexpensive. I have had the opportunity to see much of the country, and the Philippines is really a very beautiful country. SCUBA is also big here, with some of the best diving in the world. - Jul 2009

Trips to the beach, diving, eating out, ice skating (!), bars, social dancing lessons, language courses, sporting activities, movies, and the like. There are a few interesting museums to visit and entertaining tours of Manila can be arranged through a couple of guides. - Jun 2008


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