AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Manila: Day 2

Today we planned to see lots of the city as our first full day Manila had been a disappointment and we had seen nowhere near as much as we’d hoped.

We woke about 9 ish and went to have breakfast. The hostel was tiny, not at all equipped for the number of rooms or guests it could accommodate. The kitchen had a small table with 4 stools around it. There was a toaster with some bread on the side, along with a coffee machine. Basic. We sat and ate our toast and started looking at where we were going after Manila.

This took a little longer than expected and we didn’t leave that table until almost 1pm. There are many reasons why this took so long but the main points are:

  • Almost unusable internet
  • A total lack of information regarding buses, accommodation, sights and anything useful for tourists

We decided to eat before going into the city, luckily about a 30 second walk from the hostel is a great Falafel restaurant. We ate a delicious lunch then caught a taxi to San Agustin church. This trip took almost an hour as traffic in Manila was very bad.

As churches go – especially after the number we’ve visited across Europe – it wasn’t very impressive, but after seeing nothing but Wats and statues of Buddha for the last few months it made a refreshing change. The church also had a monastery attached to it filled with lots of interesting artwork. But, as per usual, whenever there is anything interesting to look at there is also a sign stating no photography.

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Our next destination was Bahay Tsinoy, a museum dedicated to the influence China has had on the Philippines over the millennia. It started during the last ice age when the Philippines and been linked to China via dry land, over a ridge of which Taiwan is a part of. Then through the ages the Chinese have been a major trading partner with the Philippines and it ended with famous Filipinos who had Chinese ancestry. Overall it was a very interesting museum. We had the whole museum to ourselves. We left at 5pm just as it was closing.

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With nothing else to do as everything was closing at the temperature still on the uncomfortable side of 30′c we decided we might as well get a taxi back and then eat. The taxi took over 2 hours to get back to the hostel, of which the meter showed that we had been stationary for 80+ minutes. The traffic in Manila is like nothing we’ve ever seen anywhere else. Every road is totally gridlocked. Traffic lights can take tens of minutes to reach. Everyone is trying to push into the traffic and at the same time everyone else is attempting to block them pushing in, resulting driving style is sheer madness. Anyone attempting to drive here from another country would probably crash within the first minute. For two hours in the taxi we paid just over £3 and covered a little over 8km. We could have walked it in about the same time.

Posted from Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines.

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