MxUAKk trip: Manila in one day …

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Jeepney

A very colourful jeepney in Manila [Philippines]

Many people compare Manila with Jakarta, which is my hometown in Indonesia, so Manila didn’t really shock myself and my travel mate, Kania Kismadi, during #MxUAKk trip. Although we only spent one full day in Manila; we wanted to see as much as possible before we left the town. After we did a little last minute research, we decided to join a walking tour in Intramuros and then to other tourism spots like The Rizal Park, and so on. We regret that we didn’t try the MRT in Manila, but during that one day, we did try quite a few of transportation method in Manila, from Jeepney, trishaw, until horse cart, and of course taxi haha.

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Intramuros - Inside Fort Santiago

Inside the Fort Santiago complex in Intramuros [Manila, Philippines]

Intramuros is considered to be an old city in Manila, where the city is ‘barricade’ with wall.

We first gathered in the park near the gate of Fort Santiago to register ourselves with the walking tour, and waited for the man that led this walking tour, Carlos Celdran. This guy is not an ordinary tour guide. He is very knowledgeable and fun guy. He’s bald, so sometimes he wore his normal hat, and sometimes he wore the big – USA – hat! That USA – hat is so big that it seems that the hat swallowed his head 😀

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Intramuros - Fort Santiago - Plaza Moriones

A very beautiful and nice garden inside the Fort Santiago complex in Intramuros [Manila, Philippines]

This walking tour is apparently quite different with the one that I did in Australia where we walked most of the time and had quite a lot of stops. In this walking tour, as the area is only in Intramuros so we only made a few stops. In each stops, Carlos explained everything about the history connected to The Wall City of Intramuros. The stops included the famous Fort Santiago, which apparently is a quite small fort ;-), a cinema where we watched a documentary, a horse ride to our last stop – San Agustin Church and tasted the famous drink in Philippines – Halo – halo. 😉

Asia - Philippines - Intramuros - Fort Santiago - The Fortress

The Fort Santiago in Intramuros [Manila, Philippines]

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Intramuros - Fort Santiago - Rizal Shrine

Riza Shrine inside the Fort Santiago complex in Intramuros [Manila, Philippines]

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Intramuros - Horse riding (1)

Horse riding in Intramuros [Manila, Philippines]

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Intramuros - San Agustin Church

St. Agustin church – one of the stops in Intramuros Walking Tour with Carlos Celdran [Manila, Philippines]

If you enjoy history, you should join this walking tour. As I said earlier, Carlos is quite an interesting and unique tour guide, so I bet you will get a different experience joining this tour. Another thing is I love how they preserve this old city. A visit to this area is a must although you don’t join any tours 🙂

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Intramuros - Walking Tour with Charles Celdran - Me & Kania

Us with Carlos Celdran – The tour guide in this Intramuros Walking Tour [Manila, Philippines]

Before we headed to the famous Rizal Park, we decided to take a look at Binondo, the Chinatown in Manila. We tried to use the trishaw. Unfortunately the one of the bridges connected to the Binondo area was close for a film shooting, so the trishaw guy dropped us just before the bridge, and we continued on foot with the help of Google Maps 😉

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Binondo - Welcome to Manila Chinatown

The gate to Chinatown in Manila [Philippines]

Not long after that, we finally reached Binondo area, after we saw some lanterns hanging on the street and a entrance gate saying ‘Welcome to Manila Chinatown’. The Binondo is actually quite a dense area with many shop houses along the streets including quite a few small shopping malls in the area.

The unique thing that surprised us when we walked in one area of Binondo was that we found a cross with some accessories on it, and the people then prayed in front of the cross using the incense stick [hio] just like when the Buddhist pray in front of their gods.

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Binondo - Lantern on the street (2)

Lantern on the street in Binondo … And looks at those electrical wire [Manila, Philippines]

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Binondo - Pray

A unique thing to see in Binondo … They pray to the cross using an incense stick – hio [Manila, Philippines]

Rizal Park which is located quite near from Binondo was our next destination in this one full day in Manila. This time we used the jeepney to reach there.

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Rizal Park - The Philiippines Map

The ‘Relief Map of the Philippines’ on a pond in Rizal Park [Manila, Philippines]

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Rizal Park - Lapu Lapu Monument

Practicing beside the Lapu Lapu monument in Rizal Park [Manila, Philippines]

Rizal Park, which is also called as Luneta Park, is actually quite a big park, where many people just go here to do some exercise, hanging around with friends, or just doing some sightseeing like we did.

The park is actually divided by a street. We arrived in one side of the park, the one with the Lapu Lapu monument. Before the monument, we passed a small man-made-lake with with a map floating on it – you will get a better view of the map if see it from above. The map is called the ‘Relief Map of the Philippines’. This park is a really nice place to walk and relax as there are plenty of trees alongside the pathway and area. Beside the park, you could also find the Museum of The Filipino people. We also saw people doing a practice of some martial arts practice near the Lapu Lapu monument. You could also join the practice and try some movement of the practice if you want! 😉

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Rizal Park (2)

One of the statues that you can find in Rizal Park [Manila, Philippines]

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Rizal Park - Rizal Monument (1)

Rizal Monument in Rizal Park [Manila, Philippines]

To get to the other park, we should cross the street. There are quite a few small park on the side, but the main thing to see is the Rizal Monument with an obelisk monument at the end of the park.

It was quite a tiring day as we mostly walked and the day was a bit hot, but we didn’t really want to end the day just yet. So we headed back to the place that we stayed in Dusit Thani Manila, to refresh ourselves and headed to the malls just beside our hotel. Haha … Yes, we ended our day at Manila in malls. ‘Malls’ mean not just one mall, but a few malls, and all of them are connected to each others haha! So how many malls near our place to stay in Dusit Thani Manila?

Asia - Philippines - Manila - SM Mall

One of the malls that you can find in Manila – SM Mall [Philippines]

–          SM Mall

–          Glorietta

–          Greenbelt 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5

Yep, there are seven malls!

My favourite among these malls are the Greenbelt. Some part of Greenbelt are semi-open, that’s why I love it 😉

This post is part of myself and my friend [Kania Kismadi] trip from Philippines – Malaysia – Singapore.

You can check the photos that I have posted in Instagram and search the hashtag #MxUAKk or you can always go to my Instagram profile >> timothywpawiro.

Thanks to Dusit Thani Manila, Far East Hospitality in Singapore [Village Katong Hotel and Quincy Hotel], Quest Hotel And Conference Center – Cebu, and Hotel Quickly for being such wonderful partners in this trip. :-)

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Greenbelt Mall

Greenbelt 3 that is located near SM Mall in Manila [Philippines]


  1. CrazyGuyinThailand June 16, 2014
    • timothywp June 17, 2014
  2. Kania June 16, 2014
    • timothywp June 17, 2014
  3. Halim Santoso June 18, 2014
    • timothywp June 19, 2014
  4. Matius Teguh Nugroho September 15, 2014
    • timothywp September 20, 2014

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