Backpacking in Manila, Philippines


I just came back from backpacking in Manila, Philippines with my BF and three girlfriends, Yong, Eydah and June.

Quite a big number to handle but Alhamdulillah everything goes smoothly without any major problem.

We booked our ticket with Airasia last year during promotion for only RM49 back and forth. A few days before the actual date of departure to Clark (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport) we decided to go to Boracay Island. It was last minute decision but we did not regret it. I will post another entry for the island trip.

Manila is the city that has a lot to offer especially in the way of history and sightseeing.

Backpacking in Manila is affordable and a backpacker on a tight budget should consider this city. A rough estimate is that's you'll need about RM200 a day for accommodation, transport, food and entrance fees (to museum, historical park, clubbing, etc).

However, the first thing you want to do when visiting any city is to have a sure place to stay. It's better to have booked a hostel in advance rather then going around looking for vacancies at the last minute.

It's very annoying to carry around a large backpack in public transportation both for you as well as others if its crowded, so when you do arrive to the city go straight to the hostel and lock your backpack and valuables. Take a day ruck sack. Its essential for all those bits to carry on trips out.

That way you will only have to carry the large backpack once when you're arriving and once when you're departing and when you do carry the backpack in public transportation take it off your back and have it in front of you where you can see it.

Be sure to look very close to what each hostel provides and what it provides for free. Read the customer reviews, ratings as well as descriptions and valuable information of each hostel before booking.

To be prepared, be sure to write down all the necessary information on how to find and get to the hostel before you arrive in each city.

In Manila, I recommend you Friendly's Guesthouse located in Malate. It have no service charge or booking fee and guaranteed lowest price (Backpacker Only!). Don't bother to stay there if you are 'cerewet' and very particular about your pillow, mattress, air-conditioner, towel, blanket, etc.

As for me, I am no that lucky to have rich family to sponsor my trip so I have to save my salary in order to ensure my trip will be successful. So, I have to be on the Internet to collect as many information about my destination.

In case you don't know, in the Philippines they drive on the left-hand side of the road so keep that in mind when crossing the road. Some people said if you can drive in the country, you will be able to drive in any part of the world. Trust me, take that as GOLDEN information! Drivers in Manila are crazy! They keep overtake and honking!

The most important Manila does have a higher crime rate than other major cities. So PLEASE REMEMBER not showing off money, jewellery, mobile phone, etc. in public places, and keep away from areas far from the tourist spots unless you know where you're going or are with someone who does.

One of my Sabahan friends has introduced Divisoria, definitely a bargain place for goodies such as clothes, bags, accessories and stuff. We went there and it was scary when my friends Eydah and Yong was warned by the street hawker to take off their gold earrings and necklace. We did not ask 'WHY' because the reason is very obvious.

So we just walked around and enjoyed the whole experience. We bought our souvenir for friends there. Sorry, I had no pictures of Divisoria because i really don’t think it is quite save to take out my camera and it will be such a hassle to go thru the crowd while taking pictures.

Ok, since my story is getting too long I think I should cut short and share whats best for your visit in Manila.

Do not forget to go to Intramuros. Take picture at Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, San Diego Garden and many other buildings around. You can either take a tricycle ride to go around the small city or just walk (if you have enough energy) to see the whole place.

Rizal Park also a place that you should go and learn more about this guy. He was one of the most respected leaders in Philippines who fought for their independence and revolution.

If you love shopping, go to SM Makati and Gloriata (both in Makati), Mall of Asia (Manila), Robinson Mall (Malate) and Edsa (somewhere in Pasay area). You can skip Divisoria if you don't wanna take risk. Clubbing is fun and cheap, you might find a date. LOL.

Pictures below will show our activities in Manila. It was tiring but fun to know more about this world especially the people and their culture. Oh ya, since we stayed in Malate (tourist destination) I went clubbing at Bedrock Bar (just a few steps from our hostel) and I met new friends there.

Another info for Muslim backpackers, finding halal food is HARD. Most Filipinos are pork eaters, so if you are not sure of it, please bring your Maggi Mee like what we did. Only one Muslim restaurant we found in Malate, which is Persian restaurant located in front of Robinson Mall. It was expensive! Cannot tahan spending 700 Pesos per meal.

Before fly off to Clark- Maggi Mee MESTI ADA!

Friendly's Guesthouse: Updating FB, sms mom, kira duit! LOL.

Friendly's Guesthouse: MUST HAVE- Biscuit, noodle, UV protector cream, water, etc, cotton bud, pany  liner? etc. etc.
Tired. Tidur mati!

Inside Manila Cathedral. Take picture before they started the mass.

Entrance of Intramuros

Me and BF in front of Manila Cathedral

Inside Manila Cathedral. Syyyhh.. Ada orang sembayang!

Somewhere on the street of Intramuros

Posers! LOL.


Yong bah ini...

The whole group taking pix for the album.

Tourist police are everywhere in Intramuros

This is their cab. Vios, babe!

Very creative graffiti image at the back.

The oldest building in Manila located in San Diego Garden (inside Intramuros)

Our lunch at Glorietta, Makati Manila

Hard Rock Cafe, bebeh!

Us at Rizal Park

Lamb briyani for dinner at Persian Restautant in front of Robinson Mall, Malate

Us at CLark airport.

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Diana Diane Teo said...

Wow! You had changed your blog layout. Nice! Can't wait for you to share your travel stories around Philippines because I plan to go there too.

LM the Traveler said...

Its 6.47pm and im still in d office. Will hv another function at 7.30pm. Will post the story by tomorrow ;-)

Ms. Littlewing said...

Hi LM finally I found you here...I loved your passion about travelling look like we have the same interest and again we are the Borneo's proud huh....hehehe.

LM the Traveler said...

new blog bah this... baru belajar :)

Yong Radzia said...

hahahaha...sioknyaaaa...iloikeeee!!! post lagi..

LM the Traveler said...

boracay island story on the way :)

Anonymous said...

Hi LM,

where did you get your hair braided?


LM the Traveler said...

i did it in Boracay Island, Ph.

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